What’s the Fuss All About?

By Cole Buergi, Senior Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Unless you’ve unplugged yourself from the media in the past few weeks, I’m sure you’ve heard about the complaints from airline travelers about the new Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) protocol on scanning and pat downs. Some travelers feel the new full body scanning machine is too intrusive and takes too detailed a scan of the human body. Their fear is that the scans will end up on the Internet. The option of having a body pat down isn’t any better. Some say the pat down search is intrusive and a violation of their personal rights.

To those individuals who oppose these security measures, I say find an alternative way to travel. I travel frequently and, although I’m not a big fan of the pat down or the body scan, the safety of myself, my fellow passengers and the potential targets on the ground, far outweighs the few moments of an uncomfortable search by TSA. In addition, the pat downs I’ve personally experienced, and witnessed other passengers experience, are very respectful and professional.

In chatting with TSA agents, they’ve explained that they are just as uncomfortable as the traveler with having to perform a pat down. I actually feel bad for the harassment the agents have to go through by travelers who freely choose to fly yet are against the pat down and raise a stink when they experience it.

From my perspective, what TSA gets a failing grade on is not informing the public in advance about the new security measures before implementing them. I believe that’s why people were so upset about it; they had no idea it was going to happen until they were standing in the line. Next time, give the traveler forewarning. Then they can make an informed choice. If they don’t want a scan or pat down, then they can choose not to fly and seek some alternative form of transportation.

For me, security isn’t a problem. I’m usually more worried about whether or not my bag will make it to my destination at the same time I do!

What are your feelings towards the body scan or pat down? What alternative solutions do you think would work as well yet be less intrusive?