Pat Down  – 5 Top Tips for Getting Manually Screened

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On certain days while standing at the security line at the airport, I think to myself, ‘Wait, hold on, one second here, buckaroo! I’ve got some time. Why get all in a tizzy rushing through? How about we skip the scanner and opt for the good old manual pat down?’

And so I do.

So often when passing through airport security, we miss that genuine human experience. The line is methodical, wrote and everyone hates it. Shoes off, hands over your head, everything out of the pocket, step into the scanner.

It’s so cold and mechanical, it’s enough to make you long for some sort of interaction, for example the pleasantly awkward experience of being touched by a stranger. It’s always there as an option, but I see few travelers who take advantage of it.

It’s awkward for you, it’s awkward for the screener. No better way to to kick off your travels.

So, without further ado, here are my top 5 tips when getting manually screened.

  1. Make sure you have enough time — It’ll be a bit of a wait since they always have to look for someone willing to do it. Sit back, watch the banter between agents, and get ready!
  2. Ask early — Try and catch a TSA professional and let them know you want to opt out of having your body bombarded by radiation.
  3. Make eye contact — So they’re going to go through all of your belongings and touch you, remember, eye contact adds a certain spark.
  4. Pleasant small talk — It doesn’t have to be awkward. Start the small talk with some observational banter, ‘Busy day today, huh?’, ‘Careful, that’s my bum knee.’, ‘These pants are 100% supima cotton.’
  5. I don’t have 5 tips — I just wanted to make this sound catchy.

So next time while waiting in line at the airport, take a step out of the ordinary and get manually screened. You won’t be sorry.

Unless you have something to be sorry about.

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