Airport security is still scary

Airport security is scary despite TSA changes.

The Transportation Security Administration softened guidelines for passengers 12 and younger in November. In March, passengers over 75 in select lanes at four airports can keep on their shoes and light jackets, and no pat-downs are required.

Yet airport security still causes fear.

Take a woman traveling alone on a one-way ticket without baggage. Suddenly she is flagged as a terrorist risk. This happened to me. Agents pulled me aside and detained me for a long time while they hand-searched my scanned carry-ons and scrutinized and chemically scanned my film camera for explosives. They almost opened my camera and ruined my film. Their big discovery was I had glycerin on my camera from my hand lotion.

My experience pales in comparison to two passengers traveling separately in their 80s at New York’s Kennedy Airport in November. One was made to remove a back brace so it could be scanned. The other was made by two female screeners to drop her sweat pants so they could examine her colostomy bag.

Stories like these grip travelers. They do not know what horrors they will face. Those in wheelchairs could be struggling to walk through the scanners instead of having TSA agents grope their genital and breast areas through their clothing. Others are concerned about the invasive rays and images of the scanners themselves. Still others wait to put on incontinence protection or hidden medical devices so as not to be stopped by TSA agents.

I understand the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. brought on tighter airport security, but the TSA itself is terrorizing the flying public. Rebellion at airports is less reported now. It is not because travelers feel less outraged. It is because travelers feel trapped when driving is out of the question.

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