Archives for January 17, 2004

Soldiers’ families allowed past airport security Soldiers’ families allowed past airport security

Families of soldiers returning to Iraq will be allowed to accompany them to the gate at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, but federal officials may not be able to put the change in place by Saturday morning.

“The TSA holds military families in the highest regard,” TSA spokeswoman Andrea McCauley said Friday evening. “We’re doing everything we can do to coordinate these complex security procedures with the various entities and we’ll do the best we can to have it available tomorrow (Saturday), but there’s no guarantee.”

At the prodding of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, the TSA issued a directive to its airport security directors to let military family members pass through security without tickets.

“I am grateful for TSA’s quick and positive answer to my request,” Hutchison said late Friday.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, persons without tickets have not been allowed through security, with the exception of people accompanying small children, senior citizens and handicapped passengers. The move constitutes the first major exception granted to non-ticketed people since the terrorist attacks.

This is pandering, but to a really worthy, and low-risk group. Airports are built to house people after security, not outside the checkpoints (as anyone who is meeting someone and needs either a bathroom or a snack knows).

Maybe we’re getting ready to go ‘back to normal’ and let us see grandma off at the gate.