Airline Passengers Prep For Pat-Downs, Body Scans
NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Ahead of the busiest travel day of the year, seasoned passengers who know the drill said thinking ahead could make the passage through airport security go a lot quicker.
Even before the new full-body scanners and alternate pat-downs there was a method to moving quickly through the line — flying with some forethought.
“I consciously make decisions to have no metal on me, keep all the coins out of my pocket, put my phones in the computer bag,” Nathan Nyra told CBS 2’s Lou Young.
“I just try not to wear baggy clothes because you know when you go through the metal detector they just have to a quick pat down,” he said.
Others who spoke with Young also reiterated the message of keeping things simple.
Traveler Cythinia Nieves said she wears “sweats and easy shoes to put on” when heading to the airport.
Kristin Pilkerton said she travels in “pants, a sweater” in addition to “shoes that can come on and off.”
Travel and security experts suggest passengers should avoid heavy coats, multiple layers or excessively baggy clothes at the airport.
Tight skirts could also cause a snag during security checks. Those experts also said female passengers should try to avoid all skirts or dresses or at least wear something substantial underneath.
“You don’t want to be wearing a dress. You want to be wearing underwear if you’re opting out of the full body scan,” security consultant James O’Neill said.
“They need to go to the nether regions, they need to do your crotch area. There’s no way around that,” he said.
Experts said many of the new security procedures are in response to the bombing attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The 23-year-old Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 with an underwear explosive, on Christmas Day of last year.
Civil liberties groups said the government’s answer to the threat has more people than ever thinking about what they are giving up when they fly.
“I think this is helping all Americans take seriously the balance between freedom and security,” said Donna Lieberman of the NYCLU.
A loosely organized Internet campaign was urging people to refuse the scans on Wednesday, calling it National Opt-Out Day. The extra time needed to pat down people could cause a cascade of delays at dozens of major airports, including those in New York.
TSA chief John Pistole pleaded with Thanksgiving travelers not to boycott full-body scans.