TSA tracks down passenger for hair pat-down

6:31 AM, Sep 21, 2011   |    comments
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Isis Brantley (KXAS/NBC)

ATLANTA -- A passenger who had already gone through security at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was shocked when she was tracked down by TSA agents who wanted to examine her hair.

Isis Brantley was on the train platform headed to catch her flight to Dallas, when two TSA agents ran down the escalator behind her demanding to check her hair for explosives.

"Some random lady came up and said 'Did they check your hair?' and I said, 'What no,' and then I just kept going," she said.

Brantley said she was then told, "I have to pat your hair down to make sure you don't have any explosives."

She said TSA agents did not take her into a private area to conduct the search, but patted her hair down right there in front of the train doors.

"She took her hand and she started digging around in my hair several times and I said, 'Find the explosives? Please don't do this to me. This is humiliating and embarrassing'," Brantley said.

She said the TSA agents told her they didn't find anything and let her go.

Brantley's hair -- styled naturally in a large afro -- certainly turns heads, but Brantley said this was the first time in more than 20 years that she had been stopped.

When asked about the incident, the TSA sent a statement to 11Alive News:

"This passenger left the checkpoint prior to the completion of the screening process. She was offered but refused private screening." 

Brantley disputed the TSA statement, saying, "No. No sir. No sir. That didn't happen. They never offered me a private screening. No they didn't."

She said she complained to a TSA manager at Hartsfield-Jackson, who she said apologized to her. She said she was assured the TSA would investigate the incident.

Brantley, a hairdresser by trade, said she flies frequently across the country to style clients' hair. She said she has never had her hair checked for explosives until the incident at Hartsfield-Jackson.

She told Dallas NBC station KXAS she is afraid she will be harassed again the next time she flies.

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