Encounters with the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) are often the most reviled parts of traveling through an airport in America. In fact, that’s probably a gross understatement. Insanely long lines, luggage mishpas, and rudeness are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to American airport security. (But also, they’re trying to keep our airports safe, so be nice, okay?)
Well, gird your loins because it’s about to get worse. This past weekend the TSA announced that they’re scrapping their previous provision which allowed agents five options when patting down a flyer. Basically, the administration was allowing TSA agents to make a decision about how invasive or comprehensive their pat down would be based on being in the moment. This, according to the Department of Homeland Security, has led to a lot of weapons getting through security check points.
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These are the #Top10 airports for firearm discoveries in 2016. A total of 3,391 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags last year. While firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags, you can pack them in your checked baggage as long as you meet the packing guidelines: bit.ly/travelingwithfirearms #SLC #PHX #DEN #DFW #AUS #IAH #ATL #BNA #TPA #MCO
The TSA’s spokesperson Bruce Anderson warned all travelers to get ready for more rigorous physical contact and stated that searches “will be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before.” Anderson continued, “I would say people who in the past would have gotten a pat-down that wasn’t involved will notice that the [new] pat-down is more involved.” Expect the full, invasive pat down from now on if you’re selected.
The TSA also made it clear that pat downs will only be conducted by same sex TSA officers, always in view of a witness, and travelers can request the pat downs take place in public view or a private screening area. Bloomberg also reported that the TSA has warned local law enforcement to expect a surge in complaints about unwanted physical contact — so get that pre-check process rolling now!