TSA bans bikini woman for ‘unusual contour’ around buttocks
A woman who became a YouTube sensation earlier this month when she went through airport security in a bikini spent a night at the airport Tuesday because of TSA agents’ concerns about an “unusual contour” around her buttocks.
Tammy Banovac says she is hand-searched every time she goes through airport security because she uses a wheelchair. But ever since the TSA instituted new “enhanced” pat-downs that involve touching of genitals, she has found herself feeling violated.
“If it happened anywhere else, it would have been sexual assault,” she says of the procedure.
It was because of this that on November 30 she appeared at Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers Airport in a bikini, in protest and presumably in the hopes that her revealing outfit would eliminate the need for a pat-down.
Banovac was searched and interrogated for an hour before being refused access to her flight by TSA agents who said they found residue of nitrates, which can be used on bombs, on her person. When she came back to the airport the next day, she was allowed to board her flight.
But now Banovac says the TSA found another reason to bar her from boarding. As she tried to board a flight — fully clothed– for the first time since the earlier incident, the TSA informed her they had found an “unusual contour” around her buttocks which they couldn’t explain.
According to Oklahoma’s KWTV News9, Banovac offered to strip for the agents to prove that she’s not hiding anything. However, since TSA agents aren’t allowed to fully undress a passenger, they had no choice but to deny her access to her flight.
“This is the most ridiculous sky security theatrics imaginable,” she told the station.
Banovac ended up spending the night at the airport before being allowed to board a flight to Phoenix on Wednesday morning. It’s not clear if she passed security wearing the same outfit as the night before.
She told reporters that her YouTube fame has made her life miserable, and she is routinely recognized at airports.
The following video was broadcast on KWTV News9, Dec. 28. 2010, rebroadcast by sister station News On 6.