Two New York politicians urged the Transportation Security Administration on Sunday to provide passenger advocates on site at airport screenings after four elderly women complained of intrusive searches by security agents in recent months.
Senator Charles Schumer and State Senator Michael Gianaris told Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano and TSA Administrator John Pistole in a letter that an on-site passenger advocate would help strike the right balance between security and protecting vulnerable travelers.
"I appreciate the TSA's work to keep air passengers safe, but passengers should not be humiliated and degraded during their travels," Gianaris said in a statement accompanying the letter.
The call came after several elderly women came forward in the busy travel weeks around Thanksgiving to complain they were "strip searched by TSA agents", including three at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, the letter said.
On Sunday, the TSA denied on its blog that the women had been strip searched.