We have a question How can I convince airport screeners to stop asking why I prefer pat-downs? which seems legit on the first look.

However, looking deeper we see that what the OP will to achieve (Stop asking for reason for avoiding airport screeners) is impossible because the security is (likely) instructed to make life hard to the people who make their life hard (refusing to use screener).

The OP doesn't give any logical reason for not wanting to airport screeners so it looks the only reason is 'no because no' which is, honestly, childish.

Should the answer to such question be that OP should stop behave childish, and all the problems will perish? Or vote to close because no valid reason for such behavior was given? Or the question is OK I'm just picky?

  • 2
    You seem to have a massive misunderstanding. The passenger has the right (!) to demand a pat-down!. Naturally an officer would have an easy life if (s)he can search without warrant, imprison someone without giving him access to a lawyer and gag demonstrants because their shouting is disturbing the neighborhood. But the law or convention does not allow that or guarantee persons rights. The argumentation is anyway flawed because if the detector detects something which cannot be identified, a patdown is necessary anyway, it's not that it is not used. Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 0:13
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    "No because no" or "No means no" is a rather important principle in many parts of life.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 13:14

2 Answers 2


Telling the OP to stop behaving childishly isn't very nice, and doesn't take into account the genuine feelings they're expressing about this. So we shouldn't do that.

I'd just answer the question straight. The OP may be looking for something that can't always be achieved, so we should say as such. Indeed, that's what the top-most voted answer does. Other well-regarded answers, such as Kate Gregory's, provide suggested strategies that may get the OP as close as possible to their goal. I think these answers have handled the question pretty well.

Many travel situations involve dealing with things that are beyond our control (visas, airline ticketing/change/refund policies, security/immigration personnel, being trapped in a pressurized metal tube 35,000 ft in the air, etc...). Sometimes what we want is unreasonable or impossible within the bounds of the system, and it's ok to say so, ideally while offering suggestions on the best way to mitigate the resulting problems. In other words, even if you see the OP's behavior as childish, saying so or closing the question isn't particularly helpful. Just answer the question, even if part of the answer is "what you want may not be possible."


On Travel.SE its perfectly acceptable to provide an alternative answer to OPs underlying question. For example if someone asks about techniques of holding an umbrella to stay protected from the sun, its perfectly fine to suggest using sunscreen and a hat instead. But if OP truly wants to use an umbrella and has already rejected the use of sunscreen for a good reason, we should respect that and try to answer the question in a straightforward manner.

So the answer is to try and figure out what the real task at hand is. If there's a clever alternative solution, propose it in an answer. If not, answer it straight.

  • I think the better analogy would be asking how to protect from sun using mosquito net, but yeah, I get the idea
    – user45851
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 6:54

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