Patrick Smith writes:
Roberts is a pilot with ExpressJet Airlines, which does business as Continental Express. On Oct. 15 he was commuting from Memphis, where he lives, to his base in Houston. He was in full uniform and in possession of his FAA and company credentials.
At a TSA checkpoint at Memphis International Airport, Roberts was asked to remove his shoes in order to pass before one of the checkpoint’s Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) body scanners. He chose not to receive the scan — in TSA parlance he “opted out.”
Crewmembers are usually offered the standard metal detector walk-through, but opting out of a body scan automatically subjects the traveler, be it passenger or pilot, to a hands-on frisking, which TSA refers to as “secondary screening.” As Roberts saw it, a pat-down would be just as unnecessary and intrusive as the scan, and so he refused this as well.
At which point he was told he would not be allowed to proceed.