Local News

Flight attendant asked to show prosthetic breast during airport screening

Posted November 19, 2010 7:35 p.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2010 11:42 p.m. EST

— The federal Transit Security Administration says it will review a flight attendant’s claim that she was forced to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down while going through security at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

WBTV in Charlotte reported Friday that Cathy Bossi, a U.S. Airways flight attendant and three-year breast cancer survivor, said she had to remove the prosthetic from her bra while going through additional screening at a security checkpoint in August.

A TSA representative told WBTV that agents aren’t supposed to remove any prosthetics but that they are allowed to ask to see and touch them.

“I couldn't believe someone had done that to me. I'm a flight attendant,” Bossi said. “I was just trying to get to work.”

"There are blowers and there are dogs out there that can sniff out bombs," she added. "There's no reason to have somebody's hands touching your body parts."

Bossi’s story comes as controversy mounts over more aggressive pat-downs and full-body scanners that peer through clothing.

TSA administrator John Pistole told CBS’s “The Early Show” Friday that he understands public distaste for more intense security procedures.

He called it a "challenge" for federal authorities and airport screeners.

But Pistole said the attempted bombing of a U.S.-bound plane last Christmas and the effort to ship packages with bombs to this country on cargo planes more recently makes tougher security necessary.

"The bottom line is, we're trying to see that everybody can be assured with high confidence that everybody else on that flight can be properly screened,” he said.

About 385 scanners, each costing up to $170,000, are already in place at more than 60 airports. The TSA is adding more and expects to have 500 total in place by year's end.