Yes a 53 year old man in San Francisco Airport’s security area was a fake TSA staff member. He dressed like a TSA employee but had not emblem or official badge. However, he managed to take two female passengers into a private room for a search. He was caught because a female TSA officer remembered that only women can search women in private areas.

So what is the lesson to learn here? If unsure of someone’s official capacity, first look for writing on their uniform or badge. This applies to police, firemen, TSA and broader to a hotel’s air conditioning engineer? the room service deliverer? Anyone that might catch you unawares.

Just as you would ask for police id, ask to see this person’s id- even if it is only their shirt. Don’t challenge, ask. During holiday times, TSA and others are burdened, take special care to inquire politely. For our tours look at The Women’s Travel Group or email us at