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Should The TSA Be Allowed To Frisk Passengers When Boarding Planes?

Updated on October 26, 2014

TSA Horror Stories

With today's terrorism threats and the new recent additions to airport security's boarding procedures, a heavy question hangs in the air.

Should airport security guards be allowed to frisk passengers when boarding planes?

In my opinion, the answer to that question is a resounding "no way!"

I understand the threat that is out there, but there has to be a point where we as citizens just have to say enough is enough.

There are plenty of horror stories that have surfaced recently about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) grossly over-stepping their bounds and even delving into the realm of sexually assaulting the passengers. I will be sharing some of these stories with you with the hopes that it will shed some much needed light on this touchy subject.

TSA Mission Statement

This section is cut and paste from the TSA website. These are the promises that the TSA has made and failed to keep many times over. Keep these promises in mind as you watch the videos.

The Transportation Security Administration protects the Nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.

The Screening Process

A primary goal of TSA is to treat all passengers with courtesy, dignity, and respect during the security screening processes. In support of this goal TSA has trained its security officers in the proper treatment of passengers and their belongings. That specialized training includes accommodating passengers with special needs. We have conducted outreach to religious and disability organizations to ensure that our security officers are sensitive to all passengers.

The Process

TSA has established procedures to minimize the intrusiveness of the screening process for passengers. Though you may be unfamiliar with some of these changes please be assured that they are all based on sound security protocol.

Private Screening

Your screening may include a hand-wanding procedure and pat-down inspection. You may request a private area for your personal screening. The private area will either be a separate room or an area out of the view of the general public.

Private Baggage Screening

If it is necessary to open your checked or carry-on baggage TSA will make every effort to do so discretely. At most airports there are tables with sidewalls to protect your privacy.

Passengers with Disabilities or Medical Concerns

If you have a disability medical concern or other special circumstance please refer to the Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions section of the TSA Web site for details on what you can expect at the passenger security checkpoint.

You are encouraged to communicate with the security officer both before and during the screening process so that the security officer is aware of your situation at all times.

Our current policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers, regardless of their personal situations and needs, are treated equally and with the dignity, respect, and courtesy they deserve.

Airport Security Assaults Child

I am sure you all remember your parents telling you not to let a stranger touch you and to say no. There are exceptions to this of course. Trusted people like doctors. Are we now to tell our children that security guards are one of these trusted people? No way should some minimum wage security guard have powers that even police do not have.

This airport security guard just happened to frisk the child of news reporter Steve Simon. She is screaming for the woman to not touch her and in my opinion, was very rough with the child.

Time for the TSA to spend some money and train their employees properly before implementing rules that require children to be physically touched.

TSA Strikes Again!

A man in a wheelchair rights are infringed and he is discriminated against by being frisked because the TSA could not figure out a way to search him. Also a young girl is sexually assaulted on a regular basis when she flies because she has a prosthetic leg.

TSA Assaults Bloggers

The TSA made the mistake of sexually assaulting a blogger who was boarding as a passenger and is now suffering the consequences. Here is her story.

TSA Frisks Nun

Was this older lady nun really suspected of being able to possibly hijack a plane?

What Do You Think About The TSA Policy To Frisk Boarding Passengers?

I have heard the argument made that these airport security guards are only doing their job and should be cut some slack. If you are one of those people with this line of thinking then I have a question for you.

If somebody touched you in a sexual manner that you did not want, would you consider it assault? If somebody walked up to you on the street and did the same actions, they would be thrown in jail. So why is it ok for some minimum wage security guard to do it?

My opinion is that the TSA has overstepped their authority and has infringed on the American constitution. The last I checked, only criminals and convicts were subjected to physical searches and even then police are very careful with their physical searches and frisks.

It seems to me that if you want to fly, then you have to agree to a forced sexual action.

I am making a call to action for citizens of the world to stop giving up their civil rights. The forefathers put the constitution in place for a reason. Do not let some power-hungry, money-grabbing, government-funded Gestapo agency take away your rights as a human.

Should Airport Security Be Allowed To Frisk Passengers When Boarding Planes?

How Can We Fight Back?

In my opinion the best way to stop airport security from frisking passengers when boarding planes is to take a proactive approach. This would be done by fully complying with all procedures and to insist on every security check that there is.

Of course, if you just demand it they are going to say no, but if you work it to your advantage, the TSA will have no choice but to put you through the security steps necessary steps to clear you.

Why would you want to do that?

Well simply put, every delay will cost the airport money and the airport shareholders do not like it when they do not get as much profit. I think that after losing money to this project they will see that it is not worth it and go back to loosening up their policies.

Tell Me How To Fight The TSA

To start, always have something small and metal on you. It could be a paper clip or any other small object. Whatever you choose though ensure that it cannot be construed as a dangerous object. Hide this object on you in an inner pocket or something. Once you get get caught in the metal detector twice, TSA policy says that they must physically search you. Since you only have a small thin object on you, it is unlikely that they will find it, forcing them to take the next step.

During all of this we will want to answer questions slowly and deliberately while repeating their questions back to the TSA agent just so you could be sure that you heard their question correctly.

This plan will not work if only a handful of people are doing it. This is going to take the collective efforts of all airplane passengers. If everybody was to cause a delay at boarding, it would cause a delay in takeoff time, which would delay the next plane coming in which would delay that planes takeoff time and so on. Once a terminal is delayed, it does not just catch up. They are delayed for the day. Pretty soon it will cost them millions and air travel would come to a standstill.

Now there is no way that the airports would ever let it come close to that situation. They would force the TSA to change its policies before it let air traffic stand still.

I consider this to be a form of guerrilla warfare. Hit your enemy where it hurts, and in the case of the airports, their profit margin is their weakest point.

I know I have been hammering the point of not letting them touch you, but this, in my opinion, is the most effective way to fight the TSA. You could refuse to fly like Jesse Ventura, but that is only going to hurt you. If you have to fly then this is just not an option for you.

You could also lobby your local Governor and senator, but good luck with that. You will find so much bureaucratic red tape that will be waiting for years for the non-existent answer to come in the mail.

Sign The Petition

Thanks you very much for taking the time to read my opinions on this matter. I hope that I have spread more awareness of what the TSA is doing and why we need to stop them before they take it too far.

Please take a moment to help stop these pat-downs and intrusive body scans from happening by signing the petition.

Sign the petition to stop the TSA's intrusive frisking and body scanning procedures

National "Opt-out" Day

Learn why we should "opt out" of x-ray screening all on the same day.

Jesse Ventura Fights The TSA And Refuses To Fly Again

Even Veteran and former governor Jesse Ventura is subjected to these types of searches. I thought the point of these searches was to find explosives or other terrorist materials. Is a former governor going to hijack the plane?

His answer was to refuse to fly again.

Are you someone who has been assaulted by the TSA and want somewhere to share your story? Feel free to leave it here.

Also please feel free to leave any other comments you may have about airport security being allowed to frisk passengers when boarding planes.

Guests Sign Here

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Please contact your congressman and senators. Tell them to withhold funding from TSA until the agency respects the Constitution and the traveling public. Specifically:

      1. Remove and destroy all imaging machines that potentially can "see" under our clothing.

      2. End all invasive patdowns that involve touching genitalia unless there is probable cause to believe that the individual has committed a crime.

      3. Cease immediately harassment of people who assert their constitutional rights during airport screening.

      Our legislators need to hear from us on this issue. Thank you.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image


      6 years ago

      I shared my own story here this last week. The groping was bad enough but the continual berating and insulting me was over the top. The people I had to deal with that day were simply awful. Any other job and they would have been fired or arrested! Thank you for getting the word out there.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have grave concerns, not a specific incident, regarding TSA patdowns.

      1. How thoroughly are TSA agents screened? As more children are being "molested" can we be assured that no pedophiles are employed?

      2. Agents are now putting their hands down people's pants and having a great deal of skin to skin contact. Do we have the right to demand new gloves, as the person(s) before us may have may have something highly contagious wich we do not wish to contract like Herpes, MRSA or even just poison ivy?

      3. As same-sex agents are used, we must assume that the TSA is trying to prevent the patdown from becoming sexual assault. However, since we can ask about neither the sexuality of the agent or the flier, and since the intent of the molester is an element of the crime in most states, how can we know we are not being being touched in a sexual way?

      4.Since there are those who absolutely must not go through the scanner (cancer patients etc.) how can we justify invasive patdowns as a requirement as these people fall under the AWDA ?

      In today's world flying is an absolute necessity for some who would not tolerate this invasion but must to so to make a living. Everyone needs to write to (or email) their US Congresspeople, preferably many times a day, until this issue is addressed.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @brandonmotz lm: Yes, i agree with you, but what if we stop giving pat downs and then a terrorist does sneak on the plan with illegal materials? i am doing a research paper on "Airport Security Pat-Downs", and i must get into the minds of both arguments. i believe that there should be limits to these pat-downs and a time when passengers should just be able to say, "No." While being ale t get on the plane, of course.

      But if there are people who really just don't want to be touched, then why not take a train or drive to our destination? it is much cheaper and all though it takes longer, you don't have to deal with the indecency of people touching you inappropriately.

      Please respond as soon as possible. Thank you!

    • brandonmotz lm profile imageAUTHOR

      brandonmotz lm 

      8 years ago

      @Yume Tenshi: Hi Yumi Tenshi, thanks for weighing in on this subject. I would really like to hear some counter arguments to this as well. I would present them here, but I simply cannot find them anywhere.

      If the TSA had actually stopped a terrorist act, then I could at least understand why they do what they do, but they have not stopped any kind of terrorist activity. The TSA may have caught a few guys who were dumb enough to try to smuggle a gun on a plane and they also caught an American who had the "materials to make a pipe bomb", but this just suggests to me that they were less then smart people, not terrorists.

      For all the money they have spent, the TSA has caught zero terrorists.

      In my opinion, the real terrorist activity was having caused the US government to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a project that has done nothing but piss off the average North American citizen.

    • sheriangell profile image


      8 years ago

      Great debate here. The suggestion of your proactive solution to very interesting. I wonder if something like this could come to pass, it would be great if it did. The video of the elderly gentleman having his pants pulled down in the open because of his artificial knee is really scary.

    • Yume Tenshi profile image

      Yume Tenshi 

      8 years ago

      A very touchy subject addressing a very important matter. When is enough, enough? Should one or two people be hurt for the health and security of the majority? I would have loved seeing and reading some counter-arguments, endorsing the frisking process. I'll keep a hawk-eye on this article! Well done! Inform us when there are updates, please. :)


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