Long lines, crowded airports, rigid security rules… traveling can be something out of a nightmare for anyone, so imagine how it can be for our aging friends and loved ones. We may not be able to shorten the lines, but there is some good news if you’re flying out of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport soon. The Transportation Security Administration will no longer require travelers aged 75 or older to remove their shoes at security checkpoints. That is, of course, if alarms don’t sound as older travelers go through the metal detectors.
Joseph Terrell, TSA’s security director in Orlando, Florida says that the new changes will “allow officers to better focus their efforts on passengers who may be more likely to pose a risk to transportation, while expediting the screening process.”
Many may wonder why it is necessary to impose rigid rules on those who are clearly infirm. While addressing the National Press Club on March 5, TSA Administrator John Pistole reminded attendees that the TSA screens about 1.8 million people per day, and admitted, “we don’t get it right every time.” In November, the story of two women in their 80′s made national news when the women were “essentially strip-searched” at John F. Kennedy International Airport. During the search, one woman reported she was required to remove her back brace, and the other woman said screeners made her lower her pants so they could closely examine her colostomy bag. TSA officials responded, denying that anyone was asked to remove clothing.
In December, the Transportation Security Administration instituted a hotline, called TSA Cares, for use by the elderly and others with medical conditions.
Useful information about the TSA Cares hotline:
- The hotline is designed to help those with special conditions who are planning to fly prepare for the screening process.
- The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.
- The toll-free number is (855) 787-2227.
- For the deaf or hard of hearing, a relay service can be used, or you can email TSA Cares at TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov.
The TSA strongly suggests calling at least 72 hours before departure so the agency “has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager at the airport when necessary”.
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Baton Rouge, please call us at 225.819.8338 or email us. Most long-term care insurance policies will reimburse us for our services and we have a team of over 200 bonded and insured CAREGivers covering the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area.
- TSA To Ease Screening Procedures For Elderly Air Travelers In Some Cities (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- TSA to test altered screening for elderly (cnn.com)