Nate Anderson shares a story from a flyers’ forum that occurred in 2009.
I’m in line at Terminal E’s main TSA checkpoint at IAH [Houston’s main airport] and there are two gentlemen about 10-12 spots in front of me in line wearing kilts. No one is actually paying them much extra attention (and I have seen men in kilts before at IAH and other US airports) and we all continue toward the belts/binsâ€¦ One of the “kilted” men was chosen for a random (as he did not alarm) secondary it seems; they had â€œplacedâ€ him into their magic plexiglass cube of indignity to do the pat down. Here is where it gets funny. I wait by the belt and slowly put my shoes on so I can hear and watch some of the fun.
The TSOgre says immediately, and I quote EXACTLY, “Why you wearinâ€™ a skirt, bro?” The kilted traveler just kind of stood in a stunned silence. The TSOgre proceeds to pat the front and back of the torso down but then stops at the waist and calls a supervisor. Mister pay band F supervisor shows up and the TSAâ€™s finest continue to chat about how to pat down the lower body. The line lackey TSOgre suggested the gentleman raise his kilt (no, I am not kiddingâ€¦), to which the band F supervisor actually says, â€œThat is not a good ideaâ€. At this point the other kilted man had put his shoes back on and walked away and I had to go as well. When I left the kilted traveler was laughing and in good spirits.