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Old 11-16-2010, 05:35 AM
1,897 posts, read 2,935,842 times
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hey guys,

My family and I will be traveling to Houston, Texas soon. We leave out on the 21st of November, and I'm hearing all these horror stories about the TSA, and their body scans/pat downs.

I wouldn't worry so much if it was just my wife, but we have a 2 yr old daughter, and an 8 mo old son traveling with us.

If you have any advice, or links to info that could help ease us through the process, I would appreciate it.

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Old 11-16-2010, 05:55 AM
20,273 posts, read 28,847,608 times
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We've been travelling with our four-year-old since he was a baby, and have never had much problem with TSA, particularly not in Pittsburgh. Just be patient and polite and everything should be fine.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:39 AM
Location: Hempfield Twp
781 posts, read 1,137,478 times
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PGH is one of the easiest airports to navigate except for the long lines on some of the busy days. Most times, they don't even ask people to take out their toiletries in the small ziploc bag and little things like that.

IAH, on the other hand, can be real sticklers for all that stuff. If you are going into Hobby, can't help you much.

I haven't been body scanned yet and I would probably decline. I don't want all the female TSA agents following me to my gate asking me for my phone number! :-)
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:48 AM
Location: Pittsburgh area
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It's been a little while since I was at the airport, about 6 weeks I think, not sure if you can still avoid the body scan at PIT. They have them at both checkpoints now. 6 weeks ago at least at times you could still generally avoid the whole issue by getting into a line that was utilizing the metal detector instead of full body scan.

Based on the recent heat this week, it sounds like they are backing away from small children needing extra screening to opt out. But it's unclear how uniform across the system this policy is yet, or if it means they won't receive any pat down at all. You may have seen the video where they continue to pat down the screaming child. It sounds like this was a hastily concocted reaction to it.

The trick is to see if you can get in a line that leads to a metal detector only, that is still in use. This may be hard to observe when you're also watching too young ones, and again, I'm not sure if it's still even possible at PIT. (It generally is at some larger airports; Houston has places where you can avoid the body scanners.)

Assuming you can't avoid the scanner line(s), the kids obviously opt out. For your son this is a given anyway, assuming he can't stand yet or only just barely. For your daughter, I suppose they would say she should be scanned, but you should opt her out. If you opt out for yourselves (adults) you will presumably get the "enhanced" pat downs. Which is the right choice for you depends upon your opinion.

I'm trying to keep the controversy out of this post. This isn't really the place to discuss whether or not they should be doing these things. I am intently interested in the issue and am trying to follow the developments. There are certainly reasons people might want to opt out of scans or be upset about the procedures in general. Above is probably most of what I know for now as far as useful about what's going on, without getting into my personal opinions about it all.
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:01 PM
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thanks to all of you...greg, you basically hit on what i was wondering the most about. thanks again!
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:49 PM
38 posts, read 73,004 times
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TSA pats down a screaming toddler

TSA pats down a screaming toddler : The Mommy Files

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Old 11-17-2010, 08:00 AM
Location: ɥbɹnqsʇʇıd
4,601 posts, read 5,763,859 times
Reputation: 3510
The TSA's tyranny is a very hot topic right now and people are slowly revolting. Take a look at some articles here:

reddit.com: search results
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:52 AM
Location: Knoxville, TN
199 posts, read 450,371 times
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Oh jeez.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:49 AM
346 posts, read 460,558 times
Reputation: 205
I find this insane. They aren't going to be brodcasting these x-rays for everyone to see... I mean seriously? I know it's a tad embarassing. As far as my body I'm pretty conseravative, but these people will be scanning thousands of people a day ... They don't care about your "figure". I mean do you remain fully clothed at the doctors? This is for our safety... I don't put it past some nutjob to strap bombs to a toddler to get his point across.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:30 PM
396 posts, read 601,534 times
Reputation: 246
Doctors are expected to be highly trained practitioners who take their patients' privacy very, very seriously. If they do not behave in this way, there are serious repercussions.

TSA agents are the bottom of the labor market barrel who will descend even further into protected, unfireable incompetence once they unionize.

Child rape charge rocks TSA - BostonHerald.com (http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1238602 - broken link)
TSO saying "heads up, got a cutie for you" - FlyerTalk Forums
Federal Eye - TSA employees can vote on union representation, labor board rules

Last edited by caroline2; 11-17-2010 at 01:48 PM..
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