The grassroots group that organized “National Opt Out Day” last month is staging another protest today at Orlando International Airport. According to a press release, the group “We Won’t Fly” is planning what they call an educational protest to inform passengers what happens during security screenings and what their rights are during the process. The protest is taking place from 4-7pm on the arrivals level where passengers check in for their flights and go through security.
Last month’s “National Opt Out Day” that took place on the day before Thanksgiving had a negligible impact on screening times at the airport. Local news organizations reported only a handful of people opted out of using the new body scanners. Some organizations, including We Won’t Fly, argue that the reason the protest didn’t have much of an impact was because the TSA delibrately selected fewer people then normal to put through the secondary screening process, thus giving protestors fewer opportunities to opt out.
The Orlando International Airport has four of the body scanners. Three are located at the screening point for gates 1-59 and one for gates 60-129. Most passengers will only have to deal with the metal detector, although passengers who set off the metal detector too many times or passengers who are randomly selected will be asked to go through the body scanners. If a passenger doesn’t want to be scanned, then they will go through a patdown that involves a TSA agent of the same sex running their hands underneath passengers’ belts, between legs and over groin and bust areas. Any passenger that refuses all forms of screening will not be allow to board their plane.
Today’s protest by We Won’t Fly is not expected to cause any delays at screening as their protest is taking place in the atrium area before the security checkpoint.