If “opting-out” of the back-scatter machines, be sure there is staff on hand to pat you down BEFORE putting your carry-in luggage, travel documentation and other valuables on the x-ray belt. We ended up in a queue of opt-outs, including a family with several small children and a woman in a wheelchair. We had to wait 5 or 6 minutes for our turn because they did not have enough female agents around to pat us down.
I realize this doesn’t sound like much time, but our stuff, including our passports, Dr. Darling’s big fancy digital camera, my MacBook Air and our new Kindle Fire (both out of their cases as ordered) sat unmonitored (and out of our view) until the staff needed to feel us up arrived. When I asked the TSA Agent who was allegedly organizing the pat-downs if anyone was keeping an eye on our stuff while we waited on them to do their jobs, she said there were security cameras, but she couldn’t make any promises that our expensive gadgets would still be there when we got to the other side. Seriously?!?!?
Fortunately, everything was still there when we were FINALLY waved thru. I’m also a little miffed that the TSA Agent who patted down the Swede got more action than I did during this vacation!