The key to not going through the full body scanner OR getting a pat down at the TSA checkpoint…

I feel like I’ve just made a revelation. I just went through security at Boston Logan Airport, and they have the full body scanners. I ended up in the lane which has these, and when it came time to go through the checkpoint, the agent gave me the usual “you don’t have anything in your pockets and your belt is off, right? Step right over here.”

As he said that, I said, with a smile on my face, “I’ll take the massage, please.” The TSA agent clearly didn’t like that I was getting enjoyment out of the security theater process, and said “oh no you won’t, you’re going through the metal detector.”

Now, unless I’m mistaken, once you’re selected for the full body scanner, you can either take that or get the patdown (in other words, you can’t opt to go through the metal detector).

So is the key to avoiding both the full body scanner and the full body patdown to pretend like you actually enjoy the experience, and are feeling lonely this holiday season?


  1. I’m sure the trick is in the devilery……Ooohhh, I’ll have the full body massage pleeeeaaaasssseeee!!

    (If you act creepy noone is going to want to touch you!)

  2. @ Mark — Realistically speaking, I’ve gotten probably about 20 pat downs after refusing to go through the full body scanner. Not once have they sent me through the metal detector in those cases.

  3. I’ve been doing my fare share of flying in the recent months, but i have to say, i’ve yet to be selected for the nude-o-scope yet, i think the key is just to be ugly.

  4. When I went through at Dulles a couple of weeks ago the TSO that had been called over for my screening was CLEARLY uncomfortable with giving me the full body rub and was trying to motion me to just go through the metal detector. But the guy who sent me over for the rub down was still watching so he couldn’t get away with it.

    I guess what I wonder in the situation you describe is why the guy would care? The one who selects you isn’t going to be the one feeling you up.

    Once I was about to get the full body rub, and the guy was explaining what he was going to do to me I replied, “You can do anything you want, but I don’t kiss on the mouth.” He became so visibly uncomfortable that he gave me the old-style pat down rather than the enhanced one and sent me on my way.

    Usually I just avoid the scanner by hanging back, fiddling with my stuff, so that I go through right after someone else has been sent in. And it generally works because I’m not hot enough for the screeners to want to send me in as a favor to whomever is watching in the pervert booth.

  5. So now the airlines are a tiny bit safer, but the determined terrorists will move on to “softer” targets, like Times Square, Xmas tree lighting ceremonies and cargo bombs.

    Next attack – shopping centers, schools, cruise ships, sports events, subways, tunnels, buses, airport security lines to name but a few.

    We cannot possibly catch every attempt by screening, but we can humiliate millions of people and help bankrupt already hurting commercial aviation companies.

    Fire 25,000 TSA clerks, dump the scanners and pat-downs, bring in dogs, and give the saved money to the FBI & CIA, who can actually catch terrorists (maybe).

    I, for one, won’t fly until this travesty is lifted.

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