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That is the question.

Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning I will be flying out to Colorado for a week and it will be the first time I’ve flown since mid-September. This means, of course, facing new TSA security measures!

Part of me is slightly excited to see the new security procedures, as there has been so much commotion and raucous around them. From whether or not they are necessary to the psychological reactions they could trigger in abuse victims, TSA’s new procedures have been a hot topic for a while now. I want to see just how the security lines have changed and how other flyers are reacting. I’ve flown from an airport with the full body scanners, but it was back when they first started trying them out in just certain airports and when it was random selection. [How random we shall leave to another discussion.]

Anyhow, the other part of me is apprehensive about the new procedures. TSA Chief John Pistole keeps on saying how the body scans are actually optional. But the only option for people who don’t want to go through them is a super intrusive pat down. It involves a security agent tracing their hand around the contours of the passenger’s body, under their armpits and breasts, around the buttocks, and also up the insides of the legs to the groin area. Essentially, groping. Oh, well, I guess they also have the option of not flying.

I haven’t quite decided how I feel about these scanners. On Wednesday, November 24, the busiest travel day of the year (also known as the day before Thanksgiving), a group urged all travelers to participate in its National Opt-out Day. The plan was slow down security lines in order to protest the new security procedures, which they felt was intrusive. Slightly obnoxious in my view because although I get their point, they are also harming others in the process. Apparently, that opt-out day was somewhat of a failure as security lines weren’t slowed down all that much. There is, however, a new opt-out day being planned by another group — it’ll be on December 23, right in time for Christmas.

I’m not particularly happy about these new procedures because they truly are intrusive. But I can’t argue that they aren’t necessary either. For tomorrow, and for the many other flights I’ll be taking this holiday season, I will probably just be going through the full body scanners, because frankly, if someone put their hands on me, I may or may not be able to control myself. It’d be one of two reactions: I’ll be so tickled that I can’t stop giggling or I’ll be so instinctively reactive that I’ll punch the security agent in the face, which would put a dent on my travel (and maybe life) plans.

If you’ve already gone through either the full body scanners or (especially) the pat downs, please tell me about your experience!

T-18 hours until start of trip to Colorado! (Bunny) slopes, here I come!

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