On my way back from Dallas at DFW as I was going through the security line, my bag was somehow flagged and a TSA official scrutinized my laptop extra carefully. I had to wait while she was doing that. She said they had to do that because I had placed my laptop in the same bin as other things. But I hadn’t and I told her that. She said that it somehow just got put in the same bin. It felt mildly weird at that time, but I thought she would just check my laptop bag and I’ll be on my way.
But as I waited, she also said that they’ll have to do a thorough pat-down on me. I was surprised but before I could say anything she walked away and called another TSA officer. He explained that he’ll be doing a complete pat-down. I just wanted to get it over with so I said ok. He said I had set off the metal detector but I’m pretty sure I hadn’t. I was much more surprised and frustrated because first of all, their stories didn’t match and it seemed they were just making up an excuse to pat me down. And secondly, if I had set the metal detector off, why would they let me go through and stand next to the place where travelers are putting their belts/shoes back on and collecting their bags? Wouldn’t they stop me right away?
It was humiliating to say the least. This is the video I found on web of similar experience some other traveler had: https://twitter.com/angela_rye/status/809602853853626369/video/1
This video is cut short though. Mine lasted atleast twice as long.
I have to say that after going through the experience, I don’t feel any more safe. If they are choosing to “screen” people thoroughly either randomly, or based on some vague racial profiling, I don’t know what other biases they have which is making them overlook something that’s actually bad. Ultimately I hope there are some security procedures that take into account those biases and correct them.