Body Scan or Pat Down...or MAYBE I Should Just Wear My Swimsuit Through Airport Security...

In preparing for our return trip home from New York, I was glued to the television.  The news all week long had focused heavily on "The Body Scan vs. The Pat Down" issue at airports.  Not truly paying close attention before, I was NOW wanting to know EVERYTHING about this issue.

Flying is always a rough day for me, so I searched deep within myself for some "positive" to keep me from sinking into my "Bad Attitude Flying Funk".  Hmmm...the only good thing I could manage to come up with was that we FINALLY had an afternoon flight booked, instead of a crack of dawn flight.  But, other than that, this "Body Scanning and Patting Down" issue had me a little worried...and for more than one reason.

First, after asking Robby to give me a quick run down of the body scanning (I knew he had been paying closer attention to the new than I...), I was aghast that people would be able to see me virtually NAKED on a screen!  And I certainly did not want to end up on the Internet, like so many stories I had heard of (I paid attention to THAT part!).  My only alternative would be, "The Pat Down".  And that alone brought its own problems...for a germ-a-phobe like me!

After listening to the individuals on television talk about their "Pat Down Experiences", I was definitely getting a bit worried.  Let me get this straight...a STRANGER...with blue gloves on...was going to be running their hands ALL OVER MY BODY?!  I had enough issues being required to take my shoes off at the security check point and placing my feet where MANY other feet had trod!  I could NOT see a good way out of this any way you looked at it.  Robby noticed my intense gaze upon the television set and along with the questions he had been fielding from me, decided to issue me a warning, "Don't cause any problems at the airport today!"  Hmph!  "AND...NO!  I will NOT take any pictures or videos of you if they have to pat you down!"  WELL!...I guess he was just going to allow those strange people to touch me in strange places...and do nothing about it.  In the end, I agreed not to cause a fuss...sort of.

Hopping out of our taxi at the airport terminal, we decided to check everything at the curb to cut down on any potential problems at security.  We rounded the corner inside and saw a line stretching around the corner...I KNEW it was going to be like this.  Entering the roped off line, like preparing to climb aboard a theme park ride, I didn't quite feel the same excitement.  I just stood there hoping they wouldn't choose me.  Before I ever made it to the front of the line, I had my boots off (I wore socks today...no nasty germs on MY feet that day!), coat in one hand and driver's license and boarding pass in the other.  Keeping a low profile, I  very calmly placed my items in a bucket and proceeded through the metal detector holding my breath.  I didn't buzz!...Thank the Lord!  Very quickly I grabbed all of my items and took them to a chair far off (I didn't want the agents to change their minds) to get re-dressed.  However, sitting there, I watched as the TSA agents searched some very unlikely passengers; a toddler and an old man in a wheelchair.  I also witnessed quite a bit of verbal snapping at passengers from these same agents...This DID anger me.

Years ago, there was an airline commercial that sang a little jingle, "Fly the friendly skies".  I thought about that for a minute and decided that perhaps that should be changed to, "Fly the unfriendly skies"!  I'm NOT saying that screening should NOT take place, but I AM saying that a bit of "common sense" should be used in decision making policies regarding airline security screening.  Putting naked bodies on a screen or touching people in private areas...Hmmm...I don't think EITHER is a winning solution for the passenger.

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