SAN Airport Travelers React to New TSA Pat-Down Regulations

Some travelers say the screenings are more invasive

In an effort to tighten security and to standardize security procedures, the Transportation Security Administration has announced a new “comprehensive” pat-down for passengers.

Chris Petersen, who travels about twice a month, said he’s not surprised or taken aback by the new regulations.

“It's a different world today,” he told NBC 7 Sunday. “I just want to get to where I'm going.”

The TSA previously had several pat-down options for travelers who set off the metal detector, but the new, more complete pat-down will leave TSA employees with only one choice.

Aviation expert Jeff Price explained the new rules may help streamline the process.

“From an operations perspective, it's a little bit easier because everybody just has to learn one procedure, one technique,” Price said.

A 2015 homeland security study found that TSA officers failed to detect smuggled weapons in 67 out of 70 attempts: a failure rate of 95 percent.

The TSA pat-down will focus on the same areas of the body involved in previous checks, and will be for people who trigger the metal detector and opt out of technology screening.

“You're 40,000 feet up in the air, you don't want people bringing in things they shouldn't,” traveler Michelle Scherber said. She thinks more passengers probably reacted negatively to the rollout of the full body scanner x-ray machines. “I think that when they initialized the x ray thing, I think more people probably reacted to that.”

The TSA rules state passengers may request a private screening accompanied by a companion of their choice.

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