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airport security In light of the recent controversy surrounding the TSA’s new airport security procedures — you know, those revealing full-body scanners and extra-thorough pat-downs — we wanted to find out what you, our readers, really think about all the hoopla. Shockingly, a whopping 34 percent of readers polled said “Both the scanners and the pat-downs are outrageous; I would rather not fly.”

This is according to a poll posted on our travel message boards, which is still open for votes. (Haven’t weighed in yet? Share your opinion!) The second most popular poll choice, currently at 32 percent, is “I hate both the scanners and the pat-downs, but I will choose one in order to travel.” Eighteen percent of voters don’t have any problem with the new procedures.

Whew! We’re glad to know that most people will continue flying despite recent — and unpopular — airport security changes. Still, the number of voters who have declared an end to their air-traveling days is unsettling. Almost every other continent can only be reached by air or sea (fun fact: it is possible to drive from North America to South America, taking a bridge over the Panama Canal) and a cruise ship will only get you so far. For those of us who want to see the world, air travel is pretty much indispensable.

What do you say? Are you seriously considering taking the scissors to your frequent flier card?

For more information on the controversy, check out From Pat-Downs to Full Body Scanners: The TSA Firestorm, which offers a hard, factual look at the new security changes.

— written by Caroline Costello

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5 Responses to “To Fly or Not to Fly”

  1. Gigi says:

    Like many people, I feel the scanners and pat downs are excessive and would look into train travel if I’m traveling domestically. If I have no choice and need to take a flight, I would opt out of the scanning and reluctantly subject myself to the pat down although I would be unhappy about it. if I had to make the choice. The scanners emit radiation that may be harmful in the long run.

    People with illnesses (and doctor’s note) and kids should be exempt altogether. Kids especially should NOT be “groped” by a TSA agent. We teach them to beware of strangers touching them and then we have to allow this? Sends children a mixed message AND it’s inappropriate and disturbing it’s even being allowed! I suppose someone can put up a child to do something malicious but what are the chances.

    We should lok at the way the Israeli airport system functions and adopt those measures. Their airport security is constantly threatened yet they’ve managed to avert potential disasters without subjecting their citizens to such extreme measures.

  2. Chris Grossman says:

    We have decided to eliminate flying as a component of future vacations to the extent humanly possible, but not because of the scanning/pat downs. I have encountered both on previous trips in and from Europe and thought they were no big deal and an acceptable price to pay for improved security. My complaint is the lack of knee and aisle room experienced on our recent Continental flights. Not only was it uncomfortable for me, a woman of average height and weight, but I do not see how such crowding is consistent with flight safety. We were only one row from an exit row (where people payed $99 extra for the privilege of being seated) so we might have had a reasonable chance of getting out in an emergency, but how about those seated further from an exit? I think the FAA is being derelict in its duties to allow so little space between rows and such narrow aisles.

  3. soliteyah says:

    I’m not too worried about the scanners, and will definitely elect to go through those if there’s a choice. The pat-downs sound extremely unpleasant, but still — a trip to a new country is worth a pat-down or two in my opinion. It would take a lot more to make me give up international travel.

  4. jc says:

    I’ve found the train to be a great, relaxing alternative to flying, though I’ve never taken it for more than an 8 hour trips. I’d probably consider more train travel in the future for destinations that aren’t too far. Plus, I have to wonder if the number of people refusing to fly will jack up the cost of plane tickets.

  5. Cliffk says:

    There are too many ignorant people in this world, as evidenced by 34% saying they will not fly again rather than going through a scanner.

    People, these scanners have been in existence for four years! And pat-downs have been used since 9/11. The ONLY difference today is that the new scanners show an outline of your body to someone in another room totally unaware of who you are. Do the scan and you don’t have to worry about a pat-down.

    The total ignorance in this country is mind boggling. Many people now think they will be patted down no matter what. All this from rumor mongering through emails and internet.

    This reminds me of all the people who voted for one politician or another based on deceitful advertising.

    GET SMART PEOPLE. These are just scanners and you’ve probably gone through them many times in the past few years.

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