TSA's top official addresses 6-year-old's pat down

Administrator John Pistole says current procedures were followed but they will be changed.
BY JENNIFER PALMER jpalmer@opubco.com Modified: April 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm •  Published: April 14, 2011

Kim Wagner, customer service manager for TSA in Oklahoma City, said her office hasn't received any complaints regarding pat-downs of children.

“We have a kid-friendly screening area. We are one of several airports to include child-sized, decorated chairs to make it a more comfortable area for them in the event they or their parents require additional screening,” she said.

Checkpoint changes

Pistole said he proposes using airlines' frequent flier accounts to identify trusted travelers. People who are willing to share information about themselves would be rewarded with an expedited screening. TSA is also re-evaluating the list of prohibited items. But the administration will always reserve the right to conduct random screenings, he said.

Pistole's comments were made Thursday during Southern Nazarene University's Peer Learning Network luncheon.

The TSA Blog Girl's pat-down sparks anger


At a glance

Pat-downs for kids

Kim Wagner, customer service manager for TSA in Oklahoma City, said very few children receive pat-downs. When one becomes necessary, the following procedures apply:

A child is not separated from their parent.

A modified pat-down is used.

A screener of the same gender will conduct the pat-down.

The screener will explain the process to the child and parent as it is being conducted.

A parent may request to have the screening conducted in private.

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