"Back in the good ol' days, we use to be able to opt out of full body scans." OK, so no one is saying those exact words, but the TSA did just change their rules on body scanning -- just in time for the holidays.
According to updated TSA guidelines, airport security is within its rights to force travelers to walk through those body scanners even if they opt out. Before, you could choose to have a pat down (why would you choose a pat down?). So if you're scared of the radiation, well, get over it. Updated rules read as follows:
"While passengers may generally decline AIT screening in favor of physical screening, TSA may direct mandatory AIT screening for some passengers. TSA does not store any personally identifiable information from AIT screening."
That last sentence is there to ease the minds of travelers who think an agent might get a decent look at them in a compromising state. To further calm modest passengers, the new guidelines go on to clarify that updated software will only show agents a "generic figure." You can take a look at the complete rules regarding AIT screenings here.
Obviously, this is all meant to safeguard against potential threats. But still, it's not going to help the holiday rush any.
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Kara King is a News Writer at Thrillist and has given up on holiday travel. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her at @karatillie.