Airport security: TSA changes pat-down technique but offers few details

Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

The Transportation Security Administration is changing the way it performs pat-down searches during airport screenings, but officials aren’t saying exactly how.

“TSA is in the process of implementing new pat-down procedures at checkpoints nationwide as one of our many layers of security to keep the traveling public safe,” said a statement posted Friday on the TSA website. It continued:

“Pat-downs are one important tool to help TSA detect hidden and dangerous items such as explosives. Passengers should continue to expect an unpredictable mix of security layers that include explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, [and] canine teams, among others.”


TSA spokesman Nico Melendez declined to comment on the new procedures.

The Associated Press reports that the pat-down involves a “new hand-sliding technique” that is already in use in some airports, according to information it says it received from a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Pat-downs are used after metal detectors are triggered during the screening process. Click here for a full explanation of TSA’s security checkpoints.