Next week is one of the busiest of the year for air travel. And the last thing you probably want to see at the airport when you fly home for Thanksgiving is a long line — especially one that’s preventable.
But this year is different.
This Thanksgiving, I’m telling the TSA agents who screen me that I won’t walk through their full-body scanners.
And I’m not alone. A group of activists who are concerned about the so-called “advanced” imaging technology are also urging air travelers to just say “no” next week.
Opting out means agents will either give you an “enhanced” pat-down or wave you through the screening area (and when there’s a long line, it’s a safe bet it’ll be the latter). But the peaceful protest will also slow screenings to the point where the agency will have to reconsider the way it checks air travelers, as it did during a successful opt-out action two years ago.
A sustained protest could kill the scanners.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who fly, and don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting a full-body scan, let me offer a few reasons you should reconsider.
1. They’re not adequately tested and could be dangerous. Unfortunately, the scanners you’ll be asked to walk through haven’t been properly tested. The latest independent evaluations are actually based on data provided by the TSA. The government wants us to trust it, but it won’t give us a reason. That’s unacceptable.
2. They’re easily foiled. It’s not difficult to sneak a weapon through a full-body scanner, according to several reports. The career criminals who might want to do us harm have figured out how to get around the scanners already.