Are You A Passenger Or A Criminal?

Cavity search, biometric data, pat-down, body screening. What is next? A regular passenger is checked more often than an average criminal in jail. Is it really necessary?

As CNN reported yesterday (April 16), two majos US airports – Los Angeles LAX and New York JFK – will start to use body screening machines. The machines had been tested in Phoenix, Arizona and apparently it proved to be useful as more passenegrs chose to go through the body screener than having a pat-down.

When I read this part of the article, I was really surprised. I am not pleased by a pat-down, still I would prefer it to a body screening machine, where all bits of my body could be seen for a complete stranger. May be it just my “feminist aggression” that says: no, I have the right to decide who can see my body.

Then I kept on reading and I understood it:

Travelers will continuously and randomly be selected to go through the machine. While signs will inform them of the pat-down option, screeners will not announce that choice. But passengers electing not to go through the millimeter wave machine will be given the option of the pat-down.

You have the right, you just won’t be informed about it. Now that is nice, isn’t it? Bad news for passengers departing from the US is that TSA is planning to buy 30 more machines. Once a business is blossoming…

Body screeningI understand it, that they just want to protect us, regular travellers from being blown up on a passenger jet and I agree that airline safety is first priority for them, but is it really necessary? Is there anything on earth that this wil show on a human body and those beeping gates do not filter out? Is it still about safety?

Basically it has become a nightmare to fly in or out of the US. Hours of queues at the immigration when travelling in including fingerprint and eye check and now body screening when travelling out. Why is it much more simple in the EU?

(photo by USA Today)
By Szafi

6 Responses to “Are You A Passenger Or A Criminal?”

  1. 1 anonymus April 21, 2008 at 3:38 am

    so you want a pat down, don’t you? :)))

  2. 2 szafi April 21, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Yeah. Wanna do it yourself? 😉

  3. 3 achraf April 24, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    i think that what most of people ignore is that those maching and these pat-down agents are paid by the passengers .if you refer to your travel agent he will surely explain you that more than 10 percent of the fare is SECURITY TAXE .
    Next time while going through a new machine or being checked by a pat-down agent at the airport ,be proud of your investissement because it s simply the fruit of the money you pay to the airlines and handed to the authority to be converted to machines and agents to provoke you .

    the only solution : pray not to be elected before you fly.
    Finally ,You get only what you pay for .
    Have a pat-down flight .

  4. 4 Pfm1011 April 29, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Get a grip

    What harm is a quick scan to ensure your a not a psycho wanting to meet Allah. If they can speed up the security, Im all for it. The security at Airports is not invasive, it just too damn slow. If they can speed this up to a simple walk thru..go for it

    They arent considering you a criminal, Its the guy beside you who may be.

  5. 5 nelsonde May 7, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Yea, there’s plenty that can get through a walk-through. Plastics and ceramics don’t set off a “metal” detector. People can easily hide these on their bodies, where a pat-down doesn’t go. I value my privacy too, but the pat-down required to ensure these items stay off aircraft would be alot more invasive. I prefer to limit who can see my body too, but I must admit I’m more restrictive about who’s touching it.

  6. 6 Annneocy August 15, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Really interesting topic going on here…Thanks alot for this usefull information really learnt alot from it and a good contribution by you on the web. Keep it up with good blogs like this.

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