Adults 75 and Up – Keep Your Shoes on at the Airport

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In my travels today back from Washington DC, I remembered that I had not yet posted about a new TSA policy that allows those who are 75 and up to keep their shoes and potentially a light jacket on while going through security.  This is very similar to the policy in place for children who are 12 years of age and under as they also get to keep their shoes on when they go through security.  The TSA website indicates that this was a move in their continued effort to go to a more risk-based model where more focus is given to those “who may cause a threat to transportation”.


I can only imagine how difficult it was for some adults who are 75 and up to get their shoes and jacket off.  As we all know, the emphasis in the security line is often on speed. Even if the TSA agents are directly rushing you, the passengers behind you who are trying to get to their flights can be a bit huffy and puffy if you take more than 1.7 seconds to take off your shoes, remove your jacket, unbuckle your belt, take our your liquids, and lift your bags onto the conveyor belt.  It can be a bit stressful for an able-bodied young adult; I am sure for some folks who are older and may have some mobility difficulties, it could be that much more difficult.  For those reasons, I do think this a good move.  Family travel isn’t just about the younger generation, it is often about the older generation as well.

I chuckle a little that we now have two different age groups who can keep their shoes on – wouldn’t it make sense if you were trying to do something dangerous or elicit with shoes that you would just bring along Grandpa or Junior?  Not trying to start another huge debate about how useful the TSA is or isn’t, but that is just a bit funny to me.  If you have grandparents or others in your traveling party who will meet this new “Born Before 1937” requirement, then let them know that they can keep their shoes and light jacket on while going through security.  Hopefully it will make their travel experience a little easier, and will keep the line moving a little more for those who are huffing, puffing, or rushing to get to their next flight.

That’s all for tonight – I’m spending some much needed time with my little family before we go our different ways again for a bit when the work week starts.  A little off topic, but I think I totally won the best souvenir contest today when I brought C home a flight suit from the Smithsonian.  We watched videos about space shuttles and she wore it all afternoon.  She does still call it her “Octonaut Suit”, but close enough.  She is now asking when we can go to space.  Um, maybe I should pay more attention to Virgin Galactic. 😉


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  1. Hey by the time C is done with college, SpaceX might be making regular trips to Mars, so your timing on the introduction to space is perfect! Forget “my first doll.” “My first flight suit” sounds much more awesome.

  2. Cute! Maybe she will grow up to captain Virgin Galactic flights and you won’t have to worry about saving enough miles for a space flight?

  3. If we would just start profiling people US security would be better even with all our shoes on. You don’t see people hijacking any El Al flights. Of course I’m a little bitter lately since I found out that I’ll have to pay $20 a day to park at the port of Miami for a cruise but if I was disabled or at least claim to be I can park for free and closer to the door. I know I’m a bad person for feeling the way I do.

  4. For your mother-daughter trip to outer space, I’d recommend Avios for the best value redemption. It’s only around 65 miles to clear the atmosphere and reach outer space, and Avios really excels in short haul redemptions.

  5. Ha! They should lower that age to 65!

    Darling pic of LittleC. She is growing so fast that it’s easy to understand why her grandparents want to visit every 3 months.
    I’ve always thought she looked like her dad; but her mom’s features are starting to come out. 🙂

  6. While it makes sense overall to move towards a “risk-based model” for security, it seems like it could be a slippery slope. For example, I’m pretty sure you can make a strong case for ethnic/racial profiling under a risk-based model…

  7. @Danin: check if the local hotels offer ‘cruise parking’. In some ports, the hotel will keep your car if you pay for one night’s stay.

    @MP: you brought back a space suit… from D.C to Houston?!?!? :p Very cute though!

    I’d would think that kids are a bigger risk that 75YOs. A 75YO is old enough to know better, unless they no longer have the mental facilities. Children can and have been used by terrorists.

  8. I am finding comflicting info about the shoe policy. I am 83 and soon to fly.
    Re: El-Al They have fewer than 50 flights a day, I’m told, but they are highly trained to profile, more like the agents on the US/Canadian border. Once heard from an El Al spokesperson, “the US will never be safe when you look for bombs. We look for bombers”.

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