Ask…

Share your views on hot topics

Are new security screenings affecting your decision to fly?

November 12, 2010

Stepped-up security screening at airports in the wake of foiled terrorism plots has provoked an outcry from airline pilots and travelers, including parents of children who say they are too intrusive.

Industry officials, travelers and pilots have complained bitterly to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about new full-body scanners and more rigorous patdown checks begun recent weeks.

Security officials have defended the measures as necessary after foiled plots by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has tried to hide bombs in clothing and parcels that have made it aboard a U.S. passenger airliner and two cargo planes.

With the busiest holiday travel season nearing, fliers face long security lines and new rigorous patdown checks aimed at discovering hidden explosives. As a result, some travelers are questioning whether to fly at all.

Are you less likely to fly because of stepped-up security procedures such as full-body scans and patdowns?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Comments

They want us to submit to their obtrusive security measures so we become complacent with over the top security and loss of privacy.

Posted by Pyroexe05 | Report as abusive
 

I accept the need to make a plane secure to fly, but I do not accept my God given rights being abused. I do not accept having my body exposed to dangerous radiation. I do not accept going through a virtual strip. I do not accept being thoroughly groped and squeezed.

There must be a better solution to the problem of air plane safety than the procedures and machines that are currently used. Until then I will not be flying.

I urge anyone who values their rights and freedom to discontinue flying.

Posted by MikeFromTheUK | Report as abusive
 

I am old enough to remember when flying was fun, an adventure that I eagerly looked forward to. There were no security checks, no pat downs, no shoe searches, no databases, nothing but check-in and go to find your seat. Many of the flights weren’t even full! And the service was grand. Now I absolutely dread it. I avoid it whenever possible. On flights of less than 500 miles I always drive. It takes about the same amount of time when you factor in getting to the airport, arriving at least an hour early, the inevitable delays, waiting to land, then the long lines on the other end. I will only fly if I have to fly transcontinental or overseas. And now I have to put up with a virtual strip search? No way.

Posted by IntoTheTardis | Report as abusive
 

Unless I have to travel farther than a six hour drive, I will drive. Nowadays, I have to show up two hours early, stand in a 45 minute line, submit to a groping, not bring my regular shaving kit, wait for hours in uncomfortable chairs until the plane leaves. Then I sit in a tiny, cramped seat with no leg room, pay extra to check any baggage, and then walk another 2 miles once the plane lands to get to the ground transport. I only fly any more when I absolutely have to (probably 12 times a year). Guess what, the terrorists won.

Posted by travellinman | Report as abusive
 

It seems like I get to choose between have naked images of myself displayed to strangers (with untested radiation to boot), or being sexually molested.

Even worse is that I have to choose which if these I want for my children. How is this even remotely acceptable?

Posted by Ojai | Report as abusive
 

The TSA is a permanent memorial to the fact that the terrorists have been more effective at changing our country than we have in changing them.

Posted by JahfreFireEater | Report as abusive
 

I will be driving 4,000 miles round trip from Dallas to Reno, NV to avoid these screening techniques. I’m also a million mile flyer on American Airlines, and have written their corporate leadership to inform them that these techniques have resulted in my moving from a 90% travel job to a 0% travel job.

Posted by cheez0r | Report as abusive
 

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Benjamin Franklin

Posted by ReutersAccount | Report as abusive
 

Actually, this additional assault on the 4th ammendment will have zero impact on me. I said “ENOUGH!” 5yrs ago and will not fly again. I think you’ll find more people taking a seige mentallity as we sink deeper into the police state. As a Vietnam veteran and patriot, I see this for what it is.

Posted by robertsgt40 | Report as abusive
 

I’m glad people are finally waking up and taking action by deciding NOT to fly. Perhaps the airline pilot and flight attendant unions will be emboldened to take a job action regarding this issue.
Now, how about our court system? What will it take to get the TSA out of our courts? Has anyone undergone a virtual strip search and/or molestation when reporting for JURY DUTY? Wouldn’t it be nice if the JURY POOL was riled up enough to arrive at the courthouse but then REFUSE to go inside and be body scanned and groped? Can you imagine the pandemonium that would ensue if ALL the jurors reporting that day did this? What a concept!

Posted by Furbaby | Report as abusive
 

considering the fact that these new and enhanced proceedures were introduced AFTER foiled attachs, it makes them absolutely redundant.Nothing more than harrasment and terrorizing our own citizens….yet the ones in question do not get searched because of political correctness…Everybody needs to start speaking up and refusing these proceedures, they are uncalled for and they will not help them detect anything they couldn’t have found with the old method…I intend to yell “opt-out” loud enough myself…and I will, with all due respect of course, politely try to shame them…I have small breasts and I will loudly ask if they really look like they had any implants….maybe I get a chuckle out of one or two…but if they willmake me miss my flight because of it, I will contact my lawyer…enough is enough..

Posted by miss_Maria70207 | Report as abusive
 

I think it wouldn’t be so much of an issue if people actually had any faith in the usefulness of TSA procedures to provide any kind of real security. Taking our shoes off and putting liquids in slightly smaller containers sure is providing some real security. The reality is that people know that the TSA and 95% of what they do is a worthless waste of time and money.

Posted by oneof11steves | Report as abusive
 

I have up on commercial flying some years ago. When the TSA advised me to arrive 2 hours prior to departure, I couldn’t take my can of coke with me, had to take off my shoes, I started adding the costs.
Drive to airport: 45 min.
Arrive 2 hours early.
Fly 1 hour to destination.
Find my baggage (usually) 45 min.
Rent car and drive 45 min. to meeting. Total: 6 hours.

Now, call up the local airport charter company and tell them my schedule. I and my associates arrive at the airport 5 minutes early, carry our baggage to airplane, climb in, and we fly 1 hour 15 minutes to destination, drive 5 minutes to meeting from the much closer downtown airport. When we are ready to go home (early or late, whatever it is), we return to the airport and fly home. Figure half the time in transit, arrive home refreshed, and the cost is not much more than a pair of business class tickets, airport parking and whatnot.

Posted by subs99 | Report as abusive
 

This is bad enough for the average American but as a sexual abuse survivor it’s doubly hard for me. My choices are to let a stranger ogle me essentially naked or be groped by said stranger. Either way it’s traumatizing for me and I’ll skip flying all together thanks.

Posted by BlessedBlogger | Report as abusive
 

“It is a necessary procedure to ensure terror plots are thwarted”
What a pack of propaganda…
TSA has never caught a terrorist.

Most bulk packaging sent in the bottom of planes is not searched, so what is the point of turning passengers into imaginary terrorists?
Nope, no flying for me unless someone in the family dies.
If I want foreplay, I have my hunny!

Posted by rayjo | Report as abusive
 

This poll is really asking really skewed questions. Sure, the ‘yes’ makes sense, but the ‘no’? I will probably not let the changes affect my travel plans and while flying may not be as fun as it once was, I think we know just how out of hand these security procedures are getting.

So, no, it won’t change my plans, but yes I think the idea is ridiculous. I think if you put a cruise line in charge of finding dangerous items in the same vein they find liquor we might just be okay.

Posted by toturi | Report as abusive
 

Where’s the fourth option of “No – But it is NOT a necessary procedure to ensure terror plots are thwarted?”

Posted by mikelykzit | Report as abusive
 

My choices, should I choose to fly, are to be digitally strip searched (with machines that have been PROVEN to be storing images) or to be sexually assaulted by a TSA agent.

No thank you. Here’s hoping that the airlines survive this latest round of TSA idiocy (along with the toner ban, the liquid ban, the shoe ban, and everything else that the TSA has done in the way of intrusive security theater).

Posted by Ceronomus | Report as abusive
 

I hope that every single person flying this holiday season clearly ‘opts out’ of the naked scanners, requests a private pat-down with a witness who is videotaping the pat down, and clearly states to the TSA Agent that they are violating your constitutional right (per 4th Amendment of freedom from search with out PROBABLE CAUSE that you are guilty of A CRIME THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN COMMIITTED. These ARE Government employee’s (ie ‘the government’ is searching you), the airports are tax-paid-for public places, and the airline companies (not really at fault here, their employee’s are protesting too) are public companies, and yes, you DO have a ‘right’ to fly, as you are a ‘free person’ in America. I’m waiting to read results of the Fatwa against the screenings, days ahead of the Haj. If muslims can opt out, the rest of us should DAMN WELL be able to without undergoing a sexual assault. For those who may not have witnessed this, or think it’s not a big deal, just check out the TSA’s own video’s by searching on youtube “TSA scanner” there are shocking videos’ including a heartbreaking one of a 3 year old little girl just screaming while being molested by a TSA agent…..OPT OUT! Get a Witness and VIDEOTAPE the pat down.

Posted by freelisa_2000 | Report as abusive
 

I won’t be flying until something changes – hopefully the outright disbanding of the TSA. If I “have” to go overseas, I’ll fly out of Canada, where they seem to have retain their sanity about this. For now.

Posted by flatfive | Report as abusive
 

Ever since I was a kid I loved flying. Anytime my family and I took a trip I think I looked forward to the journey way more than the destination. Even now I love the act of flying itself, regardless of the cramped seats, the loss of amenities and the delays.

That being said, these latest TSA policies have finally pushed me to the breaking point. This type of security theater has been shown over and over again to have no real bearing on security whatsoever; despite that I am to the point where I simply don’t want to sacrifice my dignity to save a few hours/dollars to get where I need to go. To my great sadness I will not fly again until these ridiculous policies are done away with.

Posted by timjump | Report as abusive
 

Now, I voted “Undecided” but thats not really true. These security measures won’t keep me from flying, but I don’t think they are “a necessary procedure to ensure terror plots are thwarted”. I believe they are ineffective, expensive, and possibly damaging to your health. I will most likely request a pat-down, as I am often singled out for “random” extra checks. I’m a mid-20s female, and I often travel alone. I don’t like the idea of subjecting myself to the levels of x-radiation the backscatter machines put out.

It would be nice if we had a 4th choice in this poll. “No- but not because i don’t disagree with the system. I just don’t have to let it effect my life so completely.”

Posted by seanmharcailin | Report as abusive
 

I am currently faced with many overseas trips next year for work. I am terrified of going! If I get detained and can’t board this will affect my *work*. This is unacceptable.

Posted by julzerator | Report as abusive
 

The insanity of “security theater” has reached the breaking point for me. The only hope I see of reversing the trend is to avoid air travel so throughly that the airlines take a stand and push back on invasive, unproven, and de-humanizing security procedures.

Posted by StripSearched | Report as abusive
 

Scientific health reasons why people should Opt-Out of going through unproven full body scanners http://bit.ly/ci3M7m

Doctors, incl Nobel Laureate, letter request TSA cease using & independent eval of full body scanners http://n.pr/bKGCKx

Posted by Mauibrad | Report as abusive
 

there really ought to be a fourth option. I can’t avoid flying, but my response is NOT “No – It is a necessary procedure to ensure terror plots are thwarted.”
It is NOT necessary!

Posted by xcassx | Report as abusive
 

I have already changed my plans for travel this year, and also rearranged my holiday schedules as a result of the TSA procedures. I will not be subjected to radiation at these levels, and my wife, whose employment involves radiology, refuses to be irradiated at these levels. Since our only other alternative to be permitted to fly would be to allow ourselves to be subjected to what amounts to an assault, we choose not to fly.

In a way this is sad, the airlines will be the ones who pay for this policy by lost flyers, and lost profits.

Posted by PelfLucre | Report as abusive
 

I will certainly avoid flying on holiday in the future – the idea of my children’s naked images being recorded by airport security staff is more than I can stand. Who knows in what perverted ways these might be used.

Sadly, though, this means that the terrorists are winning. They are forcing us to change our lifestyles.

Posted by Affront | Report as abusive
 

I have plans to go to Macau soon and am already looking into plans to travel by boat. I don’t care if it takes a week to get there. my wife and I won’t subject ourselves to this. might as well take a cruise and enjoy every bit of it.

Posted by rhizome | Report as abusive
 

I’m from Australia, the US would be a great place to visit. I’d rather go anywhere else with these stories I’m hearing.

Posted by MichaelBrisbane | Report as abusive
 

The next time I fly – I will opt out again. This time I will ask the name of the TSA agent who will try to assault me and inform him that I will sue him personally if he proceeds.

Posted by naizer | Report as abusive
 

Since I do not want to punch some TSA sicko I do not fly any more. I used to fly 2 or 3 times per month. No anymore.

The full body scans are a new stupidity during this presidency. These are new machines that also produce radiation.

A respected socialist will never condone the humiliation of the population that is taking place at the airports.

The way they touch women, little boys and girls SICK very SICK SICK …TSA=pedophiles wet dream job.

We are so tired of this OBAMA government. I am a democrat that voted all Republican this time. Counting the days to see these guys gone!! He has damaged the Democratic social agenda so bad !!!

We stopped flying. TSA is just a bunch of sickos and the OBAMA government does nothing. They are so off to the needs of people.

They are setting us in a very difficult and embarrassing situation.
So I do not fly anymore.
1 – No body scanners.
2 – No touching of body parts.
3 – Big apology from OBAMA
At that time I may consider flying again.
I am a democrat that voted all Republican this time. You want my vote you better listen.
I have already e-mailed my future governor and my future senator about this aberration going on.
Have a look at this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJGvsAgpf ig

Posted by Riquin | Report as abusive
 

Already affected my decision. I have now stopped flying, period. Sad, as I was getting my free flight on the next one, but I will not subject myself, much, much less my wife, to such crass behavior touted as ‘safety.’ Bye.

Posted by craigmela | Report as abusive
 

I have not flown since my daughter and I were frisked when she was in diapers held to my chest with one arm while they searched the other. Then I switched arms and they did it again. My daughter is now 8 years old.

Posted by KenBrodeur | Report as abusive
 

This is a bogus poll.

No I am not going to change my place. But, No, this is not because I believe the procedures are needed for national security.

Is this a fox owned organization?

Posted by mpechner | Report as abusive
 

TSA procedures are patently un-American and the responsible parties, in and out of government 9such as the lobbyists who pushed sale of the screening equipment, etc.) should be arrested. They won’t be, so I won’t fly. Period.

Posted by ssgconway | Report as abusive
 

I am a victim of sexual assault. The court date for the trail has yet to be set yet. I am still afraid to leave the house on most days. My husband wanted to take the family on a ski vacation prior to the trial so we could relax and have some sense of normalcy before the trial commences but don’t believe I would be able to get through the security checkpoint for I will not submit to either a scan or a search. No one can touch me. I attended my grandmother’s funeral this weekend and couldn’t even be hugged by my closest relatives without horrible flashbacks. The idea of submitting to this physical or virtual search is like being assaulted all over again. It is sad that my family has to miss out on a vacation because of this policy.

Posted by runDMC | Report as abusive
 

I bought a plane ticket right before this went into effect. I have been flying twice a month and opted for a pat down once instead of placing my body in the human microwave. These new procedures were not in effect then. I don’t have much choice on this flight but i will have choices on future flights. Either this stops or I won’t fly.

Posted by NotSheeple | Report as abusive
 

Notice the lack of outrage from the media and the libs now that zero is President?

Posted by KansasGirl | Report as abusive
 

The TSA has crossed the Rubicon. There are no reforms that can redeem what has become such an evil institution. The TSA must be abolished, and airlines must be allowed to set their own security screening procedures. As the brave John Tyner rightly points out, virtually all acts of terrorism in the air, since Flight 93, have been foiled by passengers, not by the TSA. At a certain point, we have to accept that someone absolutely determined to carry out a terrorist attack will find a way to get through security, and it will be up to courageous, ordinary citizens to stop it.

Posted by josiahschmidt | Report as abusive
 

I am a citizen, not a subject, I do not allow myself to be groped by people who work for me, nor do I give up my creator granted rights to be free from unreasonable searches.

They need to come up with another way, molesting children is not a long term winning strategy.

I will simply not fly, I do often, but I Will choose to change my habits.

I refuse to give up even a modicum of my freedom for perceived (not even actual) security.

Posted by wmarcy | Report as abusive
 

Amtrak!

Posted by ClydeAdoinen | Report as abusive
 

We will not be flying till these scanners and pat downs are removed. This month we will drive 8 hours to avoid airlines, and in 6 months (if the scanners/frisking do not disappear) we will drive over half way across the country (over 1500 miles) there and back to avoid the scanners. If the airlines want my business they need to tell the TSA to back off and get their paws off my kids.

Posted by mamabearCali | Report as abusive
 

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. —Ben Franklin (1775)

Posted by aleesmith | Report as abusive
 

Obama has proven to be so incompetent we can’t trust his judgment. So, if Napolitano says all this is safe, why should we believe her. She also said the borders are safe. These people are simply not credible. Why should I allow a body search based on random selection? I don’t give up my rights to unreasonable searches by flying. There should be levels of screening….if I flunk level one, go to level two, etc. Otherwise, keep your mitts off me and don’t spray me with radiation. Middle eastern men, traveling alone or in groups have been responsible for blowing up innocent people. Grandmas and teenage girls have not been doing that, so leave them alone. This is as dumb as not allowing kids to wear American flag t-shirts because Mexican flag wearers will be insulted. Stupid.

Posted by happydance | Report as abusive
 

TSA – Living, heavy breathing proof that the Terrorists have won.

Posted by ETEE | Report as abusive
 

It is really simple. This is a full declaration of war by our federal government against our Constitution and Bill of Rights – pure and simple, nothing less.

These pat downs are a violation of our 4th Amendment rights, and I do not give a d a ma n what they say, it is illegal.

Most of our present federal government leaders pose and clear and present danger to our Republic and are, by definition, treasonous and Domestic Enemies of the State.

They make a declaration of war against us and our Constitution, then I suggest a few million of us get together and give them what they’re asking for.

Posted by intrepidpatriot | Report as abusive
 

This week we will drive 8 hours each way to avoid the scanners and if they are not gone by April we will be driving for 2.5 days to get to a brothers wedding to avoid these scanners. If the airlines want our business the TSA needs to keep its hands off my little ones and off of me–we will walk through a metal detector and our luggage can be scanned, but we will not be assaulted.

Posted by mamabearCali | Report as abusive
 

How TSA is not protecting you:

When you go through TSA security do they check the validity of the boarding pass? NO! Such as scan the boarding pass it to see if it is real? NO! Take this scenario: Person 1 buys a ticket online and prints out a boarding pass at home. Person 1 is run up against a no fly list. Then an accomplice, Person 2, with home computer, some software and a printer makes up a fake boarding pass with their name on it. Person 1 checks in at the airport or online and gives Person 2 their boarding pass. Person 2 heads to TSA security, presents the fake boarding pass with valid ID. Boarding pass name is check to ID which is checked to the person presenting the ID. The fake boarding pass is never checked to see if it is valid and the name of Person 2 is never checked against the no fly list. Person 2 proceeds through security, tosses the fake boarding pass and boards the plane using Person 1 boarding pass.

Everyone feel safe now?

Posted by JamesinAZ | Report as abusive
 

I know of too many medical people over exposed to effects of xray even with lead vests and now have some kind of cancer…..let alone being bombarded everytime I fly. The TSA people should be concerned also. This stuff is apparently NOT confined to just that area.

These TSA individuals are not psychologically capable to handle this duty of ‘pat down’ or ‘screening’. They have enormous ego power issues as it is without adding this. I have had enough. I guess if I have to fly ….I will charter a small plane. UGH!

Posted by zucccchini | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •