Of all the working people in America that dislike their jobs right now it has to be the people that put airline passengers through the pat-downs and scanners. I've never heard so much hoopla from Americans! We just can't be satisfied.
If you are flying somewhere during this holiday try to keep in mind that those people you meet at the airport are NOT out to give you a good feel. And they certainly don't have that job because they want to molest your child. In fact, they don't care how fat and overweight you look on the scanner.
The only goal is protection from enemy attack and your safety. It's not a personal thing so grin and bear it...........could always be worse.......there could be NO air transportation. Just remember: there are those that would just like to get the pat downs and scanning taken care of so they can continue on their way to a wonderful visit with loved ones.
Airport officials and federal inspectors are bracing for a possible organized protest Wednesday by passengers angry over new security requirements, but there was little evidence of backlash at Orlando International Airport on Tuesday.
A loosely organized "National Opt-Out Day" campaign pushed by various Internet sites and activists has called for passengers to protest the Transportation Security Administration's use of body scanners and enhanced pat-downs by demanding pat-downs if they are selected for body scanners. Their stated intention: to back up security lines on one of the busiest travel days of the year, the day before Thanksgiving.
With that — and amid the broader uproar that has emerged nationally in recent days from a wide variety of groups and politicians — TSA Administrator John Pistole held his first national press conference Tuesday, trying to assure people that the agency would do everything it can to process travelers efficiently and safely, without backing down.
"We will process people as quickly and efficiently and securely as possible," Pistole said in a telephone press conference. "If large groups of people, large numbers of people, intentionally slow down our process, I don't think we can avoid that having a negative impact on people making their flights on time."
An estimated 110,000 passengers are expected at Orlando International Airport today, about equally split between those coming and those going. On Sunday, the season is expected to peak with 116,000 passengers. Typically, a little more than 90,000 come and go.
Tuesday, when an estimated 109,000 passengers went through the airport, the scene was anything but bogged down, with nearly no lines. Tom Draper, assistant director of operations for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said the lines have been running smoothly pretty much all week.
Passengers such as Tamara Pope, 37, a NASA engineer from Merritt Island who was flying with her husband and five children to visit family in Michigan for the holiday, found their biggest challenge was killing time after arriving early. She also pondered her choice, if necessary, between scanners and pat-downs for her children.
"I'm a little worried," she said. "I have a special-needs child. I'm not sure he'd go for the pat-down. I don't know what's better when you have two pre-teen girls."
Three X-ray body scanners were installed at Orlando International two weeks ago, so most passengers will continue to go through the 12 metal detectors that have been in place for years. People are selected to go through the scanners either randomly or because something about them alerts a TSA officer.
Some passengers have complained that the scanners reveal breasts and genitalia to TSA officers, who monitor screens in a closed room and can't see the passengers. But the alternative is what Pistole calls "enhanced" pat-downs that have enraged some flyers when gloved officers traced the outlines of breasts, buttocks and genitalia through clothing.
"At this point, this is the new normal for passenger security screening," said Carolyn Fennell, spokeswoman for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. "So being informed is helpful. And so is being patient."
The arrest of the so-called "underwear bomber" on a Detroit-bound plane Christmas Day has accelerated purchase of the scanners, which are able to detect explosives and non-metallic devices hidden under clothing. Nationally there are about 400 scanners in place in 70 airports. Pistole wants 1,000 by the start of 2012 and, eventually, at least 1,400.
Pistole took issue with criticism that the enhanced pat-downs are akin to sexual assaults and said his office is investigating any such complaints, including reviewing closed-circuit security tapes, to see if any officers go beyond strict guidelines.
"I'm sympathetic to those concerns, but I'm also trying to be respectful of those who want to have the highest level of confidence that everybody else on that plane has been has been thoroughly screened," he said.
Last week, in a response to the public uproar, the TSA decided to modify its pat-downs of children under 13 so they're less intrusive. Pistole said the decision was based as much on intelligence as response to concerned parents.
"We don't have any intelligence of children 12 and under being used in terrorist attacks by adults," he said. "Of course, we do have information of teenagers being used. So that's a concern."