Elderly cancer survivor 'humiliated' by airport security
Published Saturday, January 15, 2011 6:08PM MST
The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority is issuing an apology to a woman who says she may never fly again.
Elizabeth Strecker, 82, was flying from Calgary to Abbotsford, B.C. after visiting her children last week.
A pin in her leg set off a metal detector and she was sent to a body scanner.
Strecker lost a breast to cancer and now wears a gel prosthesis instead of an implant.
The body scanner picked up the prosthesis and that created a problem with security.
"I heard someone say ‘whatever she said isn't true,'" Strecker recalls.
Shortly after that claim from security, Strecker said she was subjected to a thorough body search.
"Then she started to touch me everywhere."
While Strecker said the pat-down was intrusive, she is especially concerned over the accusation that she would lie to security.
"They make an 82-year-old woman cry like a baby," she said, noting that being described as "a liar or something" was unsettling.
"It was terribly humiliating and embarrassing for me," she told CTV British Columbia in an interview.
Transport Minister Chuck Strahl said this week that the scenario "sounds completely unacceptable."
Frequent fliers at Calgary International Airport are shocked by the incident.
CTV has received several emails from travelers who say Calgary security screeners are some of the most aggressive they've seen.
The Calgary Airport Authority couldn't confirm or deny this, saying it doesn't keep track of such complaints
CATSA has launched an investigation into Strecker's treatment. They've looked at video tape and spoken to some of the screeners who worked that day.
CATSA is apologizing, but has yet to actually reach Strecker.
With files from CTV.ca