TSA’s new full body pat down starts today

Yep, flying just got funner. Starting today, the TSA has “enhanced” (yes, in the same way the airlines use the term) the pat down procedure. I almost always get patted down at my home airport of TPA because we have the full body scanners, which many of us like to refer to as “nude-o-scopes,” because they leave little to the imagination. So instead you can opt for a full body pat down. It has always been thorough, though not overly-intrusive, in my opinion. They use the back of their hands to search your whole body, including using the back of their hands to pass around private parts.

As of today, the pat down involves the TSA people (I refuse to call them “agents”) using the front side of their hands to inspect private parts. For females that includes using the front of their hands to inspect bras, and for males it means using the front of their hands to inspect the groin area.

First of all, this is incredibly unnecessary. With the previous procedure you could already tell if there was a weapon in private areas (please, no jokes!), and even with the new procedure you likely couldn’t tell if there was powder or something else not as visible.

So you have two choices — have them see every part of your body, or have them feel every part of your body. And you have the same two choices for your kids, no matter how young.

As I said, I almost always get the pat down in TPA (let’s just say I don’t get along too well with the agents), so I’m not sure what my next move is. In the past I’ve always opted out of the full body scanner, but now I’m tempted to start asking for my pat down in private (which anyone is entitled to). It’s not that I’m a prude, I just want to send them a message. Then again, the TSA’s move to counter that would probably be to remove the option of getting a full body pat down.


  1. route for better treatment*

    Yes, annoying dilemma. Maybe worthwhile to consider nearby airports at times. The extra drive may be balanced out by the reduced security wait.

  2. I got in the standard metal detector line today at BOS and was directed to the nude-o-scope. I refused and got the pat-down instead. Agent used the back of his hands to inspect (even specifically stating, “I’m using the back of my hands here…”) when going over the private parts…

  3. @oleg: I have to admit that the backscatter nude-o-scope machines were going fast today at Logan. Most people happily complied and were in and out in five seconds. I’ll continue to resist them because I like asking the TSO’s if they have any reasonable suspicion I am hiding anything. I like listening to their responses.

  4. Horrible. I can’t believe this is getting real. I am afraid of the day when some terrorist will bring some bomb inside of his ass.

  5. @matthew “I like asking the TSO’s if they have any reasonable suspicion I am hiding anything. I like listening to their responses.”

    well done. way to stick it to a front line worker just because they are following protocol. i bet that makes you feel really good about yourself

  6. @jack ‘just fkollowing orders’ is not a valid reason to violate my rights. We have learned that MANY times in human history.

  7. do i have a choice on the gender of the pater? Not joking, but i rather get cupped by a girl and another dude.

  8. I want the young sexy looking girl with the big ta tas and nice rear to pat me down. she’ can pat wherever.

    Or how about this, I want to be the guy that gets to apt down young, sexy looking large breasted women.

    Or how about this, it’s sexist to pair a woman to pat down a woman. It’s profiling. The TSA people should be queued up to pat down the queued up passengers as they come through the screening area . Sex should have nothing to do with who pats down who. Come on now.

    I will travel even less than I do now with this new procedure in place.

  9. Matthew: The simple fact that you are a TOTAL STRANGER to TSA is a very good reason to think that you may be hiding something. So to eliminate the (maybe) your rights will continue to be violated. All you and everyone else can do is vent…but watch that venting because if you give TSA agents a hard time you’ll be surrounded, detained and interviewed by airport polices officers within SECONDS. Welcome to planet earth…where life is not fare =) And I don’t work for TSA but I know a lot of people who do.

  10. I always opt-out, and do my best to demean the screeners who do the patdown.
    Think ahead and rehearse your lines.
    I say things like, “Where do they find all these gay guys to do patdowns?”
    Gets a response like “I’m not gay”
    Response: “I don’t care if you are or not, that’s just what I hear.”
    Response: “How can they get straight guys to kneel down and feel my body for $11 per hour? Can’t you find a better job at Burger King?”
    Deamean them. Call them “Clerks”, “Boy”, “Nazi”. Don’t “interefere” buy verbally abuse them all you want. No Swearing. Get them to quit.
    I have had screeners quit the patdown and summon a different screener to finish the job.
    Lay it on – you don’t have to be nice!


  11. @Wimpie…”don’t interfere but verbally abuse them”…LOL…use some of that 2 digit IQ before
    responding. You verbally abusing them is called “interfering with the screening process” and its
    just a matter of time until they refuse to let you board your plane. A friend did exactly what you mentioned at LAX and apo police told him “you have 5 min. to get out of this airport of your going to jail”.

  12. @wimpie, yeah that’s a good idea, once all the relatively “normal” people quit the jobs, what’s going to happen? you think they’ll stop with the screenings, hell no, they’ll just have to start heiring the creeps you see on date line, or start raising the wages, which means higher security fees one our tickets.

  13. i was patted d own and up my dress to my privates and across how hummilating
    so why do people who work on the ramp never have to go through security and the flt crews do im a flight crew??????????

  14. I don’t mind getting patted down. It’s no worse than attending certain night clubs & concerts. I also don’t believe it’s a violation of our constitutional rights. An airplane carries a lot of people and it’s public transportation so the rights and safety of everyone as a whole must be considered. It seems like the people complaining need to get out more and wake up! The good ol’ days are gone haha. To me it’s just a sign of how overpopulated the world is becoming and just one more step needed to control that. If you have a problem with it then get rich and buy your own airplane >=D

  15. I am not sure how I feel about this to be frank. On one hand I really don’t want to be touched in my “private areas” by someone I don’t know. On the other hand the idea of my body being on display for complete strangers doesn’t appeal much to me either. Gut reaction though… I would rather be seen and not touched. Anyone that has ever been through a traumatic sexual encounter (such as rape) is probably going to have issues with either approach, but for me it would be far less traumatic to be seen.

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