A.J. Francis of the New York Giants received an apology from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after he slammed the agency for spilling his mother’s remains inside of his luggage.
The Giants defensive tackle tweeted a picture of his open suitcase on Monday showing a powdery substance scattered all over his folded clothes with an official notice of baggage inspection from TSA on top.
Francis’ tweet was harsh, referring to TSA agents as “pieces of s**t” among other insults.
WARNING: Several of the tweets below contain profane language that may be unsuitable for some readers.
Hey you pieces of shit at @TSA next time you assholes feel the need to go thru my mother’s ashes for no reason, make sure you close it back so her remains aren’t spilled on all my clothes... the least you pieces of garbage can do is your fucking job pic.twitter.com/GcJDMXvWfO— FRAN¢ (@AJFrancis410) July 9, 2018
His mother, Carrie Leanne Francis, died on June 26 at just 46 years old, HuffPost reports.
After the tweet began picking up steam, the “Ask TSA” Twitter account responded, offering apologies and condolences on behalf of the agency.
“Our officers are trained to handle your carry-on and checked property with care,” the message said. “Out of respect for the deceased, under no circumstances should the container be opened.”
The account also vowed to open an investigation into the matter to figure out who, if anyone, opened the container of ashes.
1: We're very sorry to hear about this. We understand the emotional stress travelers are under when transporting the remains of a loved one. Our policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity, respect and courtesy.— AskTSA (@AskTSA) July 9, 2018
2: Our officers are trained to handle your carry-on and checked property with care. Out of respect for the deceased, under no circumstances should the container be opened. Please accept our apologies and our condolences. https://t.co/dlf0Ci6Fh3 https://t.co/wLxp0Wphg9— AskTSA (@AskTSA) July 9, 2018
We want to look further into this. Please let us know which airport you traveled through, as well as the airline and flight information.— AskTSA (@AskTSA) July 9, 2018
According to a statement provided to Huffpost, TSA claimed that video footage shows Francis’ bag being searched, but that once it was cleared everything was repacked before being placed in the bag.
“A TSA officer discovered the unidentified object was an opened, unmarked ceramic container, wrapped in aluminum foil inside a small bag,” the statement continued. “The TSA officer completed screening of the checked bag, clearing it to continue to its destination. The container was carefully repacked and placed in the bag.”
TSA also noted that it advises travelers to take cremated human remains in carry-on luggage. However, each airline has different requirements that customers need to abide by.
In Francis’ case, he said Delta Airlines required a death certificate in order to be permitted to carry the ashes onboard. But the document was being mailed to him so he didn’t have a copy to present to them.
While Delta’s website confirms Francis’ claim, the airline does suggest that travelers place the remains inside of a wooden or plastic container that can be easily X-rayed.
“TSA is not allowed to open the container under any circumstance. You can check cremated remains, as long as they pass through security screening,” the website states.
Still, Francis said it was the agency’s carelessness that ultimately caused the ashes to spill.
The craziest part of this @TSA shit is that I dont even care that they checked it... they were just being cautious, & I can understand that.— FRAN¢ (@AJFrancis410) July 9, 2018
But to not ensure that it won’t spill back into my bag after you put it back in is the most asinine & irresponsible shit I have ever seen.
I don’t even want anyone fired... that person made a stupid mistake but they have a family too. I just want TSA to be cognizant if it’s own internal idiocy— FRAN¢ (@AJFrancis410) July 10, 2018
Perhaps they attempted to repack it, but they may not have secured it enough to make it through the flight.
This is not the first, nor the last, egregious mistake that TSA has made. The agency has a reputation for its invasive searches and poor service. Perhaps this experience will prompt them to get their act together now that a high profile figure has shamed them.