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Despite Calls For Protest — MSP Airport Calm

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77692_Bill Hudson WEB Bill Hudson
Bill Hudson has been with WCCO-TV since 1989. The native of Elk Rive...
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By Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Despite a nationwide controversy over full body scans and aggressive airport pat downs of passengers, Minnesotans voiced more concern about just getting to the airport.

On Wednesday, a quick moving storm was making travel difficult.

“I was more anxious about getting to the airport with the weather than I am about the supposed protest that’s happening,” said traveler Janell Salcedo.

That protest was supposed to take place at airports across the country to show opposition to the Transportation Security Administration’s new security screening. Protest organizers dubbed what is typically one of the busiest travel days of the year, “National Opt Out Day.” They are asking travelers to demand the time consuming pat downs as a way to slow the process down and to send a strong message to the TSA.

Full body scanning machines reveal intimate images of people passing through, causing some to say it’s gone too far. When passengers refuse the machines, they are given aggressive pat downs by TSA workers, who must feel all parts of the body as they search for potential threats.

“I don’t like to make trouble at airports,” said one traveler.

Apparently, that traveler wasn’t alone. Checkpoints at MSP appear to be running smoothly. There were no reports of deliberate attempts to slow the system or ask for the pat downs.

“I think security is one of those things nobody wants to go through but most people understand the threats are real,” said MSP spokesman Patrick Hogan.

Still, the more aggressive scanning and pat downs are leaving some people wondering if the price for air safety is to sacrifice their privacy.

To traveler Tom LeVere, it doesn’t seem to matter. LeVere is heading out to spend Thanksgiving in Oregon. Said LeVere,

“They (TSA) can do whatever they want — I don’t care,” said LeVere. “Nothing you can’t see in a doctor’s office X-ray, right?”

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