Body scanners, pat downs prompt traveler backlash
New airport security measures, particularly full-body scanners, are angering many passengers. One man's refusal of the scan has galvanized others across the US.
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His instant fame reflects widespread frustration with increasingly invasive security methods at US airports nine years after the 9/11 attacks.
Tyner was irate about having to either undergo a full-body scan or endure security officials' new pat-down methods, which the Associated Press said now include running hands up the inside of passengers' legs. The New York Times said the more aggressive pat-downs – "in which women's breasts and all passengers' genital areas are patted firmly" – began Nov. 1.
Tyner refused to go through the scanning machine, and so was offered a pat-down as an alternative, which he also declined. He then exchanged words with airport security staff, while recording the showdown.
"I don't understand how a sexual assault can be made a condition of my flying," Tyner said at one point.
"This is not considered a sexual assault," responded an unidentified airport security official.
"It would be if you weren't the government," Tyner snapped back.
You can hear the exchange on an Associated Press video report here.
"I didn't want anybody looking at my naked body," he told Fox. Tyner said he recorded the exchange to protect himself. He said security officials tried to prevent him from leaving the airport without completing security screening even though he was not boarding an airplane. He said he won't fly again until security measures are changed.
"I'm planning on driving or taking a bus or a train," Tyner told Fox News. "I don't intend to fly until these machines are gone."
Pilots and crew are among those growing increasingly frustrated with security measures, according to the Associated Press. "I would say that pilots are beyond fed up," pilot Tom Walsh told AP. "The TSA is wasting valuable time and money searching the crew – who are not a threat."