TSA Chief Asks for Public's Pat-Down Cooperation

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

TSA chief John Pistole will be seen in a new video and other public service efforts at airports across the country. Security 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. A full pat-down can take four minutes, reports CBS News correspondent Don Teague.

Pistole explains that passengers have the options of private pat-downs if they prefer not to undergo screenings.

When asked what he would tell those who would participate in National Opt-Out Day, an Internet protest movement calling for air travelers to opt-out of the new body imaging scanners and choose a pat-down on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving and one of the busiest travel days of the year, Pistole said, ""What I would hope that they would consider is the vast majority of people just want to get home for the holidays and spend time with their loved ones.""

The procedure for airline security screenings isn't likely to change significantly so long as air travel's terrorism threat remains, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday.

Few passengers receive pat-down searches and minimally invasive searches must be weighed against security risks, Napolitano said at the Trenton train station. "