TSA conducting more invasive pat downs: What to expect if you fly
Mar 07 2017
The new physical search is described as a more "comprehensive" screening, replacing five kinds of pat-downs now used.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has just announced that it will be conducting a potentially more invasive physical pat-down procedure to customers who refuse to be scanned electronically. In most cases, officers use their back of their hands for pat-downs of sensitive areas and the searches are conducted by officers of the same gender.
The change in protocol came after a 2015 study by the Department of Homeland Security revealed that the TSA failed to detect banned substances or weapons in 67 out of 70 tests administered by undercover teams, ABC reported.
"You may be required to adjust clothing during the pat-down", the TSA statement says. In fact, the TSA chose to inform local police just in case anyone calls to report an "abnormal" federal frisking, according to a memo from an airport trade association obtained by Bloomberg News. Speaking on background to talk frankly about the change, a TSA official said Monday that although little has changed in the procedures for pat-downs, the agency has taken steps to make the searches more uniform and thorough. The new pat-down won't involve any additional areas of the body, and still will be performed by agents of the same sex as passengers.
Of course, "don't look suspicious" is pretty ridiculous advice, but the TSA isn't exactly flexible, and their policies seem to only be getting more aggressive.
U.S. Rep. Scott Perry says he'll introduce legislation to allow random inspections of airport security checkpoints. It's worth noting that if you reject the full-body scanner, you'll get a pat down instead.
"You're 40,000 feet up in the air, you don't want people bringing in things they shouldn't", Michelle Scherber, another traveler, told the network. Upon training completion, Officers are required to demonstrate proficiency in performing the procedure before being permitted to perform the pat-down at TSA security checkpoints.