TSA Searches of Cars at Airport Valet Parking Discovered by Flyer

Thursday, 18 Jul 2013 01:38 PM

By Michael Mullins

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The TSA is now searching valet parked cars, at least at one upstate New York airport.

Laurie Iacuzza recently picked up her car at the Greater Rochester International Airport and was taken aback when she found a note saying her vehicle had been inspected after she left it for valet parking.

"I was furious. They never mentioned it to me when I booked the valet or when I picked up the car or when I dropped it off," an agitated Iacuzza told News10NBC. "I think the public should be aware of the fact that if their car is going to be searched, they should be informed of it."

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The new level of security was confirmed by John McCaffery, the TSA's Federal Security Director for the Greater Rochester International Airport.

When asked if cars parked in short and long-term parking areas were subject to inspections as well, McCaffery said "no."

"Those vehicles that are in the garage, short term long term parking, even if they carry pretty large amounts of explosives, they would not cause damage to the front of the airport," McCaffery told News10NBC, explaining why only valet parked cars were searched.

"But for those who use the valet, the car could be there for a half hour or an hour so there is a vulnerability," McCaffery added.

The inspections are apparently carried out by the valet attendants themselves, as opposed to TSA agents.

"You're required, they tell you, you have to search the car." Valet Parking Attendant Frank Dettorre told News10NBC. "I have to do it."

The attendants also showed News10NBC a large sign that informed travelers that their cars would be searched if they decided to valet park the vehicle before their flight.

Iacuzza told News10NBC that the sign was not displayed when she dropped off her car, adding that she didn't object to the search as much as she did not being made aware of it.

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According to attendants interviewed by News10NBC, they have only been conducting such searches for about four or so weeks.

It was not reported whether or not this valet parking search rule is implemented at other airports beyond the Greater Rochester International Airport.

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