Keep the Lipstick, Ladies, and the Insulin, Too! Plus, TSA to Get a Little Bit Bigger

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Here's a new list of permissible liquids, gels, etc on airplane flights:

Under the revised rules, beverages, shampoo, lotions, toothpaste, aerosols, hair gels, contact lens solutions, perfumes and nail polish remain prohibited.

Passengers may carry on small doses of prescription drugs if the patient's name matches the name on the airline ticket, as well as baby formula, breast milk and baby food for passengers traveling with an infant or small child. The rules also allow up to four ounces of nonprescription liquid medication, and up to eight ounces of liquid or gel insulin. Most cosmetics must be placed in checked baggage, but solid lipstick will be allowed in carry-ons.

Also, Transportation Security Administration employees will now start checking your I.D.s and boarding passes, rather than zhlubs hired by the airlines. Said zhlubs will start hoisting luggage instead. The switch, says TSA officials, "would free up enough screeners to do the identity checks and behavior analyses of passengers waiting to go through security."

More here.

Reason on "the sorry record" of the TSA, circa 2004, here. Debating the best course of action for air travel safety here. Even more here.

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  1. nd politicians who have their own private jets are screaming that the TSA hasn’t restricted enough. Business travelers may start chartering flights in a vain hope that the long smelly arm of teh TSA can be avoided.

  2. The plan by these people in London was a pretty good one. Several people take chemicals disguised as household products like shampoo and sports drinks onto a plane, which are then mixed together into an explosive used to destroy the plane. Does anyone here have any ideas how you stop that other than banning carryon items? I think anyone who slams on TSA ought to have to offer a better plan for dealing with these threats. Further, as far as the “sorry record of TSA”, a sorry record would be one or two more 9-11s. Since that hasn’t happened, the record can’t be that sorry. But of course, in reasonland there are no terrorists or any threat to our safety and even if there were we should all be happily go to our deaths for our freedoms.

  3. Eight OUNCES of insulin? That’ll keep a few planeloads of diabetics stable.

  4. I think anyone who slams on TSA ought to have to offer a better plan for dealing with these threats.

    Damn straight. Don’t criticize the government unless you can figure out a way to create a free and open society that is absolutely immune to threats from people willing and happy to die so long as they can take others with them.

    By the way, did y’all hear that in Phoenix, they took all the confiscated shampoo and soap and other hygiene items and donated them to local homeless shelters? My question is: did they do this because they knew damned well the stuff they confiscated was perfectly harmless and shouldn’t be wasted, or do they think the stuff really IS dangerous but figure they’ve stumbled upon a spiffy plan to end Phoenix’s homeless problem once and for all?

    And which attitude demonstrates more contempt from the government toward its citizens?

  5. Several people take chemicals disguised as household products like shampoo and sports drinks onto a plane, which are then mixed together into an explosive used to destroy the plane. Does anyone here have any ideas how you stop that other than banning carryon items?

    Hmmm…maybe the way they actually DID stop it: via effective intelligence and police work.

  6. John,
    Like you, I think that vague whining without an alternative proposal is less than ideal. Surely, you don’t think the TSA is perfect just the way it is, though.

    Here are a few of my complaints and proposed remedies for TSA.

    1. Petty power games. The TSA has implemented the rules for travel in a haphazard and arbitrary fashion. I have noted remarkable differences in the screening when traveling between Minneapolis, Chicago, Portland, Newark and Dallas. TSA is a federal agency and ought to have consistent rules.

    2. No accountability. How do you know the TSA is doing a good job? Right now we have to take their word for it. There should be a process for testing the TSA’s effectiveness at detecting contraband items. Each airport should be tested multiple times a month. The results of these tests should be summarized per airport and published on a quarterly basis.

    3. Expensive. Like all federal departments, TSA consumes a lot of resource just to be there. If I can’t have a quality organization, can I have a discount, please? OK, I admit this is the most far-fetched request of them all.

    Just a few thoughts. Thanks.

  7. behavior analyses?

  8. What’s next in order to be 100% sure?
    Strip naked, take an MRI, fly in govt. issued pjs, all screeners must take flight also, all mechanics, cleaners, etc. who worked on the flight must take flight, too. All bags etc to go ahead on another cargo plane. Then, how do we stop the homicidal maniac pilot who is a secret radical Islam symp itching to meet the virgins?

  9. Creech:

    Maybe you meant to imply this with the govt. issued pyjamas, but I’d add: Put everyone (except the crew) under for the duration of the flight. That way, they can pile us up like cordwood and reduce the number of flights. Fewer flights means fewer pilots, and that means fewer chances to hire a crazy pilot.

  10. My point Rommel is that TSA has a really tough job. The very same people who decry this or that restriction put on travelers will be the first ones to hang TSA if it ever fails. Yes, TSA is a huge bureaucracy with a lot of flaws. Bitching and moaning about that without offering sollutions and sumarily dismissing TSA isn’t particalarly productive.

    Yes, the folks in London did stop this plot through good intelligence and police work. Of course the British have a much more restrictive view of personal privacy and search and seizure rights than the U.S. much less your typical libertarian has.

  11. Jennifer, you rock!

    I’m just waiting to see someone drink a gallon of Diet Coke just before boarding the plane (since you can’t take it with you), then just after lift-off, pop a handful of Mentos.

    The explosion would be gastro-rific!

    And the question (for those who might know): Would the plane turn around and land to clean up, or just continue on, enjoying the smell?

  12. wsdave,

    Get it straight — it’s Coke and Pop Rocks, and it’s your head that ess-plode.

  13. I once saw a docmentary about “mules”, people carrying packets of drugs in their intestines. I hope the religious indoctrination of the next generation of would-be-terrorists leaves enogh taboos regarding the rear exit. Otherwise, we will have to expect body cavity searches …

  14. Gads, another good reason to drive to your vacation destination or just stay home. Wish my parents didn’t live 3000 miles away.

  15. Several people take chemicals disguised as household products like shampoo and sports drinks onto a plane, which are then mixed together into an explosive used to destroy the plane. Does anyone here have any ideas how you stop that other than banning carryon items?

    Our ten PM news last night had a story demonstrating a gizmo that scans a liquid-filled container and gives a plain English readout of its contents. Operator instructions apparently are: (1) Point sensor at container. (2) Read results.

    I think anyone who slams on TSA ought to have to offer a better plan for dealing with these threats.

    RTA. Make each airport responsible for running or contracting for overall airport security. Have a federal agency coordinate intelligence and intra-airport relations. Have an oversight agency that regularly inspects and tests the security procedures and publishes the results.

    Further, as far as the “sorry record of TSA”, a sorry record would be one or two more 9-11s.

    There have been several in-flight highjack attempts by passengers since 9/11. All have been foiled by other passengers.

  16. “Gads, another good reason to drive to your vacation destination or just stay home. Wish my parents didn’t live 3000 miles away.”

    I’ve think I’ve about reached the same tipping point, Chris. Fuck the airlines and the TSA (and of course the bloody terrorists, but that should go without saying.)

  17. You gotta wonder where John draws tyhe line. We all do. I’ll support the YSA with checking my shoes (provided they are returned to me), keeping me from bring 3 foot chainsaws onboard, and generally just keeping an eye out. If they want to wand me for 10 seconds, sure, why not. But there cvomes a point when general wariness and careful checking crosses a boundary of making traveling a civil rights nightmare, where by entering the airport you come to waive more rights than you can bear. I’m close to that breaking point and have no reservations of saying that. Am I the only one willing to take a risk that my plane is one of hundreds of thousands of flights each year to experience a terrorist attack. By reacting to the terrorists, they’ve won. They’ve scared us into becoming the intolerant, xenophobic nation they want to portray us as. And some of us, like John, will follow that path to hell just as merrily as can be. Well I will not be afraid, I will not be scared into surrendering my rights for safety. I will drive, a much more perilous expedition if we are to believe statistics, if only to prove I believe in my rights more than I am afraid for my life.

  18. should be “one in the hundreds of thousands” as I’m sure some snarky individual will point out

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