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Advice for flying next month

I will be flying next month for the first time since the body scanners were put in place. Any advice for me? Should I avoid the body scanner and go for the pat-down due to concerns about radiation? Or should I just get in line and go through the body scanner?

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TSA has the authority not to

TSA has the authority not to scan.

When you will be traveling you will have a choice of using the old magnetomer and the new scanning device.

Just ask to go through magnetometer. No need to discuss or provide excuses.

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robot999's picture

Is this new?

Every time I ask, they tell me that I MUST go through the naked scanner, or get the feel up (opt out). I ALWAYS select opt-out, because I realize how humiliating it is for THEM!

Please let me know if this is a real policy backed up by a document, thanks.

"Government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex". - Frank Zappa

Herding strategies

They try to herd you into the scanners. There are NOT two doors, #1 and #2. It's just one way. When you get to the scanners sans-shoes-and-personal-belongings you have to actually ask, "I would prefer not to have the scan." Then they might pat you down, but the TSA agents pride themselves on being assholes. Some will seem to refuse as they try to convince you "oh, it's safe, it's not xrays, ms. smith, it's very easy, just go through this way...it's not radiation, it's just like your cell phone or the radio(morons just passing down lies)."

There are 2 types. Both are bad.

The soft xray scanner has ionizing radiation. The millimeter wave scanner has "nonionizing" radiation. In my opinion, they are both new technologies for the human body and completely inadequately safety tested. Think of the old fluorescence xray scans for fitting your shoes that shoe salesmen used as a gimmick! It's safe until it's not. Kids getting xray burns, not so funny. "It's just like a sunburn! No big deal..."

Just respectfully decline and say AGAIN "no, I'd prefer not to have the scan."

Once they realize they're going to lose their little game of power tripping trying to trick you to go through the scanners anyway, they will flag down someone to escort you through and pat you down. It is an uneventful pat down while other passengers half-frown in sympathy realizing the absurdity of our fear culture.

Not a big deal, patriot.

Avoid the X-rays

If you can, try to go through just the metal detector. There are usually multiple lines with metal detectors on at least on of them. If they flag you towards the X-ray machine, tell them you don't wanna go in to the machine. They will then man-handle you for five minutes in plain view unless you request a room. I would not request a room, because there is a chance they will search you in a way that they could not in the public's view. Stay outta the glass coffin, whatever you do. Doctors wont even give you repeated X-rays unless it is a medical emergency.

I opted out last year, not

I opted out last year, not because of radiation (couldn't care less about that), but just because its a nuisance to them.

They did ask me why I wanted to, so I said "I wasn in the mood to get a dose of radiation today." The TSA agent got on her walkie and said we have a male opt out. I've heard they'll scream this out to try to embarrass you, but unfortunately she just did it on her walkie. I waited about 1 minute, then some male TSA agent escorted me to the other side of the scanners and then asked if I wanted to step in this private pat down room they have, I said no just do it right here. He then began to pat me down. We had a short friendly conversation during the groping session, and then it was over.

I made an effort not to be rude or condescending, as j think that's what gets most people into some bad situations with the TSA. Theirs some bad eggs, but I would say just peacefully opting out will net you a positive groping session mos of the time. I don't like the people who do it looking for trouble, it gives us a bad name and we stoop down to their level.

I should also say that on my

I should also say that on my return trip, I just went through metal detectors, they didnt have their body scanners at my particular checkpoint.

I opted out a few weeks back

I opted out a few weeks back at SFO. It was during the shutdown when all those WW2 vets were being locked out of the memorials. I was in line right in front of a big group of vets. One of them saw me do it and opted out as well. Before I knew it, 20+ WW2 vets were opting out (no easy feat to stand for a pat down at their age). TSA eventually opened up metal detectors to relieve the back up. The sheeple were astonished.

The moral of the story is, opt out. You never know who is watching (in a good way) and who will start thinking about the 4th amendment, etc.

We were in the same airport

We were in the same airport around the same time; weird.

There are no good options

If you are traveling with a child, they will let you go through the traditional metal detector, otherwise you can't. Makes no sense.

I avoid flying as much as I can, but have to sometimes for my job. I opt out of the scanning machines every time. They will put you through a humiliating process of patting you down, though. The pat down experience varies greatly from agent to agent and airport to airport. My worst experience was in Nashville. Agents put me in a slightly elevated glass box on display to other passengers and shouted at me if I let my arms drop from a completely horizontal position out from my body. They put their hands DEEP down my waste band of my pants and came up the inside of my legs to feel my testicles.

The best experience was at an airport (that I shouldn't name) where the agent mumbled to me that the only reason he was doing it was because his bosses were watching him. He then just went through the motions of doing a pat down and sent me on my way.

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

-C. S. Lewis

Before the patdown starts,

Before the patdown starts, when they ask if you have any sensitive areas, reply loudly MY BALLS ARE SENSITIVE, loud enough for bystanders to hear. You will have more than a few eyes on you during the patdown, and the tsa wont get fondle you quite so intensely. That has been my experience anyway.

always opt out

you don't have to volunteer unless they steer you towards the scanner - sometimes, you are just asked to pass through the metal detector and that's that.

give yourself extra time - when you tell them you are opting out of the scanner, they will put you aside and call for someone to get you.

watch your bags carefully as they go through the scanner without you, causing a small traffic jam, sitting there unclaimed, while you're waiting for a qualified pat down agent.

do it in public, when they ask if you want a private screening, just in case.

if they ask if you're familiar with the procedure, tell them no, you're not used to being frisked like a criminal without probable cause, unless you're travelling.

when they ask if you have sensitive areas or painful areas, i always tell them my genitals are very sensitive, and can be quite ticklish.


Dont go out of your way to make a scene but if the TSA gives you grief in line be a dick but give them what they want as far as checking your boarding pass again etc. Their power is illusionary and you need to expose that. Roll your eyes to them- it really pisses them off.

Ask for a pat down and do it in public so others can see how stupid the whole thing is. When your about to go through the machine just say "I want to opt out." If the guy doing it is cool, be cool back. It helps show him that he is being a tyrant to normal citizens just like him. Most of the time they will do a half ass job and look really miserable doing it. If they try to explain to you that its as safe as a cell phone etc just reply by saying "I have an option to opt out and that is my decision."

Whatever you do, dont use your target shooting bag as your carry on bag! I did that once on accident after trap shooting and the explosive testing machine went crazy after I got pat down with alarms and everything and 2 uniformed cops came and seached every part of my bag and everyone on the flight stared at me thinking I was a terrorist.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

That thing with the testing

That thing with the testing machine is questionable. The machine is sensitive, but there are many ingredients that will give positives, i believe this is spectroscopy analysis is performed.

Ordinarily, spectroscopy testing is random, but if you go through metal detector, they will likely pick you for spectroscopy, just to intimidate you.

They know that 100% of the alarms are positive, because there was not a single incident reported when TSA caught explosives in their checkpoint, that would be in the news. Uniformed cops only came to further intimidate those who opt-out.

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