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Readers Respond: Will You Walk Through a Full Body Imaging Scanner At an Airport?

Responses: 73


Of all the indignities imposed on travelers since 9-11, the TSA backscatter machines (the full body imaging scanners, or full body xray machines) at airports may be the worst: the least dignified and most invasive and controversial. Passengers do have a choice: you can refuse to walk through a full body imaging machine at an airport and receive a full body patdown instead. What will you do? What do you think of the machines? Do they truly make you safer, or invade your privacy too much? (If you've opted out and had a TSA patdown, comment here instead.) Tell all below: no need to (really) register or log in... Comments on Xray Scanners

of course

Why not? I'm really not that uncomfortable with my body. Its a stranger, doing their job, that you are never going to see again. The radiation is so low and you walk through. Its not like you're standing there for five minutes while the entirety of airport security gawks at your junk.
—Guest reallly

No, I don't believe it is safe

As a natural medicine physician, I have done enough research on this to believe that it is not safe. It also has never been tested for safety. I recommend to everyone to opt out; that will put more pressure on the airports to adopt safe technology- which already exists.
—Guest Dr. John

officer asking about what o do in US?

I'm a US citizen, and the officer in Miami airport asking about what to do in US? what type of work have in US? asking about my money? asking about my business card? asking about how much money is my profit in my business? it is Legal?
—Guest olidel

opt out

I opt out. I would rather get the pat down than dangerous radiation.
—Guest Anne

Xray preferred

I have a metal knee so I must have either an x-ray or the pat down...if I want to fly. Having done both, my choice is the much less personal x-ray. After 9/11, safety is the priority, and the scans or pat down are only an inconvenience.
—Guest heyjay


I flew here in Long Island, NY from Chicago for my nephew's christening. I was asked for a full body scan back in Chicago in Thursday and was asked again, wtf!, earlier here in ISP. I am a very petite, dark Asian, wearing maxi dress (both times), with sandals, so where the hell do they think I have the weapons hidden?! Like really? My friend told me that perhaps people here in the US, where I've lived for several years now, think that I am from one of those Arab countries. So she just implied that TSA/Goverment are using this machine for racial profiling. Thoughts? And how harmful is this scanner for my health? If I get sick can I sue the TSA for scanning all the time I fly? Twice in one week for crying out loud! Average of 4 in one year!!! I am so annoyed right now on top of my flight being delayed! Who can I sue for this kind of discrimination? I have nothing against keeping this country safe. But where do we draw the line between our safety versus violation of our rights?
—Guest guestfromChicago


Absolutely not. So easily we sell our freedom for a false send of security. Sheep! We are sheep. I opt out each time and, as they are patting me down I discuss the history of freedom and how we are losing it inch by inch.
—Guest Bca

Skipping scanner

No. I always skip the scanners and go for the patdown. My dermatologist said the rays from the scanners are not controlled, machines are not run by skilled staff, and in general it is always bad for skin. I fly a bunch. Always say no to the scanners and have to wait. I am a 62 year old white female US citizen. Last time I was in Newark, I said no, and while I waited for the hand search, the line behind the scanners got long so they just opened up the line and let about 70 people through without anything!!! I had to wait. Generally I figure there is no health risk to getting patted down (ask for new gloves) and although embarrassing I don't think anyone looks anyway as they are all head down trying to get through themselves. The staff on the patdowns are generally rude, probably because it is extra work. The process is different at every airport. One airport makes you lift up your shirt and expose your body, which I found out was NOT allowed, but they continue to do it.
—Guest GinnyR

Metal in my head?!

Hapd to go through one recently and it came up that there was metal on my head! I didnt have any metal hair clips or ties in my hair so obviously this system isnt accurate.. Or I must have been in a freak accident in the last 18 years of my life to cause metal to get in my head. Honestly. Travelling, especially through security, causes enough anxiety without the extra scans.. Its not fair to be put through more stress than needed. Im also now sat here wondering what could possibly cause metal to be in my head!
—Guest Vienna


—Guest KELLY

wasn't informed!!

I just went thru Denver and wasn't informed about the x-rays..they just pointed the way to go and gave no-one a choice!! I m pissed..I've had so many medical x-rays in the past 2 years and would have never submitted to the x-rays at the airport!!
—Guest lilli moss

Violated&humiliated in Eugene-Merry Xmas

Not told what this scanner was - thought it was regular airport X-ray Not given option to opt out and have pat down Was made to walk through scanner AND pat down Not given any reason as to why Told had more than four hotspots (could be ties on my sweater was told) and have to have pat down. I was subjected to a violating, invasive and humiliating experience that was also very possibly a severe health risk due to the radiation I was exposed to and not made aware of beforehand. Thanks tsa for making my holiday trip a horrible experience.
—Guest J

No Opt Out

I was told to submit the FB Scanner and afterward was forced to undergo an enhanced pat down at Won Pat International Airport on Guam. No opt out was accepted.
—Guest Bill Henderson

Dehumanizing and Disgusting

Both the body scanners and the pat-downs are beyond defiling, de-humanizing and immoral. I can hardly find words to describe my disgust. This can only have a damaging de-sensitizing effect on our population and the dignity of human existence. I am loath to walk through a radiation producing picture-porn machine and there is NO WAY I am letting someone grope my body or my kids' bodies. This has got to stop. I do not take a plane to visit family anymore and I will not if it is at all in my power to avoid it. YOU ARE LOOSING REVENUE and damaging the humanity of millions of Americans. STOP NOW!!!!!!
—Guest Are You Listening TSA?

Full Body Imaging at Miami International

I was at Miami International airport and the TSA employee ( a women ) lied to me saying the scanner at the airport wasn't an x ray machine. She said to me that was Ultrasound equipment. I feel that my rights as US Citizen wasn't respected and were violated because I am against to go thru those machines. Those employees lie with the intention of defer hand check up to travelers. They are dishonest with the people. I will consult this scenario with an expert attorney for further management of this case. Those are x rays machines that can produce cancer in certain persons of the population.
—Guest Dr. Rodrigo

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Will You Walk Through a Full Body Imaging Scanner At an Airport?

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