With the year’s busiest travel season approaching, travelers everywhere are keeping a close eye on the TSA. There have been stories of inappropriate pat downs, unnecessary body scans and other shenanigans that have made even the most cooperative of travelers cry UNCLE!
News stories nationwide (front page of the Drudge Report now) have shed light on the questionable TSA procedures so much so that the federal government has been forced to respond to the allegations.
Airline employees find the screenings a bit much as well and have taken part in the revolt against TSA procedures. Captain Dave Bates, president of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents 11,000 American Airlines pilots wrote:
Our pilots are highly motivated partners in the effort to protect our nation’s security, with many of us serving as Federal Flight Deck Officers. We are all keenly aware that we may serve as the last line of defense against another terrorist attack on commercial aviation. Rather than being viewed as potential threats, we should be treated commensurate with the authority and responsibility that we are vested with as professional pilots.
Next time you fly, keep in mind that you may opt out of the full body scanners, but by doing so, you’re subjecting yourself to a rather intense full body pat down. After experiencing a pat down for himself, one citizen has put his outrage to use by
The goal of National Opt-Out Day is to send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change. No naked body scanners, no government-approved groping. We have a right to privacy and buying a plane ticket should not mean that we’re guilty until proven innocent. We hope the outrageous experience then propels people to write their Member of Congress and demand change
As someone who has had a body scan, I can say it’s not a huge deal. I understand the whole revolt against TSA reasoning and could argue the principle here, but the fact is that TSA employees in the airport don’t actually see the naked scans. I know this because I asked before stepping into the machine on a recent Ft. Lauderdale flight. In fact, employees offshore somewhere review the scans in real time and tell the TSA employee via an earpiece if the scan is clear or not. It’s all anonymous and much less invasive than a full body pat down for all to see. To me, the scan sounded reasonable, so I complied. Now if some perverted old guy was smiling at an x-ray screen right in front of me, perhaps I would be singing a different tune. I’m not saying we should all suck it up and give up our personal liberties, but in order to catch a flight, sometimes it makes sense to comply. To a limit anyway.
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