Two women, one a Muslim, have become the first people to be barred from boarding a flight because they refused to go through a full-body airport scanner. Manchester airport confirmed today that the women, who were booked to fly to Islamabad with Pakistan International Airlines, were told they could not get on the plane after they refused to be scanned.
The Muslim woman stated her religion as the reason to refuse the scan, which would display intimate body parts to strangers, and decided to forfeit her ticket. Her companion also left the airport saying she did not go through the scanner on medical grounds because she had an infection. The full-body scanners were introduced at Manchester and Heathrow last month after the Christmas Day bombing attempt in Detroit. The £80,000 Rapiscan machines show a clear body outline and have been described by critics as the equivalent of “virtual strip searching”, while the affect on health is also unclear as yet.