Scanners and Pat-Downs Become the Norm at Airports - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Scanners and Pat-Downs Become the Norm at Airports

Millions of Americans will be traveling next week in one of the busiest times of the year, and many air travelers are concerned about their privacy.

Airport officials are stepping up their safety measures and that includes a full-body scan and a pat-down.  For the most part Texomans are okay with it, as long as it keeps them safe.

You may have seen the body scanner, you may have even walked through one.  TSA put them in select airports nationwide.  The device produces X-ray vision of your body.

"I think the body scanners, I think that's a little bit of a violation of privacy," said air traveler Jamie Burrelo.

She isn't keen on body scanners but she does say the alternative pat-down is okay with her.

"I think it's a reassurance that no one's going to bring anything on the aircraft," said Burrelo.

"I'd rather have them doing it than not doing it, considering what has made it on the aircraft in the past," said traveler Roby Potts.

Not everybody likes a stranger patting them down.  Take John Tyner, he recorded a TSA official
searching him in the San Diego airport.  It made national attention when he outcried these famous words, "don't touch my junk."  Tyner never boarded the flight.

"If it makes getting through security twice as long then at some point I have to ask, is it worth it? asked Bob Skomars.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says yes.

"We're not doing it just to do it.  We need to keep powders and gels and liquids off planes that are unauthorized," said Napolitano.

No matter where you're traveling this holiday season you're bound to see a scanner and you only have two choices, go through it or get a pat down.  If you choose neither TSA says you're not boarding the flight.

Wednesday Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison asked TSA officials to work to improve the passenger screening process to be less invasive.

AAA predicts that most Americans will be traveling by car next week.  They also expect an 11.4 percent increase from last year with approximately 42 million travelers.

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