The Fish That Threatened Pittsburgh


The following tale from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, passed along by reader Sandy Smith, is the latest in a growing litany of odd encounters with the Transportation Security Administration. Our story thus far: The author, a college student flying home to Pittsburgh from NYC for the holidays, has arrived at LaGuardia airport:

I wasn't prepared, however, for the TSA to stop me right at the entrance, proclaiming that no small pets, including fish, were permitted through security. I had, however, just received the blessing of the ticket agents at US Airways and pre-assured MJ's travels with Pittsburgh International Airport security weeks before our travel date. I tried to explain this to the screener who stood between me and the gates, but she would have none of it.

I was led back to the US Airways ticket counter, stocking-footed and alone, where the agents reasserted that they did not see a problem for me to have a fish on board, properly packaged in plastic fish bag and secured with a rubber band as MJ was. But the TSA supervisor was called over, and he berated me profusely. He exclaimed that in no way, under no circumstances, was a small fish allowed to pass through security, regardless of what the ticket agents said.

Does the fish get flushed in the name of national security? To find out, go to here.

Incidentally, the February issue of Reason–on newsstands now!–has a great cover story titled "'Dominate. Intimidate. Control.'"–The sorry record of the Transportation Security Administration." If you subscribed, you'd have read it by now.