Thought I would share my experience with the TSA at Portland International Airport. After opting out of the scanners, I received the pat down, and my items in the x-ray box (backpack, belt, cell phone and shoes) were taken away to be searched. The backpack and belt were returned to me – the cell phone and shoes were not. I approached the agents who had handled me and told them my cell phone and shoes were gone. They acted confused, and told me to go report to someone at a desk. Upon doing so, I was given a nasty rude glance and promptly ignored. I kept asking, in a loud voice, that my shoes and cell phone had been taken while being searched and demanded they be returned. I had to speak with four different agents, all of whom acted like they couldn’t have cared less about my problem. After nagging the last one, they walked over to the x-ray line and found them thrown into an empty container, and nastily said, “They were here the whole time”.
This hold up caused me to miss my flight.
Also, while asking for my opt out while still in line, the TSA agent (who was a rather nice man) quietly told me to always wait until I am asked to go through the machine before I opt out. “If you ask before it’s your turn,” he warned me gently, “they very well may deny you and make you go through.” When I asked him why, shocked, he replied, with a bit of a disgusted look, “Because they can”.