News / USA

US Holiday Travelers Face New Security at Nation's Airports

Transportation Security Administration screener Marlon Tejada, left, watches as Randy Parsons, TSA acting Federal Security Director, right, goes through a full body X-ray scanner for a security screening, 22 Nov.  2010
Transportation Security Administration screener Marlon Tejada, left, watches as Randy Parsons, TSA acting Federal Security Director, right, goes through a full body X-ray scanner for a security screening, 22 Nov. 2010

Multimedia

As millions of Americans travel during the country's Thanksgiving holiday, they face new heightened security procedures at the nation's airports. Federal authorities instituted the measures earlier this month and some fliers say the techniques are too intrusive.

It's the first time holiday travelers have faced such tough security measures at the nation's airports. Fliers now go through full body X-ray scanners at many airports. The scanners produce revealing body images and some are offended.

One male traveler said, "Generally, I'm opposed to it. I think that the technology can be abused no matter what they are telling us."  

If air travelers refuse to go through the imaging machines they are physically examined in public by security screeners. A USA TODAY/Gallup public opinion survey finds a majority of fliers don't like this either.

A woman traveler said, "It's embarrassing to stand in front of all those people and it's like getting groped."
During pat-downs, screeners of the same sex physically examine travelers, including intimate parts of the body. This woman said one security screener went too far.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       "She ran her hand like this, up the inside of my leg, but she did it so hard and so rough that she lifted me, my heels right up off the ground."
Transportation Security Administration officials say less than three percent of the more than 35 million airline passengers who have traveled since November 1 have received pat-downs, and the agency has received about 2,000 complaints about the new measures. Yet surveys indicate two-thirds of air travelers say strict security measures are necessary to prevent  terrorist attacks.
Another man traveling said, "I was in the military so I remember 9/11 [September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks] vividly, and anything to kind of make everybody safer and ensure everybody's safety I am usually all for."
Federal authorities instituted the new measures following several foiled terrorist plots against U.S. targets. A Nigerian man is charged with attempting to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner December 25, 2009 with explosives hidden in his underwear.  

Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole said the agency is trying to strike the right balance between privacy and security. "We know the threats are real so that's what we try to deal with here. To keep it in context, the reason we are doing these type of pat-downs and using advanced imaging technology is trying to take the latest intelligence of how we know al-Qaida and its affiliates would want to hurt us [the United States], and how they want to bring down, whether it's passenger aircraft or cargo aircraft."
Some who oppose the screenings called on air travelers Wednesday to protest against the full-body scans and demand the pat-downs. That takes much longer and could lead to longer security lines.

Government officials say they will continue to evaluate the new security measures and make changes where necessary. They say the full-body scan machines are here to stay and will be used at 450 commercial passenger airports by the end of next year.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid