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Woman in underwear makes flight in Oklahoma City

Tammy Banovac, who was denied access Tuesday to the secure area of Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, successfully passed through security Wednesday wearing only her underwear and using a wheelchair.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL Modified: December 2, 2010 at 9:43 am •  Published: December 2, 2010

Banovac said she has flown “three or four” times since TSA began doing more thorough and invasive physical searches, and she decided to pass through security in her underwear after a hand search two weeks ago during which she felt violated.

She said she arrived at the airport clothed and then disrobed before getting to security.

John Maringouin, a San Francisco-based filmmaker, took a video of the event Tuesday, and it was posted on YouTube. He said he was in Oklahoma researching a film and was on his way back home. He used a small hand-held camera he purchased recently for use when he sees something he wants to quickly capture.

“That was the best thing I ever saw, and I made sure that I got some decent footage of it,” said Maringouin, who said he doesn't know Banovac and had never seen her before. “I had to go almost all the way back into security. Then the TSA guys grabbed me. They thought I was staging it.”

Banovac said she was not aware someone was recording the incident and she was traveling alone, as she always does. She said she flies one to three times a month.

Banovac said she does not own a wheelchair or use one all the time but has a medical condition that makes it a good idea in some cases. She said she has used one every time she has flown for the last 10 years and also uses one when she has to traverse a long distance or carry something heavy.

Banovac said she suffers seizures and uses a service dog that can warn her before they occur. The dog, a Maltese, was with her at the airport Tuesday and Wednesday and can be seen in her lap in a video of the Tuesday incident posted on YouTube.

Banovac, who said she is divorced, said she has a ranch in Kingfisher County and maintains residences in the Phoenix area, where she spends most of her time, and in Hawaii. She said she was visiting relatives in Oklahoma for Thanksgiving.


Matt Dinger, Staff Writer