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I know it is possible to request a pat-down instead of going through the TSA full body scan when going through regular security check.

Is the security check the same for the Nexus line? In airports, the Nexus line is separated from the normal line, so I wonder if the process is different.

I'm asking specifically for US based airports. For Canadian airports with US preclearance service, I never saw the body scan in use.

  • I believe Nexus gets you automatic PreCheck, which means no scan and also leave your shoes on and don't unpack so much... – Kate Gregory Sep 8 '17 at 16:12
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    Correct, but understand there could always be a random spot check with a pat-down. – Aganju Sep 8 '17 at 17:18
  • Presumably but what would be the point? Full body scan is faster than pat down and the idea of the Nexus program is to provide speed. – Jacob Horbulyk Sep 8 '17 at 17:24
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Nexus does not guarantee no body scanning, it merely provides you with permission to use an expedited lane WHEN one is available. Not every airport in the US has TSAPre lanes, many smaller ones simply give you a card that notifies inspectors that you don't have to remove shoes or laptop and then you go through the same metal detector that everyone else does.

The small regional airport I call home in the US has no TSAPre lane, but the general lane has both body scanner and metal detector machines. About half the time they wave me through the metal detector, but the other half of the time I go through the body scanner (granted I have only TSAPre not Nexus, but I don't think that effects things)

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In Canadian airports there is a Nexus line at security which you access by showing the card. In US airports there is a TSA PreCheck queue you can enter if your boarding pass has a TSA Pre logo printed on it. If you enter the membership number on your Nexus card (it starts with a 9) into the Known Traveller Number field in the passenger information associated with your ticket with a participating airline your boarding pass will have the TSA Pre logo printed on it.

In the airports I fly from the TSA Pre lines don't use a body scanner, you only pass through a metal detector (you can also leave laptops and liquids inside your luggage). I have heard they might randomly pick people for closer inspection, though this has never happened to me and I have no idea what happens then, but in general if you have a TSA Pre boarding pass you get to skip the body scan.

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  • Not entirely correct. In some airports the pre check line has both and some passengers are at random selected for body scanning. Happened to me at 2 or 3 times so far. It doesn't happen often but it's not particularly rare either. – Hilmar Sep 9 '17 at 1:48
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I know it is possible to request a pat-down instead of going through the TSA full body scan when going through regular security check.

You can request it but since Dec 18, 2015

While passengers may generally decline AIT screening in favor of physical screening, TSA may direct mandatory AIT screening for some passengers. TSA does not store any personally identifiable information from AIT screening.

Source

As an aside, I would like to draw attention to this sentence: "TSA does not store any personally identifiable information from AIT screening. " which is decidedly not "No personally identifiable information from AIT screening is stored.". I have always been opting out of AIT because I always suspected there is a chance some other agency might get hold of an unknown amount data from these scanners -- almost surely without the knowledge of the TSA agents on scene. In light of these suspicions this phrasing is chilling.

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