Kids Can Keep Their Shoes On At Airport Security
The Transportation Security Administration announced this week that children under the age of 12 will no longer be required to remove their shoes to pass through airport security.
The only demographic unable to remember a world before shoe removal in U.S. airports may not see it as a return to the freedom of the "good old days" of airport security, but their parents will be pleased to expedite the stressful process of getting a family through security and to the gate. Pleased and likely a little jealous that they still have to remove their shoes.
In an apparent effort to listen to troubles of the traveling public, TSA expressed a desire to improve the customer experience.
“TSA has implemented risk-based procedures to further strengthen security while improving the passenger experience whenever possible,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. “We are prepared this holiday season to keep passengers safe as they travel to see their loved ones.”
Perhaps ten years without a major incident means that TSA is ready to grant the public's request a return to simpler, more people-friendly airport security that works, without the bare feet, stinky socks and considerate difficulty that youth and the elderly face physically removing and replacing their footwear.
Additional changes to security:
- Pilots and flight crew, as well as well-seasoned travelers, will be expedited through security in test cities across the country.
- Advanced Imaging Technology machines will show TSA an outline of the human form, rather than an image of the person, to improve privacy.
- Boston and Detroit officers will have casual conversations with passengers to determine if their behavior warrants additional screening.
It's interesting that this announcement about behavior officers came out now. Having traveled through Boston over a month ago, I was a little confused about whether I was clearing customs and immigration or passing through TSA security to board a domestic flight. I was asked where I stayed, how long I was in the city, who I visited, what sites I saw, and the likes. I was so surprised that I didn't feel that regular nervous feeling that accompanies giving the "right answer," even though there is nothing to hide.Continued on the next page