The TSA has buckled after complaints from the American people. After three weeks since the introduction of the new pat-down procedure, in a statement made on Nov. 21, the TSA said:
“We welcome feedback and comments on the screening procedures from the traveling public, and we will work to make them as minimally invasive as possible while still providing the security that the American people want and deserve.”
After a host of complaints from everyone from passengers to pilot unions, the TSA has finally made an attempt to separate the line between protection and sexual assault. The newly modified pat-down procedure will help to alleviate passengers’ worries as they pass through an airport’s security checkpoint.
The TSA has also altered security measures for pilots:
“Allowing these uniformed pilots, whose identity has been verified, to go through expedited screening at the checkpoint just makes for smart security and an efficient use of our resources,” said TSA Administrator John Pistole.
This expedited screening for pilots just makes common sense. If pilots really wanted to cause harm to the American public, they could easily do it by crashing the plane themselves. No amount of AIT body scans or pat-down procedure could prevent a pilot from trying to purposely crash an airplane for terrorist purposes.
However, prior to Sunday, the TSA had already made some concessions to the new pat-down procedure. TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee said in a statement “… we made the decision that a modified pat-down would be used for children 12 years old and under who require extra screening.” The Agency only released this statement after receiving numerous complaints from parents of young children.
As another busy traveling season is underway, TSA Chief John Pistole is now urging feedback from travelers. The TSA recently launched the “Talk toTSA” program, where travelers can send comments online about their travel experience or suggestions to customer service.
Travelers will be able to choose the airport they frequent and have their comments sent directly to the airport personnel who is in charge of TSA’s customer service. Travelers can also choose whether or not they want to receive feedback from customer service. The TSA Blog will be used to “…share our responses to some of the more commonly asked questions and themes,” said Pistole.
While the TSA has promised to make the pat-down procedure less invasive, travelers should be aware of their rights concerning the pat-down procedure. Passengers have the right to be screened privately by a TSA agent of their same gender and have a friend present at the private screening.
Efforts will continue to be evaluated to safeguard Americans, but, for now, the American people have been heard, and the TSA will comply to make these pat-downs less invasive.
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