TSA Protest No Disruption To JIA Travel

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hundreds of people flocked to Jacksonville International Airport to head to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family, friends and loved ones. Despite the disruptive weather in parts of the country, traffic -- both airplane and human -- moved smoothly at the airport.

"I haven't seen her in a month," said Susan Reynolds, referring to her daughter. "She's coming in for Thanksgiving."

Reynolds' daughter was on a flight from Atlanta that arrived on time. In fact, the information monitors at JIA showed few, if any, delays. Any delays shown were slight, just a few minutes in most cases.

"Today's travel has been exceptional, we've really experienced a great job all around," said Michael Stewart, with the Jacksonville Airport Authority.

The only disruption was a sole protester, speaking against new screening measures used by the Transportation Security Administration.

Passengers are randomly selected for enhanced screening with a body scanner device. If passengers opt out of the body scan, a TSA agent must give them a physical pat-down.

Wyatt Sanders passed out flyers Wednesday at Jacksonville International Airport urging people to opt out of "invasive procedures."
The protester took issue with the measures and handed out fliers as part of a National Opt Out Day, organized by those against the new techniques.

"It's invasive," said Wyatt Sanders, with wewontfly.com. "There's a possibility that by going through these new machines, you could actually get skin cancer, you could get cataracts in your eyes, you could get breast cancer or testicular cancer."

Sanders called the scanner and the pat-down unconstitutional and demanded the Department of Homeland Security come up with other options.

Passengers at JIA were split on the issue.

"I don't like the idea of it," said Carol Cullen. "I'd like to think that it's the right thing to do and it's safe, that would be fine, but it's controversial."

"I have no problem with the scanner, I've been through it several times," said Susan Reynolds.

"What some protesters threatened as an opt out day has turned into a TSA appreciation day," said Sari Koshetz, with the TSA. "In Jacksonville, in Florida and around the nation our officers are receiving even more compliments than ever on how grateful passengers are that we are keeping them safe. '

Our officers, technology and procedures combined are a critical force against terrorism and the vast majority of the American public realizes that," said Koshetz.


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