By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Elderly airline travelers at selected airports will be getting a break when they approach the security checkpoint — but not yet in Philadelphia.
The Transportation Security Administration will launch a pilot program next week at airports in Chicago, Denver, Orlando, and Portland, Ore.
“We are allowing anyone who is 75 and older to leave their shoes on and any light outerwear to remain on as well,” says Ann Davis of the TSA.
She says the idea is to speed lower-risk passengers through the security screening while focusing on those who may need more scrutiny.
“We are constantly evolving the process to try to make it as responsive to intelligence but as efficient and effective as possible at the same time,” she said.
It’s a departure from the agency’s controversial one-size-fits-all screening policy that led to howls of criticism in 2010 when the government began using the more invasive patdowns. Several elderly travelers reported being forced to put their underwear or medical devices on display while being screened.