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Features for Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens 75 and Older Can Now Board Airlines a Lot Easier

Transportation Security Administration helping elderly free but others can move through check-in lines even faster… but it cost money.

By Tucker Sutherland, editor,

July 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 older.

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 a risk.

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.


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Frequently Asked Questions (TSA)

Q. 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.

Q. 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 means.

Q. 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.

Q. 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.

Q. 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.

Q. 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 detection.

Q. 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.

TSA Pre 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 five years.

>>  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 reservations.

>>  Please make sure the name used when applying for the TSA Pre™ application program matches the name used when booking travel.

>>  TSA Pre eligibility will be identified with a TSA Pre indicator on the boarding pass.

>>  TSA is accepting applications at nearly 300 locations nationwide, including 26 airports.

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.

Ready to pre-enroll? Visit the TSA Pre application website.

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