Avoid TSA Groping This Thanksgiving

Tips to make your Thanksgiving trip through airport security G-rated.

ByABC News
November 22, 2010, 3:09 PM

Nov. 23, 2010— -- Are you flying this Thanksgiving holiday weekend and don't want the government to frisk your private parts? While there is no way to ensure that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) won't require you to undergo one of its new and controversial pat-downs, there are steps you can take to minimize your chances.

"You definitely want to make sure that you have nothing that might set off the metal detector," said George Hobica, president of airfarewatchdog.com.


Most travelers will not undergo the intensive pat-downs.

Only those passengers who refuse to go through the new full-body scanners (they are only in place at 70 airports; click here for a full list of those airports) or those who trigger an alarm on the more traditional metal detectors will have to undergo the pat-downs.

That has always been the case. But starting this month, the TSA changed its procedures for how the pat-downs are conducted. The new methods are much more invasive, with same-gender screeners feeling under breasts and up passengers' thighs to their crotches.

The TSA estimates that 2 million people fly each day but that the agency has received only approximately 2,330 complaints specific to these pat-downs since the procedure went into effect nationwide on Nov. 1. Put another way, the White House says roughly 340,000 people have been subjected to more intense searches, 1 percent of the 34 million travelers since the new procedures took effect.