A cancer survivor says she was forced to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down at an airport in North Carolina.
Cathy Bossi, a Charlotte-area flight attendant, told WBTV, a local CBS affiliate, that in August, two female Transportation Security Administration agents took her to a private room for what she calls an aggressive pat-down.
They stopped when they got around to feeling her right breast, the one where she'd had surgery, said Bossi, a three-year breast cancer survivor.
"She put her full hand on my breast and said, 'What is this?'" Bossi told the station. "And I said, 'It's my prosthesis because I've had breast cancer.' And she said, 'Well you'll need to show me that.'"
Bossi said she removed the prosthetic breast from her bra.
"I did not take the name of the person at the time because it was just so horrific of an experience, I couldn't believe someone had done that to me," she said. "I'm a flight attendant. I was just trying to get to work."
A TSA spokesperson told the station that agents aren't supposed to remove any prosthetics but are allowed to ask to see and touch any passenger's prosthetic. The agency said it will review the matter.
Bossi's story is just one of many fueling a backlash against passenger pat-downs and high-tech scanners that produce digital images of the body's contours. Florida Rep. John Mica is pushing for airports to consider ditching TSA agents altogether in favor of private contractors. Some travelers are using the Internet to organize protests aimed at the busy travel days surrounding Thanksgiving next week