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Travelers React to Body Scanners at Airport

News

POSTED: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 5:50pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 9:26pm

The lines seem to be getting longer at the airport. The summer travel season is one reason why, but the recently-installed full-body scanners could be another.

The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, won't comment on whether the scanners are making lines at the airport longer - but the scanners are making waves.

We followed four travelers to see how they feel about the so-called "advanced imaging technology."

George Drake, from El Paso, is a frequent flier. He said going through security every time he wants to board a plane is a bit of a pain.

"I think taking shoes off and all that, I think it's all a little overkill," Drake said.

David Rasura, from New York City, is surprised at the slow pace.

"Theres two X-ray machines like usual, but there's only one body scanner," Rasura said. "So it feels like it'll take a little longer."

"I'm for anything that helps keep passengers safe," said Sue Ellen McIntire of El Paso. She doesn't travel often, but she's learned a lot from trips she's taken.

"In the long run, you just have to leave home a little sooner," McIntire said.

Caiti Steele, from Las Cruces, agrees that with these added security measures, if she's in a rush, she's in trouble.

"It was a bit annoying because at that time I was running a bit late," Steele said.

We asked TSA how the scanners fit in their vision of security here. They said the scanners will soon be the main method of screening and gave us this statement:

"While there is no silver bullet technology, Advanced Imaging Technology adds another important layer of security to protect passengers. Imaging technology safely screens travelers for metallic and non-metallic threats, including weapons and explosives, without physical contact. To protect passenger privacy, the blurred images are viewed and then deleted by a TSA officer in a remote location. In addition, the images viewed at airports cannot be stored, transmitted or printed.
The use of this technology is optional for all passengers. Those who opt out may request alternative screening, which will include a physical pat-down. More than 98 percent of travelers preferred imaging technology screening over a pat-down during the pilot program."

Since the scanning is optional - you can opt-out and get a pat-down instead - we asked the travelers if the imaging made them feel violated.

"Did I feel violated? I don't think so," said Drake.

"I don't think so, not to me," said Rasura.

"Not at all, it doesn't make me nervous at all," McIntire said.

"No, not at all," said Steele.

If a picture can say a thousand words, it can now stop travelers in their tracks.

Comments News Comments

When will you realize Body Scanners are for the protection of you and your loved ones? The person on the other side of the Scanning Monitor will never know who you are, so what are you worried about? I'd much rather go thru these measures and will not have any problem if measures increase, I have nothing to hide and treasure life too much to worry about what the anonymous person on the other side of the camera is looking at. Aren't you worried about the person next to you? Wake-up people!!!!

Really?? Your protection??? Some idiot are still going to give a "student visa" to a terrorist & we are back at 9/11!! How would exposing me to radiation "protect me"!!? It's all smoke & mirrors & DEFINATELY not protecting us!!! First no shampoo, now exposure to radiation!? What is next? Cavity search!???

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