Saturday, November 27, 2010
The Great Pat Down
Thanksgiving is over, and we didn't travel this weekend. When we did travel on November 13, that was my first experience with the full body scan at RDU airport.
Dear hubby had a hip replacement a couple of years ago, and he has gotten in the habit of requesting a "male assist" as soon as we get to the security checkpoint. He leaves me to keep up with his carry-on backpack and shoes while they pat him down. I have my own backpack with my assorted electronic gadgets, medications and "jewels"....important stuff. So I have my own shoes, backpack, and mini-PC to keep up with as well.
Before I entered the scan machine, they reminded me to take everything out of my pocket. I had a tube of Chapstick that had to go on the conveyor belt. I forgot I was wearing my money belt. It's not like I have big bucks, but I get nervous if I have more than $40 in my purse. When I travel, I stash the rest of my cash under my clothes.
After the scanner detected stuff under my clothes, I volunteered to take the money belt off, as I did on a trip through Heathrow airport a few years ago. But the female attendant, said no she would just pat me down. UGH. She really was very polite, and did it quickly, touching my underwire bra with the back of her hand, while I was trying to keep an eye on our stuff going down the conveyor belt. Then she had to dig into the front of my jeans to feel my money pouch....hmmm. But it was so quick, I was just glad to get out of there with all our stuff.
I know there have been lots of complaints across the country about TSA inspectors doing some really invasive feeling, and requiring passengers to remove prostheses, but my experience wasn't much worse than the old security inspection. I'm willing to give up some privacy for the sake of security.