August 17, 2013
A few weeks ago, I was returning my 6-year-old granddaughter to Phoenix, Ariz. on a Southwest flight out of Fort Lauderdale International Airport. Prior to going through security, I explained to her that it would ring when I went through security because I had metal in a knee replacement. She understood that I might have to leave the line to be checked further, but that she was to stand on the other side so that I could see her.
She went through the metal detector with no problem. As expected, I set off the system and was asked to come to the side. However, as she was traveling with me, they also asked her to leave the line that she already had gone through and insisted on patting her down as well. She was crying and extremely frightened, to say the least.
I cannot fathom any situation where it is OK to terrify and confuse a young child. It is one thing to ask an individual who does set off the alarms to step aside, but to penalize a little girl — who had already been cleared — because her grandmother had to be searched is inexcusable. I also understand random checks, but on a 6-year-old wearing shorts and a tee shirt with her shoes removed? When does the madness stop?
Ellen Keiser, Coral Springs
Copyright 2013: Florida Sun Sentinel