I'm flying out this morning and while going through security at the Spokane airport I found myself in a metal enclosure with yellow footprints to stand in. The TSA agent asked me to turn and face the wall.
Me: "Is this a backscatter machine?"
Agent: "Yes, it is."
Me: "Do I have to go through it?"
Agent: "No, you don't. Please step back out and go around over there."
I walked around to a metal detector entrance and had to wait a few moments as an agent called for a "male assist". Another agent walked up and asked, "What do I have?"
"An opt out."
The agent, very polite and professional, walked me to another area, asked me if I could see my stuff and keep an eye on it going through the x-ray machine and then gave me the "TSA speech" as he called it, explaining exactly how he was going to pat me down. So much like this little girl I received a nearly thorough massage while dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. He went over my cheap Timex watch as if it was the most suspicious thing he'd ever seen.
Agent: "Are you one of those jogging guys?"
Agent: "Do you use this watch to see how fast you're going?"
Me: "No, I use it to see what time it is."
While getting the full once over with everyone staring at me wasn't all that unpleasant, it wasn't necessary either. But then that's just me.
Just playing my part in the farce known as security theater.
It appears the purpose for rubbing your body all over is to pick up any sign of explosives with their gloves. The agent used one of those detector wipes on his gloves and then had a machine "read" it. Hey, they have the machine that goes "BING!"
Coffeeneur’s Challenge #3. Wood’s Hole, MA
13 hours ago