TSA Enhances Airport Screening
Reporter: Mark Kelly l Videographer: Sally Delta Goin
Campbell County, VA - The pat-down at the airport will soon get a lot more personal. If TSA pulls you aside at screening for an enhanced pat-down, expect it to be a full-body, flat palm kind of search.
TSA, the Transportation Security Administration, starts the enhanced screening this Friday in hundreds of airports, including Roanoke and Lynchburg.
We talked with two people getting off the plane traveling from two different countries - one American, one British - and their views on the enhanced pat-down is as different as the countries they come from.
For Kayleigh Ballengee, an American from Tampa, Florida, airport security hits close to home.
"My dad works with TSA," said Ballengee.
She says a thorough pat-down may be a nuisance, but serves a purpose.
"If it's going to make me feel more secure, that's fine," said Ballengee.
Airport officials say the new pat-down leaves little unsearched and untouched.
"I don't know how to put this - a much more involved pat down, let's put it that way, and a more personal pat-down when it comes down to it," said Mark Courtney, Lynchburg Regional airport director.
We asked John Kanarens, an Englishman, just landing in Lynchburg, how often he travels in US airports.
He answered, "Often enough to know they can be a pain."
Kanarens says it's different across the pond.
"Taking your shoes off. I mean, is it really necessary. I don't think so," said Kanarens.
"Even though I kind of agree - they say the UK is saying that America is a bit too strict, about taking off your shoes and all. I could understand that, but the UK wasn't hit by terrorists and 9-11," said Ballangee.
Two people, two cultures, two views, but both can laugh about it all.
"Now, if it was ever a cavity search - probably not," said Ballengee.
"Every time we go through security together, I happen to be taken aside and patted down because unbeknownst to me she says, 'give that guy the gears,'" said Kanarens, pointing to his friend. "And that's exactly what happened."
The enhanced screening starts Friday. To be clear, the enhanced pat-down happens only to passengers taken aside for additional screening.