Only about 3 percent of the flying public was expected to be subjected to the enhanced security procedures.
At Reagan National Airport Wednesday, TSA agents selected some passengers to go through the Advanced Imaging Technology screening system that takes a complete body scan. A few passengers were given a physical pat-down. But holiday travelers approaching the security checkpoint seemed unfazed.
"I won't want to go through the scanner, but a pat-down is fine,” Lea Rice said. “It’s not a big deal."
News reports this week described growing objection to the heightened security procedures, calling them invasive.
Opponents declared Wednesday National Opt-Out Day, urging passengers to refuse to go through body scanners and insist on a pat downs to slow down security. A few demonstrators got permits. Brad Aefsky, a protester from Fairfax, wore a sign in the airport corridor that read, "Tyrants sexually assaulting Americans.”
"To be forced to go through a scanner that beams radiation and can see people naked is outrageous,” Aefsky said.
Most of the day, security lines at Dulles International Airport moved without delay. Plenty of personnel kept the crowds moving.
"We’re certainly seeing the crowds pick up,” said Rob Yingling, spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Area Airports. “We’re expecting about 70,000 people at each of our airports today, and that’s a pretty large number, but everything’s flowing smoothly so far."