The Madeleine Brand Show

Will you fly this holiday season? TSA responds, clarifies guidelines on full body scans and pat downs

Credit: Getty Images

Image credit: Getty Images

Since yesterday's post, the TSA blog has been updated with a response to the largely internet-driven outcry over its special screening guidelines. I'll go into detail on a couple of items here, set up by TSA's Blogger Bob as a Myths/Facts Q&A.

First, age. Who will receive more intimate pat downs?

Myth: All children will receive pat-downs.

Fact: TSA officers are trained to work with parents to ensure a respectful screening process for the entire family, while providing the best possible security for all travelers. Children 12 years old and under who require extra screening will receive a modified pat down. 

While it’s phrased in a reassuring tone, parents may not be comforted knowing their adolescent children could be intimately touched over and under their clothing during the screening process.  For those traveling in the coming moths, the TSA itself stresses that every passenger has the right to have her/his screening conducted in private with a witness present.

Blogger Bob also takes on stories of airports electing to opt out of TSA-conducted screenings:

Myth: Airports can opt-out of TSA screening.

Fact: All commercial airports are regulated by TSA whether the actual screening is performed by TSA or private companies. So TSA’s policies – including advanced imaging technology and pat downs – are in place at all domestic airports.

What do you make of TSA’s response so far? A CBS News poll that shows 4 out of 5 Americans are comfortable with full body scans.  Are you among that majority?

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