TSA announces new pat-down procedures at airports

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Expect to go through stricter security on your next flight as the TSA has announced new screening procedures to better search for potential threats.

Pat-downs will be a little more invasive and transportation authorities are warning travelers to be prepared. It's a new plan to combat potential TSA security failures at airports nationwide.

Until now, TSA officers made risk-based assessments for each passenger, choosing one of five different pat-down methods. Now, one, single standard method will be used universally.

The TSA said the new pat-down methods are not expected to increase passengers time getting through security, but some passengers are not convinced:

"They're not gonna have enough individuals to do the pat-downs and we are gonna miss flights and they're not very concerned when you do miss a flight," said traveler Laura Contreras-Ortiz.

Others said they will just deal with the change.

"Security is very important so do whatever is necessary to have a safe flight," said traveler Judy Powell.

The new policy comes two years after a report found major security lapses across the country. Weapons and other hazardous materials made it past screening in 95 percent of tests conducted.

You can still opt-out of a pat-down and enter a screening machine, but you could be subject to one if TSA detects a red flag.

A TSA spokesperson released a statement saying, "Effective March 2, 2017, TSA consolidated previous pat-down procedures into one standardized pat-down procedure at airport security checkpoints and at other locations within the airport. This standardized pat-down procedure continues to utilize enhanced security measures implemented several months ago, and does not involve any different areas of the body than were screened in the previous standard pat-down procedure. Individuals transiting the TSA security checkpoint who have opted out of technology screening, or alarmed the technology or a canine team, will undergo a pat-down. Passengers may also receive a pat-down as part of our unpredictable security measures. TSA continues to adjust and refine our systems and procedures to meet the evolving threat and to achieve the highest levels of transportation security."

For more information on TSA procedures, visit tsa.gov.
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