TSA Pretends to Lose Interest in Patting Down Your Gran

Posted on March 14, 2012 by


Oh, TSA. Shall I compare thee to a stupid agency? Oh wait, there’s no one out there doing security work as badly as you are.

I’m glad you aren’t as interested in patting down the elderly. But reading through the official release carefully, here’s what it boils down to for older travelers:

  • TSA is going to “visually assess” your age
  • You can leave on your shoes and “light outerwear”
  • You get a second pass if you alarm the first time
  • You might get an iota of respect at only four airports

Otherwise, it’s just TSA business as usual.

They will still subject the elderly to aggressive patdowns in order to “resolve anomalies.” They are still engaged in little more than security theater. They are still unresponsive to abuse complaints.  They still subject passengers to humiliating and degrading experiences.

These are not real changes, and it’s insulting that TSA is trying to package this as a public relations coup in an effort to restore their supremely tarnished reputation. I read this as a response to Senator Schumer’s passenger advocacy efforts after highly publicized instances of TSA elder abuse.

I still agree that we need passenger advocates, desperately. But I also believe that Schumer’s plan falls short.

What will it take to make real reforms to this out-of-control agency?