TSA To Take It Easy On Elderly Terrorists

The terror threat from septuagenarians is apparently not as high as those young whippersnappers who are merely of retirement age. At least according to the Transportation Security Administration, which next week will begin testing new, less-intrusive, screening procedures for travelers 75 years of age and older.

The tests, which will be similar to how the TSA screens children under 12 years old, will start March 19 at Chicago O’Hare, Denver International, Portland International and Orlando International airports.

Passengers in this age group will not have to take off their shoes or light outerwear at screening. And if an alarm sounds, they have the choice of resolving the issue with a screening that doesn’t require TSA agents get all rubby and touchy.

Only after this secondary, no pat-down process fails to reconcile whatever is setting off the alarm will the shoes have to come off and the TSA hands get grabby.

TSA says it will cut down on ‘granny pat-downs’ [WGN]


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  1. Murph1908 says:

    You know, if they are going to keep creating these loopholes, they might as well disband the entire thing.

    This also sounds very much like profiling. I am more likely a terrorist due to my age? It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen, and I hope someone takes them down with it.

    • longdvsn says:

      “I am more likely a terrorist due to my age?”
      Yes. Also if you look like you might be from the middle-east…but that would be ‘politically incorrect’ to profile on. Somehow old grannies get to avoid the groping though – so good for them.

      • Murph1908 says:

        That was my point, and I was reinforcing what they are saying. I re-read it and see how it could come across that I don’t believe my age makes me more likely to be a terrorist.

        But yeah, they are profiling based on age, which they seem to think is ok. Though other profiling isn’t. It’s a discriminatory practice that I think (hope) might blow up in their face.

        And why do old grannies and grandpas get to avoid the creepy touchy-feely screening, but I still have no choice?

        • aikoto says:

          For one, what’s wrong with profiling? I think kids under 5 years old aren’t a threat and that’s profiling.

          Besides, I wouldn’t want to grope old people either.

          • Murph1908 says:

            Too much potential for abuse. I am pretty right wing, but can understand the need to prevent unnceccessary treatment to someone simply based on the fact the fit a certain profile.

            What if some number cruncher decided that your particular race/ethnicity/age/religion was more likely to drive while intoxicated? So a cop sits outside your favorite hangout and pulls you and your likely similar-looking friends over for some trumped up charge every time you leave the place, and makes you breathe into the tube.

            “Mr. Aikoto, you didn’t properly signal your turn out of the parking lot. Please step out of the vehicle for a field sobriety test.”

    • bluline says:

      It definitely is profiling. It’s taking a selected group and deciding that they don’t need to be screened as aggressively because of some demographic factor. In this case, the factor is age.

      It’s also saying that people who don’t match the age demographic require the more aggressive screening, which also is profiling.

    • jesusofcool says:

      I agree. Besides, Harrison Ford is almost 70. Who’s to say there isn’t a 75 year old out there that couldn’t pose the same threat as a 40 year old? It’s a ridiculous loophole. If they’re going to profile, at least profile based on actually psychology like the Israelis, or even just plain common sense.

  2. crispyduck13 says:

    Hey thanks TSA for letting any crazy with a bomb know exactly what style mule to recruit!

    I agree with Murph, if they are going to announce which portions of the population they are going to “go easy on” then what is the point of any of this?

    • Snoofin says:

      I agree, now the bad guys will know exactly who to plant the weapons on since they wont be checked. I really get enraged every time someone says Grandma shouldnt be searched because little old ladies dont blow things up. It doesnt matter if they intend to do harm, they will be used as mules. Same thing for infants. Either check EVERYONE or nobody.

      I for one would be happy if they shut down the airlines. This is 2012, we dont need to fly everywhere. We can do just about everything with computers now. You can keep in touch with family and friends and conduct business meetings and interviews via teleconferencing now. You can see what other places look like now via the internet. The only thing planes are really needed for now are for emergency response like Life Lion or police when they are looking for a criminal

      • cparkin says:

        So are companies going to give everyone 6 weeks vacation then so you can drive across the country to get on a boat to go on your South East Asian vacation?

        How about all those overnight packages that will now take a week to deliver?

        • Snoofin says:

          Well, people dont need to go on East Asian vacations, Im sure there are lots of places within a days drive that would appreciate the local business and would be just as fun. Im sorry I didnt mention EVERY possibility that aircraft would be necessary but shipping goods and getting military personnel to their missions would obviously be important to, but travel for fun isnt really necessary.

          • nbs2 says:

            of course, we need to make an exception for people to travel to those jobs that they just interviewed remotely for, right? On the other hand, I already live in a high employment area – DC – so I wouldn’t mind keeping the unemployed rabble out.

            Besides, we wouldn’t want people to move for work and then ask to fly home to visit family and loved ones.

            • Snoofin says:

              If someone was moving to a new job they would be driving a Uhaul, not flying. They have to get all their belongings to the new home. Also as I said in my original post you can “visit” with family through teleconferencing like Facetime on Ipads or Skype on a PC.

              • crispyduck13 says:

                I suppose relocating to a different country would then require a large boat and a swarthy sea captain?

                Stop trying to sell it, nobody is buying.

              • VintageLydia says:

                If you were anyone but Snoofin, I’d say you were a troll. But no, you actually believe this whackadoo bullshit. So how is someone supposed to get to that cross country interview? You think their current employer and possible future employer will be okay with him taking so much time for just an interview? Because I’d sure as hell not dream of completely uprooting my family unless I had a job offer in hand because in my field, the jobs aren’t concentrated in one or two areas but all over the world.

              • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:


                You know what? Fuck you. Seriously. Just fuck. You.

              • Kuri says:

                Because you can totally hug your relatives though an Ipad. /sarc

                Seriously though, your goddamn situation is hardly the norm. I like getting away from my house, and in cases even the state I live in.

                Go sell crazy and conformity somewhere else. we’re all stocked up on the first and aren’t interested in the second.

          • Kate says:

            You must have a sad sad life Snoofin to not want to go to exotic places or think that life is better without them. You really need to go to a very foreign country and live there among the natives until your mind is expanded a few sizes greater than a raisin.

            • Jane_Gage says:

              I enjoy looking at a downspout just as much as going to an exotic location.

            • Snoofin says:

              I will never go to an exotic place. In fact, since Im single, live alone, and have no living family other than a brother, I will probably never go anywhere more than an hour from my house. What’s the point of going somewhere alone. For me a great vacation is not having to go to work for a week and relaxing in my house for a week in the AC where Im comfortable and it’s quiet.

              • HogwartsProfessor says:

                You can certainly find cool places to see within driving distance. Assuming you live in the US, most states have some type of attraction or natural wonder to see. And you’re completely allowed to stay home if you like. No one is forcing you.

                Some of us like to travel, though. We don’t mind putting up with airlines to get somewhere we want to go if driving isn’t practical or we don’t have enough vacation time. I don’t think doing away with airlines is the answer.

              • The Cosmic Avenger says:

                Well, generally the point of travelling to different and unusual places is to expand your mind, so in a way you’re right, there’s no point in you travelling. Just stay in your little world where everyone is either like you or can be blocked out of your sliver of consciousness. Thankfully, your kind generally doesn’t reproduce.

              • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

                “I will never go to an exotic place. In fact, since Im single, live alone, and have no living family other than a brother, I will probably never go anywhere more than an hour from my house.”

                This is undoubtedly for the best. The less chance you have of spreading the better. Continue to live a lonely sheltered life. You won’t even be forgotten when you die; you will simply have been never known.

              • Kate says:

                Ah, you have no curiosity. That’s sad and well, it can be fatal. Especially to a species.

                But it’s hard to explain color to a blind man and excitement and exploration to a bound and hopelessly shuttered mind.

              • bluline says:

                There’s a reason why you live alone, Snoofin. You’re a lifeless, depressing, boring individual.

              • Rommy says:

                I bet you’re just a bundle of joy at parties, aren’t ya? Oh wait, you probably don’t attend social events. Too much trouble, right?

            • JennQPublic says:

              I’m not trying to troll, but… Doesn’t it stand to reason that someone who feels the need to escape their life by traveling to “exotic places” has a sadder life than someone who is content enough with their home to stay there?

              I doubt the places seem that exotic to the natives, and I have a hard time believing the only way to expand one’s horizons is to go to “very foreign” country to commune with the natives. Are “the natives” there somehow more profound or spiritual than “the natives” here?

              • Kuri says:

                So, essentially, since YOU and Snoo find no reason to go traveling, no one else should either and should be born, go to school, liver, work, and die, all in the same town.

              • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

                No, it’s not sadder, and to call it so would be ridiculously insulting and blindingly short sighted. It’s called broadening your horizons and experiencing the fucking world around you. It’s about knowing and understanding that the world out there is bigger than you, and adding cultural experiences that will hopefully enrich you as a person. It’s about a personal journey as much as a physical one. It’s about adventure and learning and and challenge and insight and personal growth and a whole slew of concepts that are not only foreign, but anathema to willfully-ignorant narrow-minded basement-dwelling cave trolls like some commenters I could name.

              • Kate says:

                Yes, it’s sad to be so limited and to have no imagination or courage to explore. And yes, the natives of someplace else have something far more profound – BECAUSE THEY SEE THINGS WITH A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW – one that will expand your ideas and knowledge of how things can be.

                Is that really so hard to contemplate?

                • JennQPublic says:

                  There are many, many people around me who have different points of view, from vastly different backgrounds and cultures. I don’t need to leave my own neighborhood even for that.

                  And just because I don’t automatically assume somewhere I can only get to by flight is superior doesn’t mean I don’t explore or go on adventures. I’ve driven throughout the US, covering every mile of the western US coast, and into the “foreign lands” beyond (even talked with the natives). I’ve spent more than my fair share of time exploring, and I’ve barely spent any time east of the Mississippi. There’s more than enough within driving distance (a.k.a. the entire US) to keep me seeing new sights and meeting new people for the next few decades. And I can do it for a fraction of the expense it would be to travel to, say, Paris or Tokyo. I’m sure Paris and Tokyo are very interesting places, but not interesting enough to justify the extra time, expense, and hassle to me.

                  Also, I have close friends who spent the majority of their lives on the other side of the planet, so I am far more exposed to different viewpoints than someone who spent a few weeks at a resort in Bora-Bora.

          • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

            Goddamn, you’re stupid.

          • shepd says:

            Sounds great. Where is the nice sunny warm beach within an hour or two of anywhere in Canada that I can go to?

            I’m sure you’d say don’t live there, but without airplanes, where will I live?


            Quality Troll. A++++++ Would read again.

      • Olivia Neutron-Bomb says:

        I’m pretty sure this article is referring to the Earth.

        Your planet sounds interesting.

      • Velvet Jones says:

        You should really see a psychiatrist. One, the elderly are still screened. They just will not have their saggy boobs squeezed anymore. Two, there is no al-Qaeda recruiting drive for the elderly and toddlers. Stop living in your fantasy world were you consider ’24’ to be a documentary.

      • TheGreySpectre says:

        You sound like a very boring person, or you are trolling with your comment.
        Sorry but seeing pictures of rock climbing, whitewater rafting, hiking, skiing, the beach, foreign cities and museums is not even remotely close to going to those places/doing those things in person.

        What about shipping goods, say good bye to overnight shipping, or international shipping that takes less then a month to reach its destination.

        Family lives a few states over? Too bad guess you get to spend 24 hours of driving to visit them. Immigrated from another country? Guess you will have to take a few months off of work to drive across the nation then take a boat to europe.

        Want to look for a place to live in the city you are moving to? Guess you better hope everything is just as it appears in the pictures and who cares about the neighborhood or neighbors.

        Enjoy skydiving? Too bad you better shift your interests to BASE jumping which is significantly more dangerous because we don’t need planes anymore.

        Want to go to a convention on something your interested in or a concert for a band you like? Better be hope it happens within driving distance or you probably won’t get to go.

        I’m sorry but while you sit at your computer staring at a beach background claiming “we don’t need airplanes” I’ll take a flight to the beach and enjoy the sun. At the end of the week we will see who had a better time.

        • Bill610 says:

          You make some excellent points, but to be fair to the commenter, he said “airlines”, not “airplanes”. So cargo could still travel via air. And if you’re skydiving out of airliners, unless you’re D.B. Cooper, you’re doing it wrong.

        • Snoofin says:

          Im quite fine with just looking at pictures of the world around me. I can see what a beach looks like without hearing all the screaming kids, getting sunburnt, and sweating my ass off all day. I can do it from the comfort of my living room in the AC where Im comfortable.

          You can watch concerts on Youtube or buy a DVD of a concert and watch it. No need to go see it in person where drunk, high, sweaty people are jumping up and down bumping into and rubbing up against you and fighting traffic for hours to get in and out of the venue

          Once again, if family lives a few states over you can use Skype or Facetime to visit with them, or make the drive.

          Job interivews – Once again, Skype or Facetime

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            I agree with you on concerts. I hate crowds. But still, I want face time with my honey. Skype is nice because we can see and hear each other when we talk (and saves on phone bills and minutes) but it’s not the same.

          • Kuri says:

            Because all of my relatives know how to use Skype and hugging my PC monitor is TOTALLY the same.

          • anti09 says:

            Obvious troll is obvious.

            (Unless you’re serious, in which case you’re a very sad, depressing human being).

          • Jillia says:

            I bet you’re a hit at parties…

        • JennQPublic says:

          “Sorry but seeing pictures of rock climbing, whitewater rafting, hiking, skiing, the beach, foreign cities and museums is not even remotely close to going to those places/doing those things in person.”

          You could just move to a place where all of those things are within driving distance- northern California. (There are places here with enough foreigners to darn near be foreign cities, not that I’m complaining.)

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Sorry, but I prefer to have sex with my long-distance boyfriend in person once in a while. I’ll keep flying.

      • bluline says:

        That has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read. By this reasoning, there’s no need for restaurants since we can all eat at home. Or there’s no need for movie theaters since we can watch the same films in our dens.

    • nocturnaljames says:

      you’re presuming that terrorism is actually a real threat and people are trying to blow up planes, they aren’t. It’s just a bunch of BS propaganda, how many terrorists has the TSA stopped in 10 years? Oh yeah, ZERO. Because there were zero attempts.

    • bluline says:

      What, you don’t think no one will notice when granny no longer has to remove her shoes or her jacket before going through security? The TSA isn’t announcing anything that the rest of us won’t be able to see with our own eyes.

  3. Olivia Neutron-Bomb says:

    Guess somebody doesn’t like checking Grandpa’s diaper.

  4. darklighter says:

    This is really a tacit admission that the TSA’s screenings don’t actually do anything to enhance security; something actual security experts have been saying for years.

    • erich5248 says:

      Jon Corbett‚Äôs viral video proves that the TSA is nothing but security theater, but they won’t go down without a pointless and exhaustive fight.

  5. Thorin78 says:

    Can the ACLU sue the TSA for age discrimination?

  6. Emerald4me says:

    Crap! My 78 year-old mother-in-law is coming for a visit and will be flying through O’Hare for the first time. I was banking on it being such a terrible experience the old bat wouldn’t visit anymore. Oh well, maybe just being in the “big city” at the big airport will be enough to make her not want to visit anymore.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Maybe you’ll get lucky! It’s only one checkpoint at each “test” airport that the age-profiling is going to be implemented… so she still has a pretty good chance of having her hoo-ha grabbed by an overly zealous screener!

    • pamelad says:

      That’s just mean. Have a heart.

  7. sir_eccles says:

    Umm, I just look young for my age.

  8. Mark702 says:

    The TSA is a corrupt, wasteful, unnecessary boondoggle. The agency is a colossal failure by every possible measure. American taxpayers are getting their money stolen from them via taxes to pay for this security charade, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Our money is taken from us, only to be given to untrained, unprofessional, corrupt idiots who sexually assault and degrade passengers. It is demeaning, disgusting, and unacceptable.
    Ron Paul is the only candidate for president who not only opposes the hugely wasteful TSA agency, but he also has vowed to completely END the TSA when he gets into office. He opposed the TSA and the Patriot Act since their inception. Obama is corrupt and unacceptable; he renewed the Patriot Act which destroys personal freedom and privacy, and he supports the TSA. Ron Paul is the ONLY vote for peace, prosperity, and personal freedom. Vote Ron Paul for president!

  9. nishioka says:

    Yes, because terrorism starts at 12 and ends at 75.

  10. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Just my opinion: screening for explosives should take place before people even get inside the terminal. Once they’re in an area packed with hundreds of people, it’s too late. My second theory is I think we’ll have to worry more about biological terrorism in the future, and not so much about bombs and box cutters.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Then the area outside of the terminal would be packed with hundreds of people waiting to be screened for explosives. In all honesty, if our intelligence agencies didn’t catch the guy before he arrived at the airport, it’s pretty much too late.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        You have a good point – I didn’t think of that.

        • bluline says:

          Yes, this is the Achilles heel of air travel and of securing large venues in general. No matter what you do, as long as there are security checkpoints there will always be a bottleneck of people at those checkpoints. And that makes those bottlenecks very inviting targets.

  11. gman863 says:

    Damn. With my luck, the Depends Underwear Bomber will end up on my next flight.

  12. natebum says:

    I guess TSA guys got tired of feeling up grandma and her saggy skin.

  13. Cicadymn says:

    Well you know, every plane hijacking or bombing was commited by very old white folks. So it’s only natural to try and make sure they all get extra screening. Because statistically, they’re the ones causing all the trouble.

  14. DragonThermo says:

    Bah! They’re just saying this because nobody wants to feel up granny and grandpa.

    Personally, I think elderly people would make perfect suicide murders. They don’t have much longer to live so why not go out in a blaze of glory/martyrdom?