TSA's "Enhanced" Pat-Down Procedure Lets Their Fingers Do The Searching

In an effort to make air travel safer but less appealing, the TSA has begun using an “enhanced” pat-down procedure for those who would rather not subject themselves to a full-body scan. And if you’re a fan of having strangers touch you all over, then you should just get straight in line for this one.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the TSA has confirmed the existence of the enhanced pat-down, but wouldn’t budge on specifics about details of the procedure, nor would they say at which airports it is being used.

“We are in the process of evaluating and updating our procedures at airports across the country,” a TSA spokesman explained/

But the ACLU in Massachusetts has already begun hearing negative feedback from travelers at Boston’s Logan Airport who claim to have felt the full force of the new and improved pat-down.

“To call it a pat-down is a euphemism,” said a spokesman for the ACLU in Massachusetts. “They really go for it.”

He says that — unlike the antiquated pat-down, which required TSA screeners to use the back of their hands when searching sensitive regions of your person — the enhandced pat-down allows them to use their palms and fingers to feel and prod passengers.

One traveler who got the deluxe treatment at Logan sums it up thusly: “If anybody ever groped me like that in real life, I would have punched them in their nose.”

In addition to Logan, the Tribune says there are reports of the procedure being used in Las Vegas.

Have any Consumerist readers been the recipient of one of these new-fangled, touchy-feely pat-downs? Should they be charging a fee for the manhandling?

Airline industry sees improvement, yet fees keep coming [Chicago Tribune]