TSA Chief Asks Holiday Travelers for Patience

November 22, 2010 - 6:10 PM

Washington (AP) - The head of the Transportation Security Administration is asking travelers for their cooperation as the government tightens security during the busy holiday travel season.

Passengers traveling through U.S. airports this week could hear a message or see a new video from TSA chief John Pistole reminding them about security measures.

Airport screeners are preparing for long lines and frustrated travelers during the Thanksgiving rush on Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year.

Pistole's announcement comes amid backlash against the government's use of 10-second full-body imaging machines and new invasive pat-downs that can take as long as four minutes.

In his recorded announcements, which can be found on the agency's website, Pistole explains that passengers have the options of private pat-downs if they prefer not to undergo screenings. He also reminds passengers about security regulations that have been in place for years, such as not carrying more than 3 ounces of a liquid in a carry-on bag when going through a security checkpoint.

Agency spokeswoman Sarah Horowitz said not all passengers might see or hear the messages at airports this week because the agency doesn't control the television monitors at security checkpoints.