A local grandmother’s Nov. 12 wardrobe choice of cargo pants with zippers made her victim of the federal government’s new full-body pat-down searches at airports.
Diane Bitter said she was passing through Manchester Airport en route to Arizona last Friday when her pants zippers triggered a metal detector.
“Of course you can’t just take your pants off,” she said, explaining she was then directed to step aside for an “insane” inspection.
“Right out in the middle of everything,” a female airport screener began patting Bitter’s body in places she did not expect.
“She touched my private parts,” said Bitter.
Pressed for details, the 67-year-old Rye Beach resident said the airport employee put her hands inside the waistband of her pants, felt around her waist, passed her hands over both her breasts, and rubbed her hands up and down the insides of her legs – “twice in front and twice in back.”
“As it got more invasive, I thought, ‘why am I consenting to this?’” she said. “It was totally humiliating.”
Bitter said after the screener “finished feeling me all over,” she removed a pair of blue latex gloves, rubbed them with “a detecting pad,” put the gloves into a machine and got a reading clearing Bitter for hazardous substances.