First-Hand Account Of TSA Pat Down

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) — The day started off well, especially since I, and everyone else, was prepped for the worst.

But when I went through security at 7:15 am, the line was almost non-existent.  I’d brought my flip camera, and my goal was to go to New York City and back again for a firsthand look at security.

From the early morning, TSA and airport workers told me how surprisingly quiet it was.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

As my bags went through the conveyor belt scanner as usual, I chose to mix things up, and opt-out of the controversial full-body scanner to see what the fuss was about. 

My pat down at Logan was thorough, and I can certainly see why some people might find it uncomfortable.  But I have to say, TSA employees could not have been more polite; they explained everything step by step.  The whole process took only about two minutes.

What made me feel more uncomfortable were a couple of dirty looks from other passengers.

People heard me request the pat-down, and even though the TSA worker didn’t blink when I asked, the other travelers within earshot may have suspected I was someone trying to slow things down with a boycott, part of the “national opt-out day” we heard so much about. A day, by the way, that never seemed to materialize.

Once Boston was in the distance, I looked forward to seeing how LaGuardia handled things.

But New York City was not that different.

There were very long lines but pre-security was no problem.

Post-security was another story.

I saw two women getting pat-downs there.

My terminal there didn’t have those full-body scanners — just metal detectors, so there was no way to opt-out.

If you got a pat down there, it meant you triggered something.

But it was just as aggressive as the opt-out

The pat-down certainly isn’t the worst experience in the world, and TSA workers handle it very professionally.

But you’re left wondering if it’s the most effective procedure.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Ellen says:

    By what I have read Israel has behavioral profiling and seems to be the most effective. But being padded is not all that uncomfortable as taking a physical exam.

  2. Non Ellen says:

    No one signs up for a physical exam to fly anywhere and not one person should feel as they had to.

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