Flight Attendants Concerned About TSA Pat Downs

Flight Attendant Association Is Urging Change To Searches

Flight attendants are concerned about the necessity of a new pat down procedure used to screen air passengers and crew.

The Denver head of the union that represents United Airlines flight attendants is concerned his members may be victimized by Transportation and Security Administration agents, perceived as going too far.

In recent weeks, procedures have changed. Agents may now search individuals using the front of their hands, instead of the back. They can also touch private areas.

“We don’t necessarily believe that such an invasive process is necessary to the safety and security of the flight, ” said Ken Kyle, President of Association of Flight Attendants Local Council 9.

Flight attendants point out, they already go through strict security checks when they’re hired. They want the TSA to create a special crew pass, so its agents can focus on screening passengers instead.

“If we believed it was a totally necessary procedure, I don’t think there would be a crew member that would object to it,” said Kyle.

Flight attendants are being asked to report any incidents with the airline, the TSA and the union.

The TSA issued this prepared statement in response to questions posed by 7NEWS:

“We are frequently reminded that our enemy is creative and willing to go to great lengths to evade detection. TSA utilizes the latest intelligence to inform the deployment of new technology and procedures in order to stay ahead of evolving threats. Administrator Pistole is committed to intelligence-driven security measures, including advanced imaging technology and the pat down procedure and ordered a review of certain policies shortly after taking office to reinforce TSA’s risk-based approach to security. We look forward to further discussion on these important issues."

If you are asked to undergo a pat down, TSA officials say you may request a private area. In addition, a relative or a co-worker may serve as a witness.