TSA relaxes rules on traveling kids

John Shackleford
John Shackleford
Brian O'Leary
Brian O'Leary

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thousands of people will be flying in and out of the state this week and some may notice new screening procedures specifically for kids 12 years old and under.

Parents have their hands full when traveling with young children but taking off their kid's shoes is one less hassle to worry about.

It's a baby step in terms of security but kids age 12 and under do not need to take off their shoes although most still do out of habit.

"Well a couple changes we noticed, one was not taking the shoes off for the children but there was a long line of people and it probably didn't make any difference at all, maybe a little less stress for her," said John Shackleford, referring to his daughter. "I wish I didn't have to take off my shoes but I did."

Kids still have to walk through a metal detector but in most cases they are not subjected to the secondary pat down process.  Again parents still have to take off their own shoes and can be searched.

"My son actually got chosen so they had to swipe my hands," said Joslyn Sato, who just flew from Arizona with her two young children.

People we spoke with had mixed thoughts about the relaxed rules.

"I think its more common sense. I don't really view her as a threat," said Brian O'Leary, referring to his four year old daughter. "I definitely think it will make travel a lot easier with little ones."

"I don't mind it. Not at all because to make it safe for everybody else no I don't," said Angie Crowell, with her year old son Lopaka. "I'd rather have them do that than not at all."

"I think it's a security risk. I think it helps speed things up but on the other hand it poses a risk," said Cuyler Goodwin, as he stood in line for the security checkpoint.

"You never know who is flying on that aircraft so I think everyone should be searched regardless of their age," said Luis Luna, who had just come off a plane with his 9 year old son. "You never know who is going to be flying so it's the safety of everyone on that aircraft that's more important than taking the time to search someone who is 12 years old or under."

"In today's world you hate to think someone would use a child in a way that would jeopardize safety or for doing harm to someone but it could happen and it's happened in other countries," said Paula Messer, who flew in from Phoenix with her daughter Hannah.

"You don't know what's out there and what's behind people's minds so everyone should be treated equally but with kids it can be a lot more challenging. I don't know I'm kind of on both sides because I am a parent but yet I want everything to be safe for us traveling. I guess they'll make the right decisions for us," said Sato.

Ask the kids and they'd rather keep their stuffed animals than their shoes.  Regardless kids today will never know what it was like before the age of the terrorist.

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