Making the Opt-out pat down more comfortable

Discussion in 'Travel Security' started by PhlyingRPh, Oct 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. PhlyingRPh
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    PhlyingRPh Silver Member

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    Apart from the prospect of some sweaty bloke I've never met before playing around with my wottsit's, which I would probably be scratching anyway, and having my backside felt up... which again, I might also be otherwise scratching, the only really uncomfortable aspect of the pat down is having to hold ones arms in the air at 90 degrees for a long time.

    My personal workaround for being forced to keep my arms in the air is to tell the TSO that I cannot lift my arms beyond about 10 degrees for more than 5 seconds due to extreme pain. I do this when they ask if there are any sore spots on my body. Sometimes I am asked why I cannot lift my arms and I have politely informed them that my medical history is not relevant, - this has so far been respected without escalation, though I am expecting that to occur sooner or later.

    The chief benefit of declaring a rubbished set of arms is multi-fold:

    1) The pat down appears to proceed faster than usual.
    2) It proves that a TSO can perform a perfectly acceptable pat down without a passenger having to keep their arms in the air for three minutes.
    3) It provides the passenger with control over both the process and over the TSO performing the patdown.
    4) It makes the TSA and the american security establishment in general look like the baboons that they are when one leaves the checkpoint area pulling a 15kg rollaboard and a 18kg computer bag and they can't do anything about it. Of course, one needs to have pain prescriptions and a record of painful arms in ones medical record in case one has to defend oneself after the fact.
    5) If one declares that only one arm is rubbished, one can hold the other arm up at a higher angle, exten.the fingers of that hand outward and make a hitler salute toward the supervisors podium.
    YMMV, but this works for me.
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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  3. Mrs. Gargoyle
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    Mrs. Gargoyle Gold Member

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    If you had rotator cuff problems or past rotator cuff surgery, depending on the effectiveness of the rehab it is quite possible you have pain holding your arms up but don't have any problem pulling a heavy roller board.
     
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  4. PhlyingRPh
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    PhlyingRPh Silver Member

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  5. PhlyingRPh
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    PhlyingRPh Silver Member

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    Indeed. It just looks odd to the casual bystanders standing around in their thousands.
     
  6. N965VJ
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    N965VJ Silver Member

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    Who would require that? Even more, what's to say one couldn't hold their arms a certain way after spending the night on a crappy hotel mattress, pinching something in the shoulder while pulling their rollaboard off the rack in the shuttle van, etc.

    All temporary ailments that would not require a doctor or prescription medication. ;)
     
  7. Concerto
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    Concerto Gold Member

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    Having taken a bad fall and breaking both my elbow and scapula plus sustaining severe rotator cuff damage, I can attest that one does not have to provide evidence of said injuries. My word has been good enough through all of my security experiences in both the U.S. and Canada. However, I have not found that the pat down goes any faster than the ones done prior to my injuries nor have I had any better control over the process. :(
     
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