East Texans aren't wild about being patted down

By Jena Johnson - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV)- For many holiday travelers, the Transportation Security Administration couldn't have picked a worse time for pat downs. The pat downs and high-tech x-rays are sparking debate both in and out of airports. East Texas travelers said they're not wild about getting patted down before they get on the plane.

Aaron Bearden was selected for a pat down in a Phoenix airport.

"It wasn't all that bad," Bearden said. "Basically, I just went through security, they said my shirt looked a little bit baggy and just had me put my arms out do the whole spin turn thing, down my legs and that was it."

As he waited to board his plane back to Phoenix, he said he would go through the pat down procedure again if he had to.

"It was just quick and painless," he said. "I didn't feel violated at all."

But some travelers said the pat downs are invasive and uncomfortable. Pansy Hayes was not searched, but caught a glimpse of one.

"My friend that was with me, right behind me," she explained. "They searched her all over, even around her waistline."

Pansy's friend almost didn't catch her flight. Pansy blamed the pat down.

"I was waiting and they were motioning to me come on and get on the plane, and I said I can't leave my friend but I did. But she got on the plane. She was the last one," Hayes said.

Ron Numann said he experienced both safety procedures.

"I like the scanner," Numann said. "I'm a scanner guy. I thought it was great. It was very simple. I was in there for about three seconds, lift up your arms and boom, you're done. I don't know why everybody is complaining about it."

Although Numann approves of the x-ray scanners, he said the pat down is a little too 'hands on'.

"That is rather personal," he said. "I would prefer my wife patting me down."

Numann said he will take a pat down if it means catching his flight, but like he said, he prefers the scanner.

"Three seconds, in and out. Boom, boom."

Many travelers told KLTV 7 News that TSA employees explained exactly what they're going to do before they begin the pat down procedure.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.