But as a way to bridge the gap over airport profiling concerns and official action, in April 2012 the Sikh Coalition and other civil rights groups developed FlyRights a mobile app that allows travelers to file real-time complaints about checkpoint profiling incidents with the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security.
A copy of each complaint is also filed with the coalition.
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As of Tuesday, the app has been updated. FlyRights 2.0 now not only helps travelers file complaints with TSA/DHS and the coalition, but also allows a copy of the complaint to be sent to a passenger's members of Congress.
"It adds another layer of accountability for the TSA when a complaint is filed," said Singh. "Now a member of Congress could follow up on behalf of their constituent."
For those who don't have access to or wish to use the FlyRights app, there are other options.
The TSA's "My TSA" mobile app has a link that opens an email addressed to the TSA's Contact Center at the DHS.
And on the TSA.gov website a message from TSA's Multicultural Branch tells travelers "who believe they have been unlawfully discriminated against by a TSA employee" that they may file a civil rights and/or civil liberties complaint by filling out this form.
Complaints about profiling or any other issue a traveler has with the TSA can also be filed through the TSA Contact Center using the "Talk to TSA" online inquiry form.
While those are certainly options for many travelers, Singh said many people prefer to file profiling concerns through FlyRights "because they know a civil rights organization is also going to be reviewing the complaint and will help them hold the TSA accountable if they do not respond appropriately."
The response from TSA and DHS is a concern because the coalition's data show "a dramatic difference between how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) self-reports the problem of screening discrimination and what actually happens to travelers on the ground," Singh said in a statement issued with the upgraded app.