November 22nd, 2010
11:15 AM ET

Pat down backlash grows during holiday travel rush

As backlash against airline passenger pat-downs intensified with a viral online video, the nation's top airline security official said Monday that his agency is walking a fine line between privacy concerns and public safety.

A short video clip circulating on the internet shows a shirtless boy receiving a pat-down from a Transportation Security Administration agent. His father watches, hands on his hips, obstructing part of the view. But the words playing in the background are clear.

"Are they harassing a kid?" one man asks.

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Filed under: Air travel
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Courtney

    Wow... I don't get it. Why do they have to check your body at the airport? Weird.

    November 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Richard in Texas

    Well the freedom loving Americans that I know say if you have nothing to hide then what is the problem with TSA doing their job to protect us from foriegn terrorists.We love our country and God bless them for doing their job and protecting us. Like the great Ronald Reagan said "Where would this Country be without this great land of ours"

    November 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom in Texas

      Yeah you're right Richard. I have nothing to hide, so they can just pop in to my house and say hi anytime....visit me at my job......check on my kids at school.......tap my phone..........video me going through every intersection in my car........check my facebook page without my knowledge(oops, too late).........GPS my cell to make sure I'm where i should be.......where does it end?? Fact is TSA has NEVER stopped a terrorist at a checkpoint and you are no safer today then you were 5 years ago. But you are a hell of a lot less free.

      November 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Richard in Texas

    Sorry I was channeling Sarah Palin for a minute. Now I have an empty head feeling going on. Ok better now. Yeah I don't get it either. Its ok that since President W's administration people were ok with the Government listening to your private phonecall but are bent out of shape with quick pat down before you get on a plane? Seems to me a quick pat down would be moe effective against terrorism than phone tapping.

    November 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom in Texas

      Who was OK with the phone tapping??

      November 22, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ken

    What is wrong with us? We can survive a little imbarrassment, but being blown up, or flown into a large buildingm, by terrorist is non-survivable, or permently crippling. Have we forgotten what terrorists are capable of? Well they haven't forgotten how vulnerable we are.

    November 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sgt.Slaughter

    Benjamin Franklin

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Don’t let the TSA pat down stand Refuse it Keep your liberty, integrity and dignity.

    Terrorists were not supposed to get to the controls of an aircraft on 9/11 either

    Thought we learned that lesson 40 yrs ago during the hijacking era....

    Guess they forgot...

    false sense of security is all it is.....but guaranteed loss of rights and dignity...

    November 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sgt.Slaughter

    If you want a 100% guaranty when you fly then everyone should be stripped and handed orange jump suits before they board.

    You can pick up your clothes when you land.

    November 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sgt.Slaughter

    Oh, but wait, then the plane will go down cuz of an ink toner cartridge in the cargo bay....Oops. Sorry we missed that one. But NO MORE INK FROM NOW ON.....FEEL BETTER NOW????

    November 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AJ

    These machines aren't 100% effective. Therefore, if you truly want to thwart terrorists, I propose we strip down every passenger naked, put a bag on their head, stick them in the cargo hold, and let them off at their destination. This improves checks for weapons, eliminates the worry of taking over the plane, and makes us safer.

    So if you support todays TSA rules, why not support this one that will likely hit you next Thanksgiving with no warning? Safety first, right???

    November 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeffrey

    What's the sense in using intrusive measures to check passengers in US airports when incoming flights from third world countries could pose just as great a danger? I saw the TSA chief talk this morning, but he only compares US measures with Europe and Israel. What about countries like India, or Nigeria, or even Guatemala (where I live)? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

    November 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Condor

    Something else to think about. 4oz of liquid, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, toothpaste....and whatever else...

    Multiplied by 6 terrorists who act together to combine their total amounts will probably do the job

    Its risk managed security with a splash of knee-jerk reaction but by no means fool proof...

    So how far do we go?
    That's the BIG question

    Or is it.... How far are we WILLING TO GO?

    November 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. barbara cadigan

    PLEASE CHECK THIS OUT...a friend of mine..a mom of 2 tsa workers said...while we were in a card group...said she was flying to vegas...with all her card making tools...i asked how she was getting through security...answer was..it all depends who you know ..IS THIS POSSIBLE ..THAT SOME TSA WORKERS WOULD GIVE THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY SPECIAL TREATMENT..this would be the Duluth MINN AIRPORT. Screen me naked I DONT CARE...BUT HOW ABOUT FAMILYS OF TSA ?

    November 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sgt. Slaughter

    Nobody is going to get to the controls of an aircraft....

    With a box cutter, knife or screw driver, metalic or non-metalic ever again

    Shouldn't have happened on 9/11 either

    November 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Condor

    I didn't know bombs on a plane was a NEW TYPE OF THREAT....I guess everyone flying up to now was adequately protected
    REALLY YOU WERE

    November 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sgt. Slaughter

    Really? What have they been checking for since 9/11

    That's why terrorists took over the controls of the aircraft, with knives and threats

    Unfortunately the victims sat there like sheep, hoping for some mercy. I would hope that now most passengers would act more like wolves under similar conditions.

    November 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sure go ahead

    I hope I get a drink out of this.

    November 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
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