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What TSA's New 'Intimate' Pat-downs Will Mean for Travelers

09 March 2017

The Transportation Security Administration says it has made changes to how agents will perform pat-downs on travelers.

The pat-down searches will be used on passengers who decline to go through the full-body screening machine used at most major US airports or for those travelers who trigger a warning from the machine.

Those selected for pat-downs will go through a comprehensive physical screening, which will include more rigorous searches that will be more thorough and intimate than before. It "does not involve any different areas of the body than were screened in the previous standard pat-down procedure".

The TSA official told the Post that the new pat-down method was developed in response to a 2015 report by the Department of Homeland Security that found lapses in TSA's screening procedures, including the failure of TSA screeners to find a fake explosive taped to the body of an undercover officer who was part of an operation created to test airport screening measures.

"This was the most intriguing, intense and invasive pat-down I've had by the TSA since they came into existence", Joe Stratee-McClure told WNBC.

The change was implemented at airports nationwide after a report found that TSA officers were missing guns and other banned items during regular checkpoint screenings. "We need to be secure".

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An already-dreaded part of air travel has thus become that much more unbearable, yet many Americans are prepared to accept it. "Security is very important so do whatever is necessary to have a safe flight", traveler Judy Powell told WLS. "It includes the breasts, the buttocks, the groin area", stated TSA Regional Spokesperson, Mark Howell. Anderson said the new searches will not slow down security lines overall, although they will definitely slow down passengers who are pulled aside.

There is no evidence yet that the more invasive pat downs will do much to dissuade terror threats.

But the agency does expect some passengers to consider the examination unusual.

A TSA spokesman says they did meet with Cleveland Police as well as airport officials last week, before the new pat down police was put into place.

"The UPD [universal pat-down] lessens the cognitive burden for our officers and reduces the possibility for confusion with passengers and employees as well", the agency said.

What TSA's New 'Intimate' Pat-downs Will Mean for Travelers