How to Avoid an Airport Pat-Down
Most travelers didn’t expect to kick off their vacation being felt up by a well-meaning TSA agent. While many people consider it another level of security, other fliers are aggravated with the new security procedures that were unleashed just in time for the 2010 travel season. Approximately 78 airports are using new full-body scanners--officially known as Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT)--and, the debate rages on between those who find the revealing scans an invasion of privacy and those who agree it’s all in the name of safety.
You may choose to walk through a scanner or opt instead for a gloved pat-down by a TSA agent. If you have a pacemaker or other medical conditions that prevent you from passing through a metal detector or AIT scanner, your only option is the pat-down. If you do require a full-body search, know your rights. Your searcher should be of the same gender, and you can request to be searched in a private area away from the public eye. You may also request that a traveling companion or witness stay with you at all times. And if you feel you are wrongly treated at any time, you most certainly have the right to complain as described by the TSA's Passenger Civil Rights.
If you’re hoping to avoid getting too close and personal with airport security, check out our tips for navigating security without a pat-down