Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Easy as Pie

I spoke with the TSA Contact center today to see what the number one travel question was so far this holiday season. Drum roll please…

Can I take my pie with me on the plane?

The answer is yes! Just send it through the X-ray and you’ll be one step closer to enjoying your delicious pie. We do suggest you take it as a carry-on so it doesn’t get squashed in your checked luggage.

Mmmm. I like pie. I dig Pecan, Rhubarb and Sesame Seed pie. Mmmmm!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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Bob Burns
TSA Social Media Team

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

So when will you guys tell the TSO's who consider pies to be a liquid/gel?

Oh, another layer of unwritten rules that cannot be implemented in any sane method across the country.

Good job TSA!

Anonymous said...

The number one concern is if people can bring pie? To be honest I find that somewhat disturbing.

By the way pumpkin pie is the best, ever.

Anonymous said...

Why is pie exempt from liquid and gel restrictions?

Is this a holiday-specific exemption, or an ongoing change in policy?

Is it because pies pose no danger? Neither do any other liquids TSA has barred citizens from traveling with.

Is it because pies are a food item? Then will TSA stop barring bottled beverages, peanut butter, and other foodstuffs that pose no danger to anyone from planes?

Is it because barring pies from flights would be pointless, stupid, and do nothing to make anyone safer? Neither do TSA's other liquid policies.

What recourse does a citizen have if a TSO and that TSO's supervisor decide not to let a pie through screening?

Anonymous said...

So just to be clear on this...
Stick deoderant IS a liquid, but apple pie filling is NOT.
Okay, just wanted to make sure I understand.

Is the metal pie tin considered an artful disguise of the pie filling?

I see this ruling from the TSA not quite making it down to the TSOs on the front line, with the usual chaos ensuing....and lots of pies going into the trash (or the TSO break room)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Why is pie exempt from liquid and gel restrictions?

Is this a holiday-specific exemption, or an ongoing change in policy?

Is it because pies pose no danger? Neither do any other liquids TSA has barred citizens from traveling with.

Is it because pies are a food item? Then will TSA stop barring bottled beverages, peanut butter, and other foodstuffs that pose no danger to anyone from planes?

Is it because barring pies from flights would be pointless, stupid, and do nothing to make anyone safer? Neither do TSA's other liquid policies.

What recourse does a citizen have if a TSO and that TSO's supervisor decide not to let a pie through screening?

November 26, 2008 10:44 AM

The KHIAI Syndrome must be at epidemic levels at TSA. I wonder if there is a vacine for this?

NoClu said...

Pies have been confiscated in the past....

Pies will likely be confiscated this weekend...

Ugh. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Jim Huggins said...

Except, of course, if the TSO at the checkpoint decides otherwise. After all, "transportation security officers (TSOs) may determine that an item not on the prohibited items chart is prohibited."

Anonymous said...

This is just silly. I'll leave it at that...

txrus said...

If pies are ok, what about pudding? Jello? Both of which are Betty Crocker approved pie fillings, but both of which screeners routinely refuse to let thru on the grounds they are a 'gel'. Or is it the pie shell that makes these substances safe?

Makes your head hurt just thinking about this stuff, doesn't it Bob? Welcome to our world... :-)

Anonymous said...

HA HA HA! Love the fact that some people cant even enjoy the holidays. Yes i know that some of you will respond with the same rhetoric you always do. To you i say HAPPY THANKSGIVING and leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:
What recourse does a citizen have if a TSO and that TSO's supervisor decide not to let a pie through screening?

First, you should have said when becuase it will happen. and of course there is no recourse because TSO's are allowed to ban anything they want. You know to keep the 'terrorists' from knowing what to expect when then go through a security (theater) checkpoint.

isnoop said...

What if the pie is in a metal pan? Won't it just show up as a black circle, causing the gate agents to (heh) search it?

Anonymous said...

Oh good grief - like they aren't confused enough. I had cottage cheese tossed at Midway in Chicago because it was a "liquid gel" - what the heck is that, a new class of matter?? Pumpkin pie looks a heck of a lot more luqidy-gelish than cottage cheese.

Anonymous said...

Just don't try carrying on a couple cans of Libby's pumpkin pie filling ... those still will be taken away. I saw it happen today!

Anonymous said...

Just don't try to carry on a couple cans of punpkin pie filling! Those will be taken away ... I saw it happen today!

Anonymous said...

What about more "liquidy" pies like apple pie or cherry pie? Will they be allowed?

Anonymous said...

Somebody better tell the TSOs at Cleveland. Monday, the local radio station was talking to a spokesperson for Cleveland Hopkins about the Thanksgiving holiday. She talked about all the pies the TSOs "obtain" and give to the airport personnel to "dispose of". They (the airport), in turn, give the pies to various food banks, etc.

Tomas said...

Yet another Anonymous wrote...
The KHIAI Syndrome must be at epidemic levels at TSA. I wonder if there is a vacine for this?

I believe I was immunized against that when I was in the military, just before I went to a war-zone and started shooting back...

I know I was certainly immunized against just about everything else. :o)

Tom (1 of 5-6)
RVN II Corps '69-70

P.S. Have a good Thanksgiving, everyone. Be safe.

Bob said...

From a hotel room (Zane Grey Suite) in Zanesville, Ohio:

Hey folks, I'm getting ready to hit the sack (yawn) and I just wanted to say "Oh for Pete's sake, just go get some pie and enjoy it."

For the gentleman who stated that pumpkin pie is the best pie ever, I have to disagree.

The TSA SOP states in appendix 10 that pecan pie is the best pie ever. Oh crap, that's SSI!!!

Gobble, Gobble,

Bob

EoS BLog Team

(Oh yeah, stick deodorant is permitted, it's gel deodorant that is prohibited in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces)

Anonymous said...

Bob: Oh yeah, stick deodorant is permitted, it's gel deodorant that is prohibited in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces

That's what I thought. Until a TSO at PHX confiscated my solid CRYSTAL brand deodorant because it wasn't in a freedom baggie. That's the reason he grudgingly gave me after I protested (and before he ordered me to surrender it if I wanted to fly today).

Mind you, this isn't the usual stick deodorant with the consistency of soap. As the name implies, it's a crystal. Anywhere else in the universe this would be a solid that isn't subject to the 3-1-1 rule and doesn't need to be in a freedom baggie. That should be obvious to anyone who looks at it. But to the TSA (or at least to that particular TSO, in that particular place, at that particular moment) it was a liquid. And I needed to surrender it (rather than, say, putting it in my freedom baggie), apparently because I needed to be taught to OBEY the TSA's rules and put all liquids in a freedom baggie (even if that liquid is a solid everywhere else). Since the line was long, and I knew that further protest or asking for a supervisor would likely earn me a retaliatory secondary screening, I meekly surrendered it. Fortunately, I was on my way home. Crystal deodorant is difficult to find, and I'm allergic to the zirconium in nearly every other brand. I know where to buy it at home, but I'd have to go to a lot of trouble trying to find it elsewhere. If anyone had been offended by my B.O., it would have been the TSA's fault.

This may have been an isolated incident of an ill-informed (to put it politely) TSO "interpreting" the rules inappropriately. But for all practical purposes, at that moment this "interpretation" carried the full force of law, for which compliance was the only practical option. But such "isolated incidents" happen with distressing regularity. So is it any wonder that the rules on liquids (which even you call a "pain point") are so universally despised and questioned?

Yes, there may be a valid reason behind those rules. But the way they're capriciously implemented at airport checkpoints by all those individual TSOs may well be doing more harm to your mission (and to national security) than whatever benefit it's providing. Effective security requires a cooperative public that accepts and respects the TSA and its mission. But when the TSA (i.e., individual TSOs whose orders are Law for passengers) does inexcusably stupid things that punish even people who do their best to follow the rules, it only compromises that mission by destroying the public's respect and confidence in the TSA and in the mission. This incident certainly ended whatever respect I once had for the TSA.

The intractable problem with the liquid rules is that they require TSOs to "interpret" them on a case by case basis. Airport checkpoints with real people are quite different from those secret locked rooms where Homeland Security bureaucrats grind robust intelligence into the sausage of policies and procedures. That encourages TSOs make capricious determinations that cause passengers frustration and expense while doing nothing to protect aviation. So I suspect there will be numerous "isolated incidents" where TSOs confiscate pies (perhaps only the kind they like?) despite whatever official statements allowing them. After all, if a TSO can determine that a solid crystal stick of deodorant is a "liquid," why shouldn't a pie be "liquid" too?

Anonymous said...

Also, could someone please explain why the captcha for posting comments isn't visible in Firefox or Opera? I had to use Microsoft Internet Explorer to post my previous comment. And I had to answer the captcha twice, since the first time I got an error message that the comment could not be processed.

You're a "security" agency, but your blog software is putting many computers at risk by forcing them to use the very insecure Microsoft Internet Explorer to post comments.

Anonymous said...

"(Oh yeah, stick deodorant is permitted, it's gel deodorant that is prohibited in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces)"

Why? No gel deodorant, in any quantity, poses any threat to any airliner. End this stupid policy.

Yasir Khan said...

Hahah! Wow.. this is amazing.. is this seriosuly the most asked question?

Anonymous said...

So wait, the pies are so dangerous they can't fly but it's okay to give them to homeless and poor folks to eat? yay for america!

Anonymous said...

"You're a "security" agency, but your blog software is putting many computers at risk by forcing them to use the very insecure Microsoft Internet Explorer to post comments."

This is also a "security" agency that things 3.5 ounces of Prell and a pair of flip-flops will bring down a 757. It's really amazing that an agency so stupid can be so dangerous.

Max said...

Thank god that i can live in good old Germany.

Anonymous said...

TSA's website (http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/holiday.shtm) claims pies may be subject to "additional screening."

What excactly does that mean? Some TSO pawing his hands through the pie and destroying it? Turning the pie upside down and shaking it so that it dumps on the table?

You people always seem to have to give yourselves an out. Certain items are permitted, unless a TSO says they're not. :( Just about everything might be subject to "additional screening," but the bounds of "additional screening" are never defined. :( Your website even says that a TSO has the discretion to prohibit a permitted item. :( Do you realize that I'm aware of at least one story where a TSO prohibited (and therefore stole) permitted small-length hand tools (after the tool rules were relaxed)? Do you realize that I'm aware of at least one case where a TSO claimed that diamond earrings were prohibited because they were sharp? How much do you want to bet he needed to buy his wife/girlfriend a present that week? This agency is out of control and completely without real accountability. The only solution is to disband it, fire everyone, bar everyone from the screening manager level and up from public service and security work for life, and start from the ground up, rehiring only those TSOs who pass a test in courtesy, civility, civil liberties, and civics.

Anonymous said...

Max said...
Thank god that i can live in good old Germany.

December 1, 2008 5:43 PM

So is Germany done paying restitution to the rest of the world for its works in the 1930's and 40's? good ol germany indeed. ;)

Anonymous said...

So wait, Bob is refusing to clarify if Pie is actually allowed despite being no more solid then things that are forbidden. Well? Has a memo been sent out actually announcing this change? Pies are stolen at checkpoints all the time.

Darshana said...

Well a pie is certainly something that I wouldn't have thought about. Still I guess this is a phenomenon largely due to relatives taking there home made pie to sons and daughters. The not so funny side of this is something as innocent and inviting(wink wink) can be a real security threat if used to conceal explosive. By the way any chance that terrorist can make a pie that is chemically not a pie ,but looks and feels like one and can these be detected by X-ray.

Anonymous said...

Why is pie exempt from liquid and gel restrictions?

Is this a holiday-specific exemption, or an ongoing change in policy?

Is it because pies pose no danger? Neither do any other liquids TSA has barred citizens from traveling with.

Is it because pies are a food item? Then will TSA stop barring bottled beverages, peanut butter, and other foodstuffs that pose no danger to anyone from planes?

Is it because barring pies from flights would be pointless, stupid, and do nothing to make anyone safer? Neither do TSA's other liquid policies.

What recourse does a citizen have if a TSO and that TSO's supervisor decide not to let a pie through screening?

John said...

I like pie too but I won't bring it to a plane, travel is intensive enough and I won't enjoy too much with a pie on the plane, thanks for the information though.

MLS in Atlanta said...

Surprising a pie can go through when so many gels can't make it. Guess you want to make sure its a firm pie.

Thomas Farrell said...

Funny. You tell us pie is okay, but the TSA staff at Boston Logan refuses to allow my homemade fudge in a carryon.

Fantasme said...

The pies I do are so bad I guess they could be seen as a potentially dangerous weapon!

Agnes said...

Taking a pie on a plane has never really occurred to me but I guess it is reassuring to know I can, I just wonder whether the balance between security and scaremongering is there yet.

Anonymous said...

No problems 9/23/09 taking apple pie through security at MSP.

I took the pie out of my carry-on and placed it in the tray next to my liquids bag so it was visible. No looks, no questions, no comments. Experience was great in backing up this blog's promise.

Expect to enjoy some delicious MN Apple Pie tonight!

Alex said...

Enjoyed your post.Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Like another poster, I wonder how Pie is allowed but my Fudge was confiscated!

Renee said...

I can't believe people are so worried about taking a pie through security screening. Wouldn't just be easier to buy a pie when you get to your destination. People need to get their priorities in order.

Natural Gain said...

In a million years, I would not have even imagined taking a pie on board. Just too funny.

30 Seconds To Smile said...

Really, no deodorant but a pie is Ok... Well, now that I think about it. I guess the deodorant could have some type of chemical that could be harmful. After all, I couldn't smell or look at a stick and tell if it was what it should be or C4 explosive, but that's just me.

Irish said...

MMM Pie is good! My favorite is apple. I like chocolate silk pie too and cheesecake yummy!

Mark said...

Hahaha! You must be crazy to get a pie with you on the plane :)
It's better to it eat before the flight.

Anonymous said...

I like to bring my own food on the plane too! I have never brought pies, though. If it has to be a pie, it definitely would be a pumpkin pie. Excellent for Thanksgiving!
Christmas Gifts For All

Anonymous said...

"The number one concern is if people can bring pie? To be honest I find that somewhat disturbing.

By the way pumpkin pie is the best, ever."

Totally agree...

Eliot said...

Anybody who doesn't think that a pie can be dangerous has obviously not seen any Three Stooges movies.

Scott said...

I sure wish I had some pumpkin pie right now.

I am glad you all are keeping us safe!