Gotta Watch: Awkward TSA pat-down moments
A woman avoids a pat-down by wearing her bikini through security at an airport.
April 13th, 2011
11:51 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Awkward TSA pat-down moments

We thought we'd bring you some of our most memorable awkward airport pat-down moments after hearing all the buzz from this video. Here, a 6-year-old is filmed by her parents as she gets the full TSA pat-down treatment at an airport in New Orleans.


'Don't touch my junk' guy – How could we forget this guy? During his airport screening, he protests the pat-down by proclaiming the phrase that is only rivaled by the "Don't Tase me bro" guy.

No pat down for me thanks – This young lady is bent on avoiding a pat-down by wearing a skimpy bikini through airport security.

soundoff (382 Responses)
  1. JAZZ

    No ne's patting me down, I'll go throw the Xray Machine thank you very much.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack

      They can pat you down after you walk through the scanner. So, your not safe from being felt up either way.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • sasha

      i totally agree with you :p

      April 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Watched the radiation machine in action the other day at ORD. At least 1/2 of those scanned needed a resolution patdown because the machines are ineffective. Germany did a study and found they were ineffective in over 60% of the people they scanned. RIght here in the USA TSA can't find GUNS with the machine. An undercover agent got a gun through the machines 5 of 5 times (link below). Pretty sure a good old fashioned metal detector would find it!!

      http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/TSA-Agent-Slips-Through-DFW-Body-Scanner-With-a-Gun-116497568.html

      The only reason we use these machines is b/c the former head of DHS, Michael Chertoff, started the program. And COINCIDENTALLY, he now serves as an officer of the company that manufactures the machine. HMMM.....

      April 13, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • thebstock

      Actually they can make you endure a pat-down. They did it to me once. I was not given the option of a full-body scan even after asked for it. They said that was not an option. Also, I was not given the option of privacy so they did it right there in front of everyone. It was very invasive.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • KB

      Joe: Ya got that right! Incredible what people think is OK these days. 20 years ago there'd be hell to pay for any politician that even THOUGHT about defending these scans/gropes.

      April 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pilot

      Funny that pilots need to be "screened". If they wanted to commit a terrorist act they wouldn't need a knife or gun or nail clippers or 12 ounces of any liquid. Hello........................they could fly the freaking plane into any building or even the ground if they wanted to.

      April 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • TD7777

      They can pat u down if they want, if you dont like it, then dont fly. Americans have really become whiny complainers.

      April 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • long

      Check out this:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/23/fear_pays_chertoff_n_787711.html

      and figure them out yourself.

      April 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Regarding the 'pilots shouldn't be screened' comment. Imagine for a moment that the pilot is a terrorist. He doesn't get screened and brings four weapons through security in his flight bag. Once through security, he hands these off to other terrorists. As a result, four planes go down and teh pilot lives to repeat the attack on another day.

      Screening pilots is a good idea.

      April 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lucifer

    @jazz... Hi, you know ill have to pat you before entering Hell, can't bring water nor crosses down here, I have a very weak signal can't get thru, will try later, something is bad down here.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Devil

      ...you mean other than your weak attempt at humor?

      April 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • king

      that was awkwardly difficult to read through...comedy may not be your thing...

      April 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick Cheney

      Whats this? I can't bring my hunting rifle...I thought we had a deal?

      April 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • marklander

      Was that English?

      April 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JAZZ

    Hello , I just sent u a message from my work email, we really have to do something about this, Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. LOL :) see ya later.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. YesWeDoCare

    The video of the six year old is a tad disturbing, I guess.

    But, the big picture. These folks who are complaining about how their rights are being violated with these screenings will, inevitably, be the first in line complaining when a jumbo jet blows up over the Atlantic killing 300+ people. If you don't like the pat-downs, then go through the full body scan. And if you don't like either option then just friggin' don't fly.

    As David Byrne said: "This ain't no party, This ain't no disco, This ain't no fooling around".....

    April 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • JAZZ

      Very well said, 100 % agreed

      April 13, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • keeth in cali

      Prove it.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • nic

      you are a moron

      April 13, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alec

      If infants and toddlers must be "patted down" by armed personnel in order to boost your false sense of security and to assuage your paranoia, then the problem lies with you. U.S. airport security - especially its pat-downs - has been universally criticized as flawed and ineffective; hence, paranoid folks like you merely desire the illusion of safety, nothing more.

      If you want to feel safer while flying, perhaps the TSA should give you "a security blanket" to take on-board the plane. The blanket might remind you of your childhood crib or your mother's womb. After all, using your logic, the TSA should do everything possible to make you feel safer and feel better about yourself, no matter how ridiculous.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      The irony is the ones NOT complaining about the TSA pat downs are the same ones who were screaming about Bush and the Patriot ACT, even though everything about it was designed to weed out possible terrorists. This, as opposed to the pat downs which are nothing more than a money and time consuming front for real security measures.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      Poor, poor David and his misunderstanding of irony. Poor, poor David and his misunderstanding of why people are upset. Poor, poor David and his misrepresentation of what people were against. Poor, poor David and his strange notion that he knows what everyone else is thinking.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • freebird1776

      P.O.W

      April 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      I can totally understand being concerned about air safety, but patting down a small child for explosives is just moronic. The terrorists win if you can't live in a free country any longer. The pilots are now locked in their cabins, there is already ALOT of security, we don't need these Orwellian measures to ensure our safety. Please stop being clueless sheep. Thanks.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • RealWorld

      I agree with you YESWEDOCARE. Do people really not understand what is going on out in the "Real World". Kids and yes infants too, are used in terrorist attacks. The Vietcong used them and so does today's terrorist groups. If you don't like whats going on, then offer an alternate solution. If you don't have one, then shut up!

      April 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      You do realize the following ARE NOT SCREENED by security and have airplane access:
      1. gate agents
      2. mechanics
      3. TSA themselves
      4. caterers
      5. wheelchair pushers
      6. mechanic trucks
      7. catering trucks
      8. fuel personnel
      9. fuel trucks
      I think you get the point.

      Why should I be seen naked, exposed to needless radiation, patted down at all when Tommy Terrorist can take any of the above jobs and walk right on to a plane??? What you see at the checkpoint is all theater, designed to make you FEEL safe.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • NHSAYS

      Well said!

      April 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      the guy patting down the 6 year old needs to be investigated if he's a child molester..there's no reason to pat down a 6 year old like that

      April 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      Agreed it's disturbing, at least surprising, but not doing it because she complained she doesn't want it ? Most kids don't want their vegetables and complain about those also, but (decent) parents don't put up with the whining . The parents just need to explain to the child ahead of time and the TSA ppl need to be school in dealing with the kids

      April 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Really? Does no one remember what happened on 9/11?
      How about this? Anyone who wants to protest be put on a plane full of people who also don't want to be touched or scanned. Then when their plane explodes, we can sit back and say "told ya so". Idiots!

      April 13, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raul

      Talk about being dumb. They can blow themselves up just as easily (or more so) at the TSA security "choke" point! Maybe they won't kill as many as they would in a plane, but you forget that their main objective is NOT killing, but creating fear. They want to make you so scared that you change the way you live. Change it until we can no longer stand living that way. Until the frightened make the Gov give in to their political demands. Scaring people into cooperation is their version of diplomacy.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • notabagger

      Correction – if you don't like either option then just don't fly a commercial carrier.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      See, I happen to think the opposite. Since flying clearly is a privelege, if you're so afraid of being blown up that you're willing to forego your right to your own personal space and others' rights to their own personal space because of your irrational fear, then you, sir, should stay home and not friggin fly. Just because you let fear control you doesn't give you the right to let your fear control others. I was just fine when all we had were the metal detectors.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      @REALLY

      the planes didnt blow up on 9/11 – are you stupid?

      they were flown into buildings...

      April 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      So, do I drive trough the ocean? What if my job suddenly requires me to travel by plane? What if I'd been with the company for years, had something I had to fly to or risk making myself look bad at work? Consider all possibilities. Not all travel is for fun. These measures may not keep you safe. Also, the terrorism risk is much less great than getting killed in a car crash. It would suck if my co-workers and I weer against these TSA measures, took a van and crashed when it is highly unlikely a terrorist would have hijacked our plane.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rhonda M

      Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not
      have, nor do they deserve, either one.
      - President Thomas Jefferson. 1743-1826

      April 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Great, either you are subjected to possible cancer, yes cancer, or your kids get molested or don"t fly. Peposterous, anti American, yes all you republicans really love big big big govt. What this guy did would get you arrested in real life.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I'm not sure I agree.

      If someone sets off the metal detector, then yes, obviously I support a pat down, even if they are a 2 month old baby. If they're exempt from pat downs, then some psycho is just going to have a child smuggle his weapon through security.

      That being said, if this child didn't even set off the metal detector, then surely she could not possibly have warranted a pat down.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • dennis

      If you do not like the rules, don't fly. I am so sick of you bratty Americans. You act like a bunch of sis-wads.

      April 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • TechGromit

      In reference to the person that claims people like ticket agents, TSA or food workers in the airport terminals are exempt from searches is completely false. Being a government employee, no one is exempt from searches at the gates, even if a TSA worker goes on break, if they leave the secure area of the terminal, they have to be re-screened when they return. I can't say what the security procedures are for other runway workers, but everyone who enters the terminals is screened, no exemptions. The only people who aren't are high ranking government officials like the president, but they have there own planes and don't enter the airport terminals anyway.

      April 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • KB

      "These folks who are complaining about how their rights are being violated with these screenings will, inevitably, be the first in line complaining when a jumbo jet blows up over the Atlantic killing 300+ people." – So if the government decided driving was just too dangerous and took all our cars away, would you be saying "These folks who are complaining about how their rights are being violated will, inevitably, be the first in line complaining when a drunk driver kills their kid." Didn't think so. And BTW, taking cars away would save FAR, FAR more lives, assuming the scan/molestations save ANY, which they don't.

      April 13, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • cvm

      Very well put and in total agreement with you. If you don't care to deal with security, then don't fly! Its a simple solution!!

      April 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Your 100% correct. As I read peoples comments I am amazed at how naive people are about terrorism. The radical extremists who hate America will plant bombs on women and children and they will kill innocent people. Most Americans have no idea how evil and blinded by their ideology these terrorists are.

      April 13, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Alec-
      I realize that you were just trying to let crazed hyperbole make your argument, but the TSA agents who x-ray your bags and pat you down are not armed.

      You are now free to carry on with your crazy, already in progress.

      April 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chef

      your stupid and wrong – I fly about 20 times a year and have never been subjected to enhanced interrogation techiniques. My buddy whos pakistani bengali has flown less than 10 times, and every single time hes get hauled into a room and strip searched. He won't fly anymore because its degrading.... he was born in Malden, MA and has never left the country. But we dont racially profile....

      April 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. michaelfury

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/land-of-the-free-home-of-the-brave/

    April 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • tim

      The Gov is spending $8 BILLION for the TSA WOW that realy money - the total revenues for all passenger airline is about $40 billion when was the last the government pay for a business security? Does the gov pay for the security at your office? Come on do you actually trust the gov to x ray you? Is safety really the issue or ? If it is a safety issue what about the 33m people who are killed in in traffic crashes each year?

      April 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wdrad

    Bikini girl would get a special pat down

    April 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • harry areola

      yes, "have to make sure those are really breasts" lol

      April 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • steeve-o

      Yeah, I agree... that girl raised my "red flag".

      April 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      I certainly wouldn't mind being in line behind her. Would certainly give the XRay screener a little something extra to look at when I went through.

      April 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ProperVillain

    All this could be avoided if full body scans were allowed but apparently this is too risque for American sensibilities. So some anonymous person behind a wall sees me naked? Big deal! Better that than a pat down. Good lord people, you can't have security without some sore of system to make things secure. Modesty may kill us all one day. More evidence that the US is the most bass ackwards civilized country on the planet.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • amused123

      Sure. If the xrays eventually are found as the cause (which they will) of the cancer the size of a grapfruit growing in breast, will you feel the same? Gee; think of think: The IUD – deemed safe until kids were born the thing lodged in the heads. DDT – deemed safe, until found to cause cancer. The Love Canal – deemed safe; until cancer clusters were found. Breast milk – deemed UNsafe in the 50s. Want more examples where the gov't deemed something safe, only after lives were lost did the gov't change policy. The pat downs are wrong, and the xrays are wrong. The policy is wrong.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • PA Squid

      Sorry folks. TSA is an expensive and useless program put in place to placate weary travelers. The initial bombing (911) was due to prior security nightmares perpetuated by a convaluted system of intelligence agencies populated by worthless morons protecting their dollars and their own domain. FIX the other security agencies that failed to do their job and travel would be safer. Now we have ANOTHER oversight agency and a performance agency (TSA) that consumes taxpayer dollars with no accountability and little proof of effectiveness. I have an idea. Let's RAISE TAXES, create another agency to police the TSA, and waste more money.

      Get a grip. Flying is no more dangerous today than 20 years ago and if the terrorists want in, they can get in. These BS programs and agencies are there to make you feel comfortable, not to really stop anyone!!!!

      April 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      You got it backwards. This is the legalization of child molestation because we are backward, we let the terrorists win. We changed our beliefs out of fear.

      Bring in Doctors to do it. There you go too expensive you say? No touching children in wrong places we all know that. If you want your child moletsed go ahead, if you have no children excuse yourself this is about children not you.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Good grief, Joe. You saw the video. You know that no child molestation happned. Why do you even try to continue that argument?

      April 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. HotForTSA

    Personally I enjoy it when the lovely ladies of TSA give me a good rub down I don't see what the big deal is

    April 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Haha

      The ladies don't see what the "big deal" is either buddy...too easy.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      unfortunately, more often than not, i get a tsa guy patting me down. i would gladly oblige to a female patdown.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe1964

      Personally I wouldn't mind some TSA chick rubbing one out for me. The problem is that the TSA insists on only male on male and female on female. Great job if you're gay, otherwise I'd hate to be some straight TSA guy rubbing other guys' packages for a living.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henry

      Why don't you learn punctuation?

      April 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Agent7337

    I fly quite often and I believe these measures are more than justified. The minute terrorists know that we are willing to make children exempt from these types of checks will be the same minute they strap a bomb to their own child and put him/her on a flight. These people have no regard for life at all, and so we must protect ourselves accordingly. It's certainly a sad and uncomfortable situation for the parents and the children who must be checked, but the alternative is much worse.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack

      OR, you could profile people and stop treating everyone as an equal security threat. What good are security measures they are enforced my morons?.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      You do realize the following ARE NOT SCREENED by security and have airplane access:
      1. gate agents
      2. mechanics
      3. TSA themselves
      4. caterers
      5. wheelchair pushers
      6. mechanic trucks
      7. catering trucks
      8. fuel personnel
      9. fuel trucks
      I think you get the point.

      Why should I be seen naked, exposed to needless radiation, patted down at all when Tommy Terrorist can take any of the above jobs and walk right on to a plane??? What you see at the checkpoint is all theater, designed to make you FEEL safe.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agent7337

      I don't think I buy what your saying Joe. All of these people you mentioned are in fact screened, before they are hired at the least. I can't say for sure that any of them enter the checkpoints, but I've seen Pilots and Attendants going through...why would an airport force a pilot to be checked but not the guy on the ground who is fuelling the plane? I'd prefer to get an official word on that rather than believe a random post on it. If nothing else though, the chances are significantly less likely of an attack comming from them. I haven't heard of any TSA agents being arrested for trying to blow up a plane, but I've heard of more than one terrorist doing it. You can't protect yourself against EVERY threat, but it only makes sense to try and do it against the most likely scenarios.
      @jack – Your answer may not be wrong, but it's sure loaded with alot of "What if's".

      April 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Agent7337

      I AM one of those people. You are correct that all of them get a back ground check, but that only let's others know what is in your past, not your future.

      Next time you are in a security line you will see passengers only getting the "full monty". Pilots, flight attendants and a smattering of airport service providers walk through metal detector only. Who will you not see being screened: mechanics, TSA, fuel personell, baggage loaders, pretty much anyone who works on the airport ramp.

      As for not hearing about TSA involved in nefarious activities, here is a list of TSA missing knives, guns, helping drug dealers get through security unscreened, stealing from passengers, NOT screening 1000's of bags, the list is pretty extensive. All stories on this list have links to the media coverage. http://tsascrewups.wordpress.com/

      TSA has a 7 BILLION dollar budget, we deserve better.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Agent,

      Here is a news story about a pilot exposing those same things I discussed, the tons of people who are not screened.

      http://abcnews.go.com/WN/pilot-hasseled-tsa-uncovering-security-breaches-major-airport/story?id=12470082

      April 13, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agent7337

      Wow that is some scary stuff. I'll certainly be sharing that site with some of my traveling friends. Thanks!

      April 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @ Agent,

      Trying to convert one person at a time!

      My biggest problem with all this security theater is I get exposed to radiation, my 9 year old daughter gets felt up, my wife has to walk through barefoot all while thousands of people have access to airplanes with no checking at all. Why treat me and my fellow flyers as criminals when the back door of the barn is wide open?? Why would a terrorist buy a ticket? Pay off a guy, steal a badge and a uniform to access airside, go to work for SkyChef.... Much easier than buying a ticket.

      I go to work and walk through with whatever I want, whenever I want. I buy a ticket I am treated like a criminal, insane.

      TSA is all for show.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rhonda M

      Bahhhhhh Baaaaaa Baaaaaa I so just LOVE wool sweaters;|

      You do not deserve FREEDOM–

      April 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Great job for a child molestor!

      April 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • TechGromit

      Flying isn't a guaranteed civil right, if you have a problem with the screening process, take the Bus.

      April 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Jack-
      Profiling might turn up some of the bad guys, but it would never stop them all. At best, it could be used as a supplement to the other screening methods, if legal hurdles were met.

      April 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. king

    im going to wear a speedo :p

    April 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dctrjeep

    While disturbing, even more disturbing is a group that uses children to carry explosives hoping that no one would suspect that, or hiding explosives in underwear.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alec

      The underwear bomber successfully passed the TSA's "enhanced pat-down." He was apprehended on the plane after the bomb failed to explode. The pat-down system is a joke.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • cb1111

      Alec the bomber was before this pat down was in place

      April 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • TH

      Alec – No, the TSA didn't screen him before he entered the secured area. He originating location is outside the United States.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. harry areola

    well quit letting these d@mn foreiners on planes and there wont be any issues. profiling exists for a reason: it works!

    April 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • jdog

      way to keep that xenophobia and fear alive buddy....BOO!!!!....now go hide under your bed for mommy

      April 13, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • traveler

      You are absolutely right! Let's stop all international flights.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rondo

    Last time I went through a pat down, I let out a fart that could have pealed paint.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. alex

    TSA does not prosecute the people who punch the pat down employee's.
    FYI

    April 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Don't be stupid! TSA may not prosecute but they'll just hand it right over to the local police.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. William_Longfellows

    She seems more happy that somebody is finally appreciating her body as much as she does...

    April 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
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