Should the TSA pat down kids?

Photo of author

By Christopher Elliott

If you haven’t seen this video yet, you should. This is six-year-old Anna Drexel getting a pat-down in New Orleans earlier this month. The TSA is taking a lot of heat for the rather thorough screening of this young lady.

Alright, maybe TSA Administrator John Pistole’s reaction was a little inappropriate, calling the screener to basically congratulate her on a job well done.

The Anna Drexel video looks wrong from the perspective of this parent. So, so wrong.

But I can also see the TSA’s perspective. If you exempt children from aggressive screening, then where do you draw the line? At age 12? Can your son be a terrorist at 15?

Who else gets a pass? People in wheelchairs? On crutches? Passengers over 65? (Here’s how to handle the TSA when you travel.)

It’s a slippery slope.

So if TSA moves to a more “risk-based” system (read: profiling), then who gets profiled and who doesn’t?

It’s an important question raised by an inept federal agency, and the answer could determine how safe air travel is in the future.

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection covers consumers and their travel dreams, backed by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company’s financial strength and security. Choose travel insurance designed specifically to your trip and travelers, plus the fastest claims payments in the travel insurance industry. Get more information at Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection.

By the way, if you ever get into a situation like this, don’t hesitate to reach out to our advocacy team.

Photo of author

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

Related Posts