June 15, 2022

Duckworth Presses TSA Administrator for Improved Treatment of New Mothers & Americans with Disabilities


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – During her meeting with Transportation Security Administrator David Pekoske yesterday, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, pushed for improved treatment of new mothers and Americans with disabilities from employees of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Duckworth’s concerns come after the troubling mistreatment of a breastfeeding mother at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) by TSA employees last month. Specifically, Duckworth pressed Administrator Pekoske for answers on how the TSA is working to ensure its employees are trained to appropriately and respectfully screen and work with all travelers in our nation’s airports, including new mothers and Americans with disabilities.

“Too often I hear stories of new moms, like the one recently at LAX, and Americans with disabilities being treated inappropriately by TSA employees—and TSA can and should do better,” said Duckworth. “I’ll continue to work with TSA Administrator Pekoske in the weeks and months ahead to help ensure TSA employees know TSA’s policies on screening these individuals and handling their personal property, such as nursing equipment, prosthetics and wheelchairs.”

Duckworth has championed several policies that help make air travel easier for new moms and Americans with disabilities. Duckworth’s Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation ensuring that small airports across the country support new moms and promote breastfeeding-friendly environments, was signed into law in 2020. The legislation builds on Duckworth’s success in enacting a law that ensures all large and medium airports provide a clean, private space where moms can breastfeed or pump. Recently, O’Hare and Midway Airports both installed free-standing lactation pods for new mothers as a result of Duckworth’s FAM Improvement Act.

As a result of legislation that was passed by Duckworth, the Department of Transportation implemented a new rule requiring air carriers to disclose for the first time how many checked bags, wheelchairs and motorized scooters they damage or mishandle each month.