Protests planned for day before Thanksgiving

November 21, 2010 6:51:41 AM PST
Air travelers upset about new security measures are coming together with a plan, and it could cause big problems for you if you are traveling over the holidays. People who say the new screening procedures go too far are planning to opt out of them. A protest is scheduled for Wednesday, one of the busiest travel days of the year, and that could cause a travel mess.

The local organizer of 'National Opt Out Day' held a loosely-organized meeting Saturday, made up mostly of his friends and family members, to go over the plans for Wednesday. He says he doesn't want to cause any problems at the airport. He just wants to educate people on what their rights are.

As we head towards one of the busiest travel days of the year, the fervor surrounding the TSA's use of full body scanners and enhanced pat-downs continues to build. Some travelers say the additional scrutiny is necessary.

"If they want to do the full body scan and they want to pat me down, that's OK because I'd rather they do that than I crash," said traveler Diane Hendrix.

The issue has sparked a national debate and the movement suggesting that travelers boycott the TSA's screening methods is gaining momentum. It's called 'National Opt Out Day.'

On Wednesday, supporters plan to hand out flyers at Bush Airport. They believe travelers shouldn't be forced to give up their Fourth Amendment rights.

Jay Stang believes the TSA is ineffective and has become too politically correct at the direction of government leaders.

"The Israeli security officers, I don't agree with everything they do, but one thing they do is very effective, is they talk to you when you're in the terminal and if they sense there's something wrong or they feel from your behavior or your body language that there is something going on, then they pursue more aggressive security tactics," he said.

Betty Esteb has to get patted down because of her artificial hip. While she says it's now somewhat intrusive, she's willing to endure it.

"If it's safety, then I'm sorry, yes," she said. "I've lived a long life. I want to live a little bit longer."

TSA Spokesperson Luis Casanova released the following statement, saying, "On the eve of a major national holiday, it is irresponsible for a group to suggest travelers opt out of the very screening that may prevent an attack using non-metallic explosives. We will be staffed up and work closely with the airlines and suggest passengers travel as lightly as possible."

Remember, if you are not comfortable with the search in line, you can go with a fellow passenger into a private room to be screened. President Obama says he understands Americans' complaints, but says the changes are necessary.


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