WASHINGTON — A Sikh advocacy group launched a free mobile application Monday that lets travelers complain immediately to the government if they feel they've been treated unfairly by airport screeners.
Launched by The Sikh Coalition, the FlyRights app fielded two complaints in its first 10 hours. The first was from a woman who said she felt mistreated after she disclosed to a screener that she was carrying breast milk. A man who is Sikh filed the second complaint, saying he was subjected to extra security even though he had not set off any alarms.
Coalition program director Amardeep Singh said the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration were notified of the app before its launch. The app uses the agencies' system for submitting the complaints.
TSA said in a statement it does not profile passengers on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion and is continually working with communities, including The Sikh Coalition, “to help us understand unique passenger concerns.” The agency said it supports “efforts to gather passenger feedback about the screening process.”
The app, available for iPhone and Android phones, was conceived due to complaints from Sikhs in the U.S., who since the 9/11 terrorist attacks are routinely subjected to additional inspection, Singh said. Some are made to remove their turbans, which they wear for religious reasons, he said.