Agents back airport body scanners

Travel agents have overwhelmingly backed the introduction of mandatory body scans at UK airports.

Heathrow’s Terminal 4 and Manchester airport’s Terminal 2 both now have scanners through which travellers must pass if selected, while Birmingham airport will have scanners in operation by the end of this month.

Anyone under the age of 18 will also be eligible for the scans while those who refuse to be scanned will not be allowed to board their flights.

The Department for Transport’s order for a “nationwide roll-out” of scanners, which cost up to £100,000 each, was welcomed by agents this week.

An online poll of 632 agents on TWgroup hotel and resort directory Gazetteers found 84% in support of the technology while just 16% claimed it was a breach of privacy.

Kinver Travel owner Sue Foxall supported the move: “No system is ever going to be 100% safe but it is an extra precaution and will make people more wary of doing anything untoward,” she said.

“It is in the customers’ best interests and this is what they’ve got to realise.”

Stowaway Travel director Paul Stowe added: “Airline safety is a key issue and I would back them 100%. There are idiots out there with explosives, so if you want to fly, you have to have a full body scan.”

The scanners come into force after a failed attempted bombing on an aircraft above Detroit in December.

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