Saying "I Opt Out"

By Max Resnik

November 19, 2010 Updated Nov 19, 2010 at 6:28 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) To opt out or not to opt out. That is the question.

After meeting with airport officials this week we wanted to find out what travel agents are telling their customers about preparing for National Opt Out Day. It turns out that the folks at Travel Leaders have had no questions or concerns from their customers.

The threat is out there, but don’t expect flights to be delayed or canceled. Airports face fines if they are unable to get an airplane in the air and onto its destination on time, so don’t think the airplane won’t leave without you because it will.

The organizers of this body scanner boycott have chosen the busiest day of the year to be in an airport. It is a time when the standard hour and a half to two-hour time needed before departure might not be enough. Add that to a group of people who will opt pat-downs, and you could need an extra half hour at least.

After spending some time at Fort Wayne International earlier this week, we discovered that going through a body scanner could take less than a minute. The pat down however is a whole different process.

First the TSA official must explain to you how and where he or she will be touching you. This pat down isn’t a simple brush-over like in past years. It is a thorough head-to-toe process that checks every part of a person. Combined with the explanation, the actual pat down could take four minutes.

Comparatively, if hundreds of people opt out of the body scanners, the amount of people missing flights could exponentially increase as the day goes on—regardless of whether you opted in or opted out.

Some consultants suggest that lines be set up for those who are willing and those who are unwilling as a way to keep people moving through security.

One thing to remember is that airlines and airports are customers of the TSA. If the TSA sets guidelines or mandates the use of body scanners, the airport will and must do so.

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