The TSA

@la_chique (1499)
November 28, 2010 3:21pm CST
I'm thinking of going traveling next year but I've read some horror stories about the TSA's new security measures. Being a law-abiding citizen, I certainly don't want to have to endure an intimately-invasive pat-down procedure traumatising me even before I reach my destination, especially having saved up for the past 2 years to do this. Does anyone know anything about what's been going on, and especially if you've had any experience of this yourself? Is it really as bad as I've heard?
5 people like this
12 responses
@skysuccess (8882)
• Singapore
28 Nov 10
la_chique, First of all, I think you should not be believing everything you read especially some people's narrow perspective of a pat down. In the first place, these pat downs (most of the time) only happens when the security picks up a suspicion and for the sake of security. They do not do it on every person at the security post. I do not know about you, but I tend to appreciate that security is being meticulous especially when the threat is so prevalent and rampant nowadays. Not forgetting that these perpetrators are ever improving their methods of attack. On your part, you will need to observe the various necessary travel protocols like being early and punctual for check in. A lot of times, people become suspects themselves when they turn up flustered and agitated by all the rushing. The other area will be how you dress and carry yourself is equally important. Again, you might just be a pat down candidate when you overdress or behave in a manner fitting their perpetrator profile. But above all these, I think you should remind yourself that these pat downs are necessary and that you should be positive about it than being another number who believes other people's negative feelings about it. I am sure you would not want another 911 on your flight.
@Junr55 (41)
• United States
28 Nov 10
I will tell you the truth on this issue. People that want to become rich or famous are going to blow the search way out of proportion so that they can either be seen on the news for it or so they can sue the company for money. The only thing that I would suggest is that when you go through the scanner, take off your shoes, put electronics and keys in the pass through box, and you should be fine. They may pat you down, and its not as horrible as it sounds, but if you want to prevent it, dont dress like your trying to hide something.
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
29 Nov 10
Gee, I saw nothing like anyone trying to "hide" anything in the videos I've seen. Children & adults alike seemed perfectly normally dressed, to me--ah, that is, except for the Muslim women who were given a pass. I guess nuns in full habit, or any woman wearing a long skirt gets the "pat down," huh. What about men? And as for "not really that bad," if a non-TSA person did it, you could have them arrested! Nope. I'm sorry. I come down on the side of freedom, here, as not only are these searches just plain WRONG...they don't work. Maggiepie “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
28 Nov 10
My family and I traveled overseas during the Thanksgiving holiday, which is when the new TSA measures went into effect. We had no problem whatsoever; we did not have to go through the "body scan machines", we were not pulled aside for pat-downs, and everything went quickly and smoothly. In fact, security lines moved faster than they have in the past. We are experienced flyers and so know how to pack and what to bring (and not to bring), so maybe that is why we had no trouble, but I would strongly suggest you not believe everything you read or hear about the so-called "horror" stories.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49078)
• United States
29 Nov 10
As far as I know you'll have a choice between the full body scan and a full body pat down. As bad as a full body pat down sounds, I'd opt for that over the full body scanner. The one time I saw Dr. Oz was the episode he told people to skip the scanner because of the radiation, and opt for the pat down. Now THAT surprised me. So if I a doctor is going to advise me to get "felt up" over a simple scan, then I know the scan must be harmful.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
30 Nov 10
I can remember when some Dr. were warning about wearing a watch that had radium on the face to glow in the dark. You are exposed to radiation daily in your home and out side and in stores and other public buildings.
@AmbiePam (49078)
• United States
30 Nov 10
There is a lot more radiation coming from that thing than what is in my home. Still, I understand what you are saying. And if it weren't for my poor health, I'd probably do the scan. But I don't think it would be wise for me to take any chances. But that's just for me, not anyone else.
@JayJay45 (157)
• United States
3 Dec 10
YES! It is as bad as you've heard... If you refuse the full body scan -- which you should, if not from a modesty point of view, than from a health one: they emit far more radiation (and your reproductive organs will not be protected from it)than the machines at the hospital -- where you are at least protected; if you refuse the scan, you get a pat down. This is the same pat down that criminals receive. They are evasive not to mention humiliating. Do you deserve that kind of treatment just because you want to go on a vacation? But wait! There is a way you can avoid it! Dress as a muslim woman. They are exempt due to their religious beliefs. You can be sure that the next time I have to fly I will be wearing my new muslim outfit! The US lawmakers and the TSA have gone too far. Where will it end?
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
30 Nov 10
Most TSA Agents are very professional and only doing their job. My wife has to be patted down each time we travel because she has a knee replaced. The agents have always told her what they were going to do and what they were doing. Usually there were two agents, one doing the pat down and the other observing both my wife and the other TSA agent. We had one experience when traveling with my granddaughter. She was afraid to go through the metal detector and the TSA Agent suggested that I go back to be with her and let my daughter go through then she could help her daughter from that side as I was with her on the other side. I was allowed to hold her hand until she could reach her mother's hand. I did ask to speak to a supervisor and told her that we were very pleased with the way the TSA agent handled the situation. We felt he went above and beyound for my granddaughter. As with any group that deals with the public you will find a few bad apples and they should be reported. I would suggest that you visit the TSA web site to see their suggestions for dress to avoid problems at security.
• United States
30 Nov 10
ive heard people say its not as bad as people say but then i heard 2 people call in to the radio and one was a female that went through the scanner and had a tampon in and they thought it was dynamite or something.. then a guy was searched by a dozen guys and he had to keep taking off more and more clothes to where he ended up completely naked and then they made him move his manhood around (wtf would he hide there?!?!) and then let him go.. they didnt even search his clothes it just seemed like they were getting their kicks in it
@maximax8 (28247)
• United Kingdom
29 Nov 10
I am an experienced traveler and a very law abiding person. I have heard that in the USA airports they let everyone go through an ex-ray to see they are haven't got anything on their person they shouldn't. In the case when they don't have they will have a pat down. I live in Europe and know that we have an archway to walk through and if they like they pat us down. They search the luggage and they ask questions sometimes. The worst security check I have experienced was in Israel. Like all other passengers I had an interview. Then I was taken away and they went through all my luggage checking it in fine detail. Afterwards they said sorry and off I went to the plane. For a while now I have hated them getting so bothered with baby bottles and not letting any drinking water through security. I am very keen on traveling so I will still travel by air.
@oXAquaXo (607)
• United States
29 Nov 10
I've heard a lot of terrible stories about the TSA's new security measures. My parents travel often, as they go on plenty of business trips, but they haven't since the new security measures have been brought about, so I don't know from experience yet. But I have heard, from many people, that it's pretty disturbing and incredibly invasive (as would be expected). Apparently, these measures were created because a person hid a bomb in his underwear last year. I really don't think that something that one person did should affect this whole country. It's an invasion of privacy, and now, a lot of people are worried. But then again, we could be potentially saving the lives of hundreds of people, so I'm pretty divided. I bet the stories that are spreading are a bit exaggerated. My advice would be to just close your eyes and hold your breath until its over :P
@kekexinfeng (1303)
• China
29 Nov 10
Tourism is a great thing,however if it is not safe,it is worse,I haven't had this experience,because I only travel few times and often go with my colleagues,we often look after each other,so we don't worry. Good luck!Wish you have a great traveling!
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
28 Nov 10
I have heard the nightmares as well, and found some are not true, but truthfully, I wouldn't fly at all anymore. I was also told they are considering the same for other forms of travel, like for boats and trains too. That is disappointing to me, it will mean I will never get to travel to countries I want to visit..:(
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
28 Nov 10
I have not experienced anything first hand but then again, I really do not travel. However, the amount of horror stories coming out does not make me want to start. I guess there is not that much of a chance that you would be victimized, but again, it is really hard to tell. I see the need for security, I really get that. Still its going to be a really bad thing when people are going to start second guessing whether they should fly or not, so its leading to a fear of a different time.