US Opt Out Day could cause widespread travel delays

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on November 16, 2010

Grassroots organisation ‘We Won’t Fly’ is encouraging US travellers to refuse full body scans at airports beginning next week, as several pro-consumer groups protest the use of such security measures.

As next week begins the busiest travel season of the year, widespread delays could be seen as travellers opt out of scans. November 24 has been designated by ‘We Won’t Fly’ as National Opt Out of the Airport Scanners Day in order to draw attention to the campaign against, what consumer groups, have called a threat to ‘health and privacy’.

The movement has been picked-up by several other campaigners, like OptOutsDay.com, which says that the Thanksgiving date will force authorities to address the issue as families are affected during the busiest travel day of the year.

The US travel industry sees its biggest surge in holiday flying on 24 November. This has sparked concerns that should protestors be successful, US airports could see mass delays as passengers that opt out of the procedure must undergo time-consuming pat downs.

George Donnelly, co-founder of We Won’t Fly, said that the scanners are a violation of an individual’s right to privacy and that the technology threatens the health of millions of airport passengers. He also called the machinery ineffective.

Mr Donnelly and others are seeking to urge Americans to take advantage of their legal right to refuse the scan. The plan is the latest scheme from a series of vocal groups that want the US government to do away with the scanners altogether.

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