CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Like many business travelers, Michelle Zevola uses the Curbside Valet Service at Charlotte Douglas Airport on a regular basis. She said she noticed something different when she returned to town this week though.
"I was inside paying my bill. I looked through the window and saw this gentleman looking through my trunk," Zevola said. "He was moving things around, shining a flashlight, going through the compartments. I am so fine being searched at the airport. It's about safety. But I am not fine with my personal property being searched without permission or notification."
There is no posted signage at the valet stand or around the airport that indicates cars left with curbside service will be searched. There is also no warning on the back of the valet ticket.
Zevola said the man searching her car wouldn't tell her for which agency he worked, but did tell her to take her problems up "with the TSA."
Transportation Safety Administration officials told NBC Charlotte their agents do not search vehicles using valet services at Charlotte Douglas.
The airport said its employees are the ones doing the searches, which are approved by the TSA.
"Our airport security plan requires those vehicles be searched," said Deputy Aviation Director Jack Christine. He told NBC Charlotte this policy has been in place for a year and half.
When asked if they have been searching cars without any signage or letting people know for a year and half, Christine replied, "That is correct."
Christine said Charlotte Douglas International will be adding signs this week to inform travelers about the curbside valet service car searches.