So you’ve found cheap tickets, booked your flight, packed your bags and are excited to be heading out on your vacation or business trip. That is, until you get to the airport and are picked out of the security line to go through one of those body-scan machines.
Know Your Rights
Some travelers feel uneasy about the body scanners, not only for privacy reasons, but because of possible health concerns.
Fortunately, you have the right to refuse going through the scanner, but you’ll be subjected to a hand-wand inspection and a thorough pat-down.
Make sure to empty your pockets to speed up the process.
The TSA doesn’t provide specific details about what all is involved in the pat-down, only that procedures can change based on the latest intelligence.
According to the TSA, you have the following rights during the pat-down:
- You can request that the pat-down be performed in a private room.
- A person of your choice can witness the pat-down.
- An officer who is the same gender as you will conduct the pat-down.
- The officer should explain the pat-down before and during the process.
New TSA Hotline for Passengers with Disabilities
You should tell the officer any medical (mention prosthetics, urostomy bags, etc.), disability, cultural or religious concerns you have regarding the pat-down. You should also let the officer know if you have a pacemaker, which will set off a metal detector during the hand-wand inspection.
Travelers with disabilities who have any questions are urged to call the toll free TSA hotline at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling.