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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    X-ray backscatter security scanners

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    What floors me about these things is not just that refusing the x-ray AND the pat-down will get you a $11,000 fine; it's that you can't even say "Never mind, I just won't fly, I'm going home." You will STILL get fined $11,000 even if you decide not to travel that day!

    The rationale I read in the paper is that allowing people to give up and go home without a fine would encourage terrorists to just call it off if they realized they were going to go through the x-ray.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    I'm flying next week, and my airport just installed the x-rays. I'm wearing lycra under my clothes and stripping before I go through security. That will speed up the pat-down procedure, and I can show my cancer scars to explain why I'm not going through the x-ray.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    4,556
    From what I heard, people have tried stripping. They've made them put their clothes back on, and be subjected to a pat down.

    I would hope you wouldn't have to explain why you aren't going through the x-ray. But then again....
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    6,982
    I've had to do 4 round-trip different airline flights this year...which is highly unusual for me.

    All 3 except 1, were domestic flights..distance one way was minimum of 1,500 kms. I realize the x-ray/pat down flights, it doesn't matter the distance.

    I flew to Europe and back.

    I've had no pat down. Probably the body x-ray instead.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
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  4. #4
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    Apr 2006
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    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    Oh, I'm fine with a pat-down. But wearing a skin tight tank-top and shorts will (I assume) make the whole thing go faster. I don't want to slow anyone else down, I just wanna get through and get to my plane as quickly as possible.

    Docs are saying people with a cancer history (especially skin, breast, and testicular) or immune system dysfunction should stay out of the x-ray scanners. I talked to a radiologist on staff today who said the same thing.

    I choose to fly. My option is a pat-down. Why not make it as easy as possible on everyone?
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    2,560
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    Oh, I'm fine with a pat-down. But wearing a skin tight tank-top and shorts will (I assume) make the whole thing go faster. I don't want to slow anyone else down, I just wanna get through and get to my plane as quickly as possible.
    I had thought of doing that, too. I'll be interested to hear how it works. Glad you are avoiding the radiation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    2,738
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    From what I heard, people have tried stripping. They've made them put their clothes back on, and be subjected to a pat down.

    I would hope you wouldn't have to explain why you aren't going through the x-ray. But then again....
    I heard the same thing.

    I was patted down coming to and going from Boston, in September before the scanner stuff started. It wasn't a particularly pleasant experience but, since I always set off metal detectors, I suppose that I should get used to it. However, the worst part was that they wouldn't let me get my bags before taking me aside, leaving all of my valuables and my life-dependent medications out where anyone could have stolen them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville area of NC
    Posts
    847
    My sister actually has a medical card that states she cannot go through the X-ray machine and actually could not go through the old machines either. Plus she has a pacemaker in her bladder (reason she can't go through a medal detector thing) and I'm sure the pat down people won't understand that one even though she has medical cards. (She also is bi-polar, has Crohn's disease and a couple other medical issues).

    Oh and I've heard that Charlotte Douglas airport is looking into kicking out TSA. They haven't done it yet and they are trying to determine if they should go with a private company OR go with their regular security police force as they feel either would be cheaper, more efficient and have better customer relations.

    I hate flying to begin with and this whole new thing makes me hate it even more. The worst part is that I'm now 12 hrs away from my family instead of 8 so if/when my grandmother passes away my parents are planning on having us fly there for the funeral. So the plan is go through Raleigh (a good bit cheaper than flying out of Jacksonville, NC), so I'm sure I'll have to deal with this ridiculous stuff at some point.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    2,210
    They announced (yesterday?) that people opting out of the backscatter and just going through the normal machines won't be subject to the extensive pat down during the holidays.

    Last time I was in Seattle (and going through LA, too), I ended up in the regular x-ray (no extra pat down) line anyway because it was shorter. I went through the line behind the Alaska check-in counter where the "express lane" for Horizon Portland and Spokane passengers are. They basically just send you through and the one on the far right is the regular x-ray, on the left the backscatter machines.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Traveling Nomad
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    I'm unclear on something with all the hoo-ha about ll this on the news. Will I have to go through the body scan x-ray or patdown if I don't set off the metal detector? Or are those more intrusive measures reserved for people who do set off the regular detectors?

    Surprisingly, even with a stainless steel plate and 4 pins in my pelvis, I don't set off the regular detectors, thankfully.
    Last edited by emily_in_nc; 11-22-2010 at 06:03 PM.
    Emily

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dallas metro
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    I'm flying next week, and my airport just installed the x-rays. I'm wearing lycra under my clothes and stripping before I go through security. That will speed up the pat-down procedure, and I can show my cancer scars to explain why I'm not going through the x-ray.
    Didn't work so well for this guy today in San Diego...
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Seattle, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by emily_in_nc View Post
    I'm unclear on something with all the hoo-ha about ll this on the news. Will I have to go through the body scan x-ray or patdown if I don't set off the metal detector? Or are those more intrusive measures reserved for people who do set off the regular detectors?

    Surprisingly, even with a stainless steel plate and 4 pins in my pelvis, I don't set off the regular detectors, thankfully.
    The backscatter machines (they are about 6.5 feet tall and you stand between two "walls" and hold your arms up) are the new normal scanning procedure in place of the old x-ray machines. They take a picture of your body (basically going through your clothes) where anything on the outside shows up. Sometimes they pat you down really quickly (might only be if they see something in the scan).

    If you opt out of the new machines you can go through the old style x-ray machines, but then they do a more extensive pat-down on you, possibly with the x-ray wand thingy, and usually with their hands.

    I am pretty sure if you set off the backscatter machine, you ALSO go through the other machine AND you get the more extensive pat down, too.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,608
    wait until they touch your hoo-ha's. It happened to a friend of mine, then tell me what you think.

    I choose not to fly. It has become beyond ridiculous. All this is to push the boundries of what people are willing to take in name of "security". Geeze the stupid thing is I could buy a round trip ticket on a CC like most people. check in at the baggage counter with oversized bags and make a bit of stink. A duffle bag, a suit case with wheels and a box. Nothing matching. then spend some time in a bathroom and leave. Let the bags travel. Who needs to be martyr anyway?

    The whole thing is beyond stupid. If you really want security, do what El Al do. they are very serious about security and its no none sense without the stupidity and without violating your body. All that x-ray exposure is not good. The Germans have tested out the latest gizmo and said its worthless. So who is benefitting? Skeltore Churnoff.

    I would post my cartoon here but some may get offended.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville area of NC
    Posts
    847
    Hmmmm, wonder if these new machines are at the smaller airports like our local one? Maybe if they aren't it would be worth the extra money (100 to 200 per ticket) to fly there instead of going to Raleigh.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    14,645
    I was just thinking today, if the authorities talked to us about all other dangers the way they do about radiation (medical radiation included, I've had the talk from a medical physicist):

    "You're exposed to mercury from the coal-fired power plants in the air you breathe anyway, so go ahead and break those light bulbs."

    "You're exposed to E. coli anyway if you have pets, so I'm sure you won't mind if we lace your vegetables with it."

    .......
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    I've been groped by too many strangers in my life. Just one was one too many, but it has happened more than that. So no, I do not ever ever ever want someone touching me at an airport.

    But there does not seem to be any way to be sure to avoid it. If you go through the machine, they might decide to grope you anyway.

    So I'm done with flying.

    I think about people who have been raped, especially teenagers who have been molested. It must be traumatic for them.

    And the terrorists are howling with laughter at all if this, because they've achieved their goal.

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