‘Full pat-down’ set for passengers who refuse electronic screening
Airport passengers who opt out of electronic screening will face a full pat-down by security officials as the Transportation Security Administration consolidates methods in use at its checkpoints.
The pat-down may include sensitive areas such as breasts, buttocks and the groin area.
Until last week, TSA screeners could employ any of five pat-down procedures to check the few passengers who chose not to go through a millimeter wave imaging booth or walk-through metal detectors.
Now all passengers will receive the same pat-down, the one previously known as the “full pat down.”
The TSA, in a statement, said that a full pat-down “does not involve any different areas of the body than were screened in the previous standard pat-down procedure.”
The new guidelines posted on the TSA website are much more explicit about what passengers should expect: “A pat-down may include inspection of the head, neck, arms, torso, legs, and feet. This includes head coverings and sensitive areas such as breasts, groin, and the buttocks. You may be required to adjust clothing during the pat-down. Pat-downs require sufficient pressure to ensure detection.”
The guidelines say that a pat-down will be conducted by someone of the same gender as the passenger and will be witnessed by a second TSA screener of the same gender.