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Thread: TSA to phase in new pat-down procedures at airports nationwide

  1. #1
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Exclamation TSA to phase in new pat-down procedures at airports nationwide

    TSA to phase in new pat-down procedures at airports nationwide
    By Jim Barnett, CNN Senior Producer
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/10/28...rity.pat.down/


    Washington (CNN) -- Airline passengers can expect to see as well as feel new pat-down procedures at U.S. airports over the coming weeks in an effort to provide another layer of security for travelers, the Transportation Security Administration said Thursday.

    "Pat-downs are one important tool to help TSA detect hidden and dangerous items such as explosives," according to a TSA statement sent to CNN.

    The TSA said passengers should continue to expect "an unpredictable mix of security layers that include explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, canine teams, among others."

    But it's the hands-on procedures that have at least one traveler concerned that the TSA may be going too far.

    Rosemary Fitzpatrick, a CNN employee, said she was subjected to a pat-down at the Orlando, Florida, airport on Wednesday night after her underwire bra set off a magnetometer. She said she was taken to a private area and searched, with transportation screening officers telling her the pat-down was a new procedure.

    According to Fitzpatrick, a female screener ran her hands around her breasts, over her stomach, buttocks and her inner thighs, and briefly touched her crotch.

    "I felt helpless, I felt violated, and I felt humiliated," Fitzpatrick said, adding that she was reduced to tears at the checkpoint. She particularly objected to the fact that travelers were not warned about the new procedures.

    Fitzpatrick sent an e-mail complaint about her experience to the TSA that said the agency needs to get the word out so that travelers know their rights.

    The TSA employees "conducted themselves in a professional manner, so my complaint is not about them professionally," Fitzpatrick wrote.

    She told the TSA the agency needs to get the word out so the travelers know their rights.

    "I am appalled and disgusted at the new search procedures and the fact that passengers have not been made aware of the new invasive steps prior to entering the security area," Fitzpatrick wrote. "It appears once you enter the security area, passengers forfeit their rights. There were no signs, video information, etc. at the entrance of the security area the airport. Why?"

    She added: "As an experienced traveler for work who was in tears for most of the search process, I have never experienced a more traumatic and invasive travel event!"

    The TSA sent an automated initial e-mail response to Fitzpatrick saying, "Thank you for your inquiry to the Transportation Security Administration. We have forwarded your e-mail to the appropriate group for response."

    In its statement to CNN, the TSA said: "Pat-down procedures are used to resolve alarms that occur at a walk-through metal detector, if an anomaly is detected during screening with advanced imaging technology or during random screening."

    The statement also indicated that "passengers who opt out of advanced imaging technology screening will receive alternate screening to include a thorough pat-down."

    CNN's Jeanne Meserve and Carol Cratty contributed to this story.

    Find this article at:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/10/28...urity.pat.down

  2. #2
    Member Steph853's Avatar
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    thanks for making us aware!!..I was searched once, in 2003, with my best friend and we were 17!!...We were on a cruise for a week with my parents and her family was in Disney World, so when we got of the cruise instead of flying back to Boston we stayed in Florida with her family, Never showed up for our flights to boston and the following week, all of our luggage, carryons and everything else you could imagine was searched!!!

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    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    Since I travel so much, nothing TSA does surprises me...shortly after 9/11 I must have been picked out of a line of passengers every other flight....bags searched and me patted down, doesn't even bother me.
    I guess I understand how this women felt not being made aware of the new rules, but as a frequent flyer she should not have been surprised or upset. It is for her protection after all and with a the threats out there I have no problems with the TSA trying to protect me.
    What I do have a problem with is seeing somepeople show how they had a bottle of water or whatever in their carryon and it got past security.....and then someone with a 4ounce bottle of hand cream get it taken from them......they need to screen a little better all around to make sure that kind of stuff does not happen....
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

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    Senior Member Chadd's Avatar
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    I wonder if this will be the step that pushes people too far. The TSA will continue to push and push until there is finally major resistance from the flying public. On a personal note, this stuff puts a lot of people in a bad mood before they ever get near an airplane and makes my job a lot less pleasant.

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    Senior Member Chadd's Avatar
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    Ok, got more info from the company and the story from CNN isn't entirely correct. While it is now the official policy, this is what the TSA has been doing all along for the most part. The difference is that refusing the body scanner or an anomaly there was added to the list of things that can require the secondary screening.

    If you set off the metal detector and the alarm continues to go off after removing all of the usual offending items, watches, bracelets, chains, etc.... you get the hands on treatment. Same goes for the body scanner now. If they detect an anomaly, you get the hands on treatment.

    Now if anyone wants to point out that the body scanners were only supposed to be used for secondary screening, per the congressional authorization of funds, I'm with you 100%. But this story is mostly about a CNN employee complaining about being treated like everyone else.

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    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chadd View Post
    Now if anyone wants to point out that the body scanners were only supposed to be used for secondary screening, per the congressional authorization of funds, I'm with you 100%.
    Amen.

    But after today's events, for the short term, people will probably not complain too much about extra scanning or any pat downs.

    The problem is that memories are very short and when the next big story comes along and the pubic is no longer worried about packages with explosives in cargo compartments, we'll have people again complaining about the pat downs.

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    I say do whatever you have to do to keep me safe whenever I'm flying. I'd rather be temporarily inconvenienced than dead....

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    Senior Member Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaby View Post
    I say do whatever you have to do to keep me safe whenever I'm flying. I'd rather be temporarily inconvenienced than dead....

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    Senior Member Chadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    Amen.

    But after today's events, for the short term, people will probably not complain too much about extra scanning or any pat downs.

    The problem is that memories are very short and when the next big story comes along and the pubic is no longer worried about packages with explosives in cargo compartments, we'll have people again complaining about the pat downs.
    If they only used the body scanners and pat downs for people that did something to trigger a secondary search, as they said they would do, I would agree. The problem is, they have essentially forced everyone into the body scanner or hands on search or both.

    The scanners take a lot longer than just walking through the metal detector, so the TSA needs more of them and more people to man the checkpoints and it still takes you twice as long to get through security. Every city I fly into that has them has seen the same result, longer lines and more hassles at the screening.

    Meanwhile, very little of the cargo in the belly of the aircraft gets even a cursory inspection. Not to mention the stories that come out every year of illegal aliens with SIDA badges at airports. The "security" they are selling is an illusion.

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    Everyone has choices, we can drive , take a bus, or train...

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