Rochester Airport Security Worker Fired After Passing Mean Note to Traveler

By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter

August 16, 2019

There's a lot to dislike about flying. Between the cramped seats, crying babies, and long security lines, air travel can be a hassle - and that's without someone handing you an insulting note as you pass through security. But one traveler had that exact thing happen to him as he attempted to get through security at the Greater Rochester International Airport in Rochester, New York.

Neal Strassner told Rochester First that he had been passing through security at the airport in June when he had the strange encounter with the TSA agent. Strassner says as he passed through the security checkpoint, the woman gave him a note. As he began walking away, Strassner says the woman called after him, asking if he was "going to open the note?"

When Strassner opened the note, it read "You ugly!!!" and the employee burst out laughing.

The incident was captured by the airport's security cameras. Strassner was able to request the footage through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The woman was not officially an employee of the TSA or the Rochester airport, but instead works for VMD Corp, a Virginia-based security company, who is contracted by the TSA to provide security for the Greater Rochester International Airport.

Airport security passes mean note to traveler

According to a statement from the TSA, the employee was terminated shortly after the incident.

"TSA holds contractors to the highest ethical standards and has zero tolerance for this type of behavior. This instance, which involved a contract employee, was investigated immediately upon receiving the complaint by the traveler. The employee has since been terminated by the contractor."

The video shows the worker begin to write another note, so it's possible this wasn't her first time. However, there was no word on if the TSA worker had passed any other notes to travelers during her work shift.

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