back to article US allows visual inspections of nipple rings

The US's Transportation Security Administration has announced some good news for aficionados of nipple piercings - they will no longer have to remove them with pliers before boarding internal flights. The policy review came shortly after 37-year-old Mandi Hamlin fell foul of a handheld metal detector in Lubbock, Texas, while …

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Isn't

Lubbock aching to be a eupermism for something snigger-worthy..

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Alert

How is this better...

... before she could go behind a curtain and remove it. Now she has to wave them in front of staff for them too ogle at...

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I volunteer

I've got a nice thick PA and I'd be only to happy to offer it up for inspection to any snickering low brow thug. I normally wear my kilt when travelling too. I love the look of panic on the security thugs when they see me in the queue.

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Deadly body-piercings...

"Officers ... were acting to protect the passengers and crews"

Hell yeah, the damage to life and limb that can be done by a nipple piercing is astounding. Err, usually to the wearer, you say? Not much use to attack someone else? What about the teeny-tiny pins? Too short to even reach the carotid, you say?

Anyway, we all know that Muslim terrorists routinely use body modification in their plans... Err, you say they don't? Body modifications are forbidden by the Koran?

OK, so the TSA are bunch of fuckwits. What, this is the first person with piercings to try to board a plane in the last seven friggin' years????

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Happy

define: Lubbock

Lubbock: 1: A troublesome piercing. 2: Intimate removable body art.

cf. Lubbock Jubs.

"Damn, my lubbocks are giving me grief. Anyone got a pair of pliers?"

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This is wonderful

so where does personall privacy come into play? I dont see how the TSA really has a right to demand these sorts of things anyway.....

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Anonymous Coward

Genital piercings

Do they show up on hand scanners? Are they subject to "inspection"?

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If El Reg is willing to pay

for the flight I am perfectly happy to upset the monobrow security staff with my apadravya (PAs are foe whimps)

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What about...

...earrings? Are they subject to removal policy as well? And where are they stored seeing as you'd have to remove then after you've deposited your luggage?

Maybe the wankers at the airport thought the piercing were pins and she wa a walking hand grenade? These suicide bombers get more sneaky every day.

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IT Angle

CdC

Isn't Lubbock, Texas the place where the Cult of the Dead Cow was founded?

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@ Silentmaster101

My guess is they don't have the right to demand these sorts of things but they do have the right to refuse you permission to travel. You can show them or you can go by bus/train/canoe the choice is yours.

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How will anyone feel safe flying now?

How can anyone in the US feel safe flying, knowing that someone on the plane might have a tiny piece of metal passing through their skin? I am now panicking that people in the UK, or the rest of Europe, may not have been inspected like this! What if someone decided to take out their piercing and hold up a plane with it?!?!?!?!?! I work in a city centre, in a moderately tall building -- who will protect me when someone with a hand-grenade disguised as a nipple ring takes over a plane and flies it into my office?

Oh! My! God! It turns out someone in this very office has a nipple piercing!!!!!!!!

*Goes to phone 0800789321*

On a more serious note, this is quite depressing as I had hoped to visit the US this year. Seems I won't be going for the foreseeable future if this is the kind of brain-dead system they have in place.

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Pirate

Title

The nipple ring could cause some serious damage to passengers & crew, providing someone managed to smuggle a pair of pliers on board so she could remove it.

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Coat

TSA

Always wondered what is stands for, Now I know it is for Tit Searchers Anonymous.

Pass me coat please. Its he one with the dangerous metal zip which could snag the airplane seating and cause a slight thread in the fabric causing the engine to fall off.

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Stop

Disgusting

How much more degrading is this security crap supposed to get? Bunch of assholes. I hope she sues.

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@Rob Crawford

I should of known better than searching for that to find out what one was, Google made the assumption I was interested in seeing the first few picture results. I am not particularily bothered by the site of mens genitals, how ever I doubt my work network admin will be best impressed!

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Coat

America, land of the free (If you can afford to buy that freedom)

At what point does reality return to their shores. Not that it ever had it.

Nipple piercings have to be removed for the safety of the plane... what would they do with a 1 cm metal hoop of soft metal. Why not remove all wedding rings and ear rings, same thing. Or is it the little pin of around 5 mm that could be used as an offensive weapon.

R'tards... Imagine a plane filled with people and someone grabs the hostess and holds it to her neck going

"....Don't move, I will scratch her. I mean it...."

Never mind a prince albert, what about a clit piercing or as the lead singer of Depeche Mode has one, a pierced perenium. You can't even reach that piercing without help. How degrading do you have to get before someone thinks this is getting to far. Don't medical people need to be around for some piercings to be removed? As it is America, who pays for the complications???

What if you break your arm and have splints,

"sorry sir can you remove those metal splints from your arm, we don't care and are not liable for the medical complications incurred as part of your multiple fractures not healing properly, and we have a pair of pliers for you to do it."

And what of medical implants,

"Sorry sir, can you remove your hip so we can prove you aren't in all likely hood going to pull it out and use it as a blunt weapon. Here we have a pair of pliers and hacksaw for you use.

Or braces... (the dental type)

"Excuse me sir can you remove those braces from all your teeth, have you seen marathon man, here's a drill... And can you keep the noise down while you scream in agony and bleed to death."

To enter the country you have to surrender all rights, all knowledge of your background via website prior to arriving at the airport, your laptop and it's contents and now remove piercings behind a curtain... not even a separate room.

All in the name of protecting liberty.

When the country itself is run by a house who is bought by the one with the most cash and who openly bars members of it's own populace from voting.

Icon because it is nearly April the first... That must be it... Must be, Can't truly have that country filled with such R'tards... Surely.

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Go

avoid the issue.

Wear PTFE bars in any piercings that you don't want to show to security while travelling.

Otherwise, what do you think security goons are going to do when the metal detector goes off?

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Happy

time to get religion

Seem to recall reading somewhere (probably here) a year or two ago about someone in the US who was sacked for excessive piercings ("off-putting to customers") who claimed to be a believer of the "church of body modification" and managed to win a case under constitutional freedom of religion rights!

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Paris Hilton

There's a girl at work...

There's a young lady here at work that is loaded with metal doodads. She's quite slender and extremely attractive. I'd love to go on a business trip with her. My fantasy peaks at airport security...

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Flame

Freacking morons - the lot of you

Jesus, you lot are a bunch of freaking morons!

No-one is suggesting a nipple ring is dangerous or that it has to be removed. The metal detector detected something metal. That's it's job. The security staff's job is to examine the metal thing and ensure it ISN'T a threat.

How do they do this? Do they ask the embarassed woman to get her tits out in public or do they, as they did in this case, ask her to step behind a curtain, remove them and undergo the scan again? It seems their actions were entirely correct. The same thing happens if you're wearing shoes with metal in them.

No-one is suggesting shoes with metal eyelets are a threat. You have to remove them and be re-scanned to make sure that's what set the scanner off. Or are you all too thick to understand a simple concept? Did you really think you were being asked to remove your shoes because the security bloke mistook them for a deadly weapon?

The authorities are now saying that, if your piercings are such that you can't easily remove them, you have the choise of a visual exam TO ENSURE THEY ARE ONLY PIERCINGS and not something more sinister.

Christ, have you lot ever travelled before or are you permanantly tied to your computers accusing everyone in power of plotting to subvert the progress of human kind?

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Coat

They were actually pins controlling the safeties...

... on her machine-gun jubblies

Mine's the blue crushed velvet one with the frilly lace cravat

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Stop

to the person with the apadravya (+best TSA joke)

You could have warned me. Google immediately show you three examples in pictures without the need to hit the "images" button. OOOwwwww.

Oh, and as the greatest (Boyden?) joke goes ...

One person puts a bomb in his shoe and now we all have to take our shoes off at the airport.

Where's the bra-bomber at?

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Black Helicopters

@Anonymous Coward

People with internal metal are usually able to get a medical certificate. The same applies to those with (ahem) intimate piercings.

This new guidance reminds me of one of the opening scenes in "Airplane!" where the security scanner shows the guards exactly what's under the clothing of the more attractive female passengers.

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Happy

@ Freacking morons - the lot of you

Irony levels... reaching critical...

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Paris Hilton

OMG

So the next aircraft to be brought down by terrorists will be caused by an undetectable and fairly hard-to-remove set of Bulgarian airbags that were stuffed with Semtex instead of the usual silicone or saline.

I seem to recollect reading that the largest implants favoured by exotic dancers run at about 1000 to 1500 cc, so that could potentially be 3Kg or more of high-explosive just waiting to cause mayhem.

I wonder how the security staff will check for that innovation?

No need to explain why the Paris icon I think

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Jon

hmmm

time for the goons to warm up the manual "metal" detector again.

bzzzzert, sorry madam would you mind lifting your top.

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Shoes are a potential weapon...

@James Bassett,

You have really got you head buried somewhere. Shoes ARE a potential, if anemic, weapon as (almost) demonstrated by Richard Reid.

The issue in Lubbock is common sense and human sensitivity, both obviously lacking with you AND the TSA. TSA had the option of a pat down by a female agent or removal. They chose the most denigrating option and then snickered about it. Morons - insensitive morons.

Happy flying,

Mike

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Unhappy

@James Bassett

"No-one is suggesting a nipple ring is dangerous or that it has to be removed."

From CNN.com:

"Hamlin said she could not remove them and asked whether she could instead display her pierced breasts in private to the female agent. But several other male officers told her she could not board her flight until the jewelry was out, she said."

"Or are you all too thick to understand a simple concept?"

No, that's the TSA.

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Re: What about...

"Maybe the wankers at the airport thought the piercing were pins and she was a walking hand grenade?"

Bulgarian Pineapples?

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Pirate

Where can I apply?

Where can I apply for this job? Plus the one for examining clitoris piercings. I'll leave the PAs to someone else

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I swear

People are freaking out a bit too much over this.

This is an uncommon incident of a few select guards deciding to be jack-arses.

Its not like this is a normal occurance. Hell, I am from Texas and I didn't even know that Lubbock had an airport. It is not like its one of the main airports in the state. Your main flights leaving the state go from Dallas, Austin, and Houston, any other airports are pretty small and mainly have small jump flights over to the main airports before they leave the state.

So pretty much, you have more of a backwater airport with a couple of idiots who want to press their power just because they can.

I'm sorry, but there are quite a few of these guys who exist in the world.

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@James Bassett

The whole story isn't here - the chick passed the main metal detector, she was hit up for the "random" secondary metal detection wand"ing".

And not only was that not mentioned, she has the legendary ambulance chaser Gloria Allred for her representation.

That should be fun since Allred is "outraged" (I swear people (polititions/lawyers are not people) don't understand the real meaning of the word... sigh)....

And I'm out....

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Flame

not news...

that was the policy before, she was simply not informed she had the option and the agents refused to let her do this.

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The land of the free and the home of the brave?

When the hell will the US wake up and realize that the nightmare is not a nightmare, but a reality? How many more persona freedoms do we have to lose before someone in office wakes up to the fact that all the bull-crap that they have enacted since September 2001 has done nothing to enhance the freedom of the citizenry of the US and has done more to further the aims of the f*cking terrorists than anything the f*cking terrorists have done themselves?

How dangerous is a nipple ring anyway? Is it so threatening that it could being down a plane? What a load of bull. The TSA already pats us down before boarding a plane, we remove our belts and shoes. If their metal detecting wand has found a metal source in a womans cleavage why on earth does the woman have to remove it? Why the hell should she have to strip and allow some voyeuristic TSA agent to oggle her breasts? Isn't it already invasive enough to wave the metal detector and pad the poor passenger down? The female TSA agents already have authorization to perform this type of search on female passengers. Are we afraid that some woman might try to smuggle through a weapon of mass distraction in her cleavage?

I can just see it now, a female hijacker takes the plane by flashing her illicit nipple rings at the passengers and crew to subdue them. Yes, very likely.

What's next? A body cavity search to make sure women aren't smuggling explosives aboard in places that would make even a TSA agent blush?

If this is truly the home of the brave, why are we so afraid of the terrorists that we are willing to give up freedoms and put up with indignities? Perhaps it's time to show how brave we are rather than how shit scared we are?

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Because...

...airports don't have a live x-ray machine they can ask someone to stand in, do they? FFS if the metal beeper goes off, get the person to stand in the x-ray tunnel and look at the screen - it will clearly show an isolated piece of metal at the location the scanner beeped. No need for anything degrading at all! These X-Ray machines barely show human soft tissue at all - only bones and metal show up as white with soft tissue being hazy grey if it's even visible. So - no need to get yer boobs out love, just step into the x-ray machine. No, love - PLEASE put them away... honestly. This approach would quite easily show piercings for what they are; whether it be nipples, ears, clitoris or perineum. And if it WAS something other than a piercing, it would show that too.

I agree with Rachel - this was a pair of neanderthals getting off on their power, nothing else.

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@James Bassett

Strangely, I do travel a lot and I do bring my laptop with me most times. However, I will not be visiting the US any time soon. They have the cheek to complain about Human Rights abuse in other countries when they practice it as a matter of routine at home. Perhaps they should fix their own country first before going out to preach Human Rights to others !!

I am happy to visit where they do not practice such perversions (i.e. most parts of the world) !! The next trip out will be South East Asia where the most common form of piercing is the local satay sticks !!

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Coat

Err sorry folks

I'm quite surprised that google showed images on the search, so please apologise to your network admin on my behalf, and whatever you do don't search for "Princes Wand" as that is just too damn wierd

However on a slightly more serious the complaint isn't about proving what the metal was, but that the security morons actions. Why should she take them out, would removing them improve security on the flight ?

Yeah if you wish to be asked to prove what the detected metal item is then sure wear PTFE. But that wasn't the issue. There are moronic security staff everywhere, but this sounds like they where just trying to be akward for the sake of it and need to be made aware that it is simply not good enough.

If it requires an ambulance chaser to get then job done then so be it, you arn't going to use a lawyer that dosn't get results.

It's my choice to have a piercing and I would display the offending piece of metal to security staff should the need arise, but I would not be happy about being forced to remove it becasue somebody on minimum wage has nothing better to do with their time (or feels outraged that I should be such a corrupt individual).

What next you can't fly with metal zips on your trousers and your trousers are to be confiscated ?

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Something smells fishy...

I've traveled all over the world and have never set-off a metal detector. And with both a navel piercing and a pretty hefty Prince Albert, I always expected to. No matter what technique I've been scanned with I've never had an issue. This includes a lay-over in Houston (note to self - never agree to a lay-over in the US again).

They must be using some crazy high tech Gamma Ray system in Lubbock. Or they saw the piercings through her shirt and decided to be giant twats.

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after "Genital Piercings"

... hurumph... I'm not actually a gynocologist, but I would certainly be happy to take a look at it for you.

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@Rachel

That's all well and good -- except it's that law that allows, no _requires_, these jack-arses to order people to do things like this.

Piercings are not uncommon, so I suppose this must be an isolated incident? It sitill doesn't explain why the law could be used by these arseholes for a bit of a perv and a giggle. Still, now they'll only be allowed to have a good old "visual exam" of them -- so that's OK.

Your name suggests you are female, any chance of you "getting them out" so we can see if you have piercings too? It's relevant to the debate at hand, after all.

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Paris Hilton

The TSA

has proved themselves to be the real tits

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Alien

Typical

Typical of the low-level, low-paid, low-brow security wonks doing this stuff. Incapable or rational thought, or unwilling to entertain such thoughts, they do stupid stuff like this. While I can understand the low-end guy/girl blindly following orders, that's what supervisors are for. But no, let's humiliate this lady, subject her to possible harm and laugh at her. What... she's carrying a load of C-4 in her nipple rings?

This is the America we have become. This type of idiocy in the name of security is rampant all across the country. Since the jobs don't pay much the people in those jobs are, well, not the brightest around. They just follow orders, blindly, without independent thought (if, indeed, they have enough cranium power to actually have any thoughts at all). I don't fault them for being stupid; someone has to define the other end of the Bell Curve, after all. I fault their management and the overall structure as well as the people at the very top who seem intent on turning this into a police state (and seem to be succeeding while Joe and Jane America are busy debating who should win American Idol).

The other day I had to go to traffic court and, of course, there is a security checkpoint. My wallet on a chain was disallowed - "that chain could be a weapon!" Yet the woman in front of me was allowed in with a purse with two 4' leather straps. My small-link chain, at a whopping 8", might be able to strangle a cat, if it didn't snap first.

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JOb Applications up at TSA

Since this article appeared, TSA has received 234,678 applicants for the job of inspector.

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dan

Piercings Fan

So it is better to have these cavemen from deliverence doing a visual

inspection ? If they can't handle being behind the curtain, what makes

the TSA think that they could do a visual with anything approaching

maturity, courtesy, dignity or respect. Or is this part of the new TSA benefits package.

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How big a pair of pliers would you need

To remove the head of a TSA "operative" from his ar$e?

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@myself

I really wish I hadn't said that.

I've this horrible mental image that won't go away.

I really don't think I'll be able to pick up a pair of Mole grips for a long time.

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Coat

Chainmail Underwear

Does this mean my chainmail underwear (vest and pants) is likely to cause a problem?

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Pirate

@ Lol Whibley, Jared Earle

Unfortunately lubbocked is already a euphemism for something pretty nasty involving piercing...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=lubbocked

& a town in Texas... you couldn't make this stuff up.

Crossbones particularly appropriate.

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Gates Horns

No way, TSA

The TSA is one of those semi-regulated monopolies embedded in the US government kind of like Blackwater and the USPS.

They are most likely making a certain extra of taxpayer dole every time they do these kinds of things.

What the American taxpayer should know is that they pay for this kind of treatment.

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