Friday, August 27, 2010
To add some perspective, TSA has used pat downs since our agency started federalizing checkpoints in 2002. They’re an effective way of helping us keep dangerous items such as weapons or improvised explosive devices off of planes.
So, what might cause you to receive a pat-down? Passengers may receive a pat-down in a number of circumstances: to resolve an alarm at a walk-through metal detector; if an anomaly is detected during screening with advanced imaging technology; or during random screening. Passengers who opt out of enhanced screening such as advanced imaging technology will receive an equivalent level of screening to include a thorough pat-down. Remember, you can always request to be screened in a private area.
You shouldn’t expect to see the same security procedures at every airport. Our security measures are designed to be unpredictable and are constantly assessed and updated to address evolving threats.
TSA Blog Team