Grandmother files complaint following airport screening

MICHAEL WOOD, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:06 AM ET

CALGARY ó†The 82-year-old Abbotsford, B.C., woman angered over her treatment by Calgary airport security staff has filed a formal complaint.

Elizabeth Strecker, a breast cancer survivor, said she endured a ghastly screening on Jan. 4, during which she was forced to bare the gel prosthesis she's been wearing since her mastectomy.

Abbotsford MP Ed Fast contacted Strecker afterward and helped her pen a three-page complaint, which was sent to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority on Tuesday.

CATSA launched an investigation and apologized to Strecker via a voicemail message.

Strecker said she was dissatisfied with the wording and way their apology was delivered.

"I put down what I wanted to say," she said.

Strecker was en route from a Christmas gathering in Calgary back home to Abbotsford when screeners grew wary of her initial response to questions concerning gels or liquids, which are restricted on flights.

She had told staff she was not in possession of either when a full body scan revealed her prosthesis.

Strecker was also forced to raise her arm during the process, which caused her searing pain and brought the woman to tears, prompting further derision from screeners, she said.

Since her story broke last week, Strecker has been inundated with calls from flyers expressing encouragement in her quest for an apology and changes to the screening process, particularly in cases concerning senior citizens and those with medical conditions.

"Would you believe I just got a call from St. John's, Newfoundland, just now," she said.

Fast, meanwhile, is eager to see what comes out of the CATSA probe into Strecker's account, particularly concerning any possible impact on security staff training.

"Given it's an 82-year-old woman with significant handicaps, I think it does warrant a review by CATSA officials to ensure seniors and other Canadians are treated in a respectful and compassionate manner," the Conservative MP told QMI Agency.


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