DC Trawler

TSA: Toppling Someone’s Ashes

I’ve had good luck with TSA. Usually I go through with no problem, and when there is one, it’s minor. When I flew home to Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago, an agent patted down my knee because of all the metal in it. He was polite and professional, and we got it over with and I was on my way.

Not everybody is so lucky. WRTV in Indy reports:

A man’s attempt to bring the ashes of his grandfather home to Indianapolis ended with an angry scene in a Florida airport, with the ashes spilled on the terminal floor.

John Gross, a resident of Indianapolis’ south side, was leaving Florida with the remains of his grandfather — Mario Mark Marcaletti, a Sicilian immigrant who worked for the Penn Central Railroad in central Indiana — in a tightly sealed jar marked “Human Remains…”

“They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes,'” Gross told RTV6’s Norman Cox. “She picked up the jar. She opened it up.

“I was told later on that she had no right to even open it, that they could have used other devices, like an X-ray machine. So she opened it up. She used her finger and was sifting through it. And then she accidentally spilled it.”

Gross says about a quarter to a third of the contents spilled on the floor, leaving him frantically trying to gather up as much as he could while anxious passengers waited behind him.

“She didn’t apologize. She started laughing. I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments.”

Let’s look at that part again:

“She started laughing.”

Don’t worry, though. TSA will tell us they’ve conducted an internal investigation, and they’ll find that the agent followed all the proper procedures. Or, they’ll tell us that the problem has been taken care of, but they can’t tell us the agent’s name or what punishment she’s been given, if any.


Can you believe those mean Republicans are pushing for privatization of airport security?