CAIR today issued a travel advisory for airline passengers who may be subjected to new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) "enhanced pat-downs" that many of those who undergo the procedure describe as invasive and humiliating.
The advisory comes after two of the nation's largest pilots' unions urged commercial pilots to avoid both full-body scanners and public pat-downs. Pilots have compared the new pat-downs to "sexual molestation." A union for flight attendants has expressed similar concerns.
Special recommendations for Muslim women who wear hijab:
If you are selected for secondary screening after you go through the metal detector and it does not go off, and "sss" is not written on your boarding pass, ask the TSA officer if the reason you are being selected is because of your head scarf.
In this situation, you may be asked to submit to a pat-down or to go through a full body scanner. If you are selected for the scanner, you may ask to go through a pat-down instead.
Before you are patted down, you should remind the TSA officer that they are only supposed to pat down the area in question, in this scenario, your head and neck. They SHOULD NOT subject you to a full-body or partial-body pat-down.
You may ask to be taken to a private room for the pat-down procedure.
Instead of the pat-down, you can always request to pat down your own scarf, including head and neck area, and have the officers perform a chemical swipe of your hands.