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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

What can I expect during pat-down screening?

At any time during the screening process, you may request private screening and have  a witness of your choice present. The screening is conducted by a TSA officer of the same gender. The officer will explain the pat-down process before and during the screening. Since pat-down screening is conducted to determine whether prohibited items are concealed under clothing, sufficient pressure must be applied in order to ensure detection. You should inform the officer if you have a medical condition or any areas that are painful when touched.