(NEW YORK) -- The Transportation Security Administration says it has apologized to an 85-year-old New York woman for her “unpleasant screening experience,” but denies her claim that she was strip-searched.
The incident began when Lenore Zimmerman went to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport last Tuesday to catch a JetBlue flight to Fort Lauderdale. Zimmerman uses a walker and avoids the screening machines because of her pacemaker. She requested a pat down for that reason, and instead she says she was taken to a private room and was shocked when she was asked to take off her pants and other clothes.
The TSA issued a statement saying, “Private screening was requested by the passenger. It was granted and lasted approximately 11 minutes.”
On Sunday, the TSA issued a second statement saying it, “contacted the passenger to apologize that she feels she had an unpleasant screening experience, however, TSA does not include strip searches in its protocols and a strip search did not occur in this case."
Reached at her winter home in Florida, Zimmerman reacted to the TSA response by telling the New York Daily News, “I say they’re lying. They’re doing it to protect their butts."
The grandma says she really doesn’t remember if the TSA called to apologize, saying she’s been so upset she’s been taking sleeping pills.
When asked if she accepts the TSA apology, Zimmerman told the Daily News, “Yes, I may sue them anyway because it was a very traumatic experience.”
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