Thursday, October 20, 2011

What the what?

I've flown with my kids dozens of times, and have never needed any documentation for them (with the obvious exception of MG's passport when we went to France). So I was shocked when the ticketing agent asked me for Jack's immunization records or birth certificate to verify his age before she would let me fly today!

"I flew out of here on Southwest 2 weeks ago with him, and we didn't need that," I told her. I quit arguing and started making calls when she told me it was a $10000 fine if TSA asked me for proof of his age and I couldn't produce something. "But neither of those things have his picture. How will you know that it's really his?!" I sputtered.

"Ma'am, if you choose to give us false documentation there isn't much I can do... This is for your protection, they've really been cracking down, probably because of all the abductions..." she trailed off ominously and I thought of the Free Range Kids blog.

"No, I can get his shot records if you can take a fax," I said, deciding not to quote the stats about crime being at a 48 year low. I called the doctor's office and got the records faxed, and we were sent on.

At security I asked, and the three TSA agents I spoke with had never heard of such a thing.

And they couldn't hold Jack while I put my shoes back on because they're not allowed to touch babies.



Bev said...

I have the grands' birth certificates just because right after 9-11 they said those docs would be required. However, neither we nor their parents were ever asked for them so they've laid in our safe for years.

We would be really screwed if we got the kids to check-in and they asked for this now that our grands fly alone as unaccompanied minors on Southwest. btw...that is the airline we always use between Phoenix and Chicago and they have ALWAYS been so understanding and caring with the kids.

Now I'll have something else to worry about the next time they fly...grrr

Lesley said...

I've flown a dozen times with my son and I got asked randomly last year for ID for my 4 year old. I happen to keep his immunization card on me all the time (mostly because I'd never remember it when I need to and it doesn't get lost in my little pouch in my purse).

But seriously, it was a random piece of paper with my son's name written on the front. No picture, no nothing. I asked other TSA agents about it after and they looked at me like I was crazy!

Lesley said...

And, yea...according to the TSA's website, they only require ID for adults 18 and over. Go figure.

Marianne McCloskey Butt said...

I was reading a traveling with infants blog by an ex flight attendant and she recommended having your child's birth certificate with you at all times when flying in country. I wouldn't have thought you would need anything for a baby either.

RobMonroe said...

We have always carried Abby's because it's been hit and miss when they do and do not ask. We always fly Southwest, so I really wish it was consistent!