Are there other options for airport security?

A passenger undergoes a security scan at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on Dec. 28, 2009.

TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: Controversy continues over hundreds of full-body security scanners installed in more than 60 airports here in the U.S. And now, passengers and authorities are starting to think about other options, as Marketplace's Eve Troeh reports.


George Hobica: I haven't seen this much outrage, um -- ever.

Eve Troeh: George Hobica runs the website Airfare Watchdog. He's written about air travel for 15 years. He says the scanners use radiation to see through your clothes. If you refuse them, you get an external pat-down -- that could include your privates. Some passengers call that a deal-breaker.

Hobica: People are sending us emails saying: take me off of your email list for low airfares, because I'm not flying anymore.

Republican Congressman John Mica wrote to 150 major airports, urging them to ditch TSA and hire private contractors who wouldn't use the scanners to screen passengers.

Steve Lott with the International Air Transport Association says some Europeans countries and Dubai have suspended the use of the scanners. He says there are smarter ways to collect passenger information.

Steve Lott: You know we really need to work toward increased intelligence at the checkpoint.

And that, Lott says, should begin well before passengers even arrive at the airport.

I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

About the author

Eve Troeh is News Director at WWNO-FM in New Orleans, La., helping build the first public radio news department in the station’s 40-year history. She reported for the Marketplace Sustainability Desk from 2010 to 2013.

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