Recent travelers, what has your airport security experience been like?

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#1
Indianapolis
1,085 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I was looking at the news today and there seems to be much outcry about enhanced security measures at the airports. In trying to plan out our flight next month I wondered what fellow CCers have been going through lately. How do you feel about the naked scanners and the enhanced pat downs? Have you experienced delays or other problems.
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#2
in the South
2,402 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
My only problem the last two times I have flown this year are when my things start going thru the x-ray machine and before I get myself walking thru the security area someone cuts in front of me ... leaving my carry-on and purse coming out the other side without me there - does all this make sense? Anyway, I have been known to very loudly scream "someone watch my purse please!! I get very annoyed and one of these times a security officer is probably going to wrestle me to the ground!
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#3
Florida
27 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
My wife and I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas last week. Since she has had knee replacement surgery she was subjected to an enhanced pat down search on both legs of the trip. This was a minor inconvience but took extra time just the same. I doubt that any of us know what is the correct level of security but for all of the well reported misses in the last year I feel we are only playing with fire and will be burned shortly.
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#4
Fredericksburg, va. USA
82,146 Posts
Joined May 2001
Hubby has to have a "pat down" due to his pacemaker, leaving me to go thru the scanner on my own, with all our "stuff'...I wait until the person ahead of me is cleared, I put our stuff on the conveyor belt, and stand in front of the scanner, so no one else can go...and I don't go until my stuff stops popping back out the backside of the xray....if it holds up the line, so be it. I will NOT go thru until my things are cleared, since hubby isn't behind me to watch our things on the other side of the xray! I've been told to hurry, but I won't...sorry!
#5
Nebraska, USA
1,850 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by Lesinindy
I was looking at the news today and there seems to be much outcry about enhanced security measures at the airports. In trying to plan out our flight next month I wondered what fellow CCers have been going through lately. How do you feel about the naked scanners and the enhanced pat downs? Have you experienced delays or other problems.
My feelings on the subject is they can do what ever they want to us as long as it keeps us safe. Yes it may be inconvenient, but I am alive and able to enjoy the rest of my trip without worring. Being originally from the East Coast and having lost some friends in 9/11, I am sure they would have wished the security measures were in place then. My wife also has a knee replacement and hip replacement and has to be hand patted down and does not mind it at all as long as they do it to everyone. We just leave time for it in our schedule. I had to go through one of those scanners when they were just testing them - haven't seen it on the internet yet so I guess I am OK.
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#6
Nashville, TN
1,578 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Well.. I hate to say it but we actually canceled our air travel to FLL and Port Everglades due to what we experienced on our flight last week. We will make the 15 hour drive rather than risk the possibility that we will be subjected to what happened to us again. Some may malign our choice and say "this is just the price of air security today" but in the end, we are responsible for our child and we made this decision together as parents.

As to what happened. We were flying from Nashville to Orlando to go to Disney for my son's birthday. My son is 9 years old. Nashville has installed the new backscatter scanners, aka "naked" scanners. Now I am not a modest person and for me myself I don't care. To be honest, I had not given it much thought. We were given no option to opt out of the scans that I could see, no signage or instructions. I later found out you can opt out and choose the pat down instead. Well, we all three went through the machine. Husband and I were fine. They scanned the kid and then informed us they had to pat him down. I asked why, they said he moved. So I am thinking run of the mill pat down, wand over his body and light touch. He is 9 years old for the love of Pete but that was not the case. Had anyone but a physician doing a necessary medical exam touched my child in the places the TSA agent put his hands, I would have filed charges. He groped the inside of his legs and touched his genitals. He put his hands around my son's neck in a choking position, felt all the way down his chest area and his buttocks. He placed his hands inside my son's pants waist band and felt around his waist. The agent was loud and intimidating even for me, a 36 year old women. He barked at him to "hold up your pants" and "spread your legs, shoulder width." All I could think was my son looked like he was being frisked and how humiliating this was for him to be stared at by everyone as they passed by us. Now, this whole scenario was out in the open, we were not given the option of privacy. My son was scared and humiliated. I am not a momma hen or a wacko and we fly regularly and have never minded the security measures needed but this was a shocking experience. Shocking enough for us to forgo air travel (which we have always loved) until these new security rules change and come closer to something akin to reason.

And yes, we have contacted the authorities and other to complain about this situation. We also contacted the airline to tell them why we were cancelling and to let them know that these kinds of things will impact their business. To each his own and all are free to travel as they like but I am not convinced treating my child like a prison inmate progressed the cause of national security one iota.
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#7
105,977 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by Linda&Vern
My only problem the last two times I have flown this year are when my things start going thru the x-ray machine and before I get myself walking thru the security area someone cuts in front of me ... leaving my carry-on and purse coming out the other side without me there - does all this make sense? Anyway, I have been known to very loudly scream "someone watch my purse please!! I get very annoyed and one of these times a security officer is probably going to wrestle me to the ground!
I have had that happen a few times -- and it really frightens me that my purse is not near me.
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#8
Los Angeles, CA
10,710 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Scanners and patdowns and carry-on restrictions don't make me feel safe - They make me feel annoyed, violated and nervous. If anything, this past week's episodes w/ the explosive packages and the failing engines on the Qantas A380 should remind us that there's no such thing as complete safety.

The things I do nowadays to make myself feel somewhat more comfortable during air travel is to book First Class if at all possible - both for inflight comfort & service but also for the short security lines and the luggage allowance - dress well so I won't be harassed in security (Yes, how you dress does affect how people treat you) check all the luggage (fees be damned) and allow time for a drink in the airport bar.
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Brian

Oosterdam Feb '04 RSVP Western Caribbean; Amsterdam Sept '04 Alaska - Glacier Bay; MSC Opera Feb '05 Eastern Caribbean; Oosterdam Sept '05 RSVP Alaska - Hubbard Glacier; Noordam Inaugural Feb '06 Caribbean; X/Mercury May '06 - (the 2/11ths cruise); Noordam Jan '07 Caribbean - The CC Reunion Cruise; Volendam Nov '07 - Panama Canal Seafarer; Eurodam Prelude & Inaugural - July '08 Rotterdam-Copenhagen, Norwegian Fjords/British Isles; Noordam Jan '09 Caribbean: "Voyage of the Good Nuts"; Ryndam Sept '09 Southbound Alaska Cruisetour; Zaandam March '10 Circle Hawaii "Voyage of the Macadamia Nuts"; Noordam Feb '11 Southern Caribbean "The Wedding"; Eurodam, December '11 Eastern Caribbean; Queen Elizabeth, Jan '13 - Westbound Panama Canal, Grand Princess, Feb '14 - Hawaii
#9
105,977 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by fatcat04
Well.. I hate to say it but we actually canceled our air travel to FLL and Port Everglades due to what we experienced on our flight last week. We will make the 15 hour drive rather than risk the possibility that we will be subjected to what happened to us again. Some may malign our choice and say "this is just the price of air security today" but in the end, we are responsible for our child and we made this decision together as parents.

As to what happened. We were flying from Nashville to Orlando to go to Disney for my son's birthday. My son is 9 years old. Nashville has installed the new backscatter scanners, aka "naked" scanners. Now I am not a modest person and for me myself I don't care. To be honest, I had not given it much thought. We were given no option to opt out of the scans that I could see, no signage or instructions. I later found out you can opt out and choose the pat down instead. Well, we all three went through the machine. Husband and I were fine. They scanned the kid and then informed us they had to pat him down. I asked why, they said he moved. So I am thinking run of the mill pat down, wand over his body and light touch. He is 9 years old for the love of Pete but that was not the case. Had anyone but a physician doing a necessary medical exam touched my child in the places the TSA agent put his hands, I would have filed charges. He groped the inside of his legs and touched his genitals. He put his hands around my son's neck in a choking position, felt all the way down his chest area and his buttocks. He placed his hands inside my son's pants waist band and felt around his waist. The agent was loud and intimidating even for me, a 36 year old women. He barked at him to "hold up your pants" and "spread your legs, shoulder width." All I could think was my son looked like he was being frisked and how humiliating this was for him to be stared at by everyone as they passed by us. Now, this whole scenario was out in the open, we were not given the option of privacy. My son was scared and humiliated. I am not a momma hen or a wacko and we fly regularly and have never minded the security measures needed but this was a shocking experience. Shocking enough for us to forgo air travel (which we have always loved) until these new security rules change and come closer to something akin to reason.

And yes, we have contacted the authorities and other to complain about this situation. We also contacted the airline to tell them why we were cancelling and to let them know that these kinds of things will impact their business. To each his own and all are free to travel as they like but I am not convinced treating my child like a prison inmate progressed the cause of national security one iota.
Oh my gosh!!

How horrible for your son and both of you.

I am glad that you contacted the authorities.
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#10
Indianapolis
1,085 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by fatcat04
Well.. I hate to say it but we actually canceled our air travel to FLL and Port Everglades due to what we experienced on our flight last week. We will make the 15 hour drive rather than risk the possibility that we will be subjected to what happened to us again. Some may malign our choice and say "this is just the price of air security today" but in the end, we are responsible for our child and we made this decision together as parents.

As to what happened. We were flying from Nashville to Orlando to go to Disney for my son's birthday. My son is 9 years old. Nashville has installed the new backscatter scanners, aka "naked" scanners. Now I am not a modest person and for me myself I don't care. To be honest, I had not given it much thought. We were given no option to opt out of the scans that I could see, no signage or instructions. I later found out you can opt out and choose the pat down instead. Well, we all three went through the machine. Husband and I were fine. They scanned the kid and then informed us they had to pat him down. I asked why, they said he moved. So I am thinking run of the mill pat down, wand over his body and light touch. He is 9 years old for the love of Pete but that was not the case. Had anyone but a physician doing a necessary medical exam touched my child in the places the TSA agent put his hands, I would have filed charges. He groped the inside of his legs and touched his genitals. He put his hands around my son's neck in a choking position, felt all the way down his chest area and his buttocks. He placed his hands inside my son's pants waist band and felt around his waist. The agent was loud and intimidating even for me, a 36 year old women. He barked at him to "hold up your pants" and "spread your legs, shoulder width." All I could think was my son looked like he was being frisked and how humiliating this was for him to be stared at by everyone as they passed by us. Now, this whole scenario was out in the open, we were not given the option of privacy. My son was scared and humiliated. I am not a momma hen or a wacko and we fly regularly and have never minded the security measures needed but this was a shocking experience. Shocking enough for us to forgo air travel (which we have always loved) until these new security rules change and come closer to something akin to reason.

And yes, we have contacted the authorities and other to complain about this situation. We also contacted the airline to tell them why we were cancelling and to let them know that these kinds of things will impact their business. To each his own and all are free to travel as they like but I am not convinced treating my child like a prison inmate progressed the cause of national security one iota.
I had seen a similar experience online today, but it was from a really conservative site and I wondered how truthful the original report I saw was. Your experience is almost exactly what was reported. I am all for security and also I was a firefighter when 9/11 happened (still mad), but somehow I recall there is something called a 4th amendment to the constitution.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
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#11
105,977 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We were supposed to have had these new scanners in Pittsburgh the 1st of October -- so we did not experience them -- but they are there now as of November 1.

As for returning home from Tampa -- yes they had them. The lines were long. You step into the machine -- place your feet on the indicated foot patterens -- spread your arms -- hold still while the machine makes a rotation. then step out when told to do so. Everything was fine with me. But the machine picked up a thick object and DH was asked to remove his wallet so that the TSA agent could examine it -- and he did check it over carefully. The agent actually said that many men object to this -- DH said that it was not a problem.

All this takes a couple of minutes -- thus the longer lines to go through security.
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#12
Los Angeles, CA
10,710 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Originally posted by fatcat04
As to what happened. We were flying from Nashville to Orlando to go to Disney for my son's birthday. My son is 9 years old. Nashville has installed the new backscatter scanners, aka "naked" scanners. Now I am not a modest person and for me myself I don't care. To be honest, I had not given it much thought. We were given no option to opt out of the scans that I could see, no signage or instructions. I later found out you can opt out and choose the pat down instead. Well, we all three went through the machine. Husband and I were fine. They scanned the kid and then informed us they had to pat him down. I asked why, they said he moved. So I am thinking run of the mill pat down, wand over his body and light touch. He is 9 years old for the love of Pete but that was not the case. Had anyone but a physician doing a necessary medical exam touched my child in the places the TSA agent put his hands, I would have filed charges. He groped the inside of his legs and touched his genitals. He put his hands around my son's neck in a choking position, felt all the way down his chest area and his buttocks. He placed his hands inside my son's pants waist band and felt around his waist. The agent was loud and intimidating even for me, a 36 year old women. He barked at him to "hold up your pants" and "spread your legs, shoulder width." All I could think was my son looked like he was being frisked and how humiliating this was for him to be stared at by everyone as they passed by us. Now, this whole scenario was out in the open, we were not given the option of privacy. My son was scared and humiliated. I am not a momma hen or a wacko and we fly regularly and have never minded the security measures needed but this was a shocking experience. Shocking enough for us to forgo air travel (which we have always loved) until these new security rules change and come closer to something akin to reason.

And yes, we have contacted the authorities and other to complain about this situation. We also contacted the airline to tell them why we were cancelling and to let them know that these kinds of things will impact their business. To each his own and all are free to travel as they like but I am not convinced treating my child like a prison inmate progressed the cause of national security one iota.
This would have made me furious too - Only difference between us is that you'd have heard about me being hauled out of that airport in a straightjacket on the CBS Evening News. How do we know that the TSA inspector isn't some sort of pedophile/sex offender???
Complaining to the Airline isn't the answer: You need to write a sternly-worded letter to our President and your US Congressmen and Senators.

My feelings on the subject is they can do what ever they want to us as long as it keeps us safe.


That's exactly what they want you to believe - But it's not worth the price.
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Brian

Oosterdam Feb '04 RSVP Western Caribbean; Amsterdam Sept '04 Alaska - Glacier Bay; MSC Opera Feb '05 Eastern Caribbean; Oosterdam Sept '05 RSVP Alaska - Hubbard Glacier; Noordam Inaugural Feb '06 Caribbean; X/Mercury May '06 - (the 2/11ths cruise); Noordam Jan '07 Caribbean - The CC Reunion Cruise; Volendam Nov '07 - Panama Canal Seafarer; Eurodam Prelude & Inaugural - July '08 Rotterdam-Copenhagen, Norwegian Fjords/British Isles; Noordam Jan '09 Caribbean: "Voyage of the Good Nuts"; Ryndam Sept '09 Southbound Alaska Cruisetour; Zaandam March '10 Circle Hawaii "Voyage of the Macadamia Nuts"; Noordam Feb '11 Southern Caribbean "The Wedding"; Eurodam, December '11 Eastern Caribbean; Queen Elizabeth, Jan '13 - Westbound Panama Canal, Grand Princess, Feb '14 - Hawaii
#13
Displaced New Yorker
15,603 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Fat Cat, I'm so sorry to hear that happened to your son. I have two 9 year old grandsons so I can relate to how he must have felt. Complaining to the authorities was a good action, but unfortunately it won't help your son forget what happened. Wise idea to drive to the airport.
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#14
Perinton, New York
2,386 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by iriemon
My feelings on the subject is they can do what ever they want to us as long as it keeps us safe. Yes it may be inconvenient, but I am alive and able to enjoy the rest of my trip without worring. Being originally from the East Coast and having lost some friends in 9/11, I am sure they would have wished the security measures were in place then. My wife also has a knee replacement and hip replacement and has to be hand patted down and does not mind it at all as long as they do it to everyone. We just leave time for it in our schedule. I had to go through one of those scanners when they were just testing them - haven't seen it on the internet yet so I guess I am OK.
If you think we're being kept safe think again!

Air pax go through this agravation while thousands stroll across our southern border and no one even asks their name!

What a farce!
#15
Nashville, TN
1,578 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Lesinindy
I had seen a similar experience online today, but it was from a really conservative site and I wondered how truthful the original report I saw was. Your experience is almost exactly what was reported. I am all for security and also I was a firefighter when 9/11 happened (still mad), but somehow I recall there is something called a 4th amendment to the constitution.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Yep.. I can safely say it took us totally by surprise. Not until I started looking up this new "pat down" procedure did I discover that they should have given us the option of a male or female screener, privacy, and an explanation of EXACTLY what they were going to do and where their hands were going to go. But again, I just had not given it much thought since we have flown as a family at least a couple times a year since kiddo was 2 years old and never felt in anyway inconvenienced by security even when he was a wee one and we had to travel with our whole house in tow it seemed

And we had no idea they had just instituted these new pat down rules. It was an eye opening experience and after I started mulling round in my head I was just astounded they thought putting full on hands on private areas would be acceptable.

Southwest was good about it though and happy we called to let them know about our experience. We have a pretty huge credit with them now... and I don't know if we will ever be able to use it lest these regulations change. But I will eat the loss not to have to do that again.
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~Sometimes nothing is something worth doing.~

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#16
Nashville, TN
1,578 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by bepsf
This would have made me furious too - Only difference between us is that you'd have heard about me being hauled out of that airport in a straightjacket on the CBS Evening News. How do we know that the TSA inspector isn't some sort of pedophile/sex offender???
Complaining to the Airline isn't the answer: You need to write a sternly-worded letter to our President and your US Congressmen and Senators.



That's exactly what they want you to believe - But it's not worth the price.
The letters are being written, no worries. Started them in my head this weekend as I fumed. I don't know if complaining to anyone will do any good in the end but I figure the more folks know, the more likely something will change. Or at least I hope that.
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~Sometimes nothing is something worth doing.~

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#17
2,279 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
For OP, in the past five days I flew from Seattle and San Francisco airports. I was prepared for the worst and have the easiest screening experiences ever, even compared to pre-9/11 flights. Why I do not know, but they were a breeze.

I arrived at the Seattle airport at 8:00 am and there were two people ahead of me in the security screening line. Very uneventful, but there was on interesting situation. I was wearing a sling and they did test it for explosive residue, none present.

At about 2:00 PM on Sunday went through Security at San Francisco, NO ONE in line. Breezed through. (I had my sling in my pocket for a few minutes.)

I could not believe how quick and easy security was for this trip, no so on many of my adventures.

What a shame you son had to be the one to experience this. I was expecting to have this experience as well, but the new scanners at Seattle were at different security locations. The new networks have been covering this change quite well and at least one showed the extent to the pat-downs, or as they called them - grope downs. I was expecting to have this "lovely" experience as I cannot lift the arm in the sling out to the side or above my head, a requirement. However, I was spared the experience.
#18
in the South
2,402 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by fatcat04
... They scanned the kid and then informed us they had to pat him down. I asked why, they said he moved.
I'm thinking oh my gosh ... if your 9-yr. old "moved" what are they going to do with my 4-yr. old GD who never stops moving? Will she be subjected to this? She and my DD fly all the time. IMO they need to come up with something better for "kids" soon.
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Linda & Vern
Amsterdam - San Diego to FLL - December 2014 (14 days)
30 days on land in the "Southwest"
Veendam - FLL to San Diego - October 2014 (17 days)

Zuiderdam - Panama Canal Again - February 2014 (11 days)
Westerdam - West/East Caribbean - March 2013 (14 days)
Amsterdam - Alaska - May 2011 (14 day]
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal -Thanksgiving 2010 (10 days)
Veendam - Western Caribbean - Christmas 2006 (7 days)
Maasdam - Eastern Caribbean - Thanksgiving 2005 (10 days)
Maasdam - Southern Caribbean - Christmas & New Years 2004 (11 days)
#19
Knoxville, TN, USA
1,638 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
We flew Southwest out of Nashville roundtrip to Burbank last week without any problems.

Now let's repeat that experience Thursday as we go Huntsville-Atlanta-Ft Lauderdale.
#20
Roselle, IL
12,920 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Mine was not too bad a few weeks ago. I think they have put in some new regulations as of 11/10/10 and so now your ticket name must be exactly as it is on your picture ID