NPR logo Body Scans, Pat-Downs: What's Your Opinion?


Body Scans, Pat-Downs: What's Your Opinion?

As JJ has noted, "flying should be fun this week" as the holiday travel crush collides with the Transportation Security Administration's new rules about the hoops that fliers must jump through at security checkpoints before being allowed to board their planes.

This man got a pat-down on Friday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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Ted S. Warren/AP

Don't want to go into one of the new full-body scanners that allow screeners to virtually see beneath your clothes? Well, then you supposedly can decline — and instead get to have one of the now infamous pat-downs that have some folks saying "don't touch my junk."

There's a movement underway to make Wednesday "National Opt-Out Day": In other words, for fliers to declare they want to "opt out" of the body scans and instead get one of those pat-downs. But lots of folks find the pat-downs to be intrusive as well — and there are videos circulating of scenes such as the young boy who ended up with his shirt off at a check point.

(By the way, if my experience at San Francisco International Airport on Friday is indicative of anything, there's a chance you won't have to choose between those options. Screeners were running about half the passengers through "regular" metal detectors.)

All this has us wondering:

Update at 9:45 a.m. ET: Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep is set to speak with Lee Kair, who's in charge of TSA security at more than 450 airports. On its Facebook page, ME is asking for suggestions on what Steve should ask.