More airport foolishness

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, September 03, 2004

I just read the article, "Defending our skies against the elderly," by Diane Dimond in the Aug. 30 Newsweek magazine. Dimond reports on the disrespectful way her ailing, exhausted, 78-year-old father was treated when going through airport security in Westchester, N.Y.

Last week I heard from a relative who observed the practice in which domestic cats are being patted down and wanded at the New Orleans airport.

Surely if two bicycle mechanics could invent the airplane, America can invent better ways of screening people than prying them out of their wheelchairs, removing their shoes, depriving them of their belt buckles, canes and fingernail files.

I have a suggestion to speed up security checks of people who are ailing, post-operative or have permanent metal implants in their bodies. The Transportation Security Administration could invent a badge or identification card using the same security methods as drivers' licenses (holographic symbols) and paper currency (special paper, special threads). Blank badges could be issued to hospitals and physicians, and could be finalized quickly with photographs and other information when the patient is discharged or preparing to travel.

Ann Chandonnet


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