Mom raises concern over airline ID policy
SASKATOON -- A former Saskatoon resident says she is concerned mandatory masks in airports and on flights makes identification difficult.
Holly Oshust, who now lives in Calgary, says she flew to Saskatoon in July via WestJet for essential travel to see family.
She says she was “shocked” to learn she was not required to show her son’s identification at the ticket counter, the security check-in or at the gate before boarding.
She has flown to Saskatchewan a few times with her son and has also flown internationally with him.
This was the first time they’ve flown under COVID-19 mask regulations which is why it sparked such concern.
According to Transport Canada, while there are no ID requirements for younger passengers travelling within Canada, some carriers recommend that they present some form of valid government issued identification for identity screening purposes.
Air Canada suggests travelers younger than 18 have an original birth certificate or non-government issued ID.
WestJet strongly recommend that children travel with one piece of government-issued identification.
Mask use is widely recommended as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Transport Canada requires all guests over two years old to wear a face covering.
Oshust posted her concerns to social media. Child Find Saskatchewan applauds her efforts and would like to see safeguards in place as well.
“It’s like international flights, it’s nice to have some kind of photo legal ID even for children and if there were some safe checks in place like asking their name or about their parents or an address. Some basic information,” Susan Clark, office coordinator for Child Find Saskatchewan, told CTV News.
Canadians often have a false sense of security but are not immune to child abduction crimes and having masks mandatory adds to the concern, she said.
According to federal government data, of the 40,425 youth reported missing in Canada last year, 74 per cent were runaways and 22 cases, or 0.05 per cent, were connected to human trafficking. Sixteen of the total number of cases involved abduction by a stranger.