'Embarrassing, creepy': Journalist 'humiliated' at Sydney Airport screening

A journalist has taken to social media to share her "embarrassing, uncomfortable, creepy" security screening at Sydney Airport, and her experience has provoked a strong reaction among other female travellers.

Louise Milligan, who works for the ABC, detailed her ordeal using the new full-body security screening. She wrote on Twitter that she was made to take off her fitted business jacket despite only having a "little" camisole underneath: "Have never had this happen anywhere. Man in front, in big bulky jumper, not made to change. It was embarrassing, uncomfortable, creepy."

She added that when she told Qantas staff, they were "incensed", and that "they have had multiple women complaining of similar security heavy-handedness this week. They said a woman was crying after being forced to remove her t-shirt. They've complained to airport managers."

Milligan was supported by fellow journalist and host of The Project, Lisa Wilkinson. She wrote she had also experienced heavy-handed security recently at Brisbane and Adelaide Airports.

"These new full-body scan machines are a real issue ... the scan showed up the underwire in my bra & zip on my jeans & I had to have a full pat-down in both areas. Embarrassing, uncomfortable, inappropriate & should be fixed."

Milligan responded: "That's gross. And also, surely the whole point of these machines is they are supposed to be more efficient?"

Other women recounted similar experiences.


"I had this happen at Melbourne airport recently. I was wearing a T-shirt with a white unbuttoned shirt over the top and was asked to take my shirt off. I was alone and it felt so weird," wrote one commentator.

Another added: "Happened to me at Canberra airport. Had to take off light cardigan and I had backless dress on. I was really so embarrassed. Plenty of people in hoodies and jumpers not asked to to the same."

Sydney Airport later tweeted an apology to Milligan.

"Louise, we are really sorry this happened and are urgently following it up with our security contractor. Thank you for bringing it to our attention."

Milligan thanked the airport for replying, adding that she felt security was "rude" and "sexist".

"I felt humiliated."


See also: New airport scanners speed up the queues, so where are they?

See also: Ten airports that give a false impression of their cities