I am all for seeing good things happening for older people but this story also illuminates that rarer specimen, positive ageism…
Since March, TSA workers at airports in Chicago, Denver, Orlando and Portland, Ore., have been testing modified screening practices for passengers 75 and over. Elderly travelers at select checkpoints were allowed to keep shoes and light outerwear on during screening and could take a second pass through full-body scanners to clear anomalies. The measures mirror those instituted nationwide last summer for children 12 and under.
TSA on Friday announced an end to the pilot program and said it will roll out the rules at all U.S. airports throughout the summer. A specific implementation timetable was not released.
The changes will reduce, but not eliminate, enhanced pat-downs for the elderly, TSA said in a statement. Travelers will be asked to remove shoes and undergo a pat-down “if anomalies are detected during security screening that cannot be resolved through other means.”
If I understand this correctly, it is our elders’ well established penchant for NON violence that led to this decision. We believe that younger people area more likely to blow things up than older people and that is almost always true. This is “age profiling” but with, in this case, a positive twist.
Between the ages of 12 and 75 we are, apparently, a wild a woolly bunch so the pat downs for us will continue.