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Excuse Me, TSA Agent: Buy A Girl Dinner First!

Going through security at the airport has never been particularly fun—but it hasn’t really been invasive or unpleasant, either.

All that, however, is about to change: TSA has revealed its plans to implement a new pat-down procedure starting today. At 450 airports across the nation, agents can now get a lot more…well, personal with you if they feel they have cause to pat you down. Instead of using the back of their hands, they’ll be using the front; they also have permission to touch body parts that were previously off-limits during airport security searches.

Bonafide Security or Potemkin Village? You Decide.

Flying from Canada? Be prepared to spend a ridiculous amount of time going through security. After the underwear bomber on Christmas Day, travelers are paying the price for upgraded security…with their precious time. No doubt that safety is paramount, but are we being fooled into a greater sense of security by a Potemkin village of pat downs, ID checks and inane questions?

My most recent Toronto airport security experience, which culminated with a line of questioning about the book I was carrying on board, leads me to believe that this so-called security is just all for show. Hoping to get some clarification on the new procedures, I went directly to the source, (kindly) asking the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority what the point is behind the theatrics.

Planning Ahead Pays Off as Airport Security Intensifies

It’s no surprise that security measures are multiplying following December 25th’s botched bombing. And while you’re unlikely to encounter a full-body scanner while traveling domestic (at least for now), nearly all airports will be ramping up bag searches, pat downs, and random screenings in 2010. But does this actually translate into more delays?

Yes, but the delays aren’t as bad as you’d think.