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Passenger advocate sought for US airports

Lawmakers seek passenger advocate at airports following elderly woman's claims of strip search By The Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) ' Two New York lawmakers are seeking a so-called passenger advocate at airports to immediately act on complaints from passengers about security screenings.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and state Sen. Michael Gianaris are calling on the Transportation Security Administration to create the position at all airports.

The proposal was prompted by recent claims that an elderly woman was strip searched by security officials at Kennedy Airport. The TSA denies the claim.

The TSA says it doesn't conduct strip searches. It is planning its own toll-free hotline to assist passengers during screening.

The advocate could be summoned by passengers if they feel they were inappropriately searched.

The Democrats say the TSA has made flying safer but must continue to strike a balance between security and "protecting vulnerable passengers."

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