Protest tells passengers to pass on full body scanner

November 23, 2010 4:16:51 PM PST
There is only one full body scanner in use at Philadelphia International Airport.

The one and only will be the target of a deliberate slow down attempt tomorrow.

"If enough of us do it, then the TSA will have to accommodate all the passengers that don't want to be abused," protest organizer James Babb said.

A growing protest movement has established websites urging passengers to opt out of the full body scans in favor of the enhanced pat down.

They say the resulting slow down will force the TSA to reconsider its policies.

Some think it's a good idea.

"I'm not sure I like it as a traveler, but I like it as a concept of getting action taken to change the rules," Jack Becker of Minneapolis said.

Others, including Robert Graves, a Southwest Airlines pilot who spoke with Action News, think it's a lousy idea.

"Once all of our customers get through then we have to deal with them and it's just not going to make things better," Graves said.

The protest organizers say people are already angry.

But the TSA says it's only gotten 700 complaints from the 28-million passengers who've been subjected to the enhanced screening.

The protesters say the measures are unnecessary.

"It's a political show. They're trying to make it look like they're doing something. They're trying to make it look like they're not just a big bureaucratic bunch of incompetents," Babb said, adding "the security experts say that what they're doing is not making us safer at all."

Safer or not, travelers will have to get used to it and they don't want to be slowed down by a protest.

"I think that's going to be absolutely ridiculous and that's why I changed my flight to today, and I was supposed to fly out tomorrow, and I'm just totally not trying to be a part of that," Kathleen Carter of South Philadelphia said.

The impact of the protest remains to be seen. As with any heavy travel day, it's a good idea to give yourself plenty of spare time before your flight.


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