Gird yourself: TSA security officers may get even more up close and personal with you on your next trip.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the TSA has consolidated five different pat-down options into a single method that’s more “comprehensive” and “more intrusive.”
The TSA is famously reluctant to offer details about security procedures. But one major change, Bloomberg noted in a subsequent report, is that screeners can now use the front of their hands, rather than just the back, on “sensitive areas of the body” such as the breasts, buttocks and genitals.
Travelers can elect to have their pat-down in public or private, with or without a witness. Screenings are performed by same-gender security officers.
According to Bloomberg, the new procedure is partly in response to a critical 2015 audit of the TSA’s screening procedures, which revealed that security officers had failed to find guns and other weapons.
Most travelers pass through security without having to undergo a pat-down. You may be subject to a pat-down if you opt out of a trip through the full-body scanner, or if the security officer decides you need additional screening for any reason.
— written by Sarah Schlichter