Nearly two million travelers go through the screening process at the nation's airports every day. Traveler John McGrail thinks his earplugs are what led TSA agents to single him out for a pat-down. And now at airports nationwide, there are big changes in how that's done.
Some critics call it "legalized groping"/That may be a bit strong but the new full body pat downs will be invasive. pic.twitter.com/iRo1EDistc— carolyn tyler (@ctylerabc7) March 7, 2017
The old policy gave agents discretion to use 1 of 5 methods for patting down various areas of the body. No new areas have been added, but now there is one standardized procedure that is more comprehensive. McGrail called it inappropriate.
"Pat your front, pull your pants up," he said. "Check your leg, check your groin."
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Most travelers will still go through the screening machines, but for those who opt out of that technology or are pulled aside by TSA, it can be intense. Christina Lindstrom tells us her pat-down was not out of bounds; but if it had been, she would have left.
"I would not get on the plane if someone violated my personal space to a point where it made me uncomfortable," she said.
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The new policy comes two years after a damaging report found major security lapses at airports nationwide. In a statement, the Transportation Security Administration said: "The TSA continues to adjust and refine our systems and procedures to meet the evolving threat and to achieve the highest levels of transportation security."
The TSA insists the enhanced procedures will not cause delays at security checkpoints.
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