What Will the New Airline Security Procedures Be?

Federal officials are still deciding how to adjust air travel security rules following an attempted terrorist plot on Christmas Day, leaving passengers confused about security procedures at airports and aboard planes.

Officials had discussed amending rules such as what items passengers are allowed to keep on their laps during the flight. But that idea was tossed aside and put back in the hands of the airlines.

At one point the government appeared to be considering forcing passengers on short flights to remain seated for the entire trip.

VIDEO: What Will the New Airline Security Procedures Be?
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Officials are scrambling to revise security procedures that Obama deemed "systemic failures" following Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's alleged attempted terrorist attack on Detroit-bound Northwest flight 253.

But the shifting approach to changing rules has not comforted holiday travelers.

"[I'm] absolutely anxious about flying again for the first time in my life because I now believe the system is terribly, terribly broken," said one passenger.

"That's why we're here early," said another woman. "We came like three hours early."

The rules are clear for international flights bound for the United States. Today airlines are required to pat down all passengers boarding these flights and have asked travelers to arrive at the airport early.

"It if takes a little bit longer it's kind of the price you have to pay for safety," one passenger said.

Transportation safety officials are rolling out full-body scanning machines, or "naked scanners," which are able to see through clothes and detect if someone is trying to hide explosives in undergarments, as accused attempted bomber did.

There are currently 40 of these machines at 19 airports across the country, with 150 additional machines expected to be in use by the summer.

'Naked Scanners' Raise Privacy Concerns

However, these machines are controversial because of privacy concerns and passengers are not required to use them. Instead they can ask for a pat down.

"We haven't fully deployed it to the public for reasons that the public has not been supportive of it. That I think is probably going to have to change," Kip Hawley, the former head of the Transportation Security Administration, said.

The TSA's Web site says the devices "screen passengers for a wide range of threats while maintaining passenger privacy" but some critics say the "naked scanners" go too far.

"It's very intrusive and some people think it invades their privacy," counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke told "Good Morning America" on Monday. "[But] if we had these scanners at all screening posts, we may have been able to stop this [Christmas Day bombing attempt]."

Amsterdam's airport, where flight 253 originated from, said it would begin to use advanced imaging technology to screen passengers on U.S. bound flights.

Nigeria will buy 3-D body scanners in hopes of having them installed early next year, a Nigerian official told The Associated Press.

ABC News' Lee Ferran, Ki Mae Heussner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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