Airport screenings to be 'a little more intimate'

The Transportation Security Administration has implemented new procedures to keep traveler's safe this Spring Break, but it's already being faced with negative reaction.

"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", TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson said.

The agency was vague on the details of what this new approach would entail, telling Bloomberg that the searches would be "more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before".

According to the agency's website, "TSA officers use the back of the hands for pat-downs over sensitive areas of the body".

No new areas have been added, but now there is one standardized procedure that is more comprehensive. In a major study, undertaken by the agency itself in 2015, TSA agents missed 95% of the weapons, explosives, and contraband items placed into passenger luggage. That particular audit, conducted by the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General, reported that airport officers failed to detect handguns and other weapons. The TSA has all pat-downs conducted by an employee of the same gender as the traveler, and allows a passenger to request a private area for the screening, as well as to have a witness present.

The agency previously said the shift is "intended to reduce the cognitive burden on [employees] who previously had to choose from various pat-down procedures depending on the type of screening lane".

"It's needed. Whatever TSA is going to do I'm in support of it".

Margerie Micklos, passing through Jacksonville International Airport from CT, said the TSA has gone as far as reaching inside her trousers during a security pat-down. However, "it changes the kind of pat-down screening those who require one will receive". Moreover, the pat-down would slow a person's travel time because it will take much longer. The TSA insists the enhanced procedures will not cause delays at security checkpoints. In fact, a successful plot on the TSA's watch would probably only lead to more funding for the agency - as government failures usually do - and even less freedom for travelers.

The new pat-down police has been phased in over the past two weeks.

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