In the next few months, the TSA will implement new security procedures for fliers under 12, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate. They can still get patted down, although it will be by a different method, and they no longer have to remove their shoes. Even if they have velcro straps and are super easy to take on and off anyway.
“We have been piloting…programs to deal with children under the age of 12 with respect to not only taking off their shoes but also pat-down procedures.” Napolitano said today to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. “And we hope, over the coming weeks and months, to be able to begin rolling that out. It does require additional training of all of the thousands of TSA officers, and that’s under way.”
There has been public outcry in recent months after videos of children going through airport security have racked up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. In one, a child was forced to remove his shirt in front of the whole line. In another, a 6-year old girl received a full patdown, including the TSA agent running their fingers underneath the child’s waistband.
Napolitano didn’t give a timeline but I’ll bet you they make these changes in time for the holiday travel season.