A few weeks after ExpressJet pilot Michael Roberts made waves at the airport security checkpoint by refusing both a full body scan and an enhanced pat-down, the TSA once again finds itself embroiled in controversy.
This time it was a California man, John Tyner, who came up against the TSA’s new security procedures. Tyner was selected to go through a full body scan at the San Diego airport; because he refused, he was taken aside for a pat-down. When the screener described the pat-down procedure, which was to include a manual exploration of Tyner’s hips, thighs and groin, Tyner responded, “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested” — prompting the screening officer to call for a supervisor. In the end, Tyner was not permitted to fly, and he could face a fine and/or a civil lawsuit from the TSA for failing to complete the full security check before leaving the screening area.
Here’s a report (with video from Tyner’s cell phone) from CNN:
To read Tyner’s account and watch the unedited video of the incident, check out his blog.
Meanwhile, another pilot has joined Michael Roberts in standing up against the new security procedures. Continental pilot Ann Poe, who has an artificial hip that has necessitated additional screening in the past, declined to go through the full body scanner on November 4 due to concerns about radiation and the violation of medical privacy laws. She also objected to the enhanced pat-down, which she describes as “being sexually molested.” She was detained for two hours and prevented from flying her scheduled route.
Poe and Roberts aren’t alone; several pilot unions have also spoken out against the full body scanners and enhanced pat-down procedures.
If you face a choice between a full body scan and a pat-down on your next flight, what will you choose? Do you think the new screening procedures are fair?
–written by Sarah Schlichter