Airport pat-downs are getting more intense, thanks to a procedural change at security checkpoints nationwide.
The Transportation Security Administration’s new pat-down procedure “will be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before,” employees at Denver International Airport were told last week, according to Fox Denver.
TSA screeners previously chose from five types of pat-downs ― each for a different degree of risk ― when passengers either set off a security alarm, opted out of routine screening or were chosen under random security measures, a TSA spokesman confirmed to HuffPost.
Now, there will only be one type of pat-down, and it’s got “enhanced security measures.”
The TSA won’t specify exactly what the new standard pat-down entails, but the agency did alert local police stations of the change in case passengers reported any abnormalities, Fox Denver reports.
“This will not change the number of passengers who receive pat-down screenings,” a TSA spokesman said. However, “it changes the kind of pat-down screening those who require one will receive.”
The change stems from a 2015 report that found TSA officials failed to stop weapons from passing through security, the Los Angeles Times reports. TSA officials have also confiscated record numbers of weapons in recent months.
The new pat-downs are currently in effect at most U.S. airports, the spokesman said. They shouldn’t slow down overall security wait times, but they may slow down any passengers who receive them. As always, you can opt to have your pat-down in private if you choose.