2011-November-KnowYourRights-TSAWashington, DC (November 21, 2011) – As the holiday travel season approaches, the Sikh Coalition urges Sikh travelers everywhere to review our publication entitled Airport Screening Procedures as Applied to Sikh Travelers and Your Rights as a Sikh Traveler.

In summary:

  • Sikhs, rather than having a TSA officer touch their turbans, may pat down their own turbans
  • Sikhs have the right to undergo screening in a private area

If either of these rights is denied, or if a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer forces you to remove your turban, please inform the Sikh Coalition as soon as possible by filling out a complaint form.

New Screening Guidelines for Children Under 12

In recent weeks, TSA announced new screening guidelines for children under the age of 12. According to the agency’s website: “TSA has implemented new procedures that reduce, though not eliminate, pat-downs of passengers 12 and under that would otherwise have been conducted to resolve alarms while also ensuring effective security measures. Passengers 12 and under are also able to leave their shoes on through security checkpoints.” If your children (under the age of 12) are subjected to enhanced screening—such as pat-downs of their patkas or turbans—please inform the Sikh Coalition as soon as possible by filling out a complaint form. The Sikh Coalition is committed to holding TSA accountable in the cause of promoting smarter screening policies. To this end, please keep us informed about your screening experiences. The Sikh Coalition continues to oppose TSA policies (including the present search policy) that unfairly target Sikhs for extra scrutiny. The Coalition continues to push the TSA to implement policies that treat all, including Sikhs, fairly.