Having been patted down a couple of times, back when there were random screenings at the gate, I would rather have the backscatter as the norm, instead of the magnatometer and a possible pat down.
With the backscatter, you don't have to take your shoes and coat off. For every road warrior that knows how to "strip" before getting to the x-ray machines and metal detectors, there are the infrequent flyers that wait until the last minute.
Then, there are the airports where the TSA
people want to see your ID
and boarding pass, after you go throught the metal detector. They get quite irritated, when you need to pull them out of them out of a coat that is coming out of the x-ray machine.
For me, I usually fly with my family, which means having a 3-year old with a car seat. To take off my shoes, my blazer, and overcoat (if traveling during the winter), and to have to take off my son's coat and shoes, plus deal with the car seat, is an absolute pain.
My only saving grace is that I have lifetime Gold status on AA
, so I can go through the first-class security line, which means far fewer people waiting.