What TSA's New 'Intimate' Pat-downs Will Mean for Travelers

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What TSA's New 'Intimate' Pat-downs Will Mean for Travelers

Bloomberg estimates that almost 2 million people daily are screened by the TSA prior to flying, and while there are no statistics kept on those passengers who are subject to pat downs, it is safe to say that the physical touching is by far the most loathed part of airport security, and this new measure is sure to stir up contention. The physical search, for those selected to have one, is what the agency described as a more "comprehensive" screening, replacing five separate kinds of pat-downs it previously used. The Transportation Security Authority announced new screening procedures it says will be more effective at finding potential threats. A pat-down can involve the "inspection of the head, neck, arms, torso, legs and feet" as well as "head coverings and sensitive areas such as the breasts, groin and the buttocks", according to the TSA website. The TSA conducts all pat-downs with an officer of the same sex, and allows for a passenger to request a private area for the screening and to have a witness.

The 2015 report was released to the public after the Department of Homeland Security conducted secret tests to see if "red teams" could get weapons and firearms through TSA checkpoints without detection.

But it isn't clear just how invasive the new procedure might be. The TSA has told SmarterTravel that its agents learned the new "Universal Pat Down" in instructor-led classes.

Security screenings at the airport might take a little bit longer.

The Transportation Security Administration has implemented new procedures to keep traveler's safe this Spring Break, but it's already being faced with negative reaction. "But TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow up pat-down", ABC's Pierre Thomas reported.

The next time you fly out of a USA airport, you could be under more scrutiny, all in the name of safety.

Bruce Anderson, a spokesman for the TSA, told Bloomberg that travelers who have gotten a pat-down in the past that wasn't involved will notice that the new pat-down is "more involved". Passengers may also receive a pat-down as part of our unpredictable security measures. Airport employees may also be subject to additional, random screenings.

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