WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to bolster its already tattered public image, the Transportation Security Administration announced on Wednesday that it will begin offering complimentary back and shoulder massages to select travelers during pre-flight security screenings.
“In keeping with our core values, TSA is taking a hands-on approach in showing air travelers just how much we value their continued patience and commitment to airline security,” TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said on Wednesday. “In doing so, TSA is pleased to announce that beginning April 15th, domestic travelers will be selected at random to receive a five-minute massage by one of our qualified Transportation Security Officers.”
Starting next week, TSA agents at more than 180 airports throughout the United States will undergo a mandatory 90-minute training seminar covering a variety of massage techniques. “Our highly trained agents will be able to expertly and efficiently provide travelers of all ages with a soothing and relaxing pre-flight massage,” Mrs. Farbstein said.
Citing a need for increased security, a Transportation Security Administration official familiar with the new program told Real News Right Now that air travelers will not be notified in advance of their eligibility but will instead receive their complimentary massage immediately following standard security procedures. “This is meant to ensure the safety of all travelers,” the official explained.
The TSA’s decision to provide air travelers with complimentary back and shoulder massages comes days after an irate Texas mother uploaded a video to Facebook depicting her special needs son being subjected to an intensive pat-down by a TSA agent. Despite the mother’s objections, “all approved procedures were followed,” according to a TSA official who reviewed the case. “In this particular instance, I think the situation could have been easily defused if the child had received a brief massage following the pat-down.”