Revealed: How the TSA is secretly ordering the cars of innocent traveler’s to be searched in airport parking lots without asking them first
- Valet attendants at Greater Rochester International Airport have been directed to search vehicles for explosives, according to a report
- Traveler Laurie Iacuzza said she was not warned that her car would be searched
- When she returned from a trip she found a notice in her car announcing the vehicle had been inspected
- A TSA official says only cars that are parked valet are subject to the searches
By Hayley Peterson Daily Mail PUBLISHED:18 July
Traveler Laurie Iacuzza recently flew out of Greater Rochester International Airport and upon returning from her trip, she found a yellow slip of paper inside her valet-parked car that announced her vehicle had been searched.
‘Thank you for your patronage,’ the slip of paper read. ‘Your vehicle has been inspected under TSA regulations.’
TSA has not responded to MailOnline‘s inquiries about the searches.
According to TSA policy, agents or people directed and trained by the TSA can carry out vehicle screenings in secure areas if they are random and drivers are notified that their cars could be searched.
There are no reports of valet-parked cars being inspected at other airports across the country, though many other airports have policies that allow for vehicle screenings.
The Miami International Airport notes on its website that ‘all vehicles entering [the airport premises] may be inspected, as well as baggage in the vehicle.’
The program allows TSA to work with law enforcement officials to ‘augment security of any mode of transportation’ – which translates to a surge in screenings on highways, in train stations, at airports, or other transportation hubs.
The program caused outrage two years ago when it was used to inspect vehicles on highways in Tennessee and again last year when it was used to screen Amtrak passengers’ luggage.
News10NBC talked to John McCaffrey, federal security director for the Rochester airport, who confirmed that cars were being searched. He said only valet-parked cars are subject to inspection because those vehicles spend time directly in front of the airport.
‘Those vehicles that are in the garage, short-term [and] long-term parking, even if they carry pretty large amounts of explosives, they would not cause damage to the front of the airport,’ he said.
‘But for those who use the valet, the car could be there for a half hour or an hour so there is a vulnerability.’
The television station spoke to a valet attendant who said that he and his coworkers – not TSA agents – had been ordered to search the cars.
‘I have to,’ he said, adding that the directive came about a month ago.
A large sign on the valet attendants’ airport kiosk alerts drivers to the possibility that their car could be searched.
Iacuzza said the sign was not displayed when she dropped her car off and that she is ‘furious’ that her vehicle was searched without warnin.
‘They never mentioned it to me when I booked the valet or when I picked up the car or when I dropped it off,’ she said.