Thursday, November 10, 2011

New TSA Regulations for Children Under Age 12

Hayley watching for our plane
at Manchester Airport
My children have traveled many times by plane to many destinations.  Even with all these trips under my belt, I can say that the most stressful part about traveling with little ones is airport security.  This year, after making it to the airport and relieved our airplane would depart on time even with the record breaking snow, I was very excited, but still had that knot in my stomach about getting the three kids through security and to the gate.  In 2010, Joey refused to walk through the security "door," as he calls it, because he was afraid it would zap him.  Of course, upon hearing that, Hayley and Emily began worrying and did not want to get zapped.  Let's just say, three crying kids, annoyed TSA agents and business people in a hurry to get to their flights made a nightmare of a morning.  In the end, we made it through to the gate and much to Joey's relief, no one was zapped.  I am not sure which was worse that incident or the year my children thought TSA was stealing their new Disney sneakers.  Either way, as prepared as I have always been, airport security gets me every time.

But this year was completely different.  As soon as we got into the security line, I had the kids start taking off their shoes.  The TSA agent informed me that there is a new regulation in place.  Children ages 12 and under are no longer required to remove their sneakers to go through security.  Now if your children can put their own sneakers back on without assistance this news probably isn't as exciting for you as it is for some of us who have really little ones.  Having experienced airport security in previous years with three children who could not put their own shoes on, or take them off for that matter,  this is a big time saver and stress relief for parents of little ones.

So, next time you are traveling anywhere and need to go through airport security with little ones, here is one less step you need to take to get yourself to the gate.  Keep their shoes on!  Adults of course still need to remove their shoes, but for us, this change in regulations made for a very smooth morning through security to the gate.

7 comments:

Christina said...

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing the info. We only have one child so it's not as much of an issue for us, but it still is. Last time we flew, Ashlyn didn't like going through the "door" either. I think kids being able to keep their shoes on will make things go quicker and make them much more comfortable in general.

goddessofmath said...

I've helped my niece and nephew through security numerous times, and I agree it's a huge undertaking! The shoes alone make it take so much longer (especially when half the time I couldn't figure out how to get the darn things on when they kept letting their tiny ankles bend)!

While I know this time saver is greatly appreciated, I can't help to be a little concerned over yet another security loophole. Sadly evil people have proven that children are not off limits when it comes to carrying out their unspeakable plans. What's to say that a child's shoe can't hold something but an adult's shoe can? My parents said they aren't checking for liquids in Dallas, Atlanta, and Flint anymore. The more I hear about airport security easing up, the more concerned I get. I know 9/11 was 10 years ago, but I haven't forgotten. Yeah, security makes things take longer, but I feel so much safer knowing everyone's been fully checked (when the TSA is actually checking the way they say they will).

At the same time, not worrying about little feet in little shoes on our next trip will be kinda nice... ;-)

CO_MtnMom said...

The first time we ran into the new "kids keep their shoes on" at airport security policy was flying out of Orlando this last September, after our WDW trip. I agree ... BIG RELIEF!

Every little bit to lessen travel stress with wee ones is greatly appreciated.

Beth Green said...

good to know... if we ever fly!

Kelly said...

We traveled 4 weeks ago and my three kids had to remove everything. I wonder if this just changed??? Thank you so much for sharing!! I totally get you on the stressful part...it is horrible.

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

Kelly - The TSA agent I spoke with said they had just implemented it the week before we left, which our departure was 10/30. I was happy to see the same rule applied at MCO too. I find TSA can be inconsistent from airport to airport, but not this time. :-)

DisneyBabies said...

That's very helpful.. now if you have a trick to getting 2 year olds to keep their shoes on in the first place...