March 29, 2008

US transport officials expressed regret on Friday over a woman who was forced to remove her nipple rings before boarding a flight in Texas.

A statement from the Transportation Security Administration said that while screeners were right to raise the alarm over Mandi Hamlin’s piercings, in future passengers would be allowed to board after a visual inspection.

Hamlin, a 37-year-old graphic artist from Dallas, has complained of being humiliated by airport staff after being ordered to remove her nipple rings with a set of pliers before boarding a plane in Lubbock, Texas.

“It was just total humiliation in front of people I had no earthly idea who they were,” Hamlin said earlier this week.

A TSA statement said Friday screening procedures had been reviewed following the incident and that in future passengers will be given the option of undergoing a visual inspection instead of removing metal piercings.

“TSA acknowledges that our procedures caused difficulty for the passenger involved and regrets the situation in which she found herself,” a statement on the agency’s website said.

“We appreciate her raising awareness on this issue and we are changing the procedures to ensure that this does not happen again.”t leadership has always been extraordinarily careful to guard against any unlawful command influence.”

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