TSA Unveils New Pat-Downs As DIA Prepares For Busy Spring Break Period

By Dillon Thomas

DENVER (CBS4) – During the month of March, more than 1.2 million people are expected to travel through Denver International Airport each week. The airport cited regular travel, mixed with travel for spring break, as the reason for increased travel.

To open the spring break travel season, the Transportation Security Administration unveiled plans to change standard procedure for security pat-downs across the nation.

A spokesman for TSA told CBS4 classified studies showed a change to the procedure should be made.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The administration will rid of their five previous types of pat-downs, and will train all security staff to use on universal pat down, known as a “UPD.”

Those who travel often told CBS4 the pat downs can be overdone.

“It can be invasive,” said Rachel Morrison, a Denver resident who said she travels at least five times a month. “I wear black tights every time I travel, to avoid pat downs.”

Even with those tactics, Morrison said she was still patted down 20 percent of the time.

With the new UPD, pat-downs, and their intensity, could increase across the board.

While some said they were concerned the new pat-downs could increase wait time for TSA checkpoints, others said it was welcomed.

“I think, if there is cause for it, we are all pretty used to a different style than when we grew up,” said Greg McFadden, a DIA passenger who received a pat-down when he left Washington D.C.

McFadden was just one of several that said improving technology would be a better solution, instead of increasing pat-downs.

“I think our screening, X-rays and other machines should be better,” said Gina Cosentino, a visitor to Denver who received a pat-down.

TSA implemented the new pat-down procedure on March 3, 2017. The pat-downs will be enforced across the United States.

“People should definitely be prepared, and not wear jewelry, or clunky clothes, or anything like that to save everyone else’s time,” Morrison said.

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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