As of October 29th, the TSA has instigated a new set of security standards. These include body scanners that look like an x-ray with flesh. Here’s an example. There is an alternative to the bdy scan: a more physically invasive pat down. A number of people have written about the new procedures– and how deliberately embarrasing they are. It’s pretty clear that the ‘opt out’ is deliberately invasive and humiliating so as to convince others to go through with the x-ray scanner instead. Hey, what’s a little radiation? Any problems from it are in the future, not now.
What disheartens me is the number of people I see who’s response is “That’s it. I’m not flying anymore.” One person even went so far as to say “The solution is to boycott the airlines. They are so financially crippled that they’ll *have* to listen and do something about the TSA.”
Sadly, no. The airlines will just get govt $$ because they are a needed service. Or get more expensive.
The thing to do is to fly MORE and be very proactive and specific about complaining. I’m going to be doing a lot more traveling next year (domestically) and I’m contemplating carrying a recorder so that the entire experience is captured (at least the aural part), with me narrating the process (I need to check with my lawyer as to the feasibility of this — C., are you reading this?). I will NOT be going through a body scanner — I don’t need more radiation than what already occurs when I fly. Of course, I’m also going to plan to be at the airport extra early to allow for delays.
The more we complain, the more they need to pay attention — we don’t need to be the loudest voice in the room, we need to be the most persistent. And the authorities will pay more attention to the person who says “I fly 1 million miles a year and I do not want to have that much radiation; I also don’t want to be physically violated every time I fly” than the person who says “I refuse to fly.”
Rosa Parks didn’t say “I won’t take the bus any more.”