Airport security and me are inseparable. This time, it was at the Las Vegas International airport. I was stopped at the security and asked to go via the full body scanner instead of the metal detector. No surprise there! I contemplated for a second and asked them if it is mandatory to go through it and they said, “No”. So I told them that I won’t go through it if it is not mandatory. As soon as I said that, they announced to every other TSA personnel in the vicinity by yelling that they have an “opt out”. A security personnel came to me and told me that since I opted out, I will be manually searched. And he then went on to describe how they will search me. It went something like this “We will touch your inner thigh, around the breasts, butt, blah blah and blah”. It is not like I had a better choice than say yes. So then, they yell for a lady TSA person. The lady comes and asks if I am sensitive to touch, I was like, huh, Let us try and see how I do! Then she asks me if I want to be touched in privacy or in front of everyone. I went, sure! I like an audience, so let us do it in public. Then she starts rubbing me with her rubber gloved hands all over, it was a little short of a cavity search. And finally she said she was done, and I said, Thanks for the free massage and left! We got to see the positive side of everything, right? While all this was happening, my colleagues and hundred other travelers were having fun watching me and wondering why I wouldn’t go through the scanner. I have my reasons:
- They were picking people randomly and they had to body search the people even after the scan (The body scanner was raising an alarm for the last 3 people that were asked to go through body scanner before me).
- TSA personnel weren’t sure about what they can/cannot see
- TSA personnel weren’t sure whether they will/will not store the scanned images
- TSA personnel weren’t sure if the radiation from the scanner is bad for health.
- And they were picking mostly women! So wasn’t sure if the person watching the scanned images did that deliberately or not!
And tell me I was wrong after reading this story from today.
Update: I am not alone! Check this out!