A few other points to note: Children 12 years old and under who require extra screening will receive a modified pat down; all passengers have the right to request private screening at any point during the screening process; and everybody has the right to have a traveling companion present during the private screening.
For more information about the pat-downs, TSA carry-on rules or anything else about airport security, check out the TSA's traveler tips section.
TSA Administrator John Pistole said these measures are necessary to ensure that passengers are safe.
"The bottom line is few people in the overall scheme of things will actually receive those pat-downs," Pistole said.
"We cannot forget that less than one year ago a suicide bomber with explosives in his underwear tried to bring down a plane over Detroit. The terrorists allegedly behind the thwarted cargo attempt last month are out there bragging about how they will strike again," Pistole added in a statement. "We all wish we lived in a world where security procedures at airports weren't necessary but that just isn't the case."
Holiday travel always requires extra time at the airport because leisure travelers who aren't used to security screenings take longer. This year, give yourself even more time. Between the confusion over the new rules and a group of protestors urging people to actually request pat-downs instead of going through the full-body scanners as a form of protest, there could be considerable delays. (However, there is no estimate about the number of protesters and only one in every five security lanes has the full-body scanners.)
"Everybody is going to be edgy. So show up early. If you are in a hurry, it makes it worse," said John DiScala, a blogger known as Johnny Jet. "Everybody needs to relax. Listen, these guys are there to protect us. It's not the most ideal situation and it's not foolproof because bombers can still hide stuff in their cavity. But it's what we were all asking for after the Christmas bomber. Now we've got it, so shut up and enjoy your turkey. You're going to see your family and friends, you should be in a good mood."