Have you heard about the new TSA “enhanced pat down” procedure?

Not many people have — the TSA has publicly stated they do not want to let everyone know what the pat down entails.

In fact, here’s the oh-so-detailed official word from the TSA homepage. I don’t see how they could be more vague — they don’t even really talk about the pat downs at all!

Here’s a detailed explanation from a young mom who found out the hard way what an “enhanced” pat down means.  She’s not making it up.  There are too many other similar stories out there.  I chose hers to share since I can relate to the fun task of flying with a baby.

When did we hand over our rights to the TSA?  Who gave them this authority?  Either we must go through these detailed fully body scanners and let TSA see us naked, or we must be subjected to letting them feel our private parts?  How does this keep anyone safe?  All the terrorists are going to do is put the explosives in their body cavities.  Oh, maybe we should require cavity searches to be able to fly too.

It’s a good thing I like road trips.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jay Bryant
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 11:21:10

    It is too bad that their experience was so bad. It is clear that the person who performed the search was not appropriately sensitive but calling it a sexual assault is a bit harsh.

    I have been through the procedure that she describes with a person who clearly told me what he was doing, including touching my genitals. It was clear that there was nothing sexual about it. What bothers me is the fact that we live in a world where such searches are even necessary.



  2. Audreya
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 13:24:35

    I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, yes, both options are invasive. On the other hand, flying is (generally speaking) an optional activity. As far as the pat down, I have had a fairly thorough pat-down (it was before the official “enhanced” procedures, but it does sound very similar and involved private areas). The TSA agent was as professional as I could expect in the situation. She did tell me exactly what she would be doing next and made sure to make it apparent she was only using the back of her hand. It was uncomfortable but I didn’t feel violated. Invaded – yes. But not assaulted. However, I know not every agent will handle themselves that professionally. I definitely understand why people are upset. On a lighter (but not really, when you think about it) note, have you seen these? http://bit.ly/aiT24P Pasties that cover your private parts from the scanner.



  3. Wrangler Mama
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 13:46:30

    Yes, flying is optional, but for many people out there if they choose not to fly they may need to find a new career.
    Those Pasties are great! However, I would worry that they would then want to search me to make sure I wasn’t hiding something behind them.

    Jay, I just don’t see how this search procedure really makes us any safer. It is not hard to insert things into body cavities. Most women of childbearing age use tampons all the time. So if they really want to hide something, they aren’t going to just stick it in their underwear!

    I can see how this woman would feel assaulted. She had no idea that the agent might touch her private parts. There she is, feeling vulnerable already, and all of a sudden the agent has her hands in very personal places! I don’t see how that is NOT molestation.

    It is a shame that law abiding citizens have to choose between such a gross invasion of privacy or not flying at all. I’d like to keep my private parts private, so I guess I won’t be flying anymore.

    As for those body scanners, I would really worry about the radiation, especially for frequent flyers. And as much as it would bother me to be examined on one of those, no way would I put my CHILD on view for the TSA. No way. NO WAY.



  4. Grandma
    Nov 25, 2010 @ 10:54:46

    The thing is, with pilots exempt from any searches, none of the rest of security amounts to a hill of beans.

    I feel for people wearing sanitary products outside their body. Life can be embarrassing enough at times. Is the 12 year old girl going to have to show her Always? Not to mention (oh, I did) ostomies and incontinence products.



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