In the wake of a lot of bad press about overzealous TSA screeners strip-searching and frisking senior citizens at airports, the TSA has announced that it will grant the elderly a modicum of dignity at a handful of airports. Starting next week, the agency will begin testing modified screening procedures for passengers 75 and older at airports in Chicago, Denver, Portland, and Orlando. At these airports, travelers over 75 will no longer be required to remove their shoes "and light outerwear."
And should an eagle-eyed TSA agent detect a colostomy bag in the folds of granny's cable knit sweater, she won't have to (immediately) strip down to her birthday suit, like poor Ruth Sherman, an 88-year-old woman who was forced to pull down her underwear and show the screeners at JFK that she had a bag of excrement, not explosives. As part of this pilot program, travelers with "anomalies" will not automatically be strip-searched, but will instead be "permitted a second scan through advanced imaging technology."
Of course, if that second scan doesn't explain the anomaly, it's time for a senior citizen strip show. The TSA says in a statement: "These changes in protocol for passengers 75 and older could ultimately reduce - though not eliminate - pat-downs that would have otherwise been conducted to resolve anomalies. If anomalies are detected during security screening that cannot be resolved through other procedures, passengers may be required to remove their shoes to complete the screening process."
Anyway, good news for elderly terrorists, bad news for breast cancer survivors under 75.