TSA Procedures That Won't Infuriate You: Coming Soon

Agency chief hints that focus will shift
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2011 8:40 AM CST
TSA Procedures That Won't Infuriate You: Coming Soon
In this Aug. 3, 2011 photo, airline passengers go through the Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser)

Could the TSA finally be responding to public outcry over its often-controversial procedures? In his most recent appearance before Congress, TSA chief John Pistole moved away from his typically adamant defense of the agency’s screening process. "I have listened to ideas from people all over this country," he told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. And now, he says, the TSA may be ready to stop treating every single traveler the same way, and start focusing on fliers it knows the least about.

Specifically, the agency will work to expand several pilot programs currently being tested in select airports throughout the country, the Los Angeles Times reports. In one, passengers who share personal info get to use a separate security lane—while blissfully wearing their shoes and jackets. In another, behavior detection officers look for suspicious activity by talking to passengers in the terminal. Don’t expect revised procedures nationwide for several months—but one policy has already been changed: TSA agents can now decide whether to pat down children under 12 or make them take off their shoes. (More Transportation Security Administration stories.)

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