Today is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and air travelers are facing stricter screening measures -- full-body scanners and pat-downs. They have intensified the debate over how intrusive the searches must be to protect the flying public. Some even want to clog up the system by encouraging passengers to opt for the time-consuming pat-down screening.
Inconveniencing passengers trying to get home for Thanksgiving isn't going to fix the security problem today. This will make holiday travel even more grueling.
Clearly, we need a better system. But it is a fact of life in the post-Sept. 11 era that terrorists have repeatedly targeted airplanes. Here's the core question: Would you rather board a flight with all passengers fully screened, or one for which they haven't?
Most travelers have come to terms with the routine -- taking off your shoes, undoing your belt, turning on your laptop -- as airport security tries to keep up with increasingly diabolical plots.
Now a growing number of airports, including Fresno Yosemite International, have begun using full-body scanners that allow Transportation Security Administration employees to see through passengers' clothing to check for hidden weapons and explosives. Travelers who don't want to go through the scanner are required to undergo pat-down body searches that include the breast and groin.
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