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U.S. Airline Flight Attendants Are Exempted From Body Scanners

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. airline flight attendants are getting the same exemption from body-scanner checks that pilots began receiving under a directive that went out Nov. 19, the Transportation Security Administration said.

“Flight attendants, like pilots, are a known and trusted group,” Nicholas Kimball, an agency spokesman, said in an e-mail today. The attendants and pilots must continue to go through metal detectors, under agency guidelines.

There are more than 400 body scanners at 70 U.S. airports that screeners use to detect any non-metal weapons hidden beneath passengers’ clothing. Passengers who opt out of going through the body scanners are subject to pat-down searches.

Since crew members don’t need to go through body scanners, they are also exempt from the pat-downs that would normally result from skipping scanners. Anyone who sets off a metal detector is still subject to additional security measures, such as a pat-down.

U.S. airline pilots starting next year will be exempt from all physical checks at airport security checkpoints with proof of identity, the agency said Nov. 19. Flight attendants have been in talks with the agency about a similar plan.

To contact the reporter for this story: John Hughes in Washington jhughes5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernie Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net.

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