LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Monday night, a senior Obama administration official told NBC news the number of people picked at random for pat downs has been reduced. While the pat downs will continue, screeners have been told to be more sensitive.
Less than 3% of all passengers will be subjected to a standard pat down. A smaller number will get the more intrusive search if they set off a metal detector, body scanner, or decline to go through the body scanners.
The head of the TSA also provided airports with an audio and a video message to play on public address systems that asks travelers for their cooperation.
We decided to see if changes were affecting travelers here in Lubbock.
Spencer Riebschlager had his flight changed and must wait until Tuesday to leave; he still went through security on Monday. "I got here within 15 minutes of my flight and I was able to get through security pretty quickly without any hassle or any pat downs or anything. I moved fairly quickly," he said.
We watched outside the security checkpoint for about a half hour, and only saw 3 people get a pat down. Allyson Kingsley left Lubbock last week and returned Monday. "I expected like a scan or a pat down," Kingsley continued. "My friends were joking about it before I left but it was nothing out of the ordinary."
Lubbock's airport doesn't have the advanced imaging technology machines yet. Those body scanners have sparked controversy in other airports.
Julie Bass came in from Las Vegas where they used the new technology. "It was like they were taking every other person through the body scanner and patting you down," she said.
Bass was partially patted down below her knee but said things went quick for the most part at the Las Vegas airport. We weren't able to find anyone who was patted down here, but we talked with an airport employee who didn't want to go on camera, but told us his department receives about a call per day complaining about the pat downs and says complaints about the procedures are up.
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