Wednesday, July 21, 2010

TSA Posts on DoD Live: Some Things Just Shouldn't Be Taken on a Plane

DOD Live BannerAs part of a blog series at DoD Live, I have written my second post titled: Some Things Just Shouldn’t Be Taken on a Plane. Especially Grenades. The image you see below shows items from just one year at one airport. Read more about it over at DoD Live.

Inert Exploisves
You can also read our first post of the series here: Figthing Terrorism With Technology





Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

50 comments:

Gunner said...

Blogger Bob

Please don't hurt yourself while patting yourself on the back.

Perhaps if you focused on THIS blog, answered some of the outstanding questions, addressed some of the real issue, then kudos might be in order.

Anonymous said...

Bob, please edit your post to reflect the fact that the items depicted are harmless replicas and not working grenades. We know you have a hard time not misleading people with pictures and it would nice to see you try to stop being congenitally dishonest.

Lynn said...

@Anon:

Bob, please edit your post to reflect the fact that the items depicted are harmless replicas and not working grenades.

In the actual post, Bob notes that most of the grenades are training devices, inert grenades or replicas. But the point we're trying to make is that in the X-ray, you can't tell if it's inert or not. So when a grenade appears on the X-ray screen, the item has to be cleared by someone other than a TSO, which takes time and delays passengers. That's why we are trying to educate people, including members of the military, not to pack any kind of grenade (or something that looks just like a grenade) in their carry-on or checked bags.

Thanks for writing,

Lynn, TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Lynn said...
@Anon:

Bob, please edit your post to reflect the fact that the items depicted are harmless replicas and not working grenades.

In the actual post, Bob notes that most of the grenades are training devices, inert grenades or replicas. But the point we're trying to make is that in the X-ray, you can't tell if it's inert or not. So when a grenade appears on the X-ray screen, the item has to be cleared by someone other than a TSO, which takes time and delays passengers. That's why we are trying to educate people, including members of the military, not to pack any kind of grenade (or something that looks just like a grenade) in their carry-on or checked bags.

Thanks for writing,

Lynn, TSA Blog Team

July 22, 2010 9:09 AM

................
Ah, so that's why TSA confiscates those dangerous Dasanti bottles!

What I don't understand is why TSA then throws those explosive water bottles in common trash containers at the checkpoint.

Scott G. Lewis said...

Anonymous - define "harmless replica"? If someone stands up on a plane and has a "harmless, fake grenade" or a "harmless, replica gun" and tries to take a hostage, is it really that less harmful than a real grenade or gun? If it's real enough looking, it can create an incident. I'd rather they not allow them in carryon luggage, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Now, can you post a photo of one year's worth of stuff that was thrown in the trash bin?

I mean those are ALSO things that you think shouldn't be taken on a plane, too. Right?

Toothpaste, diet coke, knitting needles, baby formula, water, etc.

Anonymous said...

can I bring car parts as checked baggage?

Ayn R. Key said...

Curtis, please edit your post in the way suggested by Anonymous, for the same reason stated by Anonymous. While it is true that these look the same on the x-ray screens, your post makes it look as if we have live arms smuggling going on at our major airports.

In the interest of honesty. Go ahead and look that word up in the dictionary, we'll wait. That should only take a few minutes.

...

Done? Excellent. Now edit the post.

Lynn said...

@ Ayn:

As I stated earlier, Bob's post has that information if you click and read the post. We've also noted that in every other post on hand grenades on our blog. It's not something we're trying to hide.

As I said earlier, in an X-ray, an inert hand grenade, a training grenade and potentially even a toy grenade looks like the real deal and cause delays at the checkpoint until the item is cleared. Nobody wants that.

And though the bomb appraisal officer or bomb squad might clear them as inert, they still can't go on the plane. We don't want any any item on a plane that could be used to threaten serious damage to the plane and the people on it. You'd be hard pressed to find a person on a plane to ask if the grenade is inert or not at that point.

Lynn, TSA Blog Team

Lynn said...

@Anon:

Now, can you post a photo of one year's worth of stuff that was thrown in the trash bin?

I mean those are ALSO things that you think shouldn't be taken on a plane, too. Right?

Toothpaste, diet coke, knitting needles, baby formula, water, etc.


FYI - knitting needles and baby formula can go through the checkpoint. Baby formula, even if it's liquid, just needs to be declared to the officer and doesn't have to be 3.4 ounces or in the zip top baggie. It may receive additional screening at the checkpoint.

Toothpaste is just fine if it's 3.4 ounces or less and in the baggie.

Lynn, TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Lynn said...

@Anon:

Now, can you post a photo of one year's worth of stuff that was thrown in the trash bin?

I mean those are ALSO things that you think shouldn't be taken on a plane, too. Right?

Toothpaste, diet coke, knitting needles, baby formula, water, etc.

FYI - knitting needles and baby formula can go through the checkpoint. Baby formula, even if it's liquid, just needs to be declared to the officer and doesn't have to be 3.4 ounces or in the zip top baggie. It may receive additional screening at the checkpoint.

Toothpaste is just fine if it's 3.4 ounces or less and in the baggie.

Lynn, TSA Blog Team

July 22, 2010 6:03 PM

-------------------------------

Lynn

What you say here and reality at the CP are almost a 180 degrees as there are many many reports of TSA employees making decisions as to how much (in the opinion of the TSA employee) is needed for a certain trip for a child, and denying such necessities for a child.

once again Left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, not following "the rules" and to the determent of the traveling public. At a certain point retraining doesnt work and terminations is necessary.

Ron Pelton said...

You're a day early with the Puppy Post. We're waiting for all of that feedback from your new boss.

RB said...

Lynn said...
@Anon:

Now, can you post a photo of one year's worth of stuff that was thrown in the trash bin?

I mean those are ALSO things that you think shouldn't be taken on a plane, too. Right?

Toothpaste, diet coke, knitting needles, baby formula, water, etc.

FYI - knitting needles and baby formula can go through the checkpoint. Baby formula, even if it's liquid, just needs to be declared to the officer and doesn't have to be 3.4 ounces or in the zip top baggie. It may receive additional screening at the checkpoint.

Toothpaste is just fine if it's 3.4 ounces or less and in the baggie.

Lynn, TSA Blog Team

July 22, 2010 6:03 PM
........................
Will I have any trouble when I declare my larger than 100ml bottle of "Clear Care" brand contact lens solution, a medically needed liquid?

Anonymous said...

"The image you see below shows items from just one year at one airport."

Why not show all the perfectly harmless water taken from passengers? Don't have a wide enough lens?

Anonymous said...

"We don't want any any item on a plane that could be used to threaten serious damage to the plane and the people on it."

Or water. You especially don't want water bottles on the plane. Right?

But Scissors ("metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches") are perfectly fine. No one could ever separate the two sides into two knives, could they?

And Tools (seven inches or less in length) are allowed, because no one ever got shanked with a 6.75 inch tool.

And Knitting needles are permitted because no one could ever stab some one with one of those, Right?

Face it- the current restrictions are laughable. Harmless things are not allowed, while dangerous things are allowed.

And we want that fixed.

Anonymous said...

"even a toy grenade looks like the real deal"

We understand and thank you for saving us from dangers. Please continue to keep us safe.

I am glad you do not stop with replicas.

Please continue to save us from t shirts with drawings of guns on them. Who knows what the parson wearing them is thinking,

And please continue to save us from the really dangerous t shirts. Those with words not in English.

If we do not understand what they are saying they could easily be dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Lynn, what happened to the people who were carrying these items? Were they arrested, charged, and prosecuted? Or were they allowed to leave them at the checkpoint and continue on their way? If it's the latter, that's one more reason we don't believe you when you point to these and say they're really dangerous. Items that present a unique challenge to screening? Sure. A genuine threat? Not really.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand the point of the baggie.

Anonymous said...

I think if you look at the big picture, the TSA doesnt want to take your liquids, thats why the post signs in front of the screening areas so that the passengers can get rid of them before going in. At most of the airports I flew in there are also TSA people that explain that they are not permitted in the checkpoint. So with alittle assistance from the passengers the amount of items thrown away by the TSA would go down. It takes a team effort between both the TSA and the passengers to illinate the "waste". As far as I can remember the liquid ban on items over 3.4oz has been in effect since 2006.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
I still don't understand the point of the baggie.

July 23, 2010 11:48 AM
.............
Same concept as the purple plastic baggies on Warehouse 13!

Science fiction and TSA go hand in hand!

Anonymous said...

"I still don't understand the point of the baggie."

There isn't one. TSA is lying to us.

RB said...

As far as I can remember the liquid ban on items over 3.4oz has been in effect since 2006.

July 23, 2010 12:03 PM

..................
And of all of those 100's of thousands of confiscated bottles of water not a one of them has exploded.

Why is that?

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...
“What you say here and reality at the CP are almost a 180 degrees as there are many many reports of TSA employees making decisions as to how much (in the opinion of the TSA employee) is needed for a certain trip for a child, and denying such necessities for a child.”

Being a TSO, I can confirm what Lynn is saying. The majority of passengers who need 311 exemptions will just have their liquids tested and sent on their way. However, the SOP does state that you can only bring reasonable amounts based on your itinerary. Here is a clip from the 311 in carryon’s page.
“…greater than 3.4 ounce (100ml) 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)…”

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"Why is that?"

Because liquids present no threat to aircraft.

Mr. Gel-pack said...

STL, huh? There's lots of munitions manufacturing in STL. Back in the day I used to fly out of STL with lots of sample projectiles and cartridges like the three 35mm ones and the 2 40mm ones just down from the dark blue one. With nosy-parker TSA, I'm I'm glad I don't have to do that job anymore. Maybe munitions is another manufacturing industry we're driving offshore.

Hey looky! There's a picture of the do-nothing TSA complaint department up in the left corner.

Nothing's changed. Again TSA advertises it can't actually tell the difference between actual threats and non threats. A few folks defend TSA saying that non-functioning replicas could cause issues, but heck so could the functioning radio transmitters (bluetooth, keyfobs, cellphones) that TSA doesn't give a rip about.

Realistic replicas make nice Security Theater.

RB said...

Mr. Gel-pack said...
STL, huh? There's lots of munitions manufacturing in STL. Back in the day I used to fly out of STL with lots of sample projectiles and cartridges like the three 35mm ones and the 2 40mm ones just down from the dark blue one. With nosy-parker TSA, I'm I'm glad I don't have to do that job anymore. Maybe munitions is another manufacturing industry we're driving offshore.

Hey looky! There's a picture of the do-nothing TSA complaint department up in the left corner.

Nothing's changed. Again TSA advertises it can't actually tell the difference between actual threats and non threats. A few folks defend TSA saying that non-functioning replicas could cause issues, but heck so could the functioning radio transmitters (bluetooth, keyfobs, cellphones) that TSA doesn't give a rip about.

Realistic replicas make nice Security Theater.

July 23, 2010 3:48 PM
...................
If you remember TSA thought Disney World Pirates of the Caribbean plastic toy swords were replicas.

But the screeners did take out time to play with them at the checkpoint after they confiscated them.

Anonymoose_Medic said...

Anonymous said...
“What you say here and reality at the CP are almost a 180 degrees as there are many many reports of TSA employees making decisions as to how much (in the opinion of the TSA employee) is needed for a certain trip for a child, and denying such necessities for a child.”

Being a TSO, I can confirm what Lynn is saying. The majority of passengers who need 311 exemptions will just have their liquids tested and sent on their way. However, the SOP does state that you can only bring reasonable amounts based on your itinerary. Here is a clip from the 311 in carryon’s page.
“…greater than 3.4 ounce (100ml) 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)…”

Tim
TSA Blog Team

July 23, 2010 3:04 PM


------------------------------

Tim

that smacks at practicing medicine without a license.

Then also TSA dosent check the whole itinerary of a traveler, so how do you or a TSO know what the "duration of your itinerary" is for the traveler, is it the one flight or is part of a longer international intenrary where there might be multiple airlines and flights involved? If you did a little reading a few traveler boards (Flyertalk being one of them) you would find this isnt a "isolated incident" but a pattern of behavior.

I for one sure as heck am not going to tell any govt employees as its none of there business. As for the reasonableness of the amount a traveler needs to carry for what ever situation. thats not your call, and in my case any govt employee attempting to make that call will not like the result as I will get a supervisor or higher involved if necessary.

Anonymous said...

"I still don't understand the point of the baggie."

i believe that the baggies are used so that the passeger doesnt have to dig through their bags to get the liquids out. they can put them in the baggie and easily remove the baggies from their bag to make it more time effective too.

Anonymous said...

in reasonable quantities for the duration of your itinerary ....

Tim
TSA Blog Team

-----------------------------------

Please outline what training TSO's go through to teach them what "reasonable quantities" are for various situations.

RB said...

Being a TSO, I can confirm what Lynn is saying. The majority of passengers who need 311 exemptions will just have their liquids tested and sent on their way. However, the SOP does state that you can only bring reasonable amounts based on your itinerary. Here is a clip from the 311 in carryon’s page.
“…greater than 3.4 ounce (100ml) 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)…”

Tim
TSA Blog Team

July 23, 2010 3:04 PM
...................
Tim, can you tell us your specific training for determining how much nutrition a child or special needs person requires during an expected 3 or 4 hour flight than ends up stuck on a ramp for an additional 5 to 8 hours due to unanticipated events?

I would assume you have a post secondary degree in some pretty heavy human sciences to be able to determine the needs of anyone who presents at a TSA checkpoint.

You do have this training don't you, oh and the rest of the TSA employees who determine how much milk or other nutrition item others may need, they are also trained in these areas, right?

How about a short synopsis of your qualifications in this area.

Anonymous said...

The point about the baggie nobody with the TSA seems to understand is that it is very hard to find zip-top baggies in this specific size outside the country, yet us foreigners are still required to use them. Where I live, baggies are sold by the size of their sides (not volume), and most available are sandwich bag types with flip tops, not zip locks.

Anonymous said...

RB, most hamburger flippers have more training in the area of nutrition than do TSA employees.

TSORon said...

RB Asked...
How about a short synopsis of your qualifications in this area.

-------------------------
I can help you out there RB. We have the ability to ask questions. No secondary degree needed, and not really much in the way of training. Questions. Another simple concept that seems to slip by so very often here.

5.11 Tactical said...

I think it is hilarious that we have to continually cover this subject! Grenades (or mortars and land mines as pictured) inert or not... who would think... "Hey let's take this on a plane!" ...As a federal police officer it never fails to surprise me how stupid people can be! Keep up the good work! I have spent a lot of time doing Entry Control Point work (with the military and as an LEO) people always point out how "silly" the rules are and how they should not apply to them because they are OBVIOUSLY not a terrorist.... but you have to keep procedures consistent if they are to be effective and present your ECP as a hard target so the bad guys go somewhere else. Keep up the good work TSA!

5.11 Tactical Dude said...

RB Said
"Tim, can you tell us your specific training for determining how much nutrition a child or special needs person requires during an expected 3 or 4 hour flight than ends up stuck on a ramp for an additional 5 to 8 hours due to unanticipated events?"

I am not sure why this is TSA's problem... This is like complaining to a police officer that you do not think the speed limit should be so low... The TSA officers you encounter are enforcing policies and statutes... they don't write them.

If you notice the airlines pack the plane FULL of liquids. Ever think about contacting the airlines ahead of time and making some arrangements for a special needs person?

Flying on an airplane is still a privilege and not a right... not sure why you are busting the TSA's chops when they are just doing their job to keep everyone safe.

Get mad at people who brought liquid explosives on a plane... not the TSA for doing their best to anticipate terrorist methods of attack.

Ayn R. Key said...

Lynn wrote...
As I stated earlier, Bob's post has that information if you click and read the post. We've also noted that in every other post on hand grenades on our blog. It's not something we're trying to hide.

Oh really?

Bob wrote...
As part of a blog series at DoD Live, I have written my second post titled: Some Things Just Shouldn’t Be Taken on a Plane. Especially Grenades. The image you see below shows items from just one year at one airport. Read more about it over at DoD Live.
[Image]You can also read our first post of the series here: Figthing Terrorism With Technology


Not a single line of that short post states that the items were replicas.

You're right, that if we click links to find "the rest of the story", THEN we discover they are inert and replicas. But nothing on this page would ever give that indication. That's dishonest.

Well, by TSA standards, since it does link to (but not include) the truth it's exceedingly honest. Not by the standards of the rest of the world, but by TSA standards.

Try some integrity next time.

Anonymous said...

"not sure why you are busting the TSA's chops when they are just doing their job to keep everyone safe."

Because their liquids policies keep no one safe.

"Get mad at people who brought liquid explosives on a plane... not the TSA for doing their best to anticipate terrorist methods of attack."

The 2006 case that led to TSA's hysterical 3.4-1-1 policy was an aspirational one. The people involved did not have passports nor airline tickets, let alone working liquid explosives.

Anonymous said...

Anon said:
The 2006 case that led to TSA's hysterical 3.4-1-1 policy was an aspirational one. The people involved did not have passports nor airline tickets, let alone working liquid explosives.

so is it possible that people could take what these guys did and improve upon it? i think that that is quite possible and that is why the liquid rule is still in effect. Even though it hasnt happened since the threast is real. im sorry that you dont think so but it is. The TSA has to remain proactive, you can take all the liquids you want just put them in your checked luggage. If you are worried about the airlines charging for checked baggage, i would call customer service and ask them if they could recend it for you.

Anonymous said...

"so is it possible that people could take what these guys did and improve upon it?"

"These guys" had not actually done anything yet. They were plotting. They had not acquired tickets or passports and had no idea how or whether they could blow up a plane with liquids.

Anonymous said...

These guys" had not actually done anything yet. They were plotting. They had not acquired tickets or passports and had no idea how or whether they could blow up a plane with liquids.
if you watch the BBC news repost if shows exactly what the liquid explosives can do. it shows the explosition taking out a significant hole in a hull of a plane that is on the ground, image what it can do to a pressurized cabin 30000ft+ in the air.

Anonymous said...

"if you watch the BBC news repost"

Please tell us how they mixed the chemicals.

Were they mixed by hand on the plane?

Gunner said...

>>>Flying on an airplane is still a privilege and not a right...


Seems as though the only ones chanting that particular mantra are the TSA employees and sock puppets.

Anonymous said...

5.11 Tactical Dude spewed:

If you notice the airlines pack the plane FULL of liquids. Ever think about contacting the airlines ahead of time and making some arrangements for a special needs person?

Clue for you, the airlines isn't involved with screening anymore. They would refer you to TSA where they pretty much walk in lockstep. A supervisor rarely overrules a screener. Nice try though.

Flying on an airplane is still a privilege and not a right... not sure why you are busting the TSA's chops when they are just doing their job to keep everyone safe.

Sorry, wrong again. The right to fly is secured in the Constitution. TSA's only responsibility is to keep WEI off of aircraft. Anything else is mission creep.

Get mad at people who brought liquid explosives on a plane... not the TSA for doing their best to anticipate terrorist methods of attack.

TSA goes to Hollywood to get most of their 'anticipated' terrorist attacks. Nice try though. Come back and play when you have your facts in order.

8675309 said...

"The 2006 case that led to TSA's hysterical 3.4-1-1 policy was an aspirational one. The people involved did not have passports nor airline tickets, let alone working liquid explosives."

OK then, how about this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bojinka_plot

Ana said...

Perhaps someone can answer this for me...

Can I carry-on a 400w Power Inverter?

We are flying to our destination, but driving back. We need the inverter to power our laptops and devices in the vehicle during the 2,000 mile trip home.

I'd rather have the inverter with me, than have it red flagged in our checked luggage and confiscated unnecessarily. (like the bottle of Grey Goose Vodka that mysteriously disappeared from my checked luggage a couple years ago. you're welcome ;) )

Any info would be great. Thanks!

5.11 Tactical Dude said...

Anonymous Sez:

"Sorry, wrong again. The right to fly is secured in the Constitution. TSA's only responsibility is to keep WEI off of aircraft. Anything else is mission creep."

I was reading the constitution... but I missed the part where people have the RIGHT to fly.

Can anyone help me out here?

Anonymous said...

im pretty sure that the TSA cant stop you from flying. they can however stop you from entering the sterile area behind the checkpoint. this is what they are doing not denying you your flying rights.

Ayn R. Key said...

Anonymous wrote:
so is it possible that people could take what these guys did and improve upon it?

Only if you past seventh year potions at Hogwarts.

The TSA has to remain proactive, you can take all the liquids you want just put them in your checked luggage.

So the TSA is here to protect us from Lord Voldemort?

Anonymous said...

5.11 Tactical Dude wants to know about the right to travel:

The Right To Travel

As the Supreme Court notes in Saenz v Roe, 98-97 (1999), the Constitution does not contain the word "travel" in any context, let alone an explicit right to travel (except for members of Congress, who are guaranteed the right to travel to and from Congress). The presumed right to travel, however, is firmly established in U.S. law and precedent. In U.S. v Guest, 383 U.S. 745 (1966), the Court noted, "It is a right that has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized." In fact, in Shapiro v Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969), Justice Stewart noted in a concurring opinion that "it is a right broadly assertable against private interference as well as governmental action. Like the right of association, ... it is a virtually unconditional personal right, guaranteed by the Constitution to us all." It is interesting to note that the Articles of Confederation had an explicit right to travel; it is now thought that the right is so fundamental that the Framers may have thought it unnecessary to include it in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
Thanks to Marko Liias for the idea. Thanks to W.H. van Atteveldt for the note about Congressional travel.

Paul F Davis said...

Unbelievable the kind of stuff people try to bring on planes.

Thanks for being earnest and diligent TSA to keep our country and citizens safe.