The Transportation Security Administration had a busy end to 2013, offering a video for kids, expanding iPreCheck, its expedited security program, and opening new places to complete applications for that program.
The agency released a TSA Kids website with a cartoon aimed at teaching kids what to expect when they arrive at the airport. In the video (above), a young pup asks his dad: "Why do we have to stop here? I just want to get on the plane!"
Dad answers with a refrain reinforced throughout the video: "Well we have to STOP, SCREEN, GO before we get on the plane."
"This website will not only keep young travelers informed, it will make traveling more enjoyable for the entire family," TSA head John Pistole said in a Dec. 18 statement introducing the website.
TSA Kids also offers printable coloring pages, including one of an airport scanner and X-ray machine, and another that's a closeup of a TSA badge. The Parents Page provides scanning requirements for children 12 and younger (yes, they keep their shoes on) and rules about such items as baby formula and breast milk in carryon.
The TSA also introduced a Spanish-language page called TSA En Espanol that translates airport screening procedures and rules for Spanish speakers.
By December, the agency had expanded its PreCheck expedited security screening program to 113 airports and nine airlines -- and counting. Burbank, LAX, John Wayne/Orange County, Ontario and Long Beach have PreCheck.
The TSA opened 11 centers where "pre-approved, low-risk travelers" may apply directly for the PreCheck program, including centers in Glendale, Signal Hill and Carson.
It also allows U.S. military members to use PreCheck.