American Morning

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November 23rd, 2010
08:39 AM ET

Airport Reality Check: Few receive pat downs, says former TSA official

Support seems to be slipping for the new airport security measures.

In a poll earlier this month, 81 percent of people supported the new full-body scanners. Now, only 64 percent support them, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. And, 50 percent say the pat-down procedures go too far.

Today on American Morning, Kiran Chetry talks to former FAA and TSA security official Charlotte Bryan.

Bryan, now a consultant for Command Consulting Group, explains how few air travelers will encounter the scans and pat downs this weekend, and if the public scrutiny is justifiable or overly sensitive.

Filed under: Airline safety • Airlines • American Morning
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. mike sey

    Way too much time given to James Babb and his babble about his junk. Nobody gets paid enough to touch his junk. They do it because it is their duty – unpleasant though that may be.

    November 24, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  2. Average American

    Simply put ... James Babb is a moron. He is the type of person that constantly whines about everything.

    November 24, 2010 at 6:53 am |
  3. Joshua Wertheim

    Score a victory for the terrorists today. Look at all the hysteria about airport security, pat-downs and body scanners. Talk about playing into their hands – all they have to do is sit back and watch and have a good laugh at our expense. In the meantime they're probably planning an attack on our trains which are much more vulnerable. Mark my words – they are masters at the misdirection play.

    November 24, 2010 at 6:11 am |
  4. Robert J. Sawyer

    We're at a a turning point for the human race. We've gone from having to fear other nations to fearing individuals. The future may require us to choose between personal liberty or societal safety. Technology can help: full-body scans are better than blown-up airplanes, but, gee whiz, why do we keep deploying technology in crucial places before it's ready for prime time? As a science-fiction writer, I explore liberty vs. freedom at length in my Hugo Award-winning HOMINIDS. But it's time we all joined in the debate, and found real solutions for the future.

    November 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  5. RB01

    Yes don't worry we will only molest you 3% of the time, which is 5.91% probability for a return trip. Getting abused once in a while is not so bad is it?
    What your child is between 12-18? Well grow up he/she is probably having more sex than you, ever heard of sexting?

    Remember its all for national security (Booooo, Laden will kill you) and the government owns you anyway.

    November 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  6. Sandie

    I travelled last week-we have a small airport so no body scanner. I had a knee replacement so after I told them I need a 'female assist' I set of the metal detector (of course) and had to receive the Pat Down. It is very unsettling especially when they used to wand me. Coming back from New Orleans on Friday, they had a body scanner, but it was not in use because they were 'short on staff". That meant I had to go through another Pat Down. The person at NO Airport was very thorough, but her attitude was good and she adjusted the leg part so you put each leg forward to make it easier to pat down.
    I think the attitude of the screener has so much to do with how you feel when being patted down-some are more 'agressive' than others and make you feel like you have something to hide.

    November 23, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  7. Daniel C.

    I expect the polls to become even less favorable as more people actually go through the process. Going through TSA was already no picnic even before these changes. You should see the security procedures in other countries if you want to know what a free country looks like. Here they only talk about freedom, but God forbid you should actually exercise it. Here they claim the people are sovereign, but even the lowliest government employee treats you like a subject.

    November 23, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  8. nancy

    Well, I'm a 60 year old female. And is someone wants to get their rocks off looking at my body Exray ~~ have at it. I would rather be safe in the air!!!

    November 23, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  9. Susan

    I just wanted to share with you a story that I think you will find amusing concerning the new TSA actions. I have been a Fly Clear membler for quite some time and was so excited to see it come back. I was flying from Orlando to Knoxville on Friday 11/12/10 and used the newly reinsated CLEAR line. So it is obvious I have had the background check, fingerprints,etc. not only did I have CLEAR, go thru the body scanner, but was also patted down..TWICE!!! Yes, TWICE by the SAME person, as well as my skin swabbed to explosives..and of course my carry on completely taken apart and swabbed. So.Though I did NOTrefuse the body scan AND had CLEAR, I still had to endure the invasive pat down. and I stress TWICE! I have never felt so violated in my whole life. This process took about 10 minutes. I was treated like a criminal. They were not friendly at all. I fly alot with my business,and this was by far the most the most unpleasant flying experience I have ever had. They have taken it too far! Come on, really?

    November 23, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  10. ronvan

    WE are so confused that we do not know what we want. We demand protection then complain about measures put in place! So now lets all protest at airports!? Sure why not make things worse! On the other hand SOME TSA employees are idiots and THINK they can do anything and defend themselves by saying they are "protecting" us!
    Give me a break! TSA patting down, touching, a young boy or girl in ANY OTHER situation would have the CPS all over you! This latest incident with the man and his yourostomy bag is just another example of untrained, uninformed, uncareing, "I have the power" employees that could care less!

    November 23, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  11. John WV

    How is it that we Americans think we can slaughter civilians, soldiers and about anyone else in their own homelands and not suffer retaliation in our homeland? Justification for our continuing adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan is doubtful at best. With Israel, we are enabling slaughter for ethnic cleansing, racial, religious and territorial conquest in violation of UN Resolutions. Yes, people out there want to kill us and will go about it however they can. Do you blame them?

    November 23, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  12. jim

    Reality Check! The terrorists have won a battle. America is living in fear. Fear of being killed, fear of radiation, fear of the person patting them down, fear of being touched. Fear makes people do things they do not want to do. America, the world, is in a war that will never end. The terrorists have nothing to lose, and want nothing but to kill all who do not believe as they do. They will never change, and they teach their sons and daughters to hate. The war might end when all the sons and daughters kill all the sons and daughters on the other side. Reality Check! What a shame that some people live in fear, and some live with so much hate. Fear can kill and hate can destroy.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  13. Peter

    I have traveled 10 times in the last year and been patted down twice and gone through scanner 4 times. I travel mainly through Boston, Chicago, Philly, and Raleigh-Durham. So out of 20 TSA interactions I have had 10% of the time had my junk touched and 20% of the time had spooky naked pictures taken of me.

    I don't know if this guy is a liar or just math ignorant. It may be a minority of the people who only take 1 trip but it will eventually be everyone if you take enough trips.

    This is also where these poles a lying. They are not polling the traveling public and what do poles have to do with real security anyway?

    November 23, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  14. Joy

    From what I've seen, actual travelers have little or no problem with the scanning. Most of the noise seems to be coming from people who don't travel much by air, anyway. This may be because quite a few world travelers have experienced far firmer and more "gropey" pat downs elsewhere in the world, where they've been standard for years. Nobody enjoys them, but when you're in a country such as the Philippines, India, or Indonesia–all democracies, by the way–you notice that there are terrorist attacks on hotels, nightclubs and malls, but no recent activity on airplanes. That, alone, is a good enough reason to put up with being grabbed hard by the bored-faced matrons who do the female screening. It's no more personal than a mammogram.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  15. Kevin

    In the aftermath of September 11 the world has changed. The days walking into the airport minutes before the flight are likely gone forever. Further while inconvenient this is for our benefit. While intrusions into our person are protected in this country it should not be at the risk of everyone else. For those that do not wish the security checks stay home, drive, hitchhike. You are the same ones who said "how did this happen" when aircraft were hijacked. In a time where people wish to do harm to make a statement I feel a little unpleasantness in the name of a secure and safe flight is more important. Don't like it don't fly. I fly quite a bit and could use the extra room.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  16. Bob

    If the other airports are just as secure or safe (as she stated) then why do we need the scanners.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:02 am |