31, 2014 – Most of us senior citizens who fly on commercial airlines
wish for the good old days – the days before 9-11 - when airline
boarding and travel was simple. Those days are gone forever but the
Transportation Security Administration has taken steps recently to make
air travel at least a little bit easier for senior citizens age 75 and
And it is totally free!
Passengers 75 and older receive
modified screening procedures as part of TSA's “overarching risk-based
security methodology.” These procedures are similar to screening
procedures for passengers 12 and under and improve screening by better
focusing security resources on passengers who may be more likely to pose
Passengers 75 and older can:
Leave on shoes and light jackets through security checkpoints.
Undergo an additional pass through Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) to
clear any anomalies detected during screening.
Actually, you often get other consideration in some
airports, such as, not belts off, no emptying pockets, no opening
computer bags, and more.
An expanded use of explosives trace
detection technology is also deployed on a wider basis to resolve
alarms. Travelers may be required to remove their shoes or undergo a
pat-down if something is detected during security screening that cannot
be resolved through other means.
How are individuals who are 75 and older identified at the checkpoint?
A. Transportation Security Officers make a visual assessment to
determine passengers who are 75 or older and inform them of changes to
the screening procedures. These procedures are similar to providing
modified screening procedures for passengers 12 and under.
Will TSA perform pat-downs on passengers 75 and older? A. Changes reduce – though not eliminate – the need for a physical
pat-down for travelers 75 and older. Passengers 75 and older could still
undergo a pat-down and be asked to remove their shoes if anomalies are
detected during security screening that cannot be resolved through other
Will individuals 75 and older still go through imaging technologies?
A. Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) remains a screening option for all
passengers able to assume and hold the AIT stance for five seconds.
Imaging technology remains optional for all passengers. Senior
passengers 75 and older are permitted an additional pass through AIT to
clear any anomalies.
What happens if the passenger’s shoes alarm? A. Passengers 75 or older whose shoes alarm during screening will be
advised to take their shoes off during the next security screening pass.
All alarms must be resolved.
Are travel companions for individuals 75 and older eligible for modified
screening procedures? A. Only travelers who meet the age requirement of 75 and older are
eligible for these modified screening procedures. Passengers 12 and
under are also permitted to leave their shoes on during screening.
Are procedures for passengers 75 and older who use wheelchairs changing
as well? A. Passengers 75 and older who are unable to stand for screening will
receive a comparable level of screening, including explosives trace
How will the screening of medical devices change for passengers who are
75 and older? A. Screening procedures for passengers 75 and older with medical
devices will not change. These passengers will be provided an additional
pass through Advanced Imaging Technology to resolve anomalies.
Application Programs Even Better and You Don’t Have to be 75
The TSA Pre✓
application program is one of four
DHS Trusted Traveler programs. TSA Pre✓
allows low-risk travelers to experience expedited, more efficient
security screening at participating U.S. airport checkpoints for
domestic and international travel. They significantly help with your
boarding process but they do cost money.
How it works
An applicant must be a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)
and cannot have been convicted of certain crimes. If an applicant has a
record of any of the crimes identified in the eligibility
requirements, they may choose not to apply,
as the application fee is nonrefundable.
Interested applicants must visit an application center to provide
biographic information that includes name, date of birth and address. An
applicant will be fingerprinted and will be required to provide valid required
identity and citizenship/immigration documentation.
An applicant also has the option to pre-enroll online to provide basic
information and make an appointment before visiting an application
center. There is a nonrefundable application processing fee of $85.
After completing enrollment, successful applicants will receive a Known
Traveler Number (KTN) via U.S. mail approximately 2-3 weeks following
the visit to the application center. An applicant also may check status
online by visiting
and clicking on “Service Status.” The Known Traveler Number is valid for
Once approved as eligible for TSA Pre✓™,
the enrollee must enter the provided KTN in the ‘Known Traveler Number’
field when booking travel reservations on any of the ten participating
airlines. The KTN also can be added when booking reservations online
via a participating airline website, via phone call to the airline
reservation center, or with the travel management company making
reservations. Additionally, the KTN can be entered in participating
airline frequent flyer profiles, where it will be stored for future
Please make sure the name used when applying for the TSA Pre✓™
application program matches the name used when booking travel.
eligibility will be identified with a TSA Pre✓
indicator on the boarding pass.
Appointments may only be made for a
date within a 45 day window of completing the online application, and if
all available appointments are booked in that period, appointments would
not be accepted, requiring the applicant to check back for availability.
The applicant also may visit an application site as a “walk-in” without
an appointment but could experience a longer wait time.