"Pat-Downs" "Opt-Outs" "Body Scans"... Oh my...



This body scanner issue at the airports may be a thorn in travelers sides, but imagine how the TSA agents feel having to manually search all of these passengers each day.

So what are our options?

1) Go through the full body scan which takes only a minute or two of your time.
2) Opt out of the full body scan and take the pat-down, which can take up 4 to 6 minutes of your time.
3) Opt out of BOTH 1 and 2 and pay a fine and not be allowed to board your flight.

Personally, I think 2 and 3 are out of the question. Number 3 is out because I need to travel by air, there is no way around that.

Number 2 is out because personally, I would rather one TSA agent see an x-ray outline of my body than a line full of people watch me get a very personal and uncomfortable pat-down by another TSA agent.



I know it's tough traveling during the holidays, and so many people are uncomfortable with the new scanners, which is completely understandable. But we have to remember why we are being subject to these screenings and pat-downs. Just last year a traveler came dangerously close to exploding a bomb a plane on Christmas. On top of the fact that just last month Feds discovered a bomb on a plane headed to the USA that was set to explode over the Northeast.

Yes, it is very uncomfortable to be subjected to the humiliation of a pat-down or face the fear of being exposed to low doses of radiation on top of embarrassingly private x-ray images of your body from scanners. But at the same time, I personally feel that if it ensures the fact that everyone on my plane is not able to hide any sort of contraband or dangerous material, then I am all for whatever needs to be done within reason.



Reports are showing that the full body scans only omit one one-hundredth of the amount of radiation to that of a chest x-ray. In fact, it has been said that the dosage from the scanners is at least 200 times less than the dosage of radiation a passenger receives during a typical airline flight.

So to me, this whole "Opt-Out" bandwagon everyone is jumping on is a bit ridiculous.

"Just one or two recalcitrant passengers at an airport is all it takes to cause huge delays," says Paul Ruden, a spokesman for the American Society of Travel Agents. "It doesn't take much to mess things up anyway."



Traveling during the holidays is a pain as is. We all need to get somewhere whether it be to spend the holiday with family or enjoy a much needed vacation. Either way traveling is stressful enough and everyone just wants to get where they need to go.

Opting out of the body scan just to prove a point is going to cause delays for everyone at the airport. It's an unnecessary step to prove a point that doesn't make much sense at all. Opt out of a private body scan or have someone pat you down? These are our options and you'd rather someone pat you down?

I don't see it as being any more invasive than when I change in a department store changing room. You know there are cameras in there but you aren't going to complain because it has to be done to stop shoplifters.




Of course, with children the situation becomes significantly different. If you feel that your child shouldn't be subject to showing sensitive areas through an invasive body scan or being touched in personal places during pat-downs, then take a look at these guide lines to help prepare your child for a pat-down in case it happens to them: How To Get Your Kid Through The TSA Pat-Down With Little Trauma.

While I hope that the TSA can look into options that will eliminate the fact that body scans can show certain areas of our body that most of us would not like to show a stranger every time we travel, if it means my flight is going to be safer, I will do whatever is needed within reason to comply with the new security measures.


Kira Solomon

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