Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Response to "TSA Takes Big Gulp over Britney"

A video was posted earlier today by a popular celebrity tabloid showing Britney Spears traveling through airport security at LAX with a large drink cup.

We checked with the airport and I'm happy to report there's nothing to see here.

Her cup had a few ice chips in it, not liquid. Ice is a solid. Therefore, ice is permitted through the checkpoint, as long as it's screened by the X-ray (Which it was).

I should also add that Ms. Spears did have a bottle of liquid in her purse which was identified on the X-ray and voluntarily surrendered at the checkpoint.

One thing to remember when bringing ice through the checkpoint: it can't be partially melted. It has to be just the ice with no liquid at the bottom.

While I'm at it, I'll take this opportunity to answer a common question. Yes, empty bottles and cups are also allowed through the checkpoint.


*** Update: 11-4-09 ***
After reading the incoming comments this morning on our blog, it was very apparent that we had left some inaccurate information on the TSA.gov web page:

"Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted."

This information has recently changed and should have been updated. An update has been posted in its place.

If you encounter any problems, please contact a TSA Customer Support Manager by using the Got Feedback? program.

***Update 11/6/2009***

Clarification on Frozen Liquids… and Britney

Earlier this week, Britney Spears came through a checkpoint at LAX. The paparazzi were there taking pictures and presumed they landed a big story when they saw what they thought was TSA giving Ms. Spears the “celebrity treatment.” They presumed the cup in her hand was a full beverage. It was also assumed that we let Ms. Spears through the checkpoint with her beverage instead of prohibiting it, which led to allegations of TSA just letting her slide by.

What really happened was Ms. Spears had a cup with a few ice chips. Ice and other frozen solid liquids are permitted as long as they’re frozen solid and X-ray screened.

So, why are frozen solidified items permitted when they’re eventually going to melt once the passenger is in the gate area or on their flight? Good question. It is highly improbable that the explosives TSA is concerned about could be frozen by traditional means. The key word here is frozen. Not thawing. Not a slush or slurry. Frozen solid.

I’ve read comments saying things similar to “Huh, but you wouldn’t let me bring my [Insert Frozen Item Here] before… what’s the deal?” As a result of many questions from our officers on the front lines, we previously clarified the treatment of solidified liquids through internal processes.

So, while something may have been prohibited by an officer in the past, it may not be now. Please remember that even permissible items get a closer look at times, so don’t be surprised if we take a closer look. So you might want to think twice before going overboard and freezing your entire pantry or medicine cabinet and packing it in your carry-on.

Another question that comes up is “Why not just ban all liquids?” Another great question… I just answered this recently, so excuse me while I cut and paste. At first, all liquids were banned. This wasn’t sustainable long term. People have liquid medications and mothers need to travel with breast milk and formula, etc. So, using the intelligence at hand, it was determined how much liquid could be allowed on planes by a passenger so that we could balance security with convenience. Hence 3-1-1… TSA is now working on technology that will hopefully bring an end to it – so that liquids could be screened along with everything else in your bag – and no little plastic baggie. The day that technology allows liquid to stay in your bags, our HQ will look like a vintage victory parade. Tickertape will be streaming out of our windows and bands will be marching around the building.

You have to keep in mind that these procedures were put in place to as an effective measure until the necessary technology can be deployed. 3-1-1 was never intended to be the perfect permanent fix. There is still a lot of work to be done on this and we are as disappointed as you are that the technologists have not been able to find solutions as quickly as we had hoped. Remember that 3-1-1 is in use throughout most of the world and all of our counterparts are working on a solution as well.

Now back to Britney…

Some of you are saying our officers were star struck and gave Ms. Spears special treatment and didn’t even X-ray her bags. First off, this is LAX. Our officers are pretty accustomed to screening celebrities, so I doubt they get star struck. Secondly, if you watch the TMZ video, you’ll notice that her purse is brought over first by a TSO.

There ‘s an opening on all of our X-rays that is next to the X-ray operator and allows a bag search officer to grab the bag as it comes out of the X-ray. This prevents bags that need inspected from getting to the passenger and causing a security breach. That opening is not visible on the TMZ video, but here is a picture.

OK, when the purse is brought to her, watch her expression. You’ll see an “Oops I did it Again” expression as she is informed that she has a bottle of perfume in her purse. (Which she voluntarily surrenders) Next you’ll see an officer bring the bin to her with the cup in it. Notice the officer to the left looking over the bin to inspect it. That’s when it was confirmed that there were just a few ice chips in her cup. (After it had already gone through the X-ray) There is no straw and you can clearly see her get an ice cube out of the cup and not a drink.

Blogger Bob

TSA Blog Team

234 comments:

1 – 200 of 234   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Because no terrorist would ever think to freeze a liquid explosive.

But thanks for admitting once again that your policies are nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Bob, since you're talking about the liquids policies that no one, anywhere, takes seriously any more, please answer these questions:

Why does TSA assume any liquid below 3.4 ounces is safe but that any liquid over 3.4 ounces is dangerous explosive?

Why does TSA toss these dangerous explosives into open containers in the middle of airports?

Why does TSA dispose of these dangerous explosives as if they were exactly what is indicated by their labels?

Why does TSA treat a bottle of Pepsi like soda when it's time to dispose of it, but as a dangerous explosive when it transits the checkpoint?

How does TSA screen the liquids sold past its checkpoints?

Does TSA test a random sampling if confiscated liquids to determine how many liquid explosives people are attempting to bring through checkpoints?

Why can't TSA point to a single piece of independent, peer-reviewed research to support its liquid policies?

Why does TSA continue to post inaccurate signage about the liquids policies in airports?

Anonymous said...

So... I can freeze my drink and bring it on board a plane? This changes everything!

Paul Kierstead said...

So, if we freeze our bottle of water, it is permitted? (assuming it is still frozen when it goes through the check point).

Dunstan said...

"One thing to remember when bringing ice through the checkpoint: it can't be partially melted. It has to be just the ice with no liquid at the bottom."

Is the ink still wet on this clarification? Lets see-

empty bottle, yes
full bottle > 3.4 oz, no...
partially full as above, no...
Empty cup, yes...
cup with liquid, no...
cup with solid, huh?

Distracted by Britney, no problem.

No wonder the rules are difficult to follow.

Anonymous said...

Bob, please demonstrate how a cup with some solid ice in it could NOT have acquired "some liquid" as the ice melts in the time it takes to get to a checkpoint.

Then explain how the ice in her cup was harmless, but if she'd had to stand in line long enough for it to melt, the liquid would have magically become dangerous.

Oh, wait, you can't. Your policies are so laughable that, ironically, it's no longer funny. So you're just trying to spin your way out of this because you know how badly it exposes your agency as a bunch of knockoff keystone kops who have no idea what they're doing and will never, ever, ever take responsibility for anything you've done.

John Ross said...

It's policies such as this that seem arbitrary and short-sighted that make people think the checkpoints are more about theater then security.
As I understand it - As long as I put these "dangerous" liquids in the freezer (or a cooler with dry ice) then the TSA doesn't have a problem. Also, I can't take 3oz of liquid in a big bottle, but I can pour it into an empty big bottle once I'm past the checkpoint.

If you don't want large containers - ban large containers.. and don't let us buy large containers on the secure side either! Want to keep dangerous liquids out, ban anything that is significantly colder then room temperature - that way you can ensure anything that's solid when it passes through the check point will remain solid for the duration of the flight.

... or just admit the policies are arbitrary and not based on real science.

Anonymous said...

Oh here we go with all the "experts" again.

Have you ever tried freezing a liquid explosive??????

I didn't think so. Something tells me they will not freeze but I am not an "expert" like you guys, so I will keep "facts" to myself.

Anonymous said...

This has to rank up there with som of the more dumb posts on this blog. Why don't you create a post about something that matters, like how TSA is tryng to impose ridiculous and unnecessary requirements on General Aviation (i.e. "Large Aircraft Security Program")

TSA operates just like the rest of the federal government. They try to justify their existance, whether they're needed or not. Any they make rules, policies, and programs just for the sake of having them, not because they serve a real purpose. The screeners at the checkpoints are enforcing the rules, only because the rules exist. Obviously they know your liquid bottle of water isn't an explosive, or else they wouldn't throw them into bins right next to where they're standing.

Anonymous said...

An anonymous expert stated: "Oh here we go with all the "experts" again.

Have you ever tried freezing a liquid explosive??????

I didn't think so. Something tells me they will not freeze but I am not an "expert" like you guys, so I will keep "facts" to myself.""

If you have facts, please present them. Otherwise, you are adding nothing to the discussion and are just whining.

You're no better than the people you're bagging on, so please get off your high horse.

Al Ames said...

So Bob, how come when people have tried to bring ice thru using your argument, it's been confiscated. Phrases like "nice try" and "trying to skirt the rules" come to mind.

Care to clarify?

Al

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute Bob! We have discussed ice before Britney,and it was not allowed!!

What about all the ice packs confiscated? How do you explain that?

If rules have now changed, could you please provide me with a printable statement that ice is allowed (as long as not melted). I am going to freeze a couple of water bottles, carefully discard any water melted on the way and take them through security!!

Overall, it seems like a bad case of double standards.

Anonymous said...

Bob said:

"One thing to remember when bringing ice through the checkpoint: it can't be partially melted."

So you are trying to argue that the "ice" that she got out of the car with and then walked to security area with, waited in line with,and then put through the x-ray was not "partially" melted?

Maybe the laws of physics stop working in LA?

momo said...

great topic and its the first time i hear that ...and i like it

Anonymous said...

Bob said:
"...ice is permitted through the checkpoint..."

Not according to the TSA website

Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted.

Anonymous said...

Links to where you said ice is not allowed:

http://www.tsa.gov/blog/2008/10/technology-aims-to-address-existing.html
(KellyMae at 2:10)

http://www.catsa.gc.ca/english/pack_smart.html#foodanddrink
(OK, these are not you, just your Canadian cousins)

Anonymous said...

Great! I didn't know this! I am freezing my drinks for my next flight right now!!

Anonymous said...

If the ice was completely frozen, what was she sipping as she went through?

I want to see the video - I don't believe your claim that is was dry. I think you are trying to gloss over this.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

Oh here we go with all the "experts" again.

Have you ever tried freezing a liquid explosive??????

I didn't think so. Something tells me they will not freeze but I am not an "expert" like you guys, so I will keep "facts" to myself.


I may not be an expert but dang it I can read.

From From LookChem

"Frozen nitroglycerin is somewhat less sensitive than the liquid. However, a half-thawed or partially thawed mixture is more sensitive than either one"

Is that expert enough for ya?

Anonymous said...

Of all the comments, only one made sense. Which one do you think that might be?

Anonymous said...

Bob please explain this:
From TSA policy on liquids found at:
http://www.tsa.gov/311/311-carry-ons.shtm

"Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted."

Britney's ice that she clearly put into her mouth does not meet the official statement from TSA own website.

So now that you officially have stated that anyone can bring ice through the checkpoint, for any reason, please have the people responsible for the rules, update the above webpage.

I need to print it out so that I too can have the same privilege afforded to Britney.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

In all sincerity, your response to this issue directly conflicts with the posted TSA policy on your official web site.

What am I missing here? Are you saying that I can now freeze my bottled water, print out this blog, and show it to the TSO at the checkpoint when he/she denies me entry?

reference:

http://www.tsa.gov/311/311-carry-ons.shtm

Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted.

Joe said...

Bob, I would expect then that the TSA will come out with a policy explicitly permitting ice as a permitted item. When do you plan on posting this so I can print it out for all of the TSO's I will need to show it to?

Anonymous said...

That is seriously the most asinine blog post I have ever seen from you guys. I mean, seriously, that is absolutely ridiculous. You are telling me that as long as I freeze my bottle of water, it can go through? We must have some chemists on this board - what is the freezing point for various liquid explosives?

Anonymous said...

How come your website still says that ice isn't allowed unless it is cooling a medication???

http://www.tsa.gov/311/311-carry-ons.shtm

"Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted."

Anonymous said...

According to the TSA Website, "Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted. "

http://www.tsa.gov/311/311-carry-ons.shtm

An Expert said...

I haven't tried freezing a liquid explosive. But what I can do is make a hollow container out of ice (with a hollow mold), inject it with liquid explosive, then seal up the opening used to inject it with more ice. Ta-da!

TSA: Security theater at its finest. Doesn't make us more secure, and only serves to do the terrorists' work for them (by making us terrified). Yay! TSA!

Jim Huggins said...

Bob,

How do you reconcile this event with TSA's own webpage, which says:

"Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted."

Anonymous said...

If I recall correctly ice is only allowed to go if it is accompanied with medical purposes such as breast milk.

Anonymous said...

I can assure you that frozen, solid pudding is not permitted through the ORD T3 checkpoint, because mine was confiscated. This blog post appears to be damage control on the part of the TSA.

If you are going to enforce an inane policy, you might as well enforce it consistently.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that Subway shops are located after security checkpoints.

These restaurants use LONG SERRATED KNIVES that any customer could easily grab.

What the heck!? Please answer why this huge security hole is open.

Thank you.

Sam Howard said...

Bob, Tell us why the TSA leadership is afraid of tabloid and blog sites? Once again, you launched a denial of service attack from your Twitter site. Last time I checked, this was a felony.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

I've had water ice confiscated at the checkpoint before. It was a frozen solid water bottle and I poured out the melt (liquid) just prior to reaching the checkpoint.

The TSO apparently had flunked high school chemistry, was convinced ice was a liquid, and was not amused by my logic.

So it's nice to see you go on record claiming ice is allowed. Now let's see you do something about increasing transparency, accountability, and punishment of rogue screeners so that passengers aren't subject to arbitrary confiscations by TSOs.

Trollkiller said...

Instead of talking about Britney Spears can we talk about the new directive regarding large amounts of currency?

The new directive is OD-400-54-6 "Discovery of Currency During the Screening Process" Effective October 29, 2009.

Blogger Bob can you get out your black Sharpie and release the "sanitized for your protection" copy of the directive?

Anonymous said...

We are still waiting for an operational definition of liquids and gels. This post seems to flat out contradict previous vague definitions given to us that indicated that anything that if left at room temperature for a long time and would pour was a "liquid" as far as TSA was concerned.

Of course you consider stick deodorant to be a liquid and a pie, no matter how much gel is in it, http://www.tsa.gov/blog/2008/11/easy-as-pie.html , not to be.

Is there a real definition yet, or is it just whatever the TSO feels like?

Clarifications: can a bring whatever I want through in a cooler as long as it is frozen? A six pack cooler filled with blocks of juice, chicken stock and tomato sauce?

RB said...

Bob, water over 3.4 ounces is prohibited through the checkpoint correct?

Isn't ice a form of water?

I think you just opened up a whole nother can of tsa worms.

Good job.

HIFU said...

its a joke life has come this. following every celebrity's move - ice in a cup for crying out loud. sheez.

RB said...

Bob, reviewing the TSA webpages it seems that having something frozen is only ok for medical/special needs.

Has the policy changed? Why has the TSA website fallen out of date again?

Also since we are talking about change can you get us a copy of this:

OD-400-54-6 "Discovery of Currency During the Screening Process" Effective October 29, 2009.

Seems like a change in currency matters is afoot.

These changes would be much simpler for the traveling public if there was a complete set on rules for travlers located in on place that clearly stated exactly what special rules a person has to comply with to transit a TSA checkpoint.

Why don't you see what you can do about that. Seems only right that a free people know what laws and rules they must comply with.

TSA does support freedom, right?

Anonymous said...

Remember kids, according to this article http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23741099-heathrow-liquid-bomb-plot-bigger-than-911.do one of the main components of the liquid London cocktail is Hydrogen Peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide freezes at -11C. The Hydrogen Peroxide will separate from the rest of cocktail making your bomb very volatile. Any stabilizers being used wouldn’t work thus making an unstable bomb….. I mean…. Yeah freeze your bombs please… that way you can die on the way to the airport. Thank you.

-A concerned citizen

Anonymous said...

Yet another example of those with money and fame getting preferential treatment from a government agency. Nothing to see here, sheeple, just move along. Your votes and voices mean nothing. Secret treaties like ACTA will make it all meaningless. Take your soma like a good citizen.

Gunner said...

Soooooooo, if it is a solid when you start through the screening process, and it partially melts while the blue shirts re-grope grandma's armpits, who decides how much liquid is too much liquid?

Warren Burstein said...

OK, if we can carry empty bottles, how about putting a big water cooler between the checkpoint and the gate, so I can fill up my empty bottle? Invite companies that service water coolers to donate the coolers and water which will be low-cost advertising as people see their logo on it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to you, Blogger Bob, I can now bring my favorite drink through the checkpoint. All I need to do is freeze it, drain any liquid as I stand in line, and travel with a copy of this post.

You made my day.

Of course, be prepared to dig out the video of me if some TSO does not know that ice is a solid, because I will initiate a major turmoil at the checkpoint. I am at least as entitled as Britney.

Isaac Newton said...

Bob, even for you, this is pretty lame.

The TSA website still says today: Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted.
http://www.tsa.gov/311/311-carry-ons.shtm.

But you're going to claim in a blog post with no legal authority whatsoever that
Ice is a solid. Therefore, ice is permitted through the checkpoint, as long as it’s screened by the X-ray (Which it was).

This is clearly just damage control to exonerate the screeners at LAX who were too starstruck to take Ms Spears' drink away.

If you're really serious about ice being allowed, please update the TSA website immediately and post a blog story about the update.

oisonit said...

Bob, I know you didn't make the policy you are just responding to what happened. I love how passengers always take their frustrations out on the officers when they also had nothing to do with making the policy. All I can say is if you can't abide by the policys put in place for your protection then don't fly. Seems pretty simple.

grahamstravelblog said...

About three years ago, I attempted to transport some cheese from EWR. I had a soft sided cooler and a quart freezer bag filled solid with ice (water was placed in the bag and it was frozen solid).

Being that it was most assuredly a solid, I figured I had a 50/50 shot of getting it through security. The TSA agent said that while ice is a solid, it would melt into a liquid and therefore was forbidden.

I didn't push the point or point out that an orange can be squeezed to form a liquid, yet they are allowed to go through security freely.

Is the ice rule a new one? It seems kind of fishy given my previous experience.

Irish said...

Will someone, anyone, please tell me exactly [i]HOW[/i] Brit managed to get "ice chips" -- or even ice cubes -- to remain in a completely solid state, with no melt residue?

C'mon, Bob. Do you actually write this stuff with a straight face?

Irish

Dunstan said...

Over on FlyerTalk there is a comment that the ice rule changed about a week before Britney's incident. If so, Bob, why not just tell us that, instead of contradicting the currently posted rules on the TSA website? It seems with 45,000 employees someone could keep the web based public information accurate and up to date.
There is more to life than tilting at windmills, you know.

NoClu said...

Oh for goodness sakes. Really, If I show up with a cup of ice, I'm going to be allowed through security? I'm going to try this tomorrow at OMA. Anyone want to take a bet on how well that will go?

Dunstan said...

oisonit said...

"Bob, I know you didn't make the policy you are just responding to what happened. I love how passengers always take their frustrations out on the officers when they also had nothing to do with making the policy. All I can say is if you can't abide by the policys put in place for your protection then don't fly. Seems pretty simple."

That would make sense if the policies actually:

1). Were followed religiously by TSOs
2). Were stated accurately on the TSA public website
3). Made sense (as in common sense)

This week marks the 2 years since I last flew. Can't say that I've missed it at all.

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
Because no terrorist would ever think to freeze a liquid explosive.
-----------

Some components cannot be frozen, and others freeze at temps far below that of water. Kind of make it obvious that its not water ice.

Anonymous said...

John Ross said...
As long as I put these "dangerous" liquids in the freezer (or a cooler with dry ice)
----------------
Dry Ice is a hazardous material and is prohibited on passenger aircraft.

Bubbaloop said...

Please address the logic of allowing solid water, but not liquid. It is the same chemical compound. It cannot be used to hijack an airplane.

And please do not answer that explosives can´t be frozen. You and many other TSOs have stated that peroxides are a concern. Contact lens solution (a medical necessity) has been apprehended for containing minute concentrations of peroxide. Concentrated peroxide solutions freeze at about -15 C. In other words, anyone who wants to take such a solution with them now can do it easily - you have approved the entry of frozen solutions.

This is not internally consistent at all. Why prohibit a specific state of matter, and not specific chemicals?

Anonymous said...

So I can freeze my shampoo and take it too, right?

Oh, yes, and a little something to entertain myself on board too: Even vodka will solidify in a good freezer!

Thank you Britney, for freeing us of the liquids limitation policy.

Anonymous said...

"I want to see the video - I don't believe your claim that is was dry. I think you are trying to gloss over this."

Yes, Bob, TSA had no problem posting the video of the disturbed woman in Atlanta. So you should have no problems posting video of Britney. All available angles, please.

Anonymous said...

"All I can say is if you can't abide by the policys [sic]put in place for your protection then don't fly."

What about the policies that do nothing to protect anyone, like the shoe carnival, 3.4-1-1, and ID checks?

Anonymous said...

Yes, show us the video, and this time, please with sound. Sound is essential in order to accurately evaluate the wetness of the ice being sipped.

RB said...

Bob, since it is almost an impossibility that a cup of ice will not have at least a tiny bit of melt exactly how much liquid derived from ice chips is allowable?

Would this also mean if I have a couple of ounces of soda in a 20oz bottle I would be good to go also?

Would you provide a complete copy of this regulation so we can know and understand what TSA is requiring of the traveling public?

I hope this new policy will be implemented fairly at all TSA checkpoints and status will not be a factor.

Or do people like Britney get a different screening than other people?

Anonymous said...

Bob, thanks for interceding and changing the TSA website. Since Ice is the solid form of anything liquid at room temperature (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice), I now know I can bring any liquid I want with me, as long as it is frozen.

I am making space in my freezer for full sized shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, juice, and many other things I have missed out on taking on board. Thanks.

mikeef said...

"I want to see the video - I don't believe your claim that is was dry. I think you are trying to gloss over this."

Yes, Bob, TSA had no problem posting the video of the disturbed woman in Atlanta. So you should have no problems posting video of Britney. All available angles, please.


I think that's a very fair request. If we get to see the videos that take the TSA's side, we should get to see them all.

Mike

Anonymous said...

Note to self: purchase thermal bag to transport frozen toiletries.

(this is fun.)

Anonymous said...

Bob, please explain how this change in policy is being communicated to checkpoint staff, and what steps passengers can take when encountering TSOs who refuse to follow the new procedure.

Jim Huggins said...

Well, so much for all the TSA apologists who say "everything you need to know is on the website."

It should be more like, "everything you need to know is on the website, unless we change the rules and forget to tell everyone that we changed the rules, in which case you should follow the double-secret rules instead."

Sheesh. And you wonder why people have such a hard time navigating a TSA checkpoint?

Anonymous said...

Okay I am going to throw my two cents in. Liquid explosives lIke hydrogen peroxide 20 to 40% freezes IAW the MSDS at approx 6 to -33 degrees F. So no you cannot freeze explosives to get them through the checkpoint. With the new SOP revision Dated 2 Nov 09 "Liquids or gels that are frozen solid" are now permitted.

Ayn R. Key said...

Three big problems.

First, every solid is a frozen liquid. Liquid is a state of matter. So is solid.

Second, if a mostly empty oversize container is allowed with Britney, why is a half-full 5-oz bottle forbidden generally on the grounds that the bottle is more than 3.4?

Third, ice is commonly confiscated as forbidden. Your own website says so.

Anonymous said...

Bob, the high temperatures over the last few days at LAX have ranged from the mid to the high 80s. Do you actually expect us to believe that none of it melted on the way to the checkpoint? Similarly, I've never known one (even one like Britney) to be able to drink ice chips through a straw like that...

Robert Johnson said...

Quote from Anonymous: "Dry Ice is a hazardous material and is prohibited on passenger aircraft."

Dry is is permitted on planes in limited quantities. Airlines may have varying limits. American allows it. See here.

Please check your facts before declaring a permitted item prohibited.

Robert

UFC said...

Just a bit surprised the tsa continues to post inaccurate signage about the liguid policies in there airports.

Anonymous said...

TSA is idiots, and here's why: Frozen nitroglycerine is stable.

Mr. Gel-pack said...

So, how long was the "Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted" inaccurate?

I realize I'm not Brittney, but I've quoted that passage frequently since the STL TSO took the gel-pack from my infant's breast milk cooler, (leading to the spoiling of the breast milk, and my wife crying, etc.)

When did the policy change to allow unmelted ice? Before or after the STL TSO took my gel pack?

Holes in the policy, as evidenced by this PR-driven Brittney policy change, indicate that TSA management is reactive and uncontrolled. If you can't get the little things right, there is not reason to believe you do a better job with the big things.

Bob said...

The original blog post has been updated. Please see main page for links:

*** Update: 11-4-09 ***
After reading the incoming comments this morning on our blog, it was very apparent that we had left some inaccurate information on the TSA.gov web page:

"Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted."

This information has recently changed and should have been updated. An update has been posted in its place.

If you encounter any problems, please contact a TSA Customer Support Manager by using the Got Feedback? program.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

@"Okay I am going to throw my two cents in. Liquid explosives lIke hydrogen peroxide 20 to 40% freezes IAW the MSDS at approx 6 to -33 degrees F. So no you cannot freeze explosives to get them through the checkpoint. With the new SOP revision Dated 2 Nov 09 "Liquids or gels that are frozen solid" are now permitted."

Umm, liquid explosives like nitroglycerine freeze at 56 degrees F. So yes you can freeze explosives to get them through the checkpoint.

Anonymous said...

Bob, as of a few moments ago the information on the TSA website reads:
"Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted."

Please explain what medicine Ms. Spears was carrying in her Big Gulp that was required to stay cool?

RB said...

Bob said...
The original blog post has been updated. Please see main page for links:

*** Update: 11-4-09 ***
After reading the incoming comments this morning on our blog, it was very apparent that we had left some inaccurate information on the TSA.gov web page:

"Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted."

This information has recently changed and should have been updated. An update has been posted in its place.

If you encounter any problems, please contact a TSA Customer Support Manager by using the Got Feedback? program.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

November 4, 2009 3:20 PM
.................
When was this policy changed?

After BS?

What do we do if at the checkpoint and one of TSA's Checkpoint Bandits didn't get the message.

Using the Got Feedback method will not resolve an immediate problem.

How about something that can be done then, that moment at the checkpoint so our property is not confiscated by TSA?

Anonymous said...

Bob, considering the fact that the TSA could not effectively communicate to TSO's that shoes on the belt were was optional to TSO's. And the failure of a TSO to confiscate Ms. Spears Big Gulp which could have been used to hijack a plane. Because the TSO did not understand the liquids policy.

Could you please post a thread telling us how the TSA will effectively communicate the change of the policy regarding passengers carrying large sums of cash to TSO's?

Ayn R. Key said...

Bob, your update fails to address the fact that every solid is a frozen liquid.

Plus it is still SOP to forbid oversize containers filled to within legal limits, such as a 5 oz bottle with 3 oz of water.

Anonymous said...

Bob

Now that the TSA webpage has been updated, I would like clarification about the new statement:
Ice is permitted as long as there is no bmelted liquid present.

Exactly what is "melted liquid"?
Should it be just liquid (water) or "melted ice" which again is water.

Do we take this to mean absolutely no water at all, like the empty water bottles that had just a few drops of water left, and were denied?

Also, the TSA webpage really does not say that any amount of ice will be allowed. Can we assume that any amount of now solid water (ice), will be allowed?

Bubbaloop said...

@"Okay I am going to throw my two cents in. Liquid explosives lIke hydrogen peroxide 20 to 40% freezes IAW the MSDS at approx 6 to -33 degrees F. So no you cannot freeze explosives to get them through the checkpoint. With the new SOP revision Dated 2 Nov 09 "Liquids or gels that are frozen solid" are now permitted."

H2O2 solutions freeze between =10 and 15 C. Household freezers go to -20 C. Perfectly doable, even if you don't go to the trouble to purchase dry ice or liquid nitrogen.

Anonymous said...

Bob, why do you have time to update the site but not respond to dozens of comments asking for more information about this policy? When will you post the video of Britney at the checkpoint?

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of people are confused. And so am I. First you made it sound like frozen liquids could go through as long as they were not melting. That does not even make sense. Like people on our checkpoint have said, who knows if a liquid explosive would freeze. To clarify, at our checkpoint, people do not get to bring frozen liquids unless they are keeping baby food or medicine cold. That is it. If you have a frozen turky for thanksgiving dinner and ice packs all around it to keep it cold, your ice packs are going, that is if you surrender them.

RB said...

Bob, I bet Nic would lend you an emergency Xanax if you asked.

Engineer said...

Bob,

If dry ice is allowed, when in the presence of perishable items, and empty containers are allowed, and the other components to assemble a dry ice bomb are available after passing through security, what is being done to prevent construction of a dry ice bomb?

It won't take down a plane but can do considerable damage.

Also, why was is there no acknowledgment that it was not appropriate to allow Ms. Spears to pass through security with ice?

RB said...

UFC said...
Just a bit surprised the tsa continues to post inaccurate signage about the liguid policies in there airports.

November 4, 2009 2:48 PM
....................
Why does that surprise you?

It took months just to get TSA to acknowledge that 3.0 oz and 100ml were not the same thing.

Then more months to get the TSA webpages changed to reflect 3.4oz/100ml and not 3.0 oz.

Even at that TSA refuses still to correct signage in the airports.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if sunscreen freezes well? Shampoo I think will do fine, but for creams, I am not so sure about freezing. Would very much appreciate any info you have.

Bob said...

If there was just ice in her cup, I highly doubt that there was no liquid either. So what is it Bob? Special treatment? New secret policies? The suspense is killing me.

AngryMiller said...

Bob, can't you guys do anything right? It still refers to 3 ounces. It was changed to 100ml which is 3.4 ounces. This isn't rocket science. Get your documentation corrected or stop posting links to obsolete web pages.

Isaac Newton said...

Bob, that update to the website must have set a record. While you were there, though, why couldn't you change "3 ounces" to "3.4 ounces" while you were at it? You've complained before that it's too much trouble to update the website, but this would have been the perfect chance.

Why are you still confusing the American public about the liquid rules?

rabota said...

are these the actual icecubes from her glass?? man u yankees have such insane technologies :D

Trollkiller said...

Blogger Bob, looking at the video of this incident posted on TMZ it appears that Miss Britney's property did NOT go through the x-ray.

Would you please release the TSA's video in order to clear up what appears to be a greater security breach than a few ice cubes.

RB said...

http://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=111

,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,,.,.
"The problem-plagued Transportation Security Administration is a study in bureaucratic ineptitude. Since 2002, TSA has spent more than $795 million on new air-passenger screening technologies. Despite this massive expenditure and the passage of seven years, the agency has not deployed the technology and isn't even sure any of the 10 new systems can address the greatest threats. According to a recent investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), there may not be any benefit from any of this any time soon."
...........................

Comments for TSA?

RB said...

This information has recently changed and should have been updated. An update has been posted in its place.
............
Bob the updated information you posted also seems to have changed 3.4oz back to 3.0oz of liquids.

When did that change happen?

You guys at TSA should really let the public know these things.

Anonymous said...

The link:

http://www.tmz.com/2009/11/03/britney-spears-tsa-security-drink-soda-video/

Decide for yourself if she takes a sip from the cup, and if her stuff is carried around the x-ray machine.

MarkVII said...

So if there's a a problem with some screener not knowing the new rules, we're supposed to use Got Feedback. Once again, the "solution" is for the TSA to (maybe) react after the damage is already done.

Why is it that the passenger has to bear the pain and consequences of the TSA's mistakes? Again, why doesn't the TSA use proactive measures (i.e.: secret shoppers) to ensure that its personnel are following its own rules?

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Anonymous said...

Why don't you all cut the screeners some slack. It's not the TSO's who make the policies, it's just their job to enforce them. Do you think during training they all just say "Hmm, that makes a lot of sense! I think water is pretty dangerous too!"
No, I didn't think so.....
But on the other hand, had anyone ever taken liquid explosives on a flight you or any of your families were on, you'd all be singing a different tune. Also, keep in mind the insane things they encounter on a daily basis. Yes people do still try to bring 10 buck knives and guns and bullets and chainsaws and box cutters (the things that were used to take over the air crafts on 9-11).
I'm not at all defending TSA's policies, I'm just asking you to direct your attacks at the right person. Remember the next time you go through a checkpoint, it's not the guy in the blue shirt who decided to tell you you need to check in your 32oz bottle of shampoo, 4 brand new tubes of toothpaste, and 5 2L bottles of soda that you will most certainly need with you on your flight from JFK to Laguardia, he's just doing what he needs to do to feed his family.

Anonymous said...

But wait, what if the partially melted ice was less than 3.4 ounces, does this mean you could transfer the partially melted ice (now technically a fluid) into another cup and it would go through the TSA's silly requirements?

Also, as you can bring through ice (not partially melted) through the checkpoint for medical or infant purposes, did Britney claim that the ice in her Big Gulp was for those reasons?

Personally I think that ice should also be confiscated, just to add to the silliness, along the way maybe ear wax too... could someone have more than 3.4 ounces of ear wax.

Jim Huggins said...

There's a report on FlyerTalk this morning about a passenger trying to take a cup of ice through the checkpoint at ROC today, and being denied, because "ice is a liquid". Any comment?

(I mean, I'm really trying to give TSA the benefit of the doubt on this and not assume that Britney got special treatment because of her celebrity status ... but it's getting harder and harder to believe ...)

Dave said...

Can we have some video of Britt Britt at the checkpoint? You seem to be able to get these up pretty quick when it serves your own needs. How about now?

Anonymous said...

I am confused as to the ice policy. Is any frozen liquid allowed? Can we freeze our toiletries and beverages and take them with us as solids? Why were we not informed of this before?

Anonymous said...

AFter reviewing the TMZ video of Britney's screening certainly appears that TSA employees completely bypassed the xray with her bin.

Seems like we need 10 or 12 camera angles so we can see how TSA did not give special treatment in this case.

Where is the evidence?

Why are some people treated differently at the checkpoints?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the TMZ video Trollkiller.

http://tinyurl.com/yh4taad

Did anyone else notice that between 1:25 and 1:30 in the video, Britney takes a big swig from her cup. Why would she do that if there were nothing but ice in it?

Bob, it's time for you to either come up with some explanation or fess up to the fact that Britney did receive special treatment. Looks like your attempt to make this look benign is a total failure.

Then you have to either admit that it was OK to let her drink through since it was obvious it was not a threat (in which case you admit the entire war-on-water is a joke), or explain to us what disciplinary action the screeners pictured in the video will receive.

Then you can explain why it seems her property was allowed to pass the checkpoint without x-ray.

Anonymous said...

Where's the video, Bob?

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Anyone know if sunscreen freezes well? Shampoo I think will do fine, but for creams, I am not so sure about freezing. Would very much appreciate any info you have.

November 4, 2009 5:54 PM


I'm guessing but I bet sunscreen and such will seperate when thawed.

Try it at home with a TSA approved (whatever that may be) size

Anonymous said...

Please post a dated copy of the SOP stating that ice is ok through the checkpoints.

Seems that the TSA workforce did not get the memo.

Anonymous said...

I actually would be more interested in freezing wine than shampooo, as the inability to travel with wine (for host gifts or after wine tasting) has been a major nuisance for me since the war on water began. (I'm genuinely surprised the California wineries haven't tried to stand up to TSA as I'm sure the war-on-water seriously dented their business.)

Unfortunately I don't think a sealed wine bottle would survive the freezing process due to both expansion and brittleness. It would be kind of cool though if I could make it work. My wife has easy access at work to freezers at -112 and -320 degrees F, so freezing the alcohol wouldn't be a problem. Explaining to the TSO that he had to wear thick gloves before handling my bags or risk loosing fingers would be entertaining, as long as the TSO was smart enough to listen. (Don't get me wrong, I despise TSOs for what they do to our freedom and dignity and for their power tripping and lies, but I do not wish injury on them or the burden of injury on their families.)

RB said...

Anonymous said...
I actually would be more interested in freezing wine than shampooo....
.................
Well, if you could get pass the stigma of "Wine in a Box" I think you could get it to work!!

Anonymous said...

AFter reviewing the TMZ video of Britney's screening certainly appears that TSA employees completely bypassed the xray with her bin.

Seems like we need 10 or 12 camera angles so we can see how TSA did not give special treatment in this case.

Where is the evidence?

Why are some people treated differently at the checkpoints?
___________________________________

Eww! Get a life people. She did not get special treatment. First of all her bags did not bypass anything. They were taken from the machine at the hole by the xray operator, then walked down to her. Nothing ever bypasses the xray, no matter who you are. The reason that the bin with the large glass was walked over Im sure is so that they could look inside of it. If ice is allowed and that is all that was in there then it goes. You can tell that she takes a big ice cube in the mouth when she puts the cup up to her face. And she is even chewing the ice cube as she walks away. Who cares who cares who cares!!!!!!

RB said...

Bob, must have missed your response to the questions about sceening cash and OD-400-54-6 "Discovery of Currency During the Screening Process" Effective October 29, 2009.

Seems like a change in currency matters is afoot. So what's the story?

These changes would be much simpler for the traveling public if there was a complete set on rules for travlers located in on place that clearly stated exactly what special rules a person has to comply with to transit a TSA checkpoint.

Why don't you see what you can do about that. Seems only right that a free people know what laws and rules they must comply with.

Emily B. - EPA said...

I know that a lot of people get frustrated with the increased security at airports. Yes, it isn't always fun to take off your shoes and yes, it is probably annoying to take off your belt while walking through security. However, if it is keeping those on board safe, I think it's worth it. I'm living out in Washington, D.C. and I get to go to a wide variety of Federal agencies and listen to speakers. All of these places have security. I think I've gotten so used to security checks and walking through metal detectors that it's almost become second nature to me. I recently attended a Broadway musical in a different city and was all prepared to go through security until I realized that there was no security for that particular evening. I almost didn't know what to do with myself! I think sometimes people take security for granted. If only everyone in our country could visit the Nation's capitol for a week and experience all the security. I think airport security would be a piece of cake. I've always been taught through school that sometimes 'one person or a couple can ruin it for the rest of us'. Such is the case for heightened measures at the airport. Even though they will illicit complaints, I think TSA is happily making us safe rather than sorry. One area in which I do question the TSA's rules is that of the liquid rule. I just read the posting about Britney Spears and I must say that it brings up a lot of confusion and blurred lines to the rule. Why not just ban liquids all together? This would clearly define the rule and wouldn't cause so many hold ups in the line and make people certain of what they cannot bring onto the airplane. I know that the Metro system in Washington, D.C. has taken a no tolerance approach to food and drinks while riding. I think it is quite effective. While I have been out here, I think I have only seen one person not obey this rule, and they were given many glares as a result. I don't think people riding the Metro mind this rule either, it means it's cleaner for everyone. Such a rule could and should be implemented by the TSA. I appreciate all of the measures taken for our security, as annoying as they may be. I know what to do when I go to the airport, hopefully others will accept this and do the same. Best Wishes, Emily B. - EPA

RB said...

Best Wishes, Emily B. - EPA

November 5, 2009 3:14 PM

Nice post but...

Does TSA really keep us any safer?

GAO has questions about that. Check for recent GAO reports.

TSA allows thousands of airport workers into the secure area daily without screening. How does that make us safer?

TSA does not inspect all cargo loaded onto aircraft.

TSA is mismanaged and a poorly functioning agency.

That's not my opinion, that's the governments opinion.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10128.pdf

Anonymous said...

Emily, since your with EPA you may know the answer to this question.

The liquids that TSA will not permit into the secure area are just tossed into common trash bins.

However, if these liquids are to dangerous to allow through the checkpoints how can TSA not treat them as potential hazardous waste with all the procedures of hazardous waste disposal implemented?

Don't they have to treat as a worst case until proven otherwise?

Anonymous said...

Emily B wrote:
I think I've gotten so used to security checks and walking through metal detectors that it's almost become second nature to me. I recently attended a Broadway musical in a different city and was all prepared to go through security until I realized that there was no security for that particular evening. I almost didn't know what to do with myself!


That's very sad. I am in my 30s and distinctly remember when our right to domestic travel was respected and when flying on a commercial carrier was a matter of paying for your ticket, passing a security check for (real) weapons, explosives, and incendiaries (not water, shoes, cash, potential drugs, and unfavorable reading material), and boarding the plane. I also visited East Berlin before 11/89 and personally witnessed the travel restrictions in a non-free country.

With the USA's secret no-fly list with no effective redress, ID checks, government permission-checks to travel, and being subject to the whims and power trips of TSA bureaucrats with regard to personal property confiscation and bodily indignity, flying in the USA more resembles East Germany than my domestic trips in the 80s and 90s.

Having our rights stripped away should never be second nature. It's scary enough that our children may never experience those freedoms, but scarier that you don't remember them. (I assume you are an adult.)

As for banning liquids entirely, you can't do it, you shouldn't do it, and it's a stupid idea because *people need liquids in order to perform necessary and desirable activities over the course of hours*. Nobody spends 24 hours or even 6 hours on the Metro, but a long trip or a delayed flight can result in that much time in an airport or on a plane. And Metro doesn't ban the possession of liquids, only the consumption. Banning an entire state of matter is absurd. People need to drink, feed babies and children, take medicine, and practice personal hygeine.

I don't feel less safe because Britney was able to bring a drink through security; I just wish TSA would give up on this absurd liquid nonsense and let us all do it. The liquid threat is highly unlikely compared to someone smuggling reliable solid explosives, and TSA would do much more for our safety by redirecting the effort they spend on searching for water, toothpaste, makeup, and shampoo on detecting guns, large knives, and actual explosives. Especially since their detection rates for guns and bombs are so low to begin with.

Anonymous said...

"I know that a lot of people get frustrated with the increased security at airports. Yes, it isn't always fun to take off your shoes and yes, it is probably annoying to take off your belt while walking through security. However, if it is keeping those on board safe, I think it's worth it."

The shoe carnival makes no one safe; by your reasoning, then, it should be ended.

"I'm living out in Washington, D.C. and I get to go to a wide variety of Federal agencies and listen to speakers. All of these places have security. I think I've gotten so used to security checks and walking through metal detectors that it's almost become second nature to me. I recently attended a Broadway musical in a different city and was all prepared to go through security until I realized that there was no security for that particular evening. I almost didn't know what to do with myself!"

Why should there be security at a musical?

"I think sometimes people take security for granted. If only everyone in our country could visit the Nation's capitol for a week and experience all the security. I think airport security would be a piece of cake. I've always been taught through school that sometimes 'one person or a couple can ruin it for the rest of us'. Such is the case for heightened measures at the airport. Even though they will illicit complaints, I think TSA is happily making us safe rather than sorry."

TSA is not making us safe: It wastes its time looking for shoe bombs and explosive Pepsi rather than for genuine threats.

"One area in which I do question the TSA's rules is that of the liquid rule. I just read the posting about Britney Spears and I must say that it brings up a lot of confusion and blurred lines to the rule. Why not just ban liquids all together? This would clearly define the rule and wouldn't cause so many hold ups in the line and make people certain of what they cannot bring onto the airplane."

Because banning all liquids would be even stupider than the 3.4-1-1 policy. It would also endanger the lives and health of people who need to travel with medicine that they can access if needed during flights, infants and small children who need to be fed from bottles, and, most of all, would do absolutely nothing to make anyone at all safer.

"I know that the Metro system in Washington, D.C. has taken a no tolerance approach to food and drinks while riding. I think it is quite effective. While I have been out here, I think I have only seen one person not obey this rule, and they were given many glares as a result. I don't think people riding the Metro mind this rule either, it means it's cleaner for everyone."

Metro's policy is about keeping the system clean, not preventing mythical explosive shampoo from destroying an aircraft. More to the point, you've completely misrepresented Metro's food and drink policy: You can carry as much as you like on board, but you cannot drink it. Finally, the longest Metro ride is, I suspect, far shorter than the shortest air flights. TSA's liquid hysterics have

"I appreciate all of the measures taken for our security, as annoying as they may be."

What about the measures that have nothing to do with security, like the 3.4-1-1 policy, the shoe carnival, ID checks, and BDOs?

"I know what to do when I go to the airport, hopefully others will accept this and do the same."

Really? How do you know? TSA didn't update the new ice-without-melt policy until commenters on this blog asked about it. TSA is incapable of announcing its policies clearly either to passengers or to its own checkpoint clerks.

"Best Wishes, Emily B. - EPA"

Emily, what does the EPA think of the way TSA disposes of what it suspects are hazardous materials by pouring them down the drain as if they were harmless liquids?

Anonymous said...

"Frozen nitroglycerin is somewhat less sensitive than the liquid. However, a half-thawed or partially thawed mixture is more sensitive than either one"

Is that expert enough for ya?

November 3, 2009 6:11 PM

TK- Do you honestly think it only takes 32 degrees to freeze Nitroglycerin? Likely it takes a laboratory to have the equipment to reach true zero temperatures. Cutting and pasting doesnt make YOU an expert, so dont try to sound like it. btw, you've been MIA, hows it goin :)

Anonymous said...

Emily B. - EPA said...
I'm living out in Washington, D.C. and I get to go to a wide variety of Federal agencies and listen to speakers. All of these places have security. I think I've gotten so used to security checks and walking through metal detectors that it's almost become second nature to me.

******
So Emily tell me, when you enter these secure facilities how many of them require you to take off your shoes, place all of your cosmetics in a ziploc bag, require you to walk through a virtual strip search machine, and do not allow you to bring your bottle of water if has bigger than 100ml. The answer none of them. How many people are allowed to enter the building without being screened
The answer is zero, at the airport thousands of employees are not screened on a daily basis.

We all want security at the airport. We also want security that is based in fact not science fiction, the rules and not guidelines publicly available, and every person and piece of luggage that enters the airport.

Anonymous said...

Bob, you going to get them to update the bloody SOP now that the website is update?

RB said...

Bob, in all seriousness I have read several times the Info for travelers and I think what TSA is providing does not say ice is permitted for anyone.

Here is the passage:

"To ensure the health and welfare of certain air travelers, in the absence of suspicious activity or items, greater than 3 ounces of the following liquids, gels and aerosols are permitted through the security checkpoint in reasonable quantities for the duration of your itinerary (all exceptions must be presented to the security officer in front of the checkpoint):

Baby formula, breast milk, and juice if a baby or small child is traveling;
All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including KY jelly, eye drops, and saline solution for medical purposes;
Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition;
Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products, and transplant organs;
Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution, or other liquids; and,

Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Ice is permitted as long as there is no melted liquid present."

So that page is talking about exceptions and for only certain travelers.

Not for everyone.

Not even getting into the melt issue I really think TSA has done a great disservice to the public on this story.

It is clear that BS got special treatment and when the word got out a major TSA Cover Up started.

No one believes the policy had already changed and in absence of evidence I think that is a reasonable position.

Now if Ice is ok for everyone then why not just say that clearly?

Remove the passage from the information from special needs travelers.

How about TSA stepping up to the line and doing something correctly for just once?

Publish a policy for travelers that is understandable.

Trollkiller said...

So Blogger Bob, are we going to get a video that proves that Miss Britney's luggage did not bypass the X-Ray as the TMZ video seems to show?

I would also like to know about OD-400-54-6 "Discovery of Currency During the Screening Process" Effective October 29, 2009.

Think it will be possible to get a redacted copy posted so I don't have to wait more than a year for the TSA to respond to the FOIA request? (yeah still waiting on the first two)

Joe Versicherung said...

I m sorry, but I think this is pretty nonsense?
Any material could have any aggregation - just depending on the temperature!
So liquid explosives should be "safe" in a frozen state?
I guess this is pretty much of a hoax.
Or your name must be B. Spears...

Anonymous said...

@"Emily B. - EPA said...

I know that a lot of people get frustrated with the increased security at airports. Yes, it isn't always fun to take off your shoes and yes, it is probably annoying to take off your belt while walking through security. However, if it is keeping those on board safe, I think it's worth it."

That's a big 'if' and TSA does a terrible job of showing that its actions keep people safe.

Armoring the cockpit door and deciding not to let terrorists into the cockpit are worth it. Comparing IDs to self-printed boarding passes, sniffing shoes, and confiscating water isn't worth it. In terms opf saving lives, we'd be far better off by spending TSA's 6B$ budget on first aid classes for schoolchildren.

If you think spending 6B$/year to confiscate thousands of tons of NON-weapons to give an even-money chance at catching a less than 1-in-a-billion mythical terrorist is worth it, then spending $100 each on 60 million first-aid-trained children should be a no-brainer. Think of how many lives that would save, and compare thst to that our inept TSA's impossible-to-measure smoke and mirrors mission.

Is TSA making a real, measurable, (positive) difference in security? How do you know? Just trust in TSA's "We think it matters" pap?

carp said...

> I know that a lot of people get
> frustrated with the increased security
> at airports. Yes, it isn't always fun
> to take off your shoes and yes, it is
> probably annoying to take off your belt
> while walking through security.
> However, if it is keeping those on
> board safe, I think it's worth it

Emily,

I get frustrated by people who think that this is about convinience or fun vs real security.

IF ANY of us actually believed that taking off shoes, or banning liquids meant the difference between life and death, we would do it. No questions asked.

Quite simply. I do NOT believe it makes me ANY safer. Thats it. Period. The end. I am unconvinced.

Firstly, unconvinced of the threat. The number of flights that take off an land every day, safely, has not changed much in a long time. The majority of that change has been from technological advancements and the safety work of the FAA.

That is, terrorism is LESS of a threat than bad maintenance, or tired pilots.

Secondly, these procedures are specific attempts to mitigate specific scenarios. Terrorists, in the exceedingly rare instances that they are real and not imaginary, are willing to design their tactics to fit their situation. You have, at best, caused them to make different plans. Not cancel their plans, not catch them. Simply to change their tactics, and then only slightly.

This is, AT BEST, theater. The TSA are NOT security officers to be respected. They are ACTORS, acting out a ridiculous play of Keystone Kop security procedures.

THAT is why people like myself are here. If it were real security against a real threat, I am right on board. I don't want to die any sooner than I have to.

I have ZERO (not small, not a little, zero) confidence that the TSA makes any difference in my chances of surviving a plane flight.

-Steve

carp said...

Emily

One more thing. I have been on the DC Metro. The no food and drinks policy just brings it further up on my list of places not to go.

I drink my coffee on the train here in Boston all the time. I like being able to drink my coffee on the train.

Just because you are willing to put up with ridiculous rules and live in a total police state doesn't mean that all of us relish the idea.

You can go goose stepping and siege hieiling all the way through the checkpoints if you like. I stay away from places like DC. It gives me the willies to see so many pointless rules.

We here get along just fine without all these ridiculous rules.

-Steve

Anonymous said...

"C'mon, Bob. Do you actually write this stuff with a straight face?"

He writes it with a smile. Because he earns OUR dollars while he does it.

Robert said...

Bob,

You still have not clarified. You say it was ice, and it's OK. But it's not. I can't bring ice. What is the deal? Why did she get special treatment? Where are the tapes so we can see more video? Or do you have stuff to hide since you really screwed this one up?

How many other people that don't have cameras following them around have your officers given special treatment to?

Anonymous said...

It looks to me that the new policy was designed to explicitly allow Britney's transgression:
"Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Ice is permitted as long as there is no melted liquid present."

That implies that I am not allowed to freeze juice (water contaminated with sugar and other things that may lower the freezing point), even if I pack it in a disposable container with an ice-brine solution (approx temperature: -18C, O F).

It appears that to end the silly liquid policy, we simply have to video tape celebrities carrying prohibited, but innocuous items (such as a transparent water bottle) through security.

The difficulty is that in the next few weeks, our celebrities may be under extra scrutiny because of this incident. Thus, not allowed to "bend" the rules in order to force sane policies.

Sandra said...

Emily from EPA: Did it ever occur to you that one is on a plane for a great deal longer than one is on the Metro and presumably travels a much greater distance by plane than by Metro (unless your like Charlie on the MTA).

Even if a ban of all liquids were instituted, there would have to be exceptions to that ban and once an exception is made, the ban is virtually null and voide.

RB said...

Bob, just read your latest attempt to deflect the truth.

The information about Ice being permitted is in the section dealing with exceptions to the rules. Based on that is Ice only allowed for special needs travelers?

If not then TSA needs to do a better job of clarifing this policy.

Also just when did this policy change? A few minutes after the TMZ piece hit the internet and airways?

I would have a little more confidence if you guys tired truth for once.

Otherwise I suggest you stop digging.

Bob said...

Blog Post Updated. Please see main post.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Where's TSA's video of Britney, Bob? Why are you willing to give us nine angles' worth of video of the woman in Atlanta but none on this? When was the policy changed to allow Britney to have her ice, Bob? Done digging yet, Bob?

Anonymous said...

This is great. So you respond several times (and show how you can't keep policies straight and that they make no sense) to an article on a pop star BUT when an incredibly well written critique about your methods and secondary screening is widely read you have no response. OH, that's right, the liquids rule is all theater anyway. So as long as you can enforce idiotic rules you don't have to respond to a police officer who says you don't know what you're doing.

RB said...

Bob, your update on 11/6 does not resolve the ice issue.

The TSA page you reference clearly indicates that ice is an exception to ensure the health and welfare of certain travelers.

Was Britney a special case?

When exactly was the policy changed if not?

Where can one read this new policy that allows ice?

How is solid ice defined at TSA?

How can there be absolutely no melt on snack bar ice used to chill drinks?

Why is TSA lying?



http://www.tsa.gov/311/311-carry-ons.shtm

"To ensure the health and welfare of certain air travelers, in the absence of suspicious activity or items, greater than 3 ounces of the following liquids, gels and aerosols are permitted through the security checkpoint in reasonable quantities for the duration of your itinerary (all exceptions must be presented to the security officer in front of the checkpoint):

Baby formula, breast milk, and juice if a baby or small child is traveling;
All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including KY jelly, eye drops, and saline solution for medical purposes;
Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition;
Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products, and transplant organs;
Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution, or other liquids; and,
Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Ice is permitted as long as there is no melted liquid present."

Ayn R. Key said...

Blogger Bob wrote:
So, why are frozen solidified items permitted when they’re eventually going to melt once the passenger is in the gate area or on their flight? Good question. It is highly improbable that the explosives TSA is concerned about could be frozen by traditional means. The key word here is frozen. Not thawing. Not a slush or slurry. Frozen solid.

As I have rather conclusively argued, the liquid explosive you are concerned about doesn't exist. Not even a little. Not at all. So rather than admit you are wrong you stick your head in the sand again.

This is getting pathetic.

Gunner said...

Keep spinning boys, just keep spinning!

RB said...

"So, while something may have been prohibited by an officer in the past, it may not be now."
//////////////////////
With nonsense and unworkable statements like the one above how in heck can TSA expect anyone to be able to transit a checkpoint without problems?

Were are the rules travelers must comply with?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob, I believe you that the bags were x-rayed but I think we would all feel better if you just release the video proving it.

Feel free to blur whatever you need to.

Anonymous said...

Info straight from MIA: A frozen solid bottle of water was not allowed through, on the basis that "water is a liquid".

Why is only Britney´s water not a liquid?

Anonymous said...

Why does TSA assume any liquid below 3.4 ounces is safe but that any liquid over 3.4 ounces is dangerous explosive?

Why does TSA toss these dangerous explosives into open containers in the middle of airports?

Why does TSA dispose of these dangerous explosives as if they were exactly what is indicated by their labels?

Why does TSA treat a bottle of Pepsi like soda when it's time to dispose of it, but as a dangerous explosive when it transits the checkpoint?

How does TSA screen the liquids sold past its checkpoints?

Does TSA test a random sampling if confiscated liquids to determine how many liquid explosives people are attempting to bring through checkpoints?

Why can't TSA point to a single piece of independent, peer-reviewed research to support its liquid policies?

Why does TSA continue to post inaccurate signage about the liquids policies in airports?

nerf said...

Agree that the rules are stupid. Agree with Why does TSA toss these dangerous explosives into open containers in the middle of airports?

BUT

Saw the video. She clearly did not use the straw. She chucked some in her mouth and started chewing. So ice, it is.

Alice said...

So to test the "new" ice theory, I brought a frozen .5 liter bottle of water to LAX (the same airport as Brittney). They didn't let it through, as they said it would melt into a liquid.

When is the stupidity going to end?

Anonymous said...

Just saw the TMZ video of Britney going through security (since you don't release it, this is all I have). It shows very clearly that Britney's Big Gulp and part of her belongings did not go through the X-ray.

You allowed a person known to be mentally unstable to skip the X-ray! Now that is really scary!!

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote:
Why should there be security at a musical?

didn't we have a president killed attending one of these? He probably would have preferred security over his fate. But it IS good that his constitutional right to a security-less play was not infringed.

Mack said...

It's hilarious that if a vendor sends a bottle of water through the x-ray machine, he can sell it on the other side of security for $4.00. But if I were to take that same bottle through the same x-ray, it would get confiscated (unless I was Ms. Spears).

Lame.

Anonymous said...

@Alice: Are you a celebrity? If not, this new rule does not apply to you.

Anonymous said...

He probably would have preferred security over his fate. But it IS good that his constitutional right to a security-less play was not infringed.

November 8, 2009 9:30 AM

agreed. hes probably thanking his lucky stars all the way to the grave.

Anonymous said...

@"So, why are frozen solidified items permitted when they’re eventually going to melt once the passenger is in the gate area or on their flight? Good question. It is highly improbable that the explosives TSA is concerned about could be frozen by traditional means. The key word here is frozen. Not thawing. Not a slush or slurry. Frozen solid."


###########

So TSA isn't concerned that nitroglycerine freezes and becomes stable for transport at 56F? Or maybe you're saying it doesn't actually melt at 56? On that point, wikipedia and this has more credibility than TSA.

If TSA can't tell the difference between a snow-globe and a grenade on X-ray, how are you going to catch a frozen 3.5oz bottle of nitroglycerine?

TSA is idiots, and that's why.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting on that video. The one I saw shows that Big Gulp was not X-rayed.

Trollkiller said...

Alice said...

So to test the "new" ice theory, I brought a frozen .5 liter bottle of water to LAX (the same airport as Brittney). They didn't let it through, as they said it would melt into a liquid.

When is the stupidity going to end?


The stupidity will end when the TSA stops lying.

Blogger Bob, I have talked to my little birdies and guess what, NONE of them have received any memo, directive, phone call or fax about the sudden change in the ice policy.

I feel like our collective intelligence has been insulted.

Blogger Bob you need to produce a directive, memo or other documentation of this new ice policy to prove when it went into effect.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Can you explain how new policies, such as this are implemented?

We have several posts indicating that frozen liquid is not being allowed.

How can front line TSO's be ignorant of a simple change in policy such as this?

Anonymous said...

Based on the examples posted here and on other DBs, it seems many TSO's are not aware of this policy change.

Another shining example of how the TSA works, or to be more accurate, doesn't work

Anonymous said...

How can front line TSO's not know about the policy change?

How hard is it to hold pre-shift briefings?

Amazing.

RB said...

Trollkiller said...
Alice said...

So to test the "new" ice theory, I brought a frozen .5 liter bottle of water to LAX (the same airport as Brittney). They didn't let it through, as they said it would melt into a liquid.

When is the stupidity going to end?

The stupidity will end when the TSA stops lying.

Blogger Bob, I have talked to my little birdies and guess what, NONE of them have received any memo, directive, phone call or fax about the sudden change in the ice policy.

I feel like our collective intelligence has been insulted.

Blogger Bob you need to produce a directive, memo or other documentation of this new ice policy to prove when it went into effect.

November 9, 2009 8:23 AM

..................
BB can't produce something that does not exist.

Anonymous said...

Is it normal for TSA management at airports to simply ignore new policies?

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Can you describe the quality assurance procedures TSA management uses to insure new policies are properly implemented?

Anonymous said...

Bob, your clarifications still seem unclear.

Are you saying Britney's ice chips are some sort of medical exception, or that frozen-solid-ice is permitted even without TSA's TSOs determination medical necessity?

Anonymous said...

No matter how you look at this, it doesn't look good for the TSA

Either the tail wagged the dog and the TSA changed policy after the fact.

Or TSA has to admit that TSA management at airports routinely ignores and fails to properly implement new security policies.

Anonymous said...

Just saw the TMZ video of Britney going through security (since you don't release it, this is all I have). It shows very clearly that Britney's Big Gulp and part of her belongings did not go through the X-ray.

You allowed a person known to be mentally unstable to skip the X-ray! Now that is really scary!!
___________________________________

I will tell you what is scary.... Is how annoying you people are! There is an opening in the xray tunnel right after the xray machine, and right before it gets to the passenger. Everytime that there is a bag check the bag comes out of that area. If you watch the video close enough you can see the bags coming from that opening both times. Pay attention before you complain!

Earl Pitts said...

@Gunner: "Keep spinning boys, just keep spinning!"

Our Founding Fathers are already spinning in their graves.

Earl

Anonymous said...

You people are just plain ignorant! Yes, ice will melt as you wait in line. But if you drink the liquid before screening, all you have in the cup is the solid ice. You can not drink liquid explosives, so if you have just solid ice, it is safe.

You complain when you're told you can't bring something, you complain when you're told you can. You just want to complain.

Isaac Newton said...

Blogger Bob said:
Remember that 3-1-1 is in use throughout most of the world and all of our counterparts are working on a solution as well.

Aw, c'mon Bob, that's not completely honest in either part of that sentence.

The US and UK blackmailed a lot of countries into implementing 3.4-1-1 for international flights but many countries don't limit liquids on their domestic flights. And it doesn't seem to be causing them any problems. To imply that everyone is limiting liquids worldwide is just plain lying.

And secondly, the Japanese have already developed a scanner for liquids, which has been in use for several years. Why are you claiming that countries are working on a solution when the solution already exists?

In October 2008, you said there would be a lifting of restrictions in "Fall 2009." It's nearly winter, Bob. Why should we believe anything you say?

Anonymous said...

Where is the announcement about this change in policy to allow ice? Your screeners at the airports don't seem to know about it. Your website only mentions it in one section under exceptions for medical needs. There should be a big announcement on the front page of the TSA website, and a link to the official, dated press release. Passengers need something to show your own employees about your new policy.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

You people are just plain ignorant! Yes, ice will melt as you wait in line. But if you drink the liquid before screening, all you have in the cup is the solid ice. You can not drink liquid explosives, so if you have just solid ice, it is safe.


Elizabeth Scharman of the American Board of Applied Toxicology and the West Virginia Poison Control Center may have a different point of view than you do.

How much do you think nitroglycerin would melt in an insulated cup in the time it takes you to go from curbside to checkpoint? Remember nitroglycerin freezes at 45-55 degrees while water freezes at 32 degrees.

I have a cup that will hold ordinary ice for over an hour with less than a teaspoon of melted liquid. (crushed ice that has a greater surface area than cubed and melts faster than cube)

How hard would it be to mix frozen nitroglycerin cubes with regular ice cubes? The regular ice would keep the nitroglycerin from melting so if there was any liquid in the cup it would be mostly water. If you were healthy and did ingest a small amount of nitroglycerin the most you would get out of it is a very nasty foot cramp.

You may want to climb off that high horse before you fall.

Trollkiller said...

Earl Pitts said...

@Gunner: "Keep spinning boys, just keep spinning!"

Our Founding Fathers are already spinning in their graves.


Quick let's dig them up and attach magnets to them, then we can set up some coils and solve the energy problem.

Susan said...

Bob,

Pretty interesting how quiet the TSA has become over this. There are still glaring holes.

People go to the airport now with ice and are denied, yet Spears was not (and IMO caused this massive change in rules).

Also no response to providing video of the checkpoint. You sure do put that stuff up quick when you fell you are right! I guess not this time?

Anonymous said...

Still waiting on that video!

Brent2 said...

I've heard a lot of people ask why she had fully frozen chips "at random." Seems like her manager/agent looked into what she could and could not take on the plane. He said she could take ice, as he actively keeps up on regulation that affects his client. Must be why he gets paid well.

RB said...

Brent2 said...
I've heard a lot of people ask why she had fully frozen chips "at random." Seems like her manager/agent looked into what she could and could not take on the plane. He said she could take ice, as he actively keeps up on regulation that affects his client. Must be why he gets paid well.

November 10, 2009 5:51 AM

.............
Just how do you think BS manager found this information out since TSA had not published this info and as of today only has ice listed as ok under exceptions for travelers with special needs?

TSA has not been truthful in this case.

If they want to step up then all they have to do is post a copy of the policy. How could allowing ice even come close to SSI?

Anonymous said...

Could you update the TSA.gov FAQ with this little tidbit "While I'm at it, I'll take this opportunity to answer a common question. Yes, empty bottles and cups are also allowed through the checkpoint.
". Since it's such a common question.

Anonymous said...

with all of these terrorists already living in this country killing our innocent citizens on military bases, we all need to learn quick to watch our own backs.
Terrorists are already here living in our American cities waiting for there chance when we least expect it.
Wake up America and take care of business.

RB said...

Bob, TSA is quick to release video when it makes TSA look good.

So where is the video for the Britney event?

Seems she really did get special TSA screening.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

with all of these terrorists already living in this country killing our innocent citizens on military bases, we all need to learn quick to watch our own backs.
Terrorists are already here living in our American cities waiting for there chance when we least expect it.
Wake up America and take care of business.


Wow that sounds like a call to go off killing people. Very scary sentiment you are projecting.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

TK- Do you honestly think it only takes 32 degrees to freeze Nitroglycerin? Likely it takes a laboratory to have the equipment to reach true zero temperatures. Cutting and pasting doesnt make YOU an expert, so dont try to sound like it. btw, you've been MIA, hows it goin :)


I changed shifts at work and it flat wore me out for the first month.

Nope you can freeze it at home, no lab equipment needed. Take a peek at the Artillery circular, Issue 2 By United States. Adjutant-General's Office. (1903)

Freshly made opaque nitroglycerin freezes at about 4° F., and the transparent explosive at about 40° F., in both cases freezing to a white crystalline mass; and once frozen it remains in this condition even when exposed for some time to a temperature above its freezing point.

I would assume that you would want the transparent explosive to mimic water ice.

Isaac Newton said...

"Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive” - Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

Bob, are you still here??

You have been unable to provide video that proves your version of the events.

You have been unable to produce an official document that proves that the ice policy was in place before Ms Spears went through LAX. (A hastily-edited webpage with weasel words about "special and medical needs" doesn't count.)

You have been unable to produce an official document that proves that this new ice policy is even in force today.

Reports are coming in from around the country that your screeners are continuing to refuse ice through, despite your claims here about a new policy.

It is time for TSA to admit that the LAX screeners made a mistake in allowing Britney's cup through, give them the usual slap on the risk (like Alvin and the STL braintrust), look suitably embarrassed for a few days, and move on. You are insulting the intelligence of the American public by continuing with this lie.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

I want the video, and an official statement allowing frozen stuff, not just as an afterthought under medical necessities on the homepage, and proof that TSOs are trained in this new post-Britney rule.

Susan said...

Hi Bob, where is the Brittney video? Where are the updates to the website regarding ice? When is your call center going to be told that ice is now ok? They said it was prohibited when I called yesterday. They also said the screeners would be reprimanded for letting ice through (even though you say it's ok).

So many holes in this one Bob - when are you going to comment on it?

Anonymous said...

I don't think all TSOs have been briefed on the change in the rules (hey, it's only been a week!) thus passengers should be aware that their ice may not be allowed.

Anonymous said...

So, if it's only for medically necessary ice, what did Brittney had that made it medically necessary, other than questionable mental states?

Anonymous said...

Bob,

How does it feel to work for an agency that can't communicate changes to security screening procedures to front line staff.

Does that make YOU feel safer?

It doesn't make me feel safer.

Anonymous said...

If Britney's ice was allowed under the medical exception, did the TSOs do one of the magic test-strip tests to see if it was subliming any H2O2 or NG fumes?

Or, by your third paragraph do you mean that solid ice a non-Liquid-Gas-or-Aerosol and completely exempt from the TSA's idiotic liquid rules?

RB said...

http://www.tsa.gov/311/311-carry-ons.shtm


.....
"All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller."

////

"To ensure the health and welfare of certain air travelers, in the absence of suspicious activity or items, greater than 3 ounces of the following liquids, gels and aerosols are permitted through the security checkpoint in reasonable quantities for the duration of your itinerary (all exceptions must be presented to the security officer in front of the checkpoint):

Baby formula, breast milk, and juice if a baby or small child is traveling;
All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including KY jelly, eye drops, and saline solution for medical purposes;
Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition;
Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products, and transplant organs;
Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution, or other liquids; and,
Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Ice is permitted as long as there is no melted liquid present.

<><><><><><><><><>

Bob the statements above are direct quotes from the TSA.GOV web page discussing 3-1-1 for travelers.

My question to you or anyone at TSA in an official capacity, with authority to answer questions from the public at TSA is this; Are those statements correct and accurate?

Anonymous said...

from the following website (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/explosives-liquid.htm):

"Nitroglycerine is a colorless to pale-yellow, viscous liquid or SOLID (below 56°F). It is an explosive ingredient in dynamite (20-40%) with ethylene glycol dinitrate (80-60%). It has a high nitrogen content( 18.5%) and contains more than enough oxigen atoms to oxidize the carbon and hydrogen atoms while nitrogen is being liberated, so it is one of the most powerful explosives known."


...too bad that the TSA apparently doesnt read any science-related publications when making decisions to allow or band liquids vs solids.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for the video showing that Big Gulp was X-rayed. TMZ video shows it was not.

RB said...

Has the TSA Blog stopped accepting post for the blog entry?

Events as laid out in the blog entry certainly seem out of line with actual events.

Did TSA attempt a poorly conceived cover up?

Has information that TSA provided been less than correct?

Who is responsible for the misinformation campaign?

Are the standards at TSA so low that there are no sanctions for providing false information to the public?

Anonymous said...

"Are the standards at TSA so low that there are no sanctions for providing false information to the public?"

Clearly, yes.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
"Are the standards at TSA so low that there are no sanctions for providing false information to the public?"

Clearly, yes.

November 13, 2009 12:46 PM
..............
I'm afraid I have to agree and in an organization with ethics and standards this display should result in dismissal of those who submitted false information.

The only question remaining, and I'm afraid I already know the answer, does TSA hold it's employees accountable for violations of ethics?

Anonymous said...

"The only question remaining, and I'm afraid I already know the answer, does TSA hold it's employees accountable for violations of ethics?"

Clearly, no.

TSM, Been said...

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
Still waiting for the video showing that Big Gulp was X-rayed. TMZ video shows it was not.

November 13, 2009 4:08 AM
"

--------------
Even when spomething is right in front of you you choose to not see it!
I watched the same TMZ video you did. You can clearly see that a bin comes through with a black sweater or light jacket on top of it.
Once the jacket is removed, a TSO leans over from the left side of the screen (STSO?) and looks into THE CUP which is IN the bin which JUST CAME THROUGH XRAY!!

He evidently determines it is just ice and allows it to go on.

Open your eyes!!!

Though I will say it's a sad state of affairs in America when a Britney Spears post has 180 posts and a veteren's day post has only 50 and most of them off topic.

Anonymous said...

Where is the video, Bob??

Anonymous said...

While many people want the SOP for TSA online that is not going to happen but the ban on frozen liquid has changed as of 15Nov09. Will they change the website I hope so but who knows when, the change is listed under appendix 4 Prohibited/Permitted Items List, page 3 Liquids, Gels and/or Aerosols. No the word has not gotten down to the front line yet, why I don’t know. All I can say is hopefully they will be briefed soon. Did Britney get through before the change had occurred Yes, plain and simple.

TSA for the most part should not make exceptions to what is written in the SOP. I believe one of the problems is TSA tries to accommodate the flying public too much. Safety should be, IMO, first and foremost. I believe that no liquid should be brought period, but the “powers that be” opened a can of worms when it decided, probably because the public wanted it, to allow liquids on board planes. The technology has arrived and soon all liquid will be allowed through the checkpoint because they have the ability to be screened.

It is my opinion that all luggage (not backpacks computer case or purses) but carry-on suitcase be banned, that would limit the material that could get on the plane where someone has access to it. But I am sure that everyone would really be upset if they had to pay for luggage to go underneath the plane.

Anonymous said...

Also for those that want to talk about freezing NG and bringing it through and drinking it here are some of the side effects for NG tablets for people that have heart conditions

"All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Burning or tingling in the mouth; dizziness; flushing; headache; heavy sweating; lightheadedness; nausea; pale skin; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision; fainting; increased chest pain; pounding in the chest; slow heartbeat."

Now can you imagine drinking pure NG, which number one, is one of the most sensitive explosives in the world, number two you would probably have to drink more than one tablet that doctors give out, number three you think no one would notice these symptoms as you tried to get through the Checkpoint after waiting for probably 20-40 minutes.

forex robot man said...

So I am guessing that I can freeze all of my bottles and it is permitted?
Would I be penalized?

Shadowchasr said...

The OP's original comment:
Bob, since you're talking about the liquids policies that no one, anywhere, takes seriously any more, please answer these questions:

Why does TSA assume any liquid below 3.4 ounces is safe but that any liquid over 3.4 ounces is dangerous explosive?
............................

Why does TSA continue to post inaccurate signage about the liquids policies in airports?


Ok, first I would like to apply a touch of science to this explosives threat:

You can toss out anything in checked luggage - a means to screen the luggage regardless of size of liquids is already in place and has no known issues.

Anyone who has looked at an aircraft can discertain that it is more or less a cylindrical shape with wings.

So.. we'll apply a bit of science and math to this concern:

First, the formula: volume = π * radius^2 * height

Definitions:

Volume = The volume of any solid, liquid, gas, plasma, or vacuum is how much three-dimensional space it occupies. In our application, we will utilize cubic feet.


Now, I have acquired from the manufacturer's website the specifications to a Bombardier CRJ aircraft.

Total cubic feet of space: 2160 cubic feet

Now - according to the global security website regarding liquid explosives, it specifically addresses nitroglycerin and identifies it as one of the most powerful liquid explosives. This explosive can expand to 1200 times it's non-detonated size in gas pressure. Wow, you say, that's a lot! Well, lets see how it fares against our tiny regional jet:

2160 cubic ft - total space of cabin + cargo area

3.4 US fluid ounces = 0.10625 US quarts

So you can realistically fit, say 10 3.4 oz containers inside your 1 quart bag.

You also have to realistically believe this will make it onto the aircraft, defeating over 20 layers of security...

So, hoping my math isn't flawed here:

1 qt NG * 1200 (the expansion)= 40.1 cubic ft

Lets go one farther; lets say you managed to get 10 baggies full of NG through:

10 qt NG * 1200 = 401 cubic ft

So... the detonation at most will increase cabin pressure (the addition of the NG in gas form) is 18.5%. We're removing variables such as what your detonation device would be, etc. Most modern aircraft are equipped with 'blow-out' sections for extreme changes in cabin pressure (such as the one that would include a detonation of said device). Worst case scenario, you 'might' get lucky and bust a hole into the aircraft with 10 bags of NG... a single bag would change pressure 1.8%

This leaves the shock value, since NG expands at a bit over 25,000 ft/sec. This is really the part that does damage - that instantaneous POP (detonation) of explosive. I reckon you could hurt some people or even kill someone with an ideal placement of your 10 bags, yet the likelihood of a single bag is more feasible than you finding a container to combine 2.5 gallons of NG. Even splitting it up into 10 different spots and getting simultaneous detonation wouldn't pack enough punch to bring down an airplane unless your placement was highly advanced and put into a vulnerable location... well, bottom line here is:

The expansion of the gas will not exceed 20% of the cabin air pressure, so unless sitting directly on top of your device, there is a very low risk that you could bring down an airplane with it. The risk of hurting single individuals vs affecting all flyers is certainly still there, but 3-1-1 seems to mitigate that very threat.

This is 'food for thought' - seems like TSA did do their homework here.

Feel free to debunk this.

To the OP - I hope some of your questions are cleared up here.

Larry said...

TSA, why so quiet on our requests for more video? You sure do it quickly when you think it serves your purposes. It must mean that there really is something to hide here.

Anonymous said...

"Though I will say it's a sad state of affairs in America when a Britney Spears post has 180 posts and a veteren's day post has only 50 and most of them off topic."

Why would people come to TSA's blog to discuss veterans? That makes no sense.


Still no actual answers to why nobody has been able to repeat BS's ability to get ice through security.

Anonymous said...

Are flight attendants allowed to bring drinks through security? if so, why? Why do they need to be screened at all then?

RB said...

Anonymous said...
While many people want the SOP for TSA online that is not going to happen but the ban on frozen liquid has changed as of 15Nov09. Will they change the website I hope so but who knows when, the change is listed under appendix 4 Prohibited/Permitted Items List, page 3 Liquids, Gels and/or Aerosols.
....................
*** Update: 11-4-09 ***
After reading the incoming comments this morning on our blog, it was very apparent that we had left some inaccurate information on the TSA.gov web page:

"Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted."

This information has recently changed and should have been updated. An update has been posted in its place.

If you encounter any problems, please contact a TSA Customer Support Manager by using the Got Feedback? program.\......
...........................

Bob, which one of the two statements above are true?

Anonymous said...

Ice chips were allowed, but my 2 year old's tupperware of egg salad was confiscated? TSA policy and practice continues to be a joke.

Anonymous said...

Confiscating baby food but allowing celebrities to bring in Big Gulps. Lovely.

And the video still shows that the cup circumvented the X-ray.

Tracy said...

When people are in busy airports this Thanksgiving they should remember that following the TSA's clearly posted and stated rules will make travel easier, faster, and safer for everyone!

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
Confiscating baby food but allowing celebrities to bring in Big Gulps. Lovely.

And the video still shows that the cup circumvented the X-ray.

November 17, 2009 6:47 PM"
--------------------
NO! IT DOES NOT! ACTUALLY LOOK AT THE VIDEO! IT GOES THROUGH COVERED BY A JACKET IN A BIN!

Joe said...

Still no comment Bob? What is up with this? Trying to bury the story? Huh?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous who says the cup was X-rayed, please tell me where you saw this video. The TMZ video shows the tray being carried around the X-ray.

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