Local president of AFGE, local 555, and TSA officer, Valyria Lewis says, "A lot of passengers came through hours earlier, they expected this national 'opt out' campaign to cause traffic but everyone has come through smooth."
Lewis says, not only has the day been smooth, only a few people decided to "opt-out" from the body scanners, even then, TSA was ready to keep lines moving. "Even some of the guys out of Atlanta, say this is one of the smoothest days they've seen because TSA prepared well for that, we have more officers on staff, we're prepared for whatever happens."
New TSA rules on pat-downs and the new body image scanners have many passengers upset about what, they say, is a violation of rights. Lewis says the new rules were an adjustment for everyone, "When the rules changed it raised eyebrows with everybody but it's something we had to get used to when we first started, we had to do pat downs, now it's just a different procedure."
TSA officers have received the brunt of the backlash but they say it's a job they won't back down from. "Even an officer here explained that a female passenger, during a pat down said, 'I know you're enjoying this.' That's kind of demoralizing," Lewis says, "But at the end of the day, we have one responsibility toward national security, Make sure everyone gets on plane safe." That's what Lewis says will happen, with or without a boycott. "We, as officers, will never forget 911, that's engrained in us. We will never forget and that's why we do our job."
A Congressman in Florida has asked 100 airports to eliminate TSA and use private security companies instead. However the airports would still have to abide by TSA regulations and use the body image scanners. The only change would be the agents.