back to article US allows visual inspections of nipple rings

The US's Transportation Security Administration has announced some good news for aficionados of nipple piercings - they will no longer have to remove them with pliers before boarding internal flights. The policy review came shortly after 37-year-old Mandi Hamlin fell foul of a handheld metal detector in Lubbock, Texas, while …


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  1. Lol Whibley


    Lubbock aching to be a eupermism for something snigger-worthy..

  2. Anonymous Coward

    How is this better...

    ... before she could go behind a curtain and remove it. Now she has to wave them in front of staff for them too ogle at...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I volunteer

    I've got a nice thick PA and I'd be only to happy to offer it up for inspection to any snickering low brow thug. I normally wear my kilt when travelling too. I love the look of panic on the security thugs when they see me in the queue.

  4. Stuart Van Onselen
    Thumb Down

    Deadly body-piercings...

    "Officers ... were acting to protect the passengers and crews"

    Hell yeah, the damage to life and limb that can be done by a nipple piercing is astounding. Err, usually to the wearer, you say? Not much use to attack someone else? What about the teeny-tiny pins? Too short to even reach the carotid, you say?

    Anyway, we all know that Muslim terrorists routinely use body modification in their plans... Err, you say they don't? Body modifications are forbidden by the Koran?

    OK, so the TSA are bunch of fuckwits. What, this is the first person with piercings to try to board a plane in the last seven friggin' years????

  5. Jared Earle

    define: Lubbock

    Lubbock: 1: A troublesome piercing. 2: Intimate removable body art.

    cf. Lubbock Jubs.

    "Damn, my lubbocks are giving me grief. Anyone got a pair of pliers?"

  6. Silentmaster101

    This is wonderful

    so where does personall privacy come into play? I dont see how the TSA really has a right to demand these sorts of things anyway.....

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Genital piercings

    Do they show up on hand scanners? Are they subject to "inspection"?

  8. Rob Crawford

    If El Reg is willing to pay

    for the flight I am perfectly happy to upset the monobrow security staff with my apadravya (PAs are foe whimps)

  9. Iain Purdie

    What about...

    ...earrings? Are they subject to removal policy as well? And where are they stored seeing as you'd have to remove then after you've deposited your luggage?

    Maybe the wankers at the airport thought the piercing were pins and she wa a walking hand grenade? These suicide bombers get more sneaky every day.

  10. Richard Sloan
    IT Angle


    Isn't Lubbock, Texas the place where the Cult of the Dead Cow was founded?

  11. Adam Targett

    @ Silentmaster101

    My guess is they don't have the right to demand these sorts of things but they do have the right to refuse you permission to travel. You can show them or you can go by bus/train/canoe the choice is yours.

  12. Cameron Colley

    How will anyone feel safe flying now?

    How can anyone in the US feel safe flying, knowing that someone on the plane might have a tiny piece of metal passing through their skin? I am now panicking that people in the UK, or the rest of Europe, may not have been inspected like this! What if someone decided to take out their piercing and hold up a plane with it?!?!?!?!?! I work in a city centre, in a moderately tall building -- who will protect me when someone with a hand-grenade disguised as a nipple ring takes over a plane and flies it into my office?

    Oh! My! God! It turns out someone in this very office has a nipple piercing!!!!!!!!

    *Goes to phone 0800789321*

    On a more serious note, this is quite depressing as I had hoped to visit the US this year. Seems I won't be going for the foreseeable future if this is the kind of brain-dead system they have in place.

  13. Alan Gregson


    The nipple ring could cause some serious damage to passengers & crew, providing someone managed to smuggle a pair of pliers on board so she could remove it.

  14. P.Nutt


    Always wondered what is stands for, Now I know it is for Tit Searchers Anonymous.

    Pass me coat please. Its he one with the dangerous metal zip which could snag the airplane seating and cause a slight thread in the fabric causing the engine to fall off.

  15. Bad Beaver


    How much more degrading is this security crap supposed to get? Bunch of assholes. I hope she sues.

  16. N1AK

    @Rob Crawford

    I should of known better than searching for that to find out what one was, Google made the assumption I was interested in seeing the first few picture results. I am not particularily bothered by the site of mens genitals, how ever I doubt my work network admin will be best impressed!

  17. Anonymous Coward

    America, land of the free (If you can afford to buy that freedom)

    At what point does reality return to their shores. Not that it ever had it.

    Nipple piercings have to be removed for the safety of the plane... what would they do with a 1 cm metal hoop of soft metal. Why not remove all wedding rings and ear rings, same thing. Or is it the little pin of around 5 mm that could be used as an offensive weapon.

    R'tards... Imagine a plane filled with people and someone grabs the hostess and holds it to her neck going

    "....Don't move, I will scratch her. I mean it...."

    Never mind a prince albert, what about a clit piercing or as the lead singer of Depeche Mode has one, a pierced perenium. You can't even reach that piercing without help. How degrading do you have to get before someone thinks this is getting to far. Don't medical people need to be around for some piercings to be removed? As it is America, who pays for the complications???

    What if you break your arm and have splints,

    "sorry sir can you remove those metal splints from your arm, we don't care and are not liable for the medical complications incurred as part of your multiple fractures not healing properly, and we have a pair of pliers for you to do it."

    And what of medical implants,

    "Sorry sir, can you remove your hip so we can prove you aren't in all likely hood going to pull it out and use it as a blunt weapon. Here we have a pair of pliers and hacksaw for you use.

    Or braces... (the dental type)

    "Excuse me sir can you remove those braces from all your teeth, have you seen marathon man, here's a drill... And can you keep the noise down while you scream in agony and bleed to death."

    To enter the country you have to surrender all rights, all knowledge of your background via website prior to arriving at the airport, your laptop and it's contents and now remove piercings behind a curtain... not even a separate room.

    All in the name of protecting liberty.

    When the country itself is run by a house who is bought by the one with the most cash and who openly bars members of it's own populace from voting.

    Icon because it is nearly April the first... That must be it... Must be, Can't truly have that country filled with such R'tards... Surely.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    avoid the issue.

    Wear PTFE bars in any piercings that you don't want to show to security while travelling.

    Otherwise, what do you think security goons are going to do when the metal detector goes off?

  19. Anonymous Coward

    time to get religion

    Seem to recall reading somewhere (probably here) a year or two ago about someone in the US who was sacked for excessive piercings ("off-putting to customers") who claimed to be a believer of the "church of body modification" and managed to win a case under constitutional freedom of religion rights!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    There's a girl at work...

    There's a young lady here at work that is loaded with metal doodads. She's quite slender and extremely attractive. I'd love to go on a business trip with her. My fantasy peaks at airport security...

  21. James Bassett

    Freacking morons - the lot of you

    Jesus, you lot are a bunch of freaking morons!

    No-one is suggesting a nipple ring is dangerous or that it has to be removed. The metal detector detected something metal. That's it's job. The security staff's job is to examine the metal thing and ensure it ISN'T a threat.

    How do they do this? Do they ask the embarassed woman to get her tits out in public or do they, as they did in this case, ask her to step behind a curtain, remove them and undergo the scan again? It seems their actions were entirely correct. The same thing happens if you're wearing shoes with metal in them.

    No-one is suggesting shoes with metal eyelets are a threat. You have to remove them and be re-scanned to make sure that's what set the scanner off. Or are you all too thick to understand a simple concept? Did you really think you were being asked to remove your shoes because the security bloke mistook them for a deadly weapon?

    The authorities are now saying that, if your piercings are such that you can't easily remove them, you have the choise of a visual exam TO ENSURE THEY ARE ONLY PIERCINGS and not something more sinister.

    Christ, have you lot ever travelled before or are you permanantly tied to your computers accusing everyone in power of plotting to subvert the progress of human kind?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    They were actually pins controlling the safeties...

    ... on her machine-gun jubblies

    Mine's the blue crushed velvet one with the frilly lace cravat

  23. Jonny F

    to the person with the apadravya (+best TSA joke)

    You could have warned me. Google immediately show you three examples in pictures without the need to hit the "images" button. OOOwwwww.

    Oh, and as the greatest (Boyden?) joke goes ...

    One person puts a bomb in his shoe and now we all have to take our shoes off at the airport.

    Where's the bra-bomber at?

  24. Andy Taylor
    Black Helicopters

    @Anonymous Coward

    People with internal metal are usually able to get a medical certificate. The same applies to those with (ahem) intimate piercings.

    This new guidance reminds me of one of the opening scenes in "Airplane!" where the security scanner shows the guards exactly what's under the clothing of the more attractive female passengers.

  25. Steve

    @ Freacking morons - the lot of you

    Irony levels... reaching critical...

  26. Mike Banahan
    Paris Hilton


    So the next aircraft to be brought down by terrorists will be caused by an undetectable and fairly hard-to-remove set of Bulgarian airbags that were stuffed with Semtex instead of the usual silicone or saline.

    I seem to recollect reading that the largest implants favoured by exotic dancers run at about 1000 to 1500 cc, so that could potentially be 3Kg or more of high-explosive just waiting to cause mayhem.

    I wonder how the security staff will check for that innovation?

    No need to explain why the Paris icon I think

  27. Jon


    time for the goons to warm up the manual "metal" detector again.

    bzzzzert, sorry madam would you mind lifting your top.

  28. Mike Morris
    Thumb Down

    Shoes are a potential weapon...

    @James Bassett,

    You have really got you head buried somewhere. Shoes ARE a potential, if anemic, weapon as (almost) demonstrated by Richard Reid.

    The issue in Lubbock is common sense and human sensitivity, both obviously lacking with you AND the TSA. TSA had the option of a pat down by a female agent or removal. They chose the most denigrating option and then snickered about it. Morons - insensitive morons.

    Happy flying,


  29. Who, Me?

    @James Bassett

    "No-one is suggesting a nipple ring is dangerous or that it has to be removed."


    "Hamlin said she could not remove them and asked whether she could instead display her pierced breasts in private to the female agent. But several other male officers told her she could not board her flight until the jewelry was out, she said."

    "Or are you all too thick to understand a simple concept?"

    No, that's the TSA.

  30. Dave B

    Re: What about...

    "Maybe the wankers at the airport thought the piercing were pins and she was a walking hand grenade?"

    Bulgarian Pineapples?

  31. alyn

    Where can I apply?

    Where can I apply for this job? Plus the one for examining clitoris piercings. I'll leave the PAs to someone else

  32. Rachel

    I swear

    People are freaking out a bit too much over this.

    This is an uncommon incident of a few select guards deciding to be jack-arses.

    Its not like this is a normal occurance. Hell, I am from Texas and I didn't even know that Lubbock had an airport. It is not like its one of the main airports in the state. Your main flights leaving the state go from Dallas, Austin, and Houston, any other airports are pretty small and mainly have small jump flights over to the main airports before they leave the state.

    So pretty much, you have more of a backwater airport with a couple of idiots who want to press their power just because they can.

    I'm sorry, but there are quite a few of these guys who exist in the world.

  33. Dennis Price

    @James Bassett

    The whole story isn't here - the chick passed the main metal detector, she was hit up for the "random" secondary metal detection wand"ing".

    And not only was that not mentioned, she has the legendary ambulance chaser Gloria Allred for her representation.

    That should be fun since Allred is "outraged" (I swear people (polititions/lawyers are not people) don't understand the real meaning of the word... sigh)....

    And I'm out....

  34. Kaitlyn Kincaid

    not news...

    that was the policy before, she was simply not informed she had the option and the agents refused to let her do this.

  35. Highlander

    The land of the free and the home of the brave?

    When the hell will the US wake up and realize that the nightmare is not a nightmare, but a reality? How many more persona freedoms do we have to lose before someone in office wakes up to the fact that all the bull-crap that they have enacted since September 2001 has done nothing to enhance the freedom of the citizenry of the US and has done more to further the aims of the f*cking terrorists than anything the f*cking terrorists have done themselves?

    How dangerous is a nipple ring anyway? Is it so threatening that it could being down a plane? What a load of bull. The TSA already pats us down before boarding a plane, we remove our belts and shoes. If their metal detecting wand has found a metal source in a womans cleavage why on earth does the woman have to remove it? Why the hell should she have to strip and allow some voyeuristic TSA agent to oggle her breasts? Isn't it already invasive enough to wave the metal detector and pad the poor passenger down? The female TSA agents already have authorization to perform this type of search on female passengers. Are we afraid that some woman might try to smuggle through a weapon of mass distraction in her cleavage?

    I can just see it now, a female hijacker takes the plane by flashing her illicit nipple rings at the passengers and crew to subdue them. Yes, very likely.

    What's next? A body cavity search to make sure women aren't smuggling explosives aboard in places that would make even a TSA agent blush?

    If this is truly the home of the brave, why are we so afraid of the terrorists that we are willing to give up freedoms and put up with indignities? Perhaps it's time to show how brave we are rather than how shit scared we are?

  36. Tom Kelsall


    ...airports don't have a live x-ray machine they can ask someone to stand in, do they? FFS if the metal beeper goes off, get the person to stand in the x-ray tunnel and look at the screen - it will clearly show an isolated piece of metal at the location the scanner beeped. No need for anything degrading at all! These X-Ray machines barely show human soft tissue at all - only bones and metal show up as white with soft tissue being hazy grey if it's even visible. So - no need to get yer boobs out love, just step into the x-ray machine. No, love - PLEASE put them away... honestly. This approach would quite easily show piercings for what they are; whether it be nipples, ears, clitoris or perineum. And if it WAS something other than a piercing, it would show that too.

    I agree with Rachel - this was a pair of neanderthals getting off on their power, nothing else.

  37. Ishkandar

    @James Bassett

    Strangely, I do travel a lot and I do bring my laptop with me most times. However, I will not be visiting the US any time soon. They have the cheek to complain about Human Rights abuse in other countries when they practice it as a matter of routine at home. Perhaps they should fix their own country first before going out to preach Human Rights to others !!

    I am happy to visit where they do not practice such perversions (i.e. most parts of the world) !! The next trip out will be South East Asia where the most common form of piercing is the local satay sticks !!

  38. Rob Crawford

    Err sorry folks

    I'm quite surprised that google showed images on the search, so please apologise to your network admin on my behalf, and whatever you do don't search for "Princes Wand" as that is just too damn wierd

    However on a slightly more serious the complaint isn't about proving what the metal was, but that the security morons actions. Why should she take them out, would removing them improve security on the flight ?

    Yeah if you wish to be asked to prove what the detected metal item is then sure wear PTFE. But that wasn't the issue. There are moronic security staff everywhere, but this sounds like they where just trying to be akward for the sake of it and need to be made aware that it is simply not good enough.

    If it requires an ambulance chaser to get then job done then so be it, you arn't going to use a lawyer that dosn't get results.

    It's my choice to have a piercing and I would display the offending piece of metal to security staff should the need arise, but I would not be happy about being forced to remove it becasue somebody on minimum wage has nothing better to do with their time (or feels outraged that I should be such a corrupt individual).

    What next you can't fly with metal zips on your trousers and your trousers are to be confiscated ?

  39. Jeff Fraser

    Something smells fishy...

    I've traveled all over the world and have never set-off a metal detector. And with both a navel piercing and a pretty hefty Prince Albert, I always expected to. No matter what technique I've been scanned with I've never had an issue. This includes a lay-over in Houston (note to self - never agree to a lay-over in the US again).

    They must be using some crazy high tech Gamma Ray system in Lubbock. Or they saw the piercings through her shirt and decided to be giant twats.

  40. Slaine
    Thumb Up

    after "Genital Piercings"

    ... hurumph... I'm not actually a gynocologist, but I would certainly be happy to take a look at it for you.

  41. Cameron Colley


    That's all well and good -- except it's that law that allows, no _requires_, these jack-arses to order people to do things like this.

    Piercings are not uncommon, so I suppose this must be an isolated incident? It sitill doesn't explain why the law could be used by these arseholes for a bit of a perv and a giggle. Still, now they'll only be allowed to have a good old "visual exam" of them -- so that's OK.

    Your name suggests you are female, any chance of you "getting them out" so we can see if you have piercings too? It's relevant to the debate at hand, after all.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The TSA

    has proved themselves to be the real tits

  43. daniel


    Typical of the low-level, low-paid, low-brow security wonks doing this stuff. Incapable or rational thought, or unwilling to entertain such thoughts, they do stupid stuff like this. While I can understand the low-end guy/girl blindly following orders, that's what supervisors are for. But no, let's humiliate this lady, subject her to possible harm and laugh at her. What... she's carrying a load of C-4 in her nipple rings?

    This is the America we have become. This type of idiocy in the name of security is rampant all across the country. Since the jobs don't pay much the people in those jobs are, well, not the brightest around. They just follow orders, blindly, without independent thought (if, indeed, they have enough cranium power to actually have any thoughts at all). I don't fault them for being stupid; someone has to define the other end of the Bell Curve, after all. I fault their management and the overall structure as well as the people at the very top who seem intent on turning this into a police state (and seem to be succeeding while Joe and Jane America are busy debating who should win American Idol).

    The other day I had to go to traffic court and, of course, there is a security checkpoint. My wallet on a chain was disallowed - "that chain could be a weapon!" Yet the woman in front of me was allowed in with a purse with two 4' leather straps. My small-link chain, at a whopping 8", might be able to strangle a cat, if it didn't snap first.

  44. John W. Naylor, Jr., P.E.

    JOb Applications up at TSA

    Since this article appeared, TSA has received 234,678 applicants for the job of inspector.

  45. dan

    Piercings Fan

    So it is better to have these cavemen from deliverence doing a visual

    inspection ? If they can't handle being behind the curtain, what makes

    the TSA think that they could do a visual with anything approaching

    maturity, courtesy, dignity or respect. Or is this part of the new TSA benefits package.

  46. Fluffykins Silver badge

    How big a pair of pliers would you need

    To remove the head of a TSA "operative" from his ar$e?

  47. Fluffykins Silver badge


    I really wish I hadn't said that.

    I've this horrible mental image that won't go away.

    I really don't think I'll be able to pick up a pair of Mole grips for a long time.

  48. William Wallace

    Chainmail Underwear

    Does this mean my chainmail underwear (vest and pants) is likely to cause a problem?

  49. James

    @ Lol Whibley, Jared Earle

    Unfortunately lubbocked is already a euphemism for something pretty nasty involving piercing...

    & a town in Texas... you couldn't make this stuff up.

    Crossbones particularly appropriate.

  50. Eduard Coli
    Gates Horns

    No way, TSA

    The TSA is one of those semi-regulated monopolies embedded in the US government kind of like Blackwater and the USPS.

    They are most likely making a certain extra of taxpayer dole every time they do these kinds of things.

    What the American taxpayer should know is that they pay for this kind of treatment.

  51. Bad Beaver

    @ Rachel

    "So pretty much, you have more of a backwater airport with a couple of idiots who want to press their power just because they can.

    I'm sorry, but there are quite a few of these guys who exist in the world."

    Rachel, this, and precisely this, is the problem. We are at the mercy of dimwits each and every day of our lives. This, and the corresponding suffering, is a major part of the human condition. We have therefore invented, over a long time, sets of rules—in great variety as a matter of fact—to define what is acceptable, decent, tactful, lawful, in order to protect each other from the more outrageous forms of other peoples' possible behaviours. For a while, the finding of some of these rules was even subject to vaguely democratic principles. Now lately, a subset of idiots—hopelessly beyond tact—has declared that the given rules will either not apply to them at all, or be changed as they see fit, when they see fit, in the name of some pseudo-idealistic goal, without general consensus—and they managed to spread that "backwater" area way, way out beyond its "normal" dimensions. Accepting and somehow learning to deal with the countless retards out there is a normal aspect of life. Allowing the retards to take over without resistance is not.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    @Jeff Fraser

    Agree totally. I travel with work practically every week to interesting places in the EMEA region, and not once has my PA set off a metal detector.

    Whenever I travel I never wear a belt or watch, I always wear soft shoes, and make sure no metal is on me, yet still never it goes off.

    The only times I've been randomly screened after a clear metal detector are once at Heathrow with that weird full body scanner thing they were trying, which just had them pull a face like their eyes were going to explode, then quickly whisked me through security forgetting to x-ray my laptop bag, and once at Copenhagen where they just assumed the beep from the hand scanner was the zip on my jeans.

    And for those scared of the PA and other piercings, I just dare you to search for sub-dermal beads...

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Brother in law's colleague

    My brother in law's colleague travelled to America and was stopped at security. She had a doctor's certificate confirming a pin in her shoulder, the wand beeped over her shoulder and she had to take her shirt off in front of everybody before they believed it.

  54. Blake Davis

    Airport Metal Detectors

    I can't count the number of times ive flown through Texas's airports. I currently have 8ga titanium rings and 14ga steel barbells in. I have never had a walkthrough or a wand metal detector be set off by them.

    On my most recent trip through Texas, I had just had fresh piercings made the night before and got to explain to the TSA luggage inspector why I needed my 4oz bottle of saline spray for medical reasons. Once I said the word 'piercing' he let me through...

    To say the least, there is NO WAY I would remove a body piercing for a security guard. I don't care how high and mighty they might feel they are.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so what's next?

    Handing you a scalpel to remove those pesky pacemakers and replacement hips and titanum rivets holding your leg together?

    In the name of all that's fucking sane -- WHEN are people going to start saying NO?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But what about underwire bras?

    These are REALLY common, and security has no problems. Given that they could EASILY disguise something nasty, we should make these be "removed". Wouldn't that be a sight!

    Yes, it WAS stupid. Of course the TSA goons (they really aren't TSA due to an exception, but they are goons) at San Francisco wouldn't have a problem.

  57. dave

    But you can still buy glass bottles of duty free

    But you can still buy glass bottles of duty free grog to take on board. WTF

  58. b166er

    Bullies and the bullied (clowns to the left, jokers to the right)

    WARNING: Hypocritical self-indulgent rant ahead.

    To those who criticise the actions of the snickering agents, I agree.

    To those who were abjectly rude and offensive in their opinions, why don't you fuck off somewhere and pull that pole out of your arses? :~)

    You wanna pay more to fly? You wanna pay more to have your rubbish collected/street cleaned? You wanna pay more for better education, health and social welfare services?

    No, you just wanna sit there and pontificate while indulging yourselves in self-agrandisement.

    There, balance restored, carry on.

  59. Anton Ivanov

    @Mike Banahan - bulgarian airbags

    Not new. Basaev's black widows did that two years back:

    Fake pregnancy "bumps" and fake tits. Enough for two airplanes.

    Oh, sorry, they are brave freedom fighters, not terrorists. Mea culpa

  60. kain preacher

    X ray machines

    Are not allowed in the US because some privacy groups say it shows to much, then they hooked up a with a fringe medical nu t group that says all those X-rays cause cancer.

    Funny I dont see these same privacy group complaining about being randomly stripped searched.

    Also I'm surprised the TSA bowed to these nuts

  61. Charles Manning

    @Airport Metal Detectors

    My Casio Gshock watch (all metal) is pretty sturdy and all metal and has never set off any airport metal detectors. I'd think a few body mods won't have any effect.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just sack the lot

    And all the rest of the 'being seen to be doing something even if it utterly useless' so-called security staff around the world.

    But the regularity with which the TSA gets headlines of this sort is almost monotonous. They seem to lead the league in dumb stupid mindless violence to travellers.

  63. John Munyard

    Unbelieveably stoopid

    I can see it now :-

    "You must show me your tits in the interests of National Security. The procedure says you must comply"

    Only in America eh... they'll be pulling people's fillings out next...

  64. Jon Minhinnick
    Black Helicopters

    Works for me...

    I have a 5" metal plate in my leg holding my knee together, and screws in it the size of my little finger. Goes fine through scanners at the airport.

    But I carry the Dr's certificate just in case.

    It's the terahertz wave scanners that worry me... what do they do to pregnant women?? (Or more specifically, their babies)

  65. Eddy Ito
    Black Helicopters

    Even worse

    "They chose the most denigrating option and then snickered about it. Morons - insensitive morons."

    The saddest part is that lady accosted knew there was an option and requested the feel up... err, pat down rather than removal and the fucking wanks refused. The "change in policy" is double speak to cover the asses of those who said they were following policy. In truth, anyone who had read the policy on the website before the "change," like the victim in this case, would know they are full of shit. It simply can't be said enough, never, never, never a.) trust anyone who works for government at any level or b.) believe anything written, spoken, or carved in stone that was produced by or for any or all government entities.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    more metal work....

    Thanks to a nice "blind" taxi driver some years ago, I have a hip replacement in my early forties, wire holding my shoulder together, plates and screws in both wrists, and further plates and screws in my pelvis. I do have a doctors certificate, but the one place I've ended up having attention paid was SFO. At the time I was hobbling about on a walking stick. Didn't stop em demanding shoes etc, etc, walking sticks etc .... and they didn't appear happy about the plateage, certificate or not. Nonetheless I made my flight in good time.

    Perhaps if the screeners were paid more than minimum wage with decent working conditions they would be more motivated to do the job properly and less motivated to be miserable buggers who excel at what we have here.

    As with much of what goes on post 9/11 security screening appears more about perception of security than security itself.

    Having said that, after an hours wait in an arrivals hall jammed to capacity with passengers to get through immigration at Miami on my last visit, a hall with no aircon, seats for the elderly, disabled or kids, no drinking water....... I might yet think twice about a future trip.

  67. JK


    Real terrorists won't be caught that way. It's been demonstrated time and time again that this is just security theatre and it won't stop them. Frankly, the whole piercing thing is just retarded. What are they gonna do? Crack it open and check for a micro nerve agent in the tip? You know, something that a russian agent might be using?

    Given that the TSA haven't even gone to college, I doubt that.

    Why didn't the money just goto the local police, say, to better fund SWAT teams for anti-terrorist threats at airports, train stations, and so on? At least those guys understand the law, and can actually do something about threats.

    PS: Fucking wikipedia. I didn't need to see that image. At work, even.

  68. Roger Moore

    Re: X-ray Machines

    "Are not allowed in the US because some privacy groups say it shows to much, then they hooked up a with a fringe medical nu t group that says all those X-rays cause cancer."

    Sorry but this is not a fringe medical nut group: X-rays DO cause cancer. The risk is small and acceptable for medically required diagnostics (obviously otherwise they would not be much use!) but I would be against their use at an airport on a routine basis. The increase in cancer risk for routine exposure is precisely why, when you have an X-ray, the technician goes and hides behind a lead glass partition.

    While the dosage may be lower at an airport scanner if they only need to penetrate clothes there is a big difference in the risk I am willing to accept to detect potentially serious medical problems vs. the risk I am will to take to get on board an aeroplane.

  69. Dave Bell

    Is any searching method safe enough?

    There are those special radar sets they've tried.

    We're told they're safe, but if millions of people get scanned, will they be safe enough?

    Metal detectors modify the electromagnatic environment about a person, and somehow detect the effects of a piece of metal.

    Think of the Children!

  70. Anonymous Coward

    She only has herself to blame

    She should have worn TSA approved locks on her jubs.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Serves her right

    Anyone who takes part in expressionist self-harm deserves some public humiliation.

    I thought a snicker was a chocolate bar with peanuts?

  72. Andus McCoatover

    Reid - you were amateur!

    Blimey, all this talk of "Bulgarian Airbags" got my sad, fuc*ked up mind thinking...

    What about a C4 'vampire's packed lunch'*? Who'd inspect THAT??

    TSA: "Tampons oot for the lads, ladies!". In one of those grey plastic trays??


  73. John Dawson

    Berlin Gay LeatherFest - problems for airport security?

    I've just returned from the Berlin Gay LeatherFest held over Easter. At least 2000 leather men in the city, most with piercings, quite a few with PAs, I should think. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the airport security zone as all that metal set off the bleepers, and then the officials had to investigate "manually"!


  74. Andus McCoatover

    @andus - to me

    Forgot the obvious instruction...

    "Light the blue touchpaper" - or, string


  75. Anonymous Coward

    Re: @andus - to me

    As long as it's blue and not red.


  76. Cameron Colley

    @Jon Minhinnick

    In case you're still reading the comments -- I thought one of the things going for Terahertz scanners was that they are passive?

  77. VulcanV5

    Gawd's sake. . .

    It wuz Lubbock, OK?

    Lubbock International Airport, where goats graze the grass growing on the runway.

    The morons employed by the TSA at Lubbock are not representative of anything other than local in-breeding, so to all those on here getting high 'n mighty about the state America's got itself into. . . lighten up.

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