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TSA: Full-body scans at BWI

The Transportation Security Administration says full-body scans are about to become routine for passengers at BWI Airport.

There are four machines at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport that scan passengers using advanced imaging technology. They're currently used as a backup screening method, with passengers asked at random to go through them.

TSA spokeswoman Lauren Gaches says starting Tuesday, the machines will become the primary method of screening passengers at the security checkpoints that have them. She could not provide a percentage but says more passengers would be going through the machines, although it's still an option to decline the screening in favor of a metal detector and a pat-down.

BWI is expected to get several more of the devices by the end of the year.

-- The Baltimore Sun

What do you think about the use of the full-body scanning? Post a comment below.

By Michael Bolden  | June 7, 2010; 6:31 PM ET
Categories:  Airports  
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I took a flight from BWI back in April. I was "randomly" selected for a full body scan. I had already gone through the regular security screening and I thought it best that I comply. The full scan took less than one minute. I'm not surprised that TSA is going to do more of these. Just be prepared.

Posted by: bebopjazz | June 7, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Just wonderful. I guess I won't ever fly out of BWI again. Some fool attempts to set his underwear on fire and now somebody at the TSA will be seeing things I only share with my doctor and my spouse?

It doesn't matter if it is more convenient or you don't see the person looking at you. It is still a strip search, with no reasonable suspicion. The fact that they go so far out of the way to hide the images speaks volumes about the nature of the scan. If it isn't protective enough of my privacy to display in big screens at the scanner, then it shouldn't be used, period.

Posted by: Toby-R | June 7, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The story about the TSA screener with the small schlong who was ridiculed by his colleagues tells you all you need to know. The screeners clearly ARE focusing more on the body than on searching for contraband.

What gets me is that the shoe stores stopped using x-rays due to radiation hazards. When you go to the hospital or the dentist, they put that big lead sheet around your waist to protect your nuts from the radiation. Yet we're supposed to assume that these TSA machines are harmless with no "protection"? I don't buy it. I wonder how the TSA would react if I were to wear a lead cup through airport security.

Posted by: 1995hoo | June 7, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

When they first installed these at BWI, the staff there were particularly unhelpful, even by TSA agent standards. I was ordered to stand in one and be scanned but they wouldn't answer my questions about what it was. ("It's like a picture. Just stand in the machine, ma'am.")

Now I remember why I hate flying BWI. Right *after* I booked a July flight. *sigh* Dang.

Posted by: EtoilePB | June 8, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The full body scan is no big deal. I had one at BWI and my husband, who was in front of me in line had no idea I had even had it done until I told him as we were walking to the gate. Safety first.

Posted by: none1955 | June 8, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Didn't TSA promise Congress that the machine would NOT be used for primary search, just selected secondary screening? Yet another lie to add to the pile.

Don't forget you have the right to refuse the strip search scan and would instead be subjected to a pat-down (you can request that be done in a private area, too, if desired)

Posted by: dasha2 | June 8, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Opting out...

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | June 8, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Of course, we could always just single out any male who looks Muslim; then everyone would be safe and happy. But then, we would'nt want to offend any terrorist. Would we?

Posted by: CubsFan | June 8, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Can't drug sniffing dogs detect explosives in one's anus?

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 8, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: vmax02rider | June 8, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, a little warmer.
Yeah, a little higher.
Yeah, a little lower.
Yeah, a little softer.
Yeah, baby. That's the way I like it. Yeah!

Posted by: ceefer66 | June 8, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Just remember - You, you wife and your kids look like this to the high school kids in the back room. Think Beevis & Butthead...

Is this great or what. America - Land of the free?
Safety first, my a**.
Only the STUPID would go through this.
The Terrorists (1 in 100,000,000 or less) know better - they know what airports DON'T have them!

Posted by: wimpie | June 10, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

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