Travelers urged to protest airport screening measures

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A nationwide protest in opposition to the full body scan screening measure at airports  is planned for this week. So what impact is it expected to have on air travel in and out of Richmond International Airport? Some say, none.

This Wednesday, which is traditionally one of the busiest air travel days on the year, is "National Opt-Out-Day." But if you opt-out of the full body scan security measure you will be subjected to the more time consuming enhanced pat down. Some travelers are worried the protest could cause back-ups and delays.

Elvira Henriques plans on flying home to New York on Wednesday for Thanksgiving.

"I'm hoping for a smooth trip," said Henriques

She knows her holiday travel may have a hiccup because of the planned protest. It's all part of a grassroots movement to encourage a change in screening procedures at airports nationwide. George Donnelly is one of the organizers.

"We're not going to stand for this fake security theater anymore," said Donnelly.

The organization has designated Wednesday as National Opt-Out-Day. Those who plan on flying that day are being asked to opt out of the body scan security measure and instead go through the enhanced pat down -- which is more time consuming. That could indirectly result in longer lines at the airport.

"We just have to arrive early to avoid all the complications," said Henriques.

Representatives at RIC say, they're aware of the planned protest and that the airport will be at maximum staff. For travelers, they're recommending what they always suggest to those who fly during the holiday season -- to arrive 2 hours early.

"That gives you enough time to find parking, to process at the ticket counter, get a boarding pass, check a bag, go through security, and get to your gate in time for your flight," said RIC spokesperson Troy Bell.

Just about everyone we spoke with had an opinion on the issue.

"I think it's not going to be a fun time to travel, it's going to clog the system up," said traveler, Dana Eceleberger.

"It's not a big deal to me," said traveler Cory Gagnoa.

RIC says it expects the planned protest will have little if any impact on travelers.

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