What Happens if You Decline a Full Body Scan?

Posted Nov 15th 2010 04:52 PMUpdated Nov 19th 2010 11:28 AM


When you ask a friend to join you for a nice weekend cruise from Miami, you don't expect the friend to be hauled away by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents into a private room where she says she was practically strip-searched. But that's what happened at Logan International Airport in Boston.

I breezed through security, taking off my shoes, putting my stuff on the belt and walking through the traditional metal detector machine. The process took less than five minutes.

Then I looked over to the adjacent security line and saw to my horror my red-faced friend questioning TSA officers after she was chosen at random for, and refused to go through, a full body scanner.

My pal happens to be a Boston media personality and crime reporter, Michele McPhee. She is not a shy lady. When this tough blond makes up her mind she makes up her mind. There was no way she was going to be convinced to do a body scan if she didn't want to.

So instead, she opted for a pat down and was whisked away, barefoot, by two women - a TSA officer and her supervisor - to a private room, where McPhee says a very intrusive body search was conducted.

"They run their hands inside your leg and under your bra strap and patted the front of my breasts," she says. "If someone had done that to me at a nightclub I'd call the cops."

McPhee says the officers were "nice and apologetic" and seemed to feel bad they couldn't give her her shoes back until after the search, especially when she pointed out how dirty the floor of the terminal was. The whole process took about 15 minutes.

So why did she reject the full body scan? McPhee says her big issue is privacy when it comes to the images that are taken.

"I have questions about privacy. I don't really trust the TSA to keep these things private," she says.

McPhee says she'd also like to know who profits from the proliferation of the body scanner machines the TSA is rolling out.

With some grass roots groups calling for a boycott of full body scanners on Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving and one of the busiest travel days of the year, McPhee says she's all for it if it shakes things up.

"People need to know why we need body scanners," she says. "The humiliation of walking across a crowded, dirty terminal in bare feet, escorted by two TSA agents, dragged into a room and essentially assaulted, I really did leave mad."

The TSA maintains both pat downs and full body scans are designed to find dangerous items such as explosives and bomb parts that can be concealed on the body.

Coming back from Florida, at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, neither of us was asked to go through a body scanner or given a pat down.

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I will be flying out of Logan airport very soon, & ON PRINCIPAL ALONE (never mind the radiation I would be subjecting my body to) I REFUSE TO EVER GO THROUGH ONE OF THOSE "FULL BODY SCANNERS"=Not only will I refuse to go through a Full Body Scanner should my 5'10, thin, blond, attractive self be "selected at random" I won't even request to be taken to a Private Room" for my mini "strip search"=FREE SHOW FOR EVERYONE AROUND ME!!!!! (LOL)

August 14 2013 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Haha! Are you serious Hippie? You go through a background and that makes you suddenly perfect? Law enforcement goes through backgrounds and they don't foul up? Politicians go through backgrounds and they never go stray? Are you kidding me? Already it has been discovered some of the images were saved! It's idiots like yourself that take away rights from AMERICANS! But we will not sit still and take it from the government any longer! This is a FREE COUNTRY AND WE WILL DO WHAT IT TAKES TO KEEP IT THAT WAY!

July 20 2011 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For me, I will no longer visit the US and bring them my money, simple as that.

Considering that so far, none of these measures have stopped any terrorist to get on a plane, all attempts in recent years, after 9/11 were from outside the US, I do not understand that the public in the US is so complacent about having their rights taken away.

But then, I guess freedom is something you do not really fight for, but you prefer to let the government terrify you into complying without any proof that it actually has prevented anything.

On top of that, the Chertoff, the boss of TSA, has a consulting firm that represents one of the two companies manufacturing these bodyscanners... and that is not a conflict of interest. The only reason he wants them there is so that his client, and therefore he, make money. It has nothing to do with security and everything with big bucks.

Wake up, US citizens, you are being humiliated for the lowest common denominator - profit!

March 06 2011 at 3:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Joseph Aubel

When flying from Ohio to Flordia I told the TSA agent that I had a implanted defibrillator and could not go thru the metal dector, he told me to go over to another female agent and be hand checked. I went over to her and showed her my defibrillator implant card and she read it and said, " are you entilled to wear this"
No I just had it implanted for the fun of it

February 19 2011 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great place to work if you are a dyke. TSA always have some excuse to do what they want. Yea, a young caucasian has a bomb up her rear-end. Right!

February 10 2011 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to moveover's comment

I do like girls as well as guys, but sexual preference doesn't make me want to look at everyone lustfully. I know men who are the same. Some people are decent and professional, and some aren't. I won't lump a group all together and assume all TSOs are nasty, but some certainly are lacking in professionalism.

I do believe young caucasians have been terrorists. People forget what terrorist means after 9/11 blinded them.

But I am against TSAs current measures--I sometimes exhaust myself working against the body scanners and "enhanced" pat downs. I hope those of you who are with me are doing more than complaining in places like this? That is good, but also write the people who have control and educate yourselves on these things. The more you know, the more you will be disturbed. But you can use the information. Thank you!

October 13 2011 at 2:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

DHS chief Janet Napolitano: "One nice thing about this job is you don't have to fly commercial any more."
Our RULERS impose that on us that they themselves are unwilling and not required to endure.
NOT a representative republic any more.

February 05 2011 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Billy Jumper

Are Americans able to get any more stupid?

January 28 2011 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Billy Jumper's comment
bastard guy

Seems the dumber we get, the more planets we visit.

August 25 2012 at 6:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I believe you were unfit for the military because you might be slightly retarded. Did you graduate high school with spelling like that?

January 26 2011 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think everybody needs to get over the body scanners. They aren't going away, and if you don't like it, then don't fly...simple as that. Don't act surprised at the airport if you get picked for the scan. I'm sure the woman in the article that was scanned isn't as pretty as she thinks, most women aren't.

January 26 2011 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This technology kills you !

That's OK, DO IT or you will be humiliated, you little person !

Government gone Mad !

That's why we get paid so much, you little Fool.

January 26 2011 at 8:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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