Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lady Gaga’s Handcuffs & The TSA Permitted/Prohibited Items List

You may have heard about Lady Gaga recently being permitted to take handcuffs through a checkpoint at LAX. Some assumed handcuffs were prohibited, and were very surprised to find out they’re not. Why not, you might ask? They’re not a threat. You can’t do any real damage with a pair of handcuffs and if you really wanted to tie someone’s hands behind their back, there are many other ways you could do it. I’m sure you’re thinking of a few right now. Speaking of tying things together, I’d like to tie the prohibited items list into this post. It’s one of the most popular TSA related searches out there, so I thought I’d let you in on our cool new mobile/web tool.

MyTSA App BannerOur new MyTSA App (Available as an iPhone App or Mobile Web App) amongst other great features has a “Can I Bring My…” tool. You can type in the name of the item you’re curious about and it will tell you if the item is permitted or not. If it’s not included in the list, you have the option of submitting it to us for addition. We even added “tatting shuttle.” Yep, we had to Google it too and they are permitted)

Just so you know, you don’t have to have a mobile device, “Can I Bring My…” is also on the web.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using “Can I Bring My…”
  • Don’t type the brand name of the deodorant – but do type if it’s roll-on or stick.
  • Don’t type “food” – type what type of food – brownie, Jell-o, apple, pudding.  Food is too generic.
  • Type “disposable razor,” not “2 disposable razors”
And sorry, the tool doesn’t give answers for mother-in-law, screaming child, wife, or ex-husband.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Friday, September 17, 2010

Advanced Imaging Technology Automated Target Recognition

Automated Target Recognition (ATR) has been making the news a lot lately.  You may remember when I discussed ATR back in April of this year. So what in the heck is ATR? It’s software that’s used with Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) and displays a computer generated, generic human image (you've probably heard it referred to as an Avatar) on the monitor attached to the AIT machine. It highlights areas on the image to show where anomalies may exist. It does not display the actual image of the passenger like the current technology does. 

ATR provides additional privacy protections and eliminates the need to staff an extra officer in a private room. We’re very interested in this next generation software, but ATR in its current form does not meet TSA’s screening requirements, however, we’re working closely with manufacturers to find a software that does.

It would be a win for us since we won’t have to staff as many officers and it will be a win for passengers who have voiced concerns over privacy. While we’re excited about the potential of this new technology, we’ve just started testing it, so stay tuned for more information at a later date.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

TSA General Aviation Poster Encourages Vigilance

Photagrapher Taking Picture of Aircraft
Photo Courtesy of Stevec77 @ Flickr
TSA’s twitter feed was abuzz today with tweets about an article concerning a General Aviation (GA) poster aimed at encouraging the GA community to be vigilant. The poster in question is one of several posters used as part of general aviation vigilance that was launched several years ago, but this one struck a nerve with photographers because it shows a person with their lens steadied towards a GA aircraft.

Some felt this poster didn’t go far enough in distinguishing between general photography and suspicious surveillance activity. These images are simply meant to represent a number of different scenarios that are common in and around GA airfields. In fact, many photographers would be prime candidates to use such vigilance programs to report suspicious activity since they’re extremely observant of their surroundings. TSA works closely with members of the GA community to implement security protocols and programs to ensure the safety of the industry.

For the most current information, visit our GA site.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Friday, September 3, 2010

Gel, Aerosol, and Stick Deodorant: Which can I take in my carryon luggage?

I’ve been seeing a lot of questions about what kind of deodorant can be taken in your carry-on baggage. So, similar to my razor post from a few weeks ago, I’m going to clear things up a little. I’ll try to keep this sticky subject interesting by incorporating some dry humor. Get it? Dry… Deodorant... My apologies for stinking up this post with that failed attempt at humor. Rolling on…
Spray Deoderant
Photo courtesy of photographphil
@ Flickr

Stick deodorant is fine in any size.

Gel deodorant and aerosol/spray deodorants must be 3.4 oz or less and placed in a quart sized baggie. Larger sizes can be placed in your checked luggage. I’ve often heard that shaving cream and aerosol deodorants have a tendency to leak in checked baggage, so it might be a good idea to place personal use aerosols in a leak-proof bag so you won’t end up with a mess.

I’ve also read concerns from travelers who have had trouble locating deodorant in 3.4 oz or less sizes. Most major department stores and drug stores have a travel size section now. You can find deodorant as well as many other toiletry items in travel size containers.

Have a good Labor Day weekend!


Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team