WASHINGTON (Gray DC) — Haleigh Almquist knows what it’s like to travel with a newborn.
“Getting through TSA is probably the hardest part. We always say, ‘Ok we just need to get through security and then we can just relax'” Almquist said.
But getting through security isn’t always easy. Almquist said she’s been stopped by TSA agents with her formula or food for her son, Axel. She said, while she knows she’s allowed through with those things, many other parents may not.
“Sometimes if there is push back and they don’t know any better they just reluctantly let that go and then they find themselves in an unfortunate situation,” she added.
Almquist said it’s important that other parents know their rights. The 3-1-1 liquids rule exemption allows families with more than 3 ounces of formula or juice on board. Even with the rule, many travelers experience issues with TSA. It’s something lawmakers on Capitol Hill hope will end with a new law.
“This is a big win for moms,” Montana Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) said.
Sen. Daines is a co-sponsor of the BABES Act, a bill signed into law just before former President Obama left office. The bill requires TSA agents to provide ongoing training to ensure its officers enforces these rules properly, not confiscate important equipment families need.
“When you have that breast milk or the formula those little babies their ears are having trouble sometimes adjusting to the pressure and when they’re drinking it sometimes helps them adjust to the pressure and quiets them down and so it’s just common sense,” Daines added.
While Almquist said this is something TSA should have been doing already, she appreciates the added support for families across the country so moms and dads everywhere have less hassle while traveling and focus on what’s important.
“I think we’re making some really great strides in travel with children so hopefully those strides just keep continuing,” Almquist said.
A spokesperson for the TSA gave Gray TV this statement.
“TSA officers screen approximately two million passengers each day effectively and efficiently and conduct the screening of breast milk and other liquids, aerosols, and gels properly thousands of times a day. On the rare occasion that a passenger reports to us that their screening was conducted improperly, we review the screening. If we determine that the screening was conducted improperly we take appropriate action to ensure future screenings are conducted properly. Our officers are trained to conduct the screening when they are hired and receive refresher training on a regular basis.