Does this really happen?

Becky - posted on 11/22/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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This is one of my friends' facebook status this evening:
"Very troubled by US air security.Elsewhere these searches would result in sexual assault & pedophile charges yet parents willingly submit their screaming children to groping & strip searches in public.Why do we stand for it?I will not travel by air to the USA until the gov't treats its citizens with respect. The terrorists won a long time ago & this is beginning to look a lot like a communist regime (papers please)."

I'm not sure where she is getting this information from - it's not something I've heard about on the news, but maybe I just haven't been paying attention. I've seen one story on it, about a little girl who was searched because she cried when they took her teddy to put it through the scanner. I haven't flown in ages and never have yet with my kids.
So I'm curious, is this really happening? Have any of you flown recently with your kids? Were they patted down/searched? Have you seen or heard of this happening to any kids?
If it is happening, what are your thoughts? Is the TSA going too far? Is this just an excuse for pedophilia? Should children under a certain age (and what age, if so?) be exempt from pat downs and strip searches?

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Bree - posted on 11/24/2010

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I am one of the people that went through the scanner and also ended up with a little pat down. I didn't find either uncomfortable. I will tell you the story of how it happened...cause it's funny and I enjoy it.



I was in the Salt Lake airport on my way home from Vegas. Completely dead lol I just went to the shortest security line. It happened to be a scanner. The man asked me a couple of times if I was sure I wanted to go through, I said I didn't care I just wanted to get through it without standing in one of the other lines. We talked about my High School while I was being scanned. The person that views the scan told him I required additional screening.

"I'm calling a female over, she's going to have to do a quick pat down. Would you like to go to a private room?" He asked.

"Nope, right here is fine." I said.

Up walks an adorable little old lady, white hair and such. Hard to feel intimidated by that.

She says, "We couldn't get a clear view of the cleavage area, that's all I have to check. You're sure you don't want a private room?"

I say, "Here is fine, no big deal. People were already staring."

I was only half joking, I'm a 36-DD and have a full chest piece tattoo, from collar bone to shoulders to about an inch above my nipples. People stare.

She laughed, "Do you have anything hidden in your bra?"

"Just my boobs."

She laughed again, "And that's all?"

"Nothing else fits!"

Again, I got a laugh...which fuels me, I'm terrible.

She did a quick check where they couldn't get a read, just in my cleavage area, and sent me on my way.



This was all before the whole debacle going on now, this was mid August. I don't know if Salt Lake was just trying something new then or what, I've flown through Denver, Colorado Springs, Raleigh and even from Dulles to Germany without encountering anything like that.



I don't know if anyone else here has done the scan so I just thought I'd share...I had a "good" experience...I felt like I was in control of the situation. I made the decisions and was informed of what could happen and before each step I was told what would happen. I made the best of it by being silly cause that's what I do.



When I got to the terminal I actually texted my Mom, my best friend and my husband and giggled about what had happened. I am a different bird though, so I'm sure not everyone would have that kind of experience...if anyone else has one, share the story?

C. - posted on 11/22/2010

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Ok.. I have flown 5 times in 2 years WITH a baby in tow- the latest plane trip was the end of July of this year.. I have also seen MANY children go through security in the lines ahead.. I know people who have flown recently with children.. I have NEVER, EVER seen or heard about someone strip searching a child or even patting them down! EVER! That is just ridiculous to even think that, IMO. They did pat ME down when we traveled with formula, but that was it.

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Becky - posted on 11/25/2010

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I got pulled aside once and got a once over with the wand. I think it was just random, because I don't look very threatening! I don't think I got a pat down, but I can't remember. Obviously, it wasn't traumatic for me.
I do think children, at least under 12, should not be subjected to a pat down. My boys both have such stranger anxiety, that would be really traumatic for them, especially if they were to take the youngest one out of my arms to do it. I would be pretty pissed if they were to insist on patting down my 1 and 2 year olds.

Jenny - posted on 11/25/2010

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I hate it, it's just so reactionary. I will not travel to the US until things calm. If that is never, so be it. I will not allow myself to treated like a criminal, it's so anti-freedom.

Bree - posted on 11/25/2010

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My heart goes out to the 15 year old girl in the Toronto Sun article. While I had a great experience with the scan and pat down I do believe that pat downs should be limited to 18+. The regular old things we walked through (metal detectors? or even those poof air things they had for a while) should be used for anyone under 18. I'm kind of surprised they don't have those rules.

Stifler's - posted on 11/25/2010

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that chick looks exactly the kind of person who would be seen screaming abuse at the government if terrorists got through airport security.

Lacye - posted on 11/24/2010

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I had never heard about the breast cancer survivor or the one about the urine bag. That is just horrible. Thank you Sharon for putting that up there! I do think that they take it way too far at times, like in those cases, but there are some cases, like Bree's, that is just too funny and makes me not worry about it.

Bree - posted on 11/24/2010

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Oh definitely!! I know there are probably a couple of cases that may have crossed lines or made the person feel uncomfortable but I really believe that a lot in life plays out based on the way you handle it, not the way the people around you handle things...most of the time. There are extenuating circumstances everywhere but when it comes to a service issue, like this or customer service of any kind, it's all about how you treat others usually. I tend to make everything a joke but I usually get really good customer service and have been told several times I'm the best client/customer/whatever of the week...ahem, yes, I'm special ;) heh it doesn't take much to make me happy.

Stifler's - posted on 11/24/2010

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I agree with Sharon, some people make a mountain out of a mole hill and it makes them look suspicious so they get treated with suspicion when they are innocent.

Sharon - posted on 11/24/2010

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nah - i think what you did was cool and you're sorta a different bird because you took everything laid back.

Some people get all worked up, just READY for a confrontation and pretty soon any tiny thing is suddenly Mt. Everest, ykwim? You didn't do that.

But you also got an exceptional good group of TSA's. I don't know if that is unusual or if the ones we're reading about are unusual.

Sharon - posted on 11/24/2010

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Oh - I would rather do the scanner.

BOTH are invasive but at least no one is physically touching me with the stupid scanner and even if some doofus with a tiny prick were jerking off to my middle aged body or making fun of it, how would I know? they're making fun of you no matter what. "lookit her ass, geezus its huge..." whatever Big chested women know this. I would WAY rather do the scanner.

I know some people opt out due to the radiation thing and in their position I might too (breast milk collection, previous radiation cancer treatment...) but right now I'd opt for the scanner.

Cherese - posted on 11/24/2010

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I am really hoping that didnt happen. I have heard about the new scanners and if you choose to opt out of them you are patted down. To me that doesnt sound too bad. Could you imagine the kind of uproar and protests if they started strip searching children?

September - posted on 11/24/2010

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I've never heard of anyone much less children being strip searched in all the 25 years I've been flying. What I’ve heard people are getting all worked up about are the new x-ray scanners. I've been patted down before and in no way did I feel like I was being groped. I think some people tend to be a bit extreme when it comes to the subject imo. I would rather feel safe so if that means patting me or the next person down then so be it!

Nikki - posted on 11/23/2010

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I personally think it's a bit extreme, but then I am from Australia, I got cranky when they made me take my baby out of my ergo carrier to get through security last week. On the other side of things remember the uproar when 9/11 happened, everyone asking why security wasn't tighter. Either way it's hard for them to please everybody.

Jodi - posted on 11/23/2010

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And I will add that in all the years I have been flying (and I used to have to travel a LOT for my job for years) I have never been patted down. Even the day after 9/11, and I had to fly home internationally from New Zealand, the security was pretty slack. In fact, at the regional airport I initiated from, they didn't even have scanners and no-one was really checking anything much, just a security guard watching everyone walk into the lounge, LOL.

Jodi - posted on 11/23/2010

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I heard the story about the breast cancer survivor, and I thought that was disgusting. I mean, I just think there is such a thing as too far. I can understand they want to keep things safe, but surely that is crossing the line.

C. - posted on 11/22/2010

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I've never heard those stories before, Sharon.. Do you have a link for them?

Sharon - posted on 11/22/2010

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According to some news stories I read recently - shirt off searches have happened.

Yeah TSA sucks donkey balls, but another article I read showed how nasty passengers are in general.

The semi naked kid i read about didn't bother me as he his dad did it to make the search go faster and they aren't suing.

Its the old man the TSA agent frisked none to gently and ruptured his urine collection catheter bag, spilling piss all over him, that pisses me the fuck off. Its the TSA agent who brusquely demanded a breast cancer survivor take off her prosthetics without any care or sensitivity that pisses me off.

Jodi - posted on 11/22/2010

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And this:



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/parental...



I actually haven't heard of any of this, but we are in Australia. Our security isn't as tight, and things like this are so unlikely to happen. Just last weekend I flew with the kids and as we went through security, I sent my 5 year old in front of me, and the security guys were high-fiving her!!! And then they high fived mum :) Talk about relaxed!



I have not travelled to the US in recent years.

Stifler's - posted on 11/22/2010

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I think kids shouldn't be strip searched but just because one got patted down doesn't mean whoever did it is a paedophile.

Becky - posted on 11/22/2010

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Well, I know this person though, and she's not one to be overly dramatic. Oh also, her husband works for an airline. Hmmm, maybe that's where she's getting her information. (duh!)

Stifler's - posted on 11/22/2010

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I doubt it. People on Facebook have a habit of dramatising things to get comments. Especially about paedophilia/their kids. You'd think 50% of males were pedos.

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