Traveling with confidence can be shaken with the recent change in TSA Protocols, which include more intrusive TSA pat-downs. They are claiming that too many weapons have gone undetected over the past two years and more intrusive pat downs are required. This new protocol no longer allows non-TSA Pre-check individuals to use the pre-check lines during peak times.
A few days before leaving home mentally prepare yourself for the possibility of a pat-down by using the seven (7) tips below to go within to your sacred, peaceful, special place.
- Sit in silence prior to leaving home for the airport. Notice your breathing as you are sitting.
- Think of a place that brings you exquisite joy and/or comfort. Allow your mind to take you to that place.
- Feel the energy of your place, see the colors, notice the flowers, trees, fauna, water, mountains, if there are buildings present, the architecture, the streets, and the colors, this is your place, make it special.
- Notice your joy bubbling to the surface or how relaxed and comfortable you feel.
- Stay in your place for at least nine (9) minutes, noticing the energy that you generate.
- Take a few deep breaths and come out of your sacred place.
- Remember the feelings you experienced in your sacred place. Hold on to them so that you can go to them anytime you desire.
This will not make it more pleasant, it will make it bearable.
I can see this causing all of us to go to the airport even earlier hoping to get through the TSA lines in time to board a flight that leaves in three hours!? With the already very long TSA lines, it seems that they would do something to speed up the procedures. Now, having said that, they did not ask me for my assistance in this matter (smile).
The last time I traveled, I was taken aside for a pat-down.
Having not experienced one in many years, I didn’t know what to expect. The first agent told me that I would be given a female agent for the pat down. The female agent explained to me that she would use the back of her hands only and that she would tell me before she touched me what she was doing. I am happy that I was wearing thick denim jeans because when she ran her hand up the inside of my leg she touched my crotch. She was observed by a supervisor.
The effects of these intrusive TSA pat-downs are very subjective.
Recently, one of my friends who has suffered sexual abuse woke up in a psychiatric ward after experiencing an intrusive pat-down by TSA. She said, “The humiliation was overwhelming!” My friend was kept overnight and released. She is still dealing with the after-effects of the experience.
Today, I read an article and viewed a video by Angela Rye, a Principal, and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a CNN Political Commentator and NPR Political Analyst, a frequent traveler, Diamond Delta, and TSA Pre-check approved. She was singled out and taken out of line for a pat down. The humiliation she experienced parallels what many other women have gone through. Watch the video here.
I am all for making the world safer and traveling safely. However, I am NOT for using one’s position to abuse women or anyone. I understand that over the past two years weapons have escaped detection; this does not mean the intrusive pat-down TSA is using is necessary. This pat-down only serves to humiliate and violate one’s person.
With all the technology available today, surely TSA can find a tool that checks for weapons, that is not intrusive. My hope is that with enough outrage, from people who have suffered the indignities of going through the pat down, the protocol will change quickly and for the better.