Survey Shows TSA Support

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 10:41am

New poll finds many Americans support body scanners and enhanced pat-downs.

Despite the recent outrage over TSA scanners that flash a naked-looking image to agents, 64% of Americans support the scanners' use according to a new ABC News / Wall Street Journal poll.

Asked about the alternative, TSA touching between the legs and around the chests of travelers, 48% called the pat-downs justified.

"I don't mind a little invasion of privacy for an extra for an extra level of safety," says Texas traveler Eric Weinkam.

Carrie Lemack agrees.

She lost her mother on September 11th.

"Nine years after my mom's murder, I have to come back out there and remind people that the threat is real," she laments.

Tomorrow, on one of the busiest airport days of the year, an activist who objects to the scanners, is still urging an opt-out boycott, asking passengers to insist on time-consuming pat-downs to jam up the system.

"I want the policy changed," says Opt-Out organizer Brian Sodergren. "That's the problem, the policy, and I'm hoping that the pressure gets out, that the issue gets noticed."

The travel industry fears chaos.

"Worst case scenario is that it gets confrontational, that people begin opting out, passengers start taking on passengers for slowing up the lines and it becomes a mess," says US Travel Association CEO Roger Dow.

The head of the TSA says there's no mess yet as the holiday rush begins.

"There are short lines, people are getting through on a timely basis," says TSA administrator John Pistole.

The TSA says it's looking for better ways.

Flight attendants will soon get to skip the new security, which should shorten the wait for passengers.

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