Travel Advisory: Standing Up For Yourself

Travelers and activists have declared Wednesday, November 23, 2010 as National Opt-Out Day. The goal is to raise awareness of the potential risks the scans may be posing and opting out of them. The people behind National Opt-Out Day suggest telling friends, family and your community of your intentions and the risks they may be exposed to. The goals are to educate, force positive change, and show airlines consumer power. “The goal of National Opt-Out Day is to send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change,”

Won’t skipping the scans make you less secure? sites Israeli security expert Rafi Sela says these scans won’t detect the real threats. He says the scanners do not detect the kind of explosives that were used in the “underwear bomb” case. Slate did an interesting piece on the actual success rates of TSA at stopping terrorists. It appears passengers on planes may stop terrorist attacks better than TSA agents and their screening techniques.

What are my rights and how can I protect them?

The ACLU has a great guide to what your rights are, how you can stand up for yourself and how to escalate a situation. On Gizmodo, one plane passenger shows how he opted out of the scan but didn’t have to go through the enhanced pat-down. Isaac Schlueter convinced other passengers in line to not go through the scanner either. When TSA was faced with enough people refusing the scanner, the opted to send all the objecting passengers through the old metal detector instead. What could have been a show-down was resolved by planning, informing and simple objections.

What can I do to avoid breaking any laws unintentionally?

Be aware of TSA procedures. Read the TSA blog. Know what not to carry.

I’m upset about TSA’s new policies but I’m not flying on the 23rd. What can I do?

You can write your elected officials in Washington and let them know how you feel. One piece of legislation has already been proposed by Ron Paul, the American Traveler Dignity Act.

If you do plan to fly out for Thanksgiving, check back later today for a guide to Holiday Travel.

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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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