TSA Watch: So they got Miss USA — what happens now?

Editor’s note: I’m starting a new feature called “TSA Watch” that offers a weekly critique of a federal agency many say is out of control. Why? Because no one else is.

By now, anyone with a computer knows that Susie Castillo, a model and former Miss USA, endured what she claims to be an aggressive pat-down at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport earlier this week, which included having her private parts touched by a TSA screener.

I won’t rehash what’s in the video (above) except to make a few notes and tell you what it probably means. I thought it was interesting that Castillo was trying to avoid the full-body scanner but was “caught” and sent to have a pat-down. I wonder if TSA is looking for people who are intentionally trying to avoid the lines with the scanners. That wouldn’t surprise me.

The other item of interest comes later in the clip, in which Castillo describes her interaction with an airport volunteer. Castillo is crying, and the volunteer tries to comfort her. But when the subject of the TSA’s screening methods comes up, the volunteer says something to the effect of, “I’d rather have this than be blown up.”

I’ve heard that argument time and again, from some colleagues in the travel industry and commenters on this site. I believe they’re just one enhanced pat-down from changing their minds.
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