The Transportation Security Administration is simplifying how its agents do physical security screenings. That might sound like good news for frequent fliers, but it could make your airport experience a lot more unpleasant.
Agents had five options for patting down travelers who didn't want body imaging or were selected at random. Now, they have just one.
The TSA has been pretty tight-lipped but did say the new method could mean more "intimate contact" than in the past.
RELATED: See the strangest weapons TSA agents have found:
The strangest weapons found by the TSA
The strangest weapons found by the TSA
Holy purple projectiles, batman! All batarangs, no matter the color, must be packed in your checked bags. This one was discovered in a carry-on bag at Providence (PVD). #zlonk #glurp #blap #vronk #powie
This small knife was discovered in a pill bottle inside a carry-on bag at Jacksonville (JAX). Intentionally concealing a knife (no matter how small) can lead to headaches such as fines and arrest.
#TBT April 2012: Flying fish are found in the ocean, not on commercial aircraft. We hate to be a wet blanket, but spear guns are not allowed in the cabin of an aircraft and must be packed in checked baggage. This spear gun was discovered in a carry-on bag at Raleigh-Durham (RDU).
Holy cow! This cattle prod was discovered in a carry-on bag at the Chicago Midway (MDW) Airport . All shocking devices, especially cattle prods, are not allowed in carry-on bags. Please pack them in your checked bags with the batteries removed.
Which is mightier, the pen or the knife? This pen-knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at San Juan (SJU). Concealed knives can lead to fines and arrest.
We’re pretty sure this isn’t a letter opener. A bladed dragon claw perhaps??? Whatever it is, it should be packed in checked baggage. It was discovered in a carry-on bag at Atlanta (ATL).
Is this some kind of confangled rotisserie contraption for turkeys? Nope. These are Sai. If you’re a #TeenageMutantTurtle fan, you’ll know the Sai as Raphael’s weapon or choice. If you still have no clue, a Sai is a weapon used for striking, bludgeoning and punctures. Whatever it is you use them for, please know they must be packed in checked baggage. These were discovered in a carry-on bag at Boise (BOI). #TheMoreYouKnow
This ornate flask of black powder was discovered in a carry-on bag at Allentown (ABE). While it is a fancy flask, the black powder contained within is an explosive and is strictly prohibited in both carry-on and checked bags.
Packing list: Socks. ✅ Toothbrush. ✅ Curling Iron. ✅ Post-apocalyptic bullet-adorned gas mask. ❌ While gas masks are allowed in carry-on bags, replica bullets are not. This was discovered in a carry-on bag at Miami (MIA). Maybe he was catching a one way flight to #FuryRoad?
#TSATravelTips - Don’t pack your homemade replica suicide vest. The traveler who packed this vest in his checked bag at Richmond (RIC) stated it was a prop intended for use in a live-action role-playing game (LARP). TSA explosives experts raced to the checked baggage room and the airport police were called immediately. Fortunately, the explosives experts determined the vest posed no danger. It has yet to be determined if the officer who searched the bag needed a change of clothing.
While about to receive a pat-down after opting out of body scanner screening, a Chicago O’Hare (ORD) traveler remembered that he had a throwing knife necklace under his shirt. All knives are prohibited and concealed knives can lead to fines and arrest. #TSAGoodCatch
While some travelers are worried about packing nail clippers (they are allowed), others pack a pair of five-bladed floggers. You guessed it; these are not allowed in carry-on bags. If you’re in a situation where you’re going to need your floggers, they’ll have to be packed in checked baggage. These were discovered last week in a carry-on bag at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas (IAH). #TSATravelTips
You’ve likely heard that you’re not supposed to bring a knife to a gunfight? Well, you’re not supposed to bring either in your carry-on bag. Both replica weapons and knives are not allowed in carry-on bags. If you find yourself needing to travel with your gun knife, please pack it in your checked bag. This gun knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW).
This 4-bladed throwing star was discovered in a carry-on bag at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO). These must be packed in your checked bags. Sorry Prince Colwyn. #Krull
This belt buckle knife was discovered in a traveler’s carry-on property recently at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE). Concealed weapons can lead to fines and arrest.
Naruto’s ninja gear was discovered in a carry-on bag at Las Vegas (LAS). Please pack all ninja gear in your checked bags. #TSATravelTips
This knuckle knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at Memphis (MEM). Knives of any size are not allowed in carry-on bags. They must be packed in checked bags. #TSATravelTips
This impaler cane was discovered amongst a traveler’s carry-on property in Baltimore (BWI). These must be packed with checked baggage. Concealed weapons can lead to fines and arrest.
Many things can be hidden in shoes, but explosives are what concern us the most. This shoe is a replica of the bomb Richard Reid attempted to use in 2001 on his flight from Paris to Miami.
The agency noted that travelers will notice a difference from old screening methods and told Gizmodo "the new protocol does not mandate the touching of passengers genitals."
An officer of the same sex will still perform the screening, and you can have the agent perform the screen in public, or you can request to have it done in private with a witness.
The TSA is looking to rehab its image and boost its effectiveness. In 2015, the Department of Homeland Security tried to sneak 70 mock guns and explosives past agents, and 67 got through.
"In one test, an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer. But TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow up pat-down," ABC's Pierre Thomas reported.
The agency said the new security procedure will take longer but claimed that somehow won't cause delays overall.