In Los Angeles, a Spanish-speaking grandmother sent a 1-month-old baby through the X-ray machine at the security checkpoint. She plopped the kid in one of the plastic bins and sent him through. The screener saw the outline of the baby and immediately snatched him out. They sent the child off to the hospital but doctors said there shouldn’t be any worry. For the amount of time he was in there, it was the equivalent of one day flying in an airliner.
Of course, plenty of people took the opportunity to ride their hobby horses, connecting the incident to their own pet peeves.
Security experts said the incident underscored a more widespread concern about the screening process at LAX and other airports.
“The screeners are still reporting that they’re being pushed,” said Brian Sullivan, a retired Federal Aviation Administration security agent. “If a baby can get through, what the hell else can get through?”
Except, of course, the baby didn’t “get through.” We’re not talking about someone trying to smuggle a weapon through the checkpoint. It’s completely different. There may be valid complaints to be made about the TSA and the security checks—and I will agree with many of them—but this is a reach. In this case, I agree with the TSA guy.
“There’s an obligation on the traveler to use some common sense,” said Larry Fetters, the TSA’s federal security director at LAX. “If they don’t understand, they should ask somebody. If they ask us, we are generally able to find someone who speaks that language and assist them.”
Personal responsibility. What a concept.
Incidentally, here’s the TSA’s recommendations for flying with children.