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.

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'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.

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

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soundoff (382 Responses)
  1. DisgruntledGrrl

    I love how the TSA female agents are smiling like :"You go, girl!"

    April 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. guest

    this country is run by a bunch of idiots. no one has to deal with more terrorism than the Israelis, they have offered to teach America how to properly find a terrorist in a crowd or at the airport (not by racial profiling,either). when was the last time you saw an El Al plane hijacked or blown up? and they don't use x-rays or pat downs. it's an intense form of psychological profiling.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Somme1916

    Facts are: 1. Only dark skinned muslims hijack and/or blow up planes (props to DB Cooper for being the standout white guy).
    2. Pat-downs are worthless for security efforts. Nothing hazardous has ever been discovered by them, except maybe a guy tryiing to smuggle his contact lens solution aboard. And what exactly are TSA knuckleheads trained to 'feel' for? Sticks of dynamite? IEDs? Tampon strings?

    April 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Realistic

    This issue about pat-downs can be debated all day long but instead of complaining come up with a solution. I do not agree with pat-downs on 6 year olds and i doubt some of these TSA perople are gettin thrills from doing it. Its a job they are asked to do and they are doing it, don't like it call a congressman/woman to change the rules. My solution is to have all senators(male-female) and congressman and women to be subjected to the same pat-downs even if they go through a private access terminal or fly on a private jet. The lives of the pilots and crew is just as important and they will change the law fast. See, they are excluded so why should they care....No cause of effect on them.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. guest

    remember the story about dogs being transported with bombs sewn into their bodies? what's to stop a suicide bomber from taking that same step and having the bombs implanted inside himself/herself or inside his child? what will be do then? or if a bomber simply inserts the bomb into one of his or her body cavities? will be allow ourselves to be subjected to deep x-ray scans? cavity strip searches? our founders died for their freedom, not for the right to live under martial law with no privacy because of past events and some unknown terror awaiting us....

    April 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jack

    What good are security measures that are enforced by morons?

    April 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brenda Bachmann

    I felt bad for the 6 yr-old girl who was upset by the TSA pat down, but it's highly likely that a criminal attempting to smuggle any kind of contraband on board would not hesitate to use a child's undergarments as a vehicle to do so.

    As an elementary school teacher, I know that it takes very little to provoke crying in a young child, especially shy ones. It's crucial that the parent(s) prepare the child for this necessary process THOROUGHLY beforehand, and explain to the child WHY in this case, this type of touching IS appropriate. It's for our safety, just like a doctor's touching during an exam is necessary to evaluate the child's health. If children are prepared thoroughly, while explaining how their cooperation in the process helps us to ALL stay safe, they can come through the experience proud for demonstrating good citizenship. Of course, it's the parents' jobs also to make sure the child understands that OTHER types of touching in this manner is inappropriate. I also think parents should supervise the TSA search process within immediate reach of their children, to intervene if the person performing the search were to "cross the line." We must keep airline travel safe.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Somme1916

      It's 2:15 CST. Aren't you supposed to be teaching class? Or do you take frequent 'chat breaks'?

      April 13, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brenda Bachmann

      Had I been teaching today, I wouldn't have known about this story yet or been able to leave a post, as I would have been totally occupied with the needs of my students. That's for the person wondering if I was taking a "chat" break while teaching. That's ridiculous.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whoa

      Wow, this is the most insane comment of the day. Are you being sarcastic? If so, I'm impressed at the level of eerie accuracy you muster in portraying the self-destructive slave-citizen archetyped in masterpieces such as 1984. "Keep air travel safe"? "Talk to your children about why they must be THOROUGHLY searched and it is NECESSARY" for our safety? You are the most dangerous element in our society, not terrorists, except perhaps nuclear profiteers. What good does frisking children do to prevent the bomb which is hidden inside their body? Nothing. What, other than a bomb, can bring down a plane? Nothing. We should only be using chemical sniffers for explosive materials, and nothing else, period. That's all the security we need.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brenda Bachmann

      By thoroughly, I meant to the extent demonstrated during the TSA search shown. I wasn't implying that criminals would be smuggling contraband inside of children, but inside of their undergarments or diapers. I'm not advocating body cavity searches of children, for crying out loud. That said, the current pat downs used would not detect contraband hidden in such a place... The person who said there should be chemical sniffing dogs has a good idea, but how long and how much funding would it take to get that into place? For the short term future, I believe we need to think about what can be done realistically to keep airline travel safe.

      I agree with the person who said young children should be afforded a privacy screen when searched if desired. Perhaps adults should be given the same courtesy if requested?

      As adults, it would be refreshing to see individuals discuss differences of opinion without slinging insults and condescension. Can't we just present our ideas and rationally say why we agree or disagree with them. Just reading through these comments, I totally understand the need for teaching conflict resolution skills in school. Btw, I do have 2 of my own children, so I'm a parent also.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      The scans and pat-downs do virtually nothing to keep us safe. Israeli security officials have already demonstrated the ways a bomber could get dangerous materials through security, even with the invasive new measures. I also know several people who have accidentally carried knives on board, and the metal detector didn't catch it.

      Fact is, EVERY bombing has been on a flight that originated outside the US, including those of US airlines. It's foreigners from countries where terrorism and political upheaval is a serious problem who should be profiled and given extra screenings. We as Americans do not deserve to ALL be treated like terrorists because some dude in Yemen put explosives in his BVDs. Let the Yemenese get body scans and pat-downs, and leave the rest of us alone.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nick A.

    Sasha, how for 1 minute do you know that God "convicts Nic's soul". So you are saying you know the will of God? Pretty impressive. I thought God didn't want us to judge one another. Anyway if you read the Bible Old Testament) and take it word for word, God is OK with slavery.

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

      What's so odd about claiming to be able to read the mind of some super natural being? It is as reasonable as any other claim about that which can not be observed. I'm a Pastafarian, and some think our beliefs are unreasonable but I counter "of course they are. That is the nature of belief."

      April 13, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I read in a book that some guys wrote that your Flying Spaghetti Monster god is real, and if we don't believe in him we'll burn forever. I am now a reborn Pastafarian.

      April 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. athena

    I just don't get it, the bikini girl refused a full body scanned because a person in a separated room would be able to see her "almost" naked. Instead, she wore a bikini so that everyone in a room full of people could see her "almost" naked.

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

      ummm, no...I guess you just DON'T get IT....

      Back in line with the sheep! NOW!

      April 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dead On

      Hardly. The backscatter machine shows MUCH more than that bikini. Google "backscatter images" and have a gander.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      No, she refused the full body scan due to the radiation that it emits...Although the levels of radiation coming from this full body scan once or twice or even a few time a year is negligible every day exposure to this type of radiation will probably show to be more hazardous than believed especially for anyone who is predisposed to cancer. Radiation has a wonderful way of making cancer worse. Also, at least she isn't completely naked as she would be on the image with just a few clicks of the mouse in photoshop to put the colors back to normal.

      April 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. YesWeDoCare


    I understand what you are saying about TSA being a huge organization. The list you pointed out of folks not being screened is extremely alarming. It boggles my mind to think that mechanics, catering, fueling folks are not screened? If that's going on, then TSA's focus is most definitely messed up. That's where, if anything does happen, it will be from.

    Can you point me to some reference/news articles about that flaw? I've read up on a lot of this but was ignorant to the fact that was going on.


    April 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jack

    How de we know the woman in the bikini isn't hiding some plastic explosives in one of her body cavities that is covered by her bikini bottom?

    April 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Czar

      Both are so probably loose it would fall out.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. YesWeDoCare


    Pardon me. I just saw the link you posted earlier. Thanks for that and will do some reading!

    April 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PatMeDown

    I would gladly volunteer for extra pats down – baba booey!

    April 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brenda Bachmann

    Most of those complaining about the pat down of this 6 yr-old, would also be the same ones demanding to know WHY a 6 yr-old who was used to smuggle a bomb/contraband on board was NOT patted down.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chip Douglas

      Right on

      April 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sleep Cycle

      Actually no these are two very different groups of people. The folks worrying about bombers and terrorists and attacks are living in fear and as a result have lost their sensitivity to others. The folks concerned about a six year old getting patted down by TSA have not lost their sensitivity and are not limited by fear.

      April 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Are You Kidding Me

    If the government locked everyone in windowless rooms, they'd be safe too. For some reason, people sound like they wouldn't mind that. I guess the best solution is an arms race with terrorists, where we aren't any more safe, but at least we're treated like subhumans. That's the logical solution, according to Americans.

    And to all the people who say "If you don't like it, don't fly" – you deserve to be blown up.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Max

      LOL People who care about their personal well-being and security deserve to die. Are you kidding me, Are You Kidding Me?

      April 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
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