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US airport security

My willingness to use flying as a form of transportation was drastically reduced when the TSA instituted rules limiting the amount of liquids through the security checkpoint. Originally, empty beverage bottles were not allowed through the checkpoint either. That was a boundary for me because I consider it a basic need to carry a lot of water with me when I travel, and I consider it an unreasonable burden to be required to purchase an overpriced bottle of water after clearing the checkpoint. (I can't find any rules about empty bottles on the TSA site right now and I've had reports from people who fly that they were able to bring empty bottles through the checkpoint, so maybe that rule has changed.)

As a person with medical conditions, I am exempt from the rules about liquids, but it offends me that the rules are imposed on other people. It also strikes me as pointless to have rules that people can exempt themselves from just by saying they have a medical condition.

So for the past several years I've flown very rarely.

The fact that I need to buy two seats to be comfortable also contributes to my choice to limit flying.

The new rules about full-body scanners and more intrusive pat-downs strengthen my resolve to limit the amount of flying I do. I don't have a lot of body modesty and don't fear sexual harrassment, so I don't think I would be personally harmed by going through the scanner or being manually searched.

But I believe people have a right not to be subjected to invasive searches without probable cause, and I'm not willing to relinquish my right.

I am privileged and fortunate that I have a choice whether to fly, and I am not making any recommendations for other people.

This mainly affects my likelihood of going to Wiscon. Theoretically I could drive to Wiscon and I'm not ruling that out, but I looked into it once and it seemed like it would be more driving than would be enjoyable for me. I'm not making any decisions about flying now, because a lot of things could happen between now and May, but I'm somewhat less likely to go if the scans and invasive searches become standard.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/695884.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


Nov. 19th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
I'm rethinking attending PyCon for similar reasons
I had a pat down last July when I left my MP3 player in my cargo pants pocket. It wasn't a big deal. My cat just gave me worse.

I don't want the back scatter radiation. It hasn't been tested properly. I know because my cousin works at NIST.

So each airline trip is going to get careful scrutiny.

BTW I've had no problem getting an empty plastic water bottle through security. I just fill it up with drinking fountain water after the checkpoint.
Nov. 20th, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm rethinking attending PyCon for similar reasons
If they are doing the new patdown properly, it will be more than the one you described--I've had the old patdown but it didn't involve anyone touching the underside of my boobs or running a finger in the waistband of my undies.
Nov. 20th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm rethinking attending PyCon for similar reasons
They changed the patdown procedure on November 1st. It is substantially more invasive.

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