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Can You Request Pat Downs/Private Screenings at Metal Detectors Too?

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Old Nov 23, 10, 12:32 pm
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Question Can You Request Pat Downs/Private Screenings at Metal Detectors Too?

Someone raised a very good point about potentially being outed on a private medical condition based on what type of scanner causes a secondary screening. I was almost pushed into the body scanner when returning from a business trip where I went through the metal detector and did not set it off on the way. I traveled with the same acquiantances, who I would not be comfortable disclosing my condition to, on both flights. It was a horrible feeling. I totally get the concern over this..

So my question is can one "opt out" at metal detectors too by requesting a pat down/private screening. That would leave many more possibilities open than if you sailed through them and were always opting out or taken away for secondary screening on the body scanner--which means anybody traveling with you would know you have some external device...a list which is pretty small..

It seems that always opting out, from both scanners and metal detectors, .is good way to protect your medical privacy--if it us allowed.

Last edited by Comcerneddisabledflier; Nov 23, 10 at 12:46 pm
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Old Nov 23, 10, 12:36 pm
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Corrected to indicate the TSA is now saying anybody can request a pat down instead of the metal detector without having to explain why you want one.

Last edited by cordelli; Nov 23, 10 at 2:33 pm
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Old Nov 23, 10, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Comcerneddisabledflier View Post
Someone raised a very good point about potentially being outer on a private medical condition based on what type of scanner causes a secondary screening. I was almost pushed into the body scanner when returning from a business trip where I went through the metal detector and did nit set it off on the way. I traveled with the same acquiantances on both flights. It was a horrible feeling. I totally get the concern over this.

So my question is can one "opt out" at metal detectors too by requesting a pat down/private screening. That would leave many more possibilities open than if you sailed through them and were always opting out or taken away for secondary screening on the body scanner--which means antbody traveling with you would know you have some external device...a lust which is pretty small.

It seems that always opting out, from both scanners and metal detectors, is good way to protect your medical privacy--if it us allowed.
Yes, if you don't want to go through the metal detector or body scanner (if the airport has it), you can go through a side door instead. Make sure you let a TSO know that's what you want so they can call someone for you. And then it's the same standard patdown, and you can obviously request private screening for that.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
Don't believe you can opt out of the metal detectors.
You've always been able to. People with pacemakers has been the most common reason in the past.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Comcerneddisabledflier View Post
Someone raised a very good point about potentially being outer on a private medical condition based on what type of scanner causes a secondary screening. I was almost pushed into the body scanner when returning from a business trip where I went through the metal detector and did nit set it off on the way. I traveled with the same acquiantances on both flights. It was a horrible feeling. I totally get the concern over this.

So my question is can one "opt out" at metal detectors too by requesting a pat down/private screening. That would leave many more possibilities open than if you sailed through them and were always opting out or taken away for secondary screening on the body scanner--which means antbody traveling with you would know you have some external device...a lust which is pretty small.

It seems that always opting out, from both scanners and metal detectors, is good way to protect your medical privacy--if it us allowed.
Yes. You can also request a hand search of your bags.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by senseker View Post
Yes, if you don't want to go through the metal detector or body scanner (if the airport has it), you can go through a side door instead. Make sure you let a TSO know that's what you want so they can call someone for you. And then it's the same standard patdown, and you can obviously request private screening for that.
Thanks for the information. I think I will probably do this from now on, as I am uncomfortable with people being able to guess my medical condition because the body scanner hates me and the metal detector passes me through.

Here is a link to their policy allowing pat down searches in lieu of a metal detector:

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...rial_1567.shtm

this appears to have been published this week. It addresses many issues disabled fliers have raised. Kudos to TSA for listening. Now they just need to delete the "you will not be required to expose your device for inspection" in the ostomy section.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Nov 25, 10 at 2:38 am Reason: merge consecutive posts
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Old Nov 23, 10, 2:07 pm
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Learned about these from a Penn Jillette video

Carry a few of these on you to set off the WTMD.

Last edited by WChou; Nov 23, 10 at 2:12 pm
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