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November 16th, 2010
09:01 AM ET

Scan or Pat Down?

We are still talking about body scanners and the TSA’s new pat down procedures today. Pilots as well as flight attendants have spoken out about their desire not to be subjected to the body scanners as they fear they are putting their long term health at risk multiple times throughout the course of a work week.

The new scanners are a potential health risk and the pat downs are possibly an invasion of privacy and invasive.

Which would you prefer, since after all you do have a choice?

Kyra Phillips wants to hear from you! She will read some responses during the 10 o’clock hour.


Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Laura

    What about the radiation? I have not heard anything about it and that concerns me more than been seeing.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  2. Ron Klemp

    Hey, to the guy in San Diego, get over it. No one cares about your "junk" and if you can't take the scan then don't fly. It's pretty simple. Security is a reality today. If you are afraid of someone seeing your body outline, drive, take a train, walk, or swim to where you are going.
    RK

    November 16, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  3. John Williams

    I am flatly opposed to the TSA "Grab & Grope" approach to "airport screening"!!!! It is a violation of the law and is not an effective approach to security!! Keep the scanning machine, but don't grope and fondle innocent people!!! This is the United States of America. The Constitution is supposed to protect us from unreasonable searches. This is clearly unreasonable. We need more common sense!!!

    November 16, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  4. art tonucci

    As a pacemaker wearing frequent traveler, I am sometimes kept in the fisbowl waiting for a screnner to do pat down for 10- 15min.
    Laguardia is the worst. I welcome the scanner.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  5. David in Oviedo

    This is going too far.

    The scanners are easy to defeat and there are still questions about their long term safety. From the first hand reports I've read, the pat downs would be considered sexual assault if they were done without consent. Is this really how we want flying to be?

    I don't. A lot of people are going to start voting with their money and stop flying.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  6. Al

    Has anyone stopped to consider what GERMS are being spread around in these scanners? Thousands of sweaty perspiring feet going through these machines. Are they going to dissenfect between passengers? To me it is disgusting to have to step in something akin to a public toilet.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  7. mike

    "They that can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." – Ben Franklin

    November 16, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  8. C. Darra

    I've always thought that CNN looked at both sides of the issue. However with regard to the TSA scanner / pat down issue you have CLEARLY taken a strong position in favor of this overly intrusive procedure.
    All of the comments from viewer's on Kyra Phillips show were in favor of the scanner when in fact a very high percentage of the comments I've been reading on both CNN's website and others are clearly unfavorable.
    WHY!!! are you defending this assault on our citizens privacy??? In the name of security?? Come on......where does this invasion on our rights end?

    November 16, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  9. Al Dorman

    Well, all I can say is the people are against the TSA. We didn't ask for this and we want Congressional help in getting the entire boondoggle dismantled. Until that day we will be opting out of the X-ray, instead taking the public rub-down, and informing the agent that his actions are disgraceful. National Opt-Out Day is Nov 24, but I'm going to opt-out every day.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  10. George Keller

    It's real simple, no firsk on fly.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  11. Al

    Every passenger should insist on the machine being dissenfected before thier use. If they opt for the pat down, each passenger swhould insist that the TSA agent put on a new, fresh pair of gloves that you witness coming from a sterile package.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  12. Beth

    I think this whole discussion is ridiculous! The TSA is trying to keep us safe when we fly! Do people forget that terrorists have been trying to use the airlines for years to attack us...and they were successful!!!! If you don't like the security measures then DONT FLY! It's pretty simple really. The same people that are up in arms about the body scanners and pat downs are the same ones that will exhibit huge outcry when another terrorist is successful because we backed down on security. As for me, I welcome an up close and personal experience with a TSA employee if it means some terrorist won't get to blow up my plane...

    November 16, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  13. SIUstudent

    what is really disturbing about those x-ray scanners is that they produce what is called ionizing radiation, which is not safe at all.the first time i went into one of those scanner i asked one of the lame TSA employees if it was an x-ray scanner, he lied to me and said no it was an infrared scanner, and stupid me i believed him. the public needs to be made aware of what doses they are getting per scan. according to the law people who operate radiation equipement need to be trained and licensed in such practice, remember the baby that was fried by the C.T. tech who didnt know what she was doing? i guess if you work for the government nowadays not only do you get to sexually molest anybody who is trying to fly, but you can also fry them with x-rays.

    yes the government is over stepping its boundaries all in the name of our protection. it really seems like the terrorist have won, they really changed our way of life.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  14. Jon

    I was excited when I first saw the new scanners on the news, but I've now gone through the scanners twice and both times they pulled me aside and patted me down (despite having a military ID/traveling on orders – so no break there). One of those two times they patted down my crotch area and didn't even buy me a drink first. I question how much we're investing in technology that requires more thorough pat downs even after the scan.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  15. Mo

    I am a consultant who travels weekly. After reading recent articles about the potential long term risks associated with the body scanners, I opted out of the scanning for the first time this week. I was subjected to the "enhanced" pat down by a TSA employee. He explained what he was going to do before proceeding. Even with the explanation, the pat down was rough and not pleasant. I am faced with two options when passing through security, neither of which I would want to participate in again. Where is the line between safety and privacy? There has to be another way. I feel like I'm being profiled and singled out for these invasive tests.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  16. Bill Hall

    This is a sign of the times isn't it? Unfortunately, air safety has to be put above personal comfort, and until an acceptable alternative is made available, one has to decide if flying is worth it, there is still a choice, one can still take the train or bus, but when it comes right down to it, I would rather have the scan or pat down then having the likelihood that someone get through with a bomb or gun.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  17. Renee Belden

    I am more frightened by the invasions on my privacy by the goverment than I am of terrorist.The scanners are linked to a data base.They can record things about you that you don't know about yourself [like if you have cancer].The radiation is dangerous to your health.My job has me flying 10 to 25 times a year.I don't want to walk through a radiation machine that often.I say give me the strip search.If you want to see me naked you might as well see me naked.It is not a pretty sight either way.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  18. Jane

    I don't think the public is aware that they are subjecting themselves to low level radiation every time they have a body scan. If you travel frequently that is going to add up–and ALL radiation is cumulative over your lifetime and increases your risk for cancer. The younger you are the more susceptible your cells are to damage. What about the woman who doesn't know she is pregnant? Radiation is not good for the fetus. What if the scan machine is malfunctioning and each person going through gets a much more massive radiation dose? And if it is a risk benefit, does anyone really think this is going to catch a terrorist but it will put millions at long term health risk. And lets not forget the worst of both worlds. You get a scan and then they pull you out and say you need a pat down as well. I will skip to the pat down and choose humiliation over cancer. I have had a diagnosis of skin cancer so for those of you who haven't, don't blow off the risk factors. They exist. I will get a Pat down.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  19. Jeanette

    I am all for added security measures but the TSA leaves me baffled that we only have two options: an intrusive body groping invasion of privacy or added exposure to radiation. While I understand these options might not be a problem to everyone, it makes me wonder what would they do with someone who has skin cancer and is a surviving rape victim? Personally I am not comfortable with knowing I will be flying to visit family for Christmas and knowing my children are subjected to either choice. How can the TSA provide a concerned parent with peace of mind that they don't have a person who has evaded the National Sex Offender Registry?

    November 16, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  20. Southgate Jo

    Kyra :

    Americans are, in general, a spoiled whiner society. The TSA is telling you what you need to do to stay safe. Stop whining and suck it up. your body is not what the TSA employees want to see first thing in the morning. Trust me, with McDonald's & Burger King adding inches ...it's the last thing these people want to look at before lunch 🙂

    Suck it up America and stop whining. your embarrassing ....

    November 16, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  21. David C.

    Quit wimpering. I think there should be an alternate option. an airline which has fast, ez check-in. No scanners. No pat downs. It would even be slightly cheaper! (i would never consider flying with them, but those more concerned with convenience than safety would love it!)

    November 16, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  22. Joe

    What choice? I chose the the body scanner and was still selected for a "random Pat down". You have no choice once you go into the security line you are pretty much subject to whatever the person at TSA wants to do to you. CNN please show some of the images that the body scanners put out. People are under the false assumption that it just shows a general non detailed view of the person. That is not true. It can show very specific outlines of human anatomy and a simple reverse image can be done to show the body form. And even with the amount of detail visible most experts agree that the bomb used by the underwear bomber is not detectable by the new scanners and would not have been detected by the new pat down procedures either. I have noticed in all the TSA pictures touting the scanners they only show images of hand guns etc. No images of the types of explosives that were used in the recent bombing attempts. Why are we subjecting ourselves to this invasion of privacy when they are no more effective than metal detectors. Why not just have everyone boarding the aircraft walk by a Bomb dog?

    November 16, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  23. Marvin McPhail

    It has been proven to us all, time after time, that the homeland security and their over the top measures to harrass the traveling public, is nothing more than them simply trying to justify their jobs. The torture and harrassment to the everyday traveler is beyond normal reasoning and in no way justified. They give options that are bad or worse, and ask the American public to choose one. These are our only options. The real bad guys now is homeland security. They let the real criminals slip through and harrass the normal public to great heights. I remember shortly after 9-11, President Bush said on TV that the terrorists were trying to scare us into disrupting our lives and lifestyles. He concluded by saying this would not happen. Boy! Was he wrong! It seems to me that homeland security is the most scared and spooked bunch on this planet. To the extent of making life extremely more difficult for us who are the innocent victims of both terrorism and our own protectors. I believe homeland security is not dealing with the problem or making us all more safe, but rather they are adding to the terror and making all our lives much more difficult. The terrorists are very cunning, much more inteligent than our own protectors. The only thing that homeland security is able to do is harrass normal citizens. They have the muscle to do that much and with their swollen heads, they do it. But when it comes to capturing the criminals, they are out matched.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  24. mohammed

    Anything that would make me feel safer when flying I'm OK with. I don't understand why people are so upset over this, It's for your own safety people so Get over it.

    Mohammed from Chicago.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  25. Rick Fernandez

    Security should not end with Airline staff. This would not only leave passengers at risk, but it could also put directly in danger the life's of Airline staff' family members, as they could easily become terrorist hostages, forcing Pilots and Staff to carry a terrorist act in the hopes to save their own family.

    Bottom line is. There is an old saying, "be careful what you wish for". By Airline Staff members refusing the security measures in place, they put us and themselves at great risk, being that the terrorists are actively searching for ways to wage a terrorist act against our Nation, and clearly, airplanes are at the top of their list.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  26. ken

    What a bunch of scardy cats we have become. What's next a proctologist and an ob/gyb exam at the airports. 20,000 homicides, a rape every 3 minutes, 150,000 kids sold in slavery every year, body parts of missing kids being found all over the country, murders everyday on the mexican border, and we jump into action because someone burns his shoe or underpants on a plane.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  27. Josie

    Some supporter of the patdowns are saying that people who don't want to be "touched" for their own "safety" should not fly, take an bus or a train instead. I say, how IGNORANT. You know, some people in the world actually live OUTSIDE the continental USA. We like to think of ourselves as citizens of the world, who actually love and need to travel beyond our neighborhoods corners. Patdowns are NOT absolutely necessary in order to ensure our safety. That what fear monger want everybody to believe. But there is technology today that makes this type of intrusion into our privacy very obsolete.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  28. P. Kight

    I prefer neither. I will no longer fly. These new procedures are the final straws in a growing heap of indignities visited upon the flying public in the name of a false sense of "safety," and I've had it. If I can't take the train or drive, I won't be going. And each time I forego what would have been an air flight, I intend to write the airline I otherwise would have chosen and Secretary Napolitano and tell them why. And I'll encourage others to do the same.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  29. Jerry H

    I have flown over a million miles with three different carriers. I do not feel safe in the air! We keep telling the people that protect us that they are invading our privacy. We keep forgetting that terrorist do not care about our privacy at all. They will invade it and we will blame the people who are there to protect us for not having done more. GET USE TO IT, this is a different world.

    As for the pilots not wanting to be searched, I am fine with this if they will only wear their uniforms when they are on duty. They wear the uniforms when doing personal travel to go to the “head of the line” and limit the scrutiny of their luggage. When I flew to Hawaii recently, a pilot stepped in front of me at TSA. A few minutes later I saw him stepping out of the rest room in jeans and a sweater carrying his pilot hat in his hand. He joined his family and flew in regular seats. They do this to carry others cosmetics in their bag. I often set next to commercial uniformed pilots who are heading to their reserve units. Same reasons. They should only wear the uniform when on duty or they should be TSA searched like everyone else.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  30. Jeanette

    Is it possible that CNN can do a small side story on what else we have the power to do please and thank you? I don't think everyone knows that you can ask the airline staff at the ticket counter to check to see if a child's ticket is selected for a random search. If it has been you can ask their tickets to be deselected if the child is under 12. I've been searching for an hour to see if the flying pasties really do work and if they have children's sizes. What's the point if you use a pair and then they decide you have to be patted down as extra measures? I have a neighbor who's 13 year old daughter was sexually battered, what would they do for her? I myself have a child with Asperger's who is 11, so we can opt out thankfully but what about those special needs children that don't meet the age cut off? I realize it's a choice to fly and I'm seriously reconsidering but any extra intelligence is greatly appreicated.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  31. Jarvin

    This is all just a cover up to the real fact that Homeland Security is behind on stopping terrorism. They are lazy, and before they use their brains to get one step ahead, they would rather make the public lives miserable doing unnecessary, and uncomfortable things thinking no one would notice. If the public doesn't stand up now soon it will be everyone will be required to have a government micro-chips inserted into their fingers or butt cheeks to make sure they are not a risk to the public.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  32. Izi

    If we are suppose to be scanned or groped, then I want to see each and every member of our legislature (federal and state) go through this every time they travel (this includes all of their family members). Once they all submit to this, maybe then reasonable people like me might start considering allowing this kind of intrusion.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  33. Raffi

    Land of the free, home of the brave?

    I think neither...

    November 16, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  34. John G

    As a frequent traveler, I am often amused (now becoming annoyed) at the Theater that is TSA. Much of the activity they go through does not enhance security.

    Security really starts at Ticket purchase

    Then again at the Check in Curb

    Scanning luggage and even shoes I can understand but the full body scans and pat downs.. who authorized this behavior and who does TSA report to.

    If we want to get serious about security lets spend a little time in Israel and examine their programs. TSA is Theater designed to make the public feel as if they are doing something

    November 16, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  35. Greg

    USA,

    Grow Up! Scan for safety.

    USA home of the malcontent, broken media and the uninformed and gullible.

    November 16, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  36. Dan

    Hey Al, why don't we just ban ALL security measures, allow ALL passangers to walk to their gate and board the plane? That would solve this whole "sensitive" issue,.
    Then, it would be real easy for a terrorist to blow up YOUR plane. It sounds to me by your bickering above that's what you want.

    November 16, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  37. Don

    Regarding the full body scan and the modesty issue. I have a suggestion. As a passenger inters the scanner, he or she pushes a male or female button and the scan would be sent to the appropriate people in two different rooms or booths. It would be no more intrusive then a dressing room at a public swimming pool. Just an idea.

    November 16, 2010 at 11:52 am |
  38. TL

    I was recently diagnosed with cancer. Part of my treatment protocol is 4 radiographic CT scans, and 4 chest x-rays per year. I feel I am forced to have the uncomfortable pat down so as not to expose myself to anymore radiation. This is not quite fair. There is a significant risk for me with more radiation and secondary cancers.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  39. magda

    I want to be safe. Terrorists will find any way possible to destroy themselves and take as many people with them as possible. I don't care to be touched by just anyone, so I welcome the full body scan. So the operators get a cheep thrill, so what.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  40. Adam

    Just my 2 cents..if you don't like the scans or pat downs, don't fly. I'd much rather have a scan or pat down in lieu of a plane being bombed! In addition, boycotts will only make everyones holiday travels more difficult.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  41. Jim

    Folks,

    This procedure is now a part of our life. For those who don't remember there was this thing called 9/11 and our world changed forever. I am an old soldier with two significant metal hips and go through the pat down line each time I fly, which is often. For those who think your rights are being violated, I expect you have no clue what rights you've already lost. I say get over it and accept it, or run for office and assume the mantle of responsibility so you can change the rules.

    Old Colonel

    November 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  42. kirv

    Metal detectors will detect any weapons.
    Trained dogs can sniff out explosive materials, without violating our privacy, and more effectively than full body scans or pat-downs.
    Even Israel eschews full body scans, because they are ineffective, expensive, and intrusive.
    First Napolitano says "The system is working well" when it failed to catch the Christmas bomber. Now she puts through these methods THAT WOULD NOT EVEN HAVE CAUGHT THE CHRISTMAS BOMBER, and without vetting it with airline professionals and citizens groups. She needs to be fired for lousy judgment and plain stupidity.
    Yes, having the government see you naked and and fondling you could be made legal, but it's against human nature.
    People who submit to this complacently are a bunch of ignoramus sheep who don't even question if all that money spent is even effective. Sure, I would rather be raped than blown up - is that my choice in a free country?
    It's a racket by government contractors who are in bed with the Department of Homeland Security.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  43. Stacey Elias

    I don't like the idea of the scanners, but I also don't like the idea of explosives on airplanes. I think I actually prefer the more anonymous scan method to having a TSA employee randomly decide to grope me in full view of other passengers. The last time I flew (which, by the way, was for federal government business), I was stopped because my pants were "too baggy." However, the pat down was not limited to my legs. I was subjected to a groin search and a breast search, which required a "double check" (no pun intended) because of my underwire bra. There was no warning that I was about to be touched on my genitalia and no offer of a private location for the very public invasion. For those who compare it to going to the doctor, I disagree. There is no one standing there watching someone put their hands all over me in a medical environment. I also don't like the feeling that I was singled out. Many men in pleated pants were before me and after me in line, but because the female agent may not grope a male passenger, they were not publicly humiliated. If TSA thinks I'm suspicious, there are some serious training issues. I'd hate to think what they are missing. If body scans correct their ineptitude, so be it. And flying is a privilege, not a right - if you refuse to be scanned or searched, I don't want you on my plane. I agree that TSA methods to date have been arbitrary and random and less effective than they are intrusive. And it has already been suggested that body cavities are not searchable by the scan. But you can't ignore regulations, you can only choose to change them.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  44. kirv

    If Napolitano wants to put in system in place that would catch another Christmas bomber, then she should simply have people on the potential terrorist list subject to searches. The government knew about that guy and just let him go, duh. And full-body scans and pat-downs would have missed the stuff in his underwear. She is trying to apply an expensive band-aid to the wrong eye.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  45. Greg

    TL,

    We have lost three immediate family members to cancer. None of the would have felt life was "unfair" because they were faced with an "uncomfortable" pat down.

    I forgot I have a titanium hip and I have a pat down every trip. The TSA people are very professional and have never come close to anything inappropriate.

    If the professional pilots don't want to maximize the flying publics safety then let them give their jobs to someone else.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  46. Centerfield

    Sure, the virtual strip-search might not be any more intrusive than changing in the dressing room at a swimming pool. But, I can decide whether I want to go swimming at that pool, if it requires me to expose myself to strangers. Oh... that's right. I can decide whether I want to fly on a commercial airliner, if it requires me to choose between a virtual strip-search and an "enhanced" pat-down (a euphemism for government-sanctioned sexual assault). I HAVE decided: I will avoid flying on commercial planes until this nonsense ends.

    Those of us who decide not to fly will have to make that decision before we get in line. We can't bail out once the screening begins (i.e., once we discover the pat-down is too personal or our 3-year-old child has been too badly traumatized). That's why the guy who didn't want his "junk" touched is being threatened with a civil suit and a fine. TSA told him to submit to the genital pat-down or he would not be allowed to fly. He declined, and was escorted out of the security area to the ticket counter (where, amazingly, the airline refunded his non-refundable ticket!). But, as he walked toward the exit door, he was stopped by another TSA agent who ordered him to return to the screening area. Apparently, you cannot interrupt the screening process and leave the airport once screening has begun. If you do, you can be subject to civil charges and a $10,000 fine.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  47. Lucy

    I haven't flown in years. After a long international trip I was disgusted with the way the airlines treats travelers (customers). Like dogs!!! No way will I ever get on another airplane. And since I've flown, things have changed a lot; services reduced or eliminated and they charging for every little thing. Why charge us for luggage..we can't travel without it! The whole deal just does not make sense to me. I'm glad I'm retired so I don't have to fly for my work. They are making suckers out of us. (and touching in the groin and breast is molestation plain and simple) and they're not going to detect anything.

    November 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  48. Alex Horovitz

    As Benjamin Franklin once wrote: "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." When will we wake up and realize we are giving the Terrorists their victory one sacrifice of liberty at a time?

    November 16, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  49. Linda Ash

    The real invasion of privacy is when they are stifting through the crash site to find your body parts. Most of these folks do not fly weekly and have never been in a "situation". We are talking about minutes out of your life....to save it !

    November 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  50. Bryan Mather

    Everyone has the choice to fly or not fly. Is the TSA and the airlines ready to lose that much more business (even after the huge rate hikes as well as the baggage fees)?

    I travel for work and thus have to use the airports each and every week. After the pat down I just received in Richmond, VA. airport, I might think twice about flying. And forget bringing my family with me, my 10 year old daughter will NEVER have any of this happen to her.

    A simple question:
    If the Full body scanners are supposed to "blur" out or black out or however they are saying they are not taking a picture of our private areas, ... then why are the pat downs so hands on? If these areas are not looked at in the body scanners, then why exactly are we being frisked in these areas?

    Another simple question:
    If EVERY passenger walking through the security checkpoint from one side to the other has to undergo these methods, why are the TSA people allowed to walk around and go through as they please? Are these people above the law? Can none of these people ere from an "oath" or whatever they have to do to become TSA agents? What makes them any less of a potential threat than you or I. Infact, since they know the ins and outs, what makes them no threat at all?

    November 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  51. Bryan Mather

    also – I have witnessed countless people that even when they go through the body scan still get patted down. Are these really effective/ 70% – 80% of the people in Richmond, VA. between 11:48 am and 12:17 pm.

    November 16, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  52. Jarvin

    I think everyone wants to be safe when they travel... the issue is privacy! And what bothers me more now is, in September I went on vacation and not only did I have to go thru the scanner but they pat me down as well. I felt violated by the pat down at first but eventually got over it because my safety was more important... but now reading this I'm highly upset just knowing that they could see under my clothing and still proceeded to touch me. When the reports on the machines first came out it was, they were to detect bomb agents. I am now looking for alternative means to get overseas because I hate being deceived. I just don't see people driving from east coast to west coast if they have to travel.

    November 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  53. GG

    I heard Ali say today that he is a frequent traveler and essentially did not mind the pat downs because they are random. Well I wonder how he would feel if he was searched so invasively each time he traveled both ways. I too am a frequent traveler and have two medical implants that set off the metal detector 100% of the time. I have no choice – I have not even been offered the scan versus the body search – it is an automatic body search these days – even at airports with the scanner. I understand and appreciate the need for security but one has to question the effectiveness of these new techniques and the fact that the government over reacts after the fact each and every time.

    November 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  54. Tom

    The chances of being blown up by a terrorist on an airplane are about nil. The chances of being killed on your way to the airport are infinitely higher.

    It's time to get a sense of proportion into this whole thing. Drop the shoe check, drop the full body scan and/or pat-down. This is absurd.

    November 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  55. reubenhwk

    I'm against pat-downs and full body scanners. I've always felt relatively safe when flying...until now. Now my biggest fear is the TSA.

    First I have to take my shoes off, then full body scanners and pat downs. What are they going to do next to "keep me safe"?!!?

    I'm surprised at all the people out there who will let anybody do anything to them as long as it's "for their protection". This is how we loose our liberties people!

    Wise up! The TSA does not need to put your family through a virtual strip search machine nor do they need to "pat down" to do their jobs.

    November 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  56. alex

    How about no TSA at all, would you like that? I guess not, so deal with it, my opinion, they are trying to do their job and it seems like a lot of work, whatever they do keep in mind is for the protection of the American people, so we as Americans should start trying to help and be more cooperative, opposing to their measures is not helping.

    November 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  57. nik

    I am pregnant and would rather be groped that potentially risk the health of my unborn child in a machine that has not had any long term tests done.

    November 16, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  58. James Welch

    I am absolutely steaming! How dare they! Fist patriot act and now they want me to go through the cancerous machine or be subjected to this GESTAPO technique of touching my body? You know what I am going to do? I am joining UCLA, and I am writing to my congressman. This has to stop. And quite frankly TSA is not earning their keep and as far as I'm concerned they are real terrorists to America. Terrorists that don't kill but harass. I am a Jew and know that Israel didn't have to go through these lengths to secure their airport. LEARN by example USA. TSA tactics is crossing the line!

    November 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  59. John

    Enough is enough! This is it for my family. We will not be flying anywhere. TSA -Total Sexual Assault

    I will NOT be naked before my masters nor should I have to be patted down. xrays of onboard luggage, etc.. is enough. Flying is now a horrible process, and the loss of freedom I cannot tolerate any longer.

    Good luck airlines.

    Mad as hell in California

    November 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  60. Tammy

    In this new world of post 9-11, it is indisputable that security is a concern, however, the two options provided to the public (full body “nude” scan or the new invasive pat down) both violate American privacy.
    First of all, I would like to state right off that I don’t believe in the radiation effect of using the full body scan and I consider the concerns that some individuals are raising regarding that method as equivalent to the radiation from cell phone usage. It exists, but is immaterially insignificant and more over it distorts the true argument. What I do consider as valid concern however is the lack of basic human rights to privacy. In regards to privacy, consider that this is to be used on children as well as those who are sensitive due to religious backgrounds. There are already reports coming out in Europe on the misuse of the full body scans; even as the TSA works to assure the public that the TSA personnel have gone through ‘sensitivity’ training. In a world where parents are finding some clergymen distrustful, we are being expected to trust our government not to violate our children. As for those whose religious concerns do not permit the full body exposure, I am sure it does not permit the rude and intrusive groping methodology that is the new pat down process. Can we abide such a process on a child?!! Are we willing to have our children groped by a stranger in front of the masses? How are we to teach them not to accept such behavior from strangers on the street, but that it is acceptable when done so by a person wearing a uniform. A person who has passed poor tests, whose background check certainly does not include the FBI checking their personal computers for child pornography and other such hidden factors that are benchmark of a child molester. Have we not already grossly crossed the line between public safety and civil liberties?

    November 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  61. Bill

    What kind of man would stand there and let airport employees look at naked pictures of his wife and children? And/or allow airport employees put their hands on his wife and kids' genitals? Have people in this country gone mad? You would trade the respect and human dignity of your family for a small and questionable amount of safety? Get over it, life has risks. Any man that would allow his family to be subjected to this perversion is NOT a man. People in the US need to quit running around scared and get a backbone.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  62. A Gordon

    I have to agree that this is legalized sexual assault. I have been subjected to this type of "assault" for many months. I wear underwired bras which set off the metal detector. While I understand that TSA must investigate this, the detector tells them which part of the body needs additional "pat down" – but the TSA agents at SEATAC airport – not only pat down my breast area but also put there hand inside my pants and run there hand up and down the zipper. This is a humilating experience and I have had many other passengers comment about it as I ride the after security train to the gates. I have written my objections to TSA and never received any response. I fly frequently (4 – 6 times per month) and now expereince significant anxiety as I approach the security area. This does NOT make us safer – it is designed to humiliate passengers.

    November 16, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  63. Sue Mehr

    Are the imagery machines and/or pat downs required for international, domestic flights or both? Tell me if I have this strraight-you first walk through a metal detector and then you walk through the imagery machine or get patted down? News articles and programs are not making the process clear. Please explain.

    November 16, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  64. Mike M

    What about every person who works behind the scenes at airports, janitors, baggage handlers, the people who refuel the plane do they have to submit to the same type of check every time they got to work? It seems that if pilots and flight attendants feel their health is risked at the expense of these scanners then these people should be facing the same problem. I'm curious how the TSA justifies denying American citizens their Fourth Amendment rights or is the fact that you have chosen to fly probable cause because terrorism occurs on airplanes and you choice to fly must mean you are a terrorist or intend to do harm to others? It seems to me that if a terrorist plot has made it to the stage of execution and they are already at the airport that the Department of Homeland Security has already failed and a search or scan would probably not help, especially since they know as well as we do that these scans exist and likely planned for that.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
  65. Emily

    I'll be flying at the beginning of December from JFK....there isn't really any other efficient way to get across the Atlantic Ocean, after all. I think I'll take the enhanced pat-down route myself....I'd rather be groped in public than increase my chance of contracting cancer by even an iota. I already lost one grandfather to that when I was younger.

    I think the new measures are somewhat absurd. IF they actually manage to stop a terrorist by using such measures, perhaps I'll forgive the TSA (only a little bit) but until then I'll be passing through security check lines muttering snarky comments under my breath. Big Brother is watching us and now he's squeezing our bits as well.

    If I could afford another way to fly across the ocean and visit my significant other, I would. But sailing isn't exactly cheap...

    November 16, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
  66. Myke

    My response to the recent choice of body scanner or pat down is to boycott flying. I was supposed to fly in December and I will drive instead–and I am a 7 year flight attendant!!

    November 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  67. Mike

    First, and formost, I am sadened if not sickened that we except or even allow this in America. I will not subject my family to this kind of sexual assult by our government. If you really think the government can portect you, keep you safe you are very naive.
    I didn't serve our country to see our rights and freedom taken from us. Those responsible for these actions have done a real disrespect to our military. What are they serving, fighting and dying for now, oviously not our freedoms and rights. Those responsible have done no less than spit on the graves of those who have died to preserve these rights for us all. We quickly give these rights up just so we can take a plane ride, how disgusting.
    What will be taken next? What nerve has to be cut for us to see our rights are slowly being taken. At some point it will be to late and everyone that.
    Our Freedom and Rights have always come at a cost and now we refuse to accept it and bow down. What a shame...Use to be the Home of the Free and Brave, not sure what we are now...

    November 16, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  68. Chris P

    I got "pat down" on the 1st in Phila and again on the 10th in SF. No big deal. They had gloves on, explained exactly what they were doing and where. They were extremely professional and curtious. I feel safer and don't see the big deal. It is not a given "right" to fly it is a privelage which comes with sacrificies. Don't like it don't fly. They can pat me down all they want would actually like to see everyone go through the screening.

    November 17, 2010 at 12:35 am |
  69. Christopher Quesenberry

    I'm not clear as to what this fire storm is all about. When I was 20, I worked for Pan Am and was there only 5 months when flight 103 was blown out of the sky over Scotland. 23 year later, I lost a very dear friend on 9-11 who was working on the 96th floor of WTC1. Americans seem to have short term memory loss about both of these events, especially since we had the attempted Christmas Day bombing last year. At last, the American Government and airlines are being proactive and not reactive.

    As for the criticism about flight crews, folks seem to forget that a flight attendant was recently arrested at a security checkpoint for smuggling cocaine on her person. All it takes is one angry airline employee to make things bad for everyone as happened on PSA flight 1771 in 1987.

    Bottom line, I would rather that I, and all of my fellow passengers, go through a full patdown or body scan. It beats being highjacked or blown out of the sky by someone with explosives.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  70. Valeria T

    I am getting tired of seeing people trot out that Benjamin Franklin quote–"those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." We need to realize that things were very different in Franklin's time. There were no airplanes, no terrorists, and no explosive devices even close to any that exist today. If we cave in to those who rant and wail about "privacy" and their "rights", we will be putting our heads in the sand, we will be opening the door for another terrorist, be they of foreign or domestic origin, to attempt another attack. We cannot, we must not, take the chance of another 9/11, or another lunatic with a bomb stuck under their clothing. Too many innocent lives are at stake. I'd rather have a TSA agent scanning and/or patting down myself and my family than risk us getting blown up because some nutjob was able to get an explosive on board. I daresay that those who are now howling the loudest about privacy will be the same ones crying the loudest that "not enough was done to prevent it" if some tragedy does end up happening.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  71. lou

    if i looked close enough i could "clearly" recognize myself the last time i was scanned. don't my eyes look great!

    November 17, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  72. MB

    Last week at an airport I watched the woman in front of me go through the scanner. Her husband did not have to, nor was he patted down (at least in front of us). I was told to go through the scanner while my husband did not have to. I was asked to step aside then waited about 10 minutes before a woman officer told me to follow her into a small room. She said something showed up on the scan and I was required to have a pat down procedure performed once another female office could be located. She would not give me any further information. Close to 30 minutes later two women came in and told me something was found in my pubic area and that's why they needed to search further. I asked if it was possible that it would be my IUD, they said absolutely that's what it is and I was free to go. Everyone I came into contact with was very courteous I am all for the extra security measures but there are obviously flaws in the system that need to be corrected to make it an efficient method of security instead of a time waster for their staff and passengers.

    November 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  73. Lisa

    While people might have legit concerns the truth of the matter is we live in a world where people get on a plane with a bomb in their pants or shoes and are willining to blow themselves up for whatever their reasons. i am terrified to fly, I want to know that every person on that plane was checked for bombs in the most effective manner.

    I truly think that the opt out program will be a flop. It is going to be interesting to see the numbers. If it is a flop perhaps then another "issue" that is newscaster driven will fizzle out and these machines will just become part of the flyers normal routine.

    November 17, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  74. Mike

    I saw your comments today (Wed. Nov. 17) and it seems obvious to me that you disagree with objecting to the grope down/x-ray naked people viewers. I prefer neither. First, the grope down is objectionable in any situation short of prostate exam. Second the X-Ray machines are objectionable for medical reasons. Third, the problem here is not terrorists, but the TSA treating the general public as guilty before proving otherwise. I am all for security, but against security as performance art. And finally, I am 100% sure the X-Ray scanners are a for-profit device pushed by lobbyists that greatly enhance the wallets of former and current congresspersons, TSA authorities, and other former government officials; and I am sure the enhanced gropings are merely an attempt to get us in the X-Ray scanners.

    The problem here is that the TSA has security bass ackwards. Israel has the safest airports in the world, and no one is searched as they are here unless there is reasonable suspicion that the person is a threat.

    If you would please read either of the following links you will see why Israeli procedures are preferable to TSA procedures:

    November 17, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  75. Alwaysindep

    I have travelled over 60 times per year. Security is the most important factor to the preservation of life and the continued growth of the airline industry. The fact that some people are sensitive to a simple scan does not supper cede my safety and that of the other passengers. Where would you have placed the guilt if the Christmas Bomber had he been successful by avoiding a scan?

    November 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  76. Judy Hertz

    I am not flying with the new procedures. The scan is dangerous to my health and the new aggressive pat downs are sexual assault. If everyone boycotted the airlines, just for a few days or a week, the procedures would be changed.

    I am not willing to give up my rights for little or no more security.

    November 17, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  77. Ruth

    Apparently I'm the last person to hear about this. I wonder if Expedia and Delta would return my money. When I bought the ticket, I sure didn't sign up to be zapped or groped. No sir. I want my money back and I'll take a bus, darn it.

    November 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  78. Dottie

    I bet if you could ask the people on the 4 planes that crashed on 9/11, they would be in favor of both the scanners and the pat-downs.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
  79. Bnm73

    I'm pretty sure the Founding Fathers would have had a similar reaction as the "don't touch my junk" guy if someone told them they had to be fondled to travel.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  80. Captain Willy

    The TSA is clueless when it comes to ways to smuggle explosives on a plane if that is the intent. Are they going to start body cavity searches next? What about clothing that can be made greatly flammable? The onerous attempts to "protect" the public with see-through scanners and intimate pat downs are a joke. It's time the public reacts by not flying and seeking other methods of transportation. Maybe the risk of less security is worth not being viewed virtually naked and being groped by strangers.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  81. Pete, NJ

    In a same sex pat-down, can they absolutely assure me the TSA agent isn't gay? I believe in equal rights for gays, but I am choosy about who reaches inside my underwear. It is not like going to a doctor- I get to pick my Dr.
    What's next: body cavity search? Ben Franklin said, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." I think we are at that crossroad.

    November 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  82. Joshua Villano

    A scanner is a great technology but X-rays can be a little sketchy with the radiation exposure. The pat downs are the other option, yah invasive but a way to fight fear with added security.

    If they didn't exist then the civ holes get bigger and the slight fear of smuggling something aboard goes away and that opportunity now exists. Although still existent with the opportunity, the fear is now placed on the criminal, and the terror or fear is removed from the passenger.

    A pat down is a minute if your life, instead of a possible end of your life.

    I fly at least 2 times a week as a teaseling technician. I haven't s problem with the pat down. Keep in mind it is still a random occurrence, 75 flights 4 pat downs 5.333% of my flights, for a painless pat down.

    How are the "terrorists" winning if we feel safer? I can guarantee most of the people complaining do not fly more than once a year.

    November 21, 2010 at 1:03 am |
  83. Maurice Alarie

    I travelled to Israel from Canada frequently during the 1980s. Israel was always concerned about acts of terrorism and specifically air travel security, decades before it became an issue in North America and long before "technology" offered up full body scanners. El Al Airline security in my opinion is the best and least intrusive in the world. How many incidents have they had? They firstly employee skilled, well trained interrogators from check in through the departure gate. Their observation and questioning of passengers is relentless. There were no body scanners of any type. At the departure gate if a passenger provided cause, they were directed to telephone booth sized cubicles where they could be strip searched. The procedure was the same at all departure points to Israel. I never felt safer.

    November 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  84. L.

    I didnt have a choice. They told me to go into the full body scanner with hands up and then directly to the agent for a pat down like that was proper protocol. Whats the point? If the scan shows everything than why the pat down? I am a women and didnt know I had a choice then but do now.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  85. david lee williams

    I will not fly any more until they remove this period. All you lamers who are willing to trade freedom for security deserve neither freedom or security. There will still be mishaps. They will still find ways to sneak things aboard and bypass security. Security in the real world is a joke.

    I know I work law enforcement and security details for over 20 years now. i can tell you 1000 ways to bypass all this fake security. Anyway, I have to run. Good luck on your air planes, if I need to fly somewhere that bad I will use my own used and older Cessna 172 which I purchased for $26,200 last year. They are fun and cheap to maintain and can get me anywhere a big plane can, it just takes a little longer. so sit back and relax and enjoy your ride instead of being treated like some worthless cattle who is willing to have their rights violated.

    November 22, 2010 at 7:08 am |
  86. Sharon Ramey

    I want everone on any plane I am on to be thuroughly serched before take off so I don't die because of another 911.

    November 23, 2010 at 7:27 am |
  87. Joleen Guckian

    I just experienced the "french" pat down, at Charles De Gaulle, and it
    wasn't any better – worse in fact! The (male) TSA person informed me
    it was my underwire bra setting off the alarm. Then I was told to lift my
    shirt! I looked back and there were 50 plus people watching me. Upon arriving at Newark airport, I went to the ladies room and removed my bra!
    Better to fly bra-less than to endure those invasive pat downs. Ladies
    take note!

    November 23, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  88. Mike

    I prefer enahanced imaging scanners over "assault" under one condition, after your plane has landed, they remove your saved image from the database.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  89. kathleen Fraederich

    What everyone seems to be missing is that the TSA (ie the Federal Government) are breaking taboos that go back hundreds, if not thousands of years. "Don't touch my junk" is NOT a new concept. The public will not become "acustomed" to being violated. Men, women , and children who have been sexually or physically abused are being re-traumatized, The TSA are our new terrorists! "Attack" means many different things.
    As for me. I live on a Caribbean Island and often travel to the states. I'll not be traveling until this horror is resolved in a humane, sensitive, realistic manner that actually does some good, How will they try to scan us the first time a Islamic terriorist hides a bomb inside his body?
    kathieonstx

    November 23, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  90. Kathie F

    What the media and TSA don't seem to realize is that they (the TSA with the blessing of the Federal Government) are violating a taboo that goes back hundreds, if not thousands of years. "don't touch my junk" is hardly a new concept! Men, women and children who have been physically or sexually abused are being re-traumatized. A "terrorist attack" can mean many things, The TSA has become the terrorist for many.
    As for me, I live on an island in the Caribbean island, In the past, I have often traveled to the staes. That won't be happening again until the TSA finds a humane, sensible, realistic way to deal with the bad guys.
    Kathie on stx

    November 23, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  91. Lyn

    Misinformation...disinformation...blah, blah, blah! Unfortunately, we are all being victimized by those who would do us Americans harm. These come in the guise of both domestic and foreign terrorists I fully understand the fear of overexposure to radiation. Unlike air crews, most of us have little to fear: and the crews concerns have been addressed by the TSA. Just as politicians have their ajendas, with their lack of viable solutions, those who can only criticize should give me alternative solutions and not just inane rhetoric. Our Constitution protects us all and not the few. When did flying become a right under the Constitution? Don't want to comply with the rules then don't fly.

    November 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm |