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

Responses: 57

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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...

Better way to detect bombs, etc.

Why didn't we emulate the methods of those countries, such as Israel, that use the most effective methods to check people for bombs and illegal substances, since they must watch closely for terrorists? These countries use DOGS! I read online that the reason the USA uses scanners is because V.P. Chaney pushed for them since he had ties with the company that makes them! He profitted greatly from their use!
—Guest songbird100

Just no

This is a terrible invasion of privacy, and I'm hearing the pat-downs are more aggressive?? They were bad enough when I had to go through them the once. And yes maybe I'm biased from my past, but...god. This is bullshit. We shouldn't have to suffer this. Not everyone has a car, and I guess you could do a train ride (aren't they super expensive? at the very least they take weeks or something to go across the US) but seriously. It's bad enough that tickets are expensive and almost never non-stop and etc, but now we have to have someone see us naked or grope us all over? Fuck that.
—Guest Caitlyn

skin cancer

Family history of melanoma skin cancer- I will not go through government issued x-ray. Will not fly till they end invasive scanners and pat downs. There are better methods- there must be a balance with security and keeping our civil liberty.
—Guest PJ

skin cancer

Family history of melanoma skin cancer- I will not go through government issued x-ray. Will not fly till they end invasive scanners and pat downs. There are better methods- there must be a balance with security and keeping our civil liberty.
—Guest PJ

Lobbyists made this indignity happen

Really, we should be getting fed up with the conditions we suffer whilst traveling. Lobbyists spent millions of dollars getting the senate to pass the bill to implement scanners when the house had overwhelmingly rejected the proposal. And don't get me started on the ACTUALS miniscule odds of being killed by a terrorist attack in the country... not to mention the much less likely possibility that any one individual objecting to being scanned is a terrorist, especially if they are happy to go through the metal detector standing right next to the scanners. Come on America, wake up to what's happening. Ever heard of the Boiling Frog Syndrome?
—Guest fed up

false positive

Recently at Mccarren airport in Las vegas NV I went thru the body scanner. I had a barrette in my hair, my head lit up, so did my left under arm and left knee. I went for a full body search after all these spots lit up. I was able to take my companion in the room with me and two agents. The process was annoying. Every step the agent was to take was expressed twice just get on with it. I had nothing to hide and was given a lame explanation of why the machine lit up my knee and under arm, something about the use of creams I was told.
—Guest pam

Dr. John

I will never go through the scanners, and I will not allow my 4th Amendment Rights to be trampled by the pat down, so I have been denied my right to the pursuit of happiness which allows me to fly. Shame on the Feds! I do not, and will not allow this tyranny to continue. We the people have failed to hold the government accountable. We the people have the right to change our government and we should immediately, Ron Paul is the only one who can take us back to what Jefferson and the framers of the Constitution intended. FYI, I do not fly now. I used to fly 4-6 times a years. Tell me that is not hurting the economy! Shame on those of you who have let your fear of the " boogie men in the middle east" to allow the USA to become a tyranny. I fear the USA government much more than the " supposed terrorists". TSA has never stopped an attack!
—jomcbrid

Then drive...

Statistically 200 persons die in airplane crashes every year in the US, conversely 40,000 persons die in car crashes in a year. Think about it... that means it's 200x more likely you will die in a car than a plane. Think of all the idiots out on the road, late for work, teenagers racing, driving drunk or high. Sure if your plane crashes your chances of survival are slim, but I will take my chances. You enjoy your drive... PS. I work in Diagnostic Imaging, I am exposed to ionizing radiation everyday. Even with my high exposure, my chance of being killed in a car accident is leaps and bounds higher than my chance of being harmed by radiation.
—Guest JPaul

Then drive...

Statistically 200 persons die in airplane crashes every year in the US, conversely 40,000 persons die in car crashes in a year. Think about it... that means it's 200x more likely you will die in a car than a plane. Think of all the idiots out on the road, late for work, teenagers racing, driving drunk or high. Sure if your plane crashes your chances of survival are slim, but I will take my chances. You enjoy your drive... PS. I work in Diagnostic Imaging, I am exposed to ionizing radiation everyday. Even with my high exposure, my chance of being killed in a car accident is leaps and bounds higher than my chance of being harmed by radiation.
—Guest JPaul

What To Do?!

I am pregnant and possibly have to fly in a few weeks. I'm thinking of canceling the engagement all together because I do not want there to be a chance of the radiation hurting my baby. What if I refuse the scanner and they tell me, Sorry then, you can't fly? I'll have bought a ticket for nothing. I'm scared, and pissed, that the government has allowed us to be subjected to this bull----.
—Guest Caitlin

EVERYONE should refuse the scanner

If everyone would refuse the scanner and opt for pat down the lines would be crazy, delays would set in, and then they would be forced to make a change.
—Guest Beat them!

Full Body Imaging at Miami International

I was at Miami International airport and the TSA employee lied to me saying the scanner at the airport wasn't an x ray machine. I feel that my rights wasn't respected because I am against to go thru those machines. Those employees should be honest to travelers and let us make the decisions on go thru scanners or be pattted down
—Guest L. Mota

bo

I think they should profile people!!! Its not unfair, its statistics!
—Guest lola

Why not?

If some acne-faced teenage security staffer gets his or her jollies seeing through the clothes of an over 50, fat old broad, so what? I've brought some puerile joy into the life of a moron. Better than being felt up by same, said moron.
—Guest Londonferne

Why add more radiations?

It is explained the radiation level is as significant as a call on a cell phone, or flying on a plane etc. explanations which try to reroute our logic. Why would one deliberately add radiations to the level he or she is already taking? We have to fly after going through security, we have to use the cell phone to tell we are on time or late, so X Ray is just adding to the list. For frequent flyers it is not acceptable! There should be other alternatives than going 10 to 20 times amonth through those machines. Pat down is not the problem, the problem is the attitude, and intentional wait to discourage you to envisage future pat downs!
—Montrottier
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