Kudos Across America – Seattle

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
(Image courtesy Shutterstock)

To Whom It May Concern:

Please accept this note in highest praise and appreciation for Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (TSA Officer) Michelle Thomas. 

Seattle–Tacoma International Airport Michelle Thomas (Photo by Patrick Crawford)
Seattle–Tacoma International Airport Michelle Thomas (Photo by Patrick Crawford)

 I was traveling to Charlotte today with my badly disabled father, to bring him from the hospital in Seattle to hospice care closer to family back East. Our family spent days worrying about this trip, trying to anticipate problems or hang-ups in transiting the airport with someone who is sometimes incoherent and unable to move much on his own. 

 As we entered the terminal, full of anxiety, we were surprised when TSA Officer (TSO) Michelle Thomas suddenly approached us with a quiet smile, offering to help. 

 After clearing it with her supervisor, she helped facilitate the security screening, and amazingly, walked us all the way to our gate. She even insisted on carrying some of our luggage.  

 In an age of cynicism about the TSA, many of us passengers forget that ultimately, you are there to help. Thomas personifies a much-needed reminder. 

 I didn’t mention this to Thomas, but I am a DC-based network news producer for CBS.  I know how many times I have silently resented the ever-changing airport security protocols I encounter when I'm on the road. But that is changing as of today. As a result of TSO Michelle Thomas, I am changing my view of the TSA. 

In my opinion, Thomas has something to teach all of us - inside and outside the TSA - about compassion and kindness. She is a credit to your organization - and I am here to tell you: Whatever you are paying her, isn't enough. 

 Please pass this letter up the chain to someone who can promote her - with a pay raise - at the earliest opportunity. 


Josh Yager