I fly on average once per month. I have not yet been directed to the nude-o-scope and have personally had no negative experiences with the TSA. This
may be due to the fact that I am a Caucasian female. However, I have personally witnessed people that do not fit my apparent demographic be subject
to interrogation and additional security measures. They just make me take off my coat and shoes, wave me on through to the standard metal detector,
and X-ray my carry-on.
Three words if you are directed to the nude-o-scope: I OPT OUT.
At that point, expect a patdown and insist loudly that they change their gloves and wash their hands/use sanitizer first. Also, have it done in front
of the other passengers (witnesses), and remain in sight of your baggage at all times so they can't steal your valuables. If you feel that the
patdown was unnecessarily invasive or if anything is stolen from you, involve law enforcement immediately.
The TSA does not need to treat the public like criminals. The airlines are losing business due to the TSA's absolute epic fail. For some of us, air
travel is the only feasible way to see our families and friends.
A "math error" that exposes people to full-body ionizing radiation? I'll get X-rays if I break a bone or at my dentist, whose machines do not make
math errors and are specifically designed to minimize radiation exposure - in addition to my dentist placing a lead shield over my clothes.
Radiation freaks me out, it is the one big thing to which I am sensitive. It makes me sad to see people submitting to this, in addition to the fact
that my hair practically stands on end when I walk by the nude-o-scopes. There is a leaflet online somewhere that is very candid (without being rude)
on how to handle air travel. I'll post the link if I find it and print out several to leave in the TSA's bins so that other passengers know their
rights and responsibilities. Others have done that, and as distributing leaflets is protected free speech, I know it contains the text of the Fourth
Amendment, which guarantees the right of the people to not be subjected to unreasonable search (among other things).
Also, some tips: follow the TSA's regulations as to carry-on luggage (which aren't unreasonable; guns must be declared to the airline for safety
purposes, unloaded, and checked in baggage), don't set off the metal detectors due to forgotten keys in your pocket or a belt buckle or anything
innocuous like that, and you'll likely be waved on through.
Be polite as well. No one ever became an activist by being rude to people with cruddy jobs in a difficult economy.
FlyerTalk's Travel Safety/Security Forum
has excellent information as to
experiences with the TSA.
I hope this long post is of use to someone who flies frequently or will be flying in the near future.
edit on 12/3/11 by gildedlily because: