A Little Bit O' Sanity Returns to Air Travel Security

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The ridiculous ban on liquid on planes is partially eased–though in a way still maddening to cost-conscious travelers. You still can't take liquids through the checkpoint, but once past it and in the airport shopping areas you can purchase carryon liquids and gels.

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  1. And my family said I was nuts when I told them this was akin to the “no outside food or drink” rule at movie theatres.

  2. I wondered how long this would take. I recently traveled via Atlanta-Hartsfield and noticed that the usually packed Bath and Body Works was void of customers. Took me a few seconds to realize why. Seems that bath gels and perfumes don’t sell so well when you can’t carry them onto the plane.
    Anyway, I am glad to see that I can now buy a Starbucks and not have to slurp it down before my Zone is called to board.

    In a side note, while eating at the Chili’s Too in same airport they handed me a plastic knife and a metal fork. Not sure what they are saying here, perhaps that I couldn’t possibly kill someone with a fork. Just an observation.

  3. It’s not that big a deal, IMO, having flown three times since Aug 10.

    Just pack what you want in your checked luggage.

    As for “liquids” like bottled Cokes etc, not one gate agent was making much of an effort to impede anyone from just popping their recently purchased soda pop into their purse or carryon.

    The airline employees realize how absurd these restrictions are. They have motivation for customer happiness, unlike TSA employees.

  4. It’s time to do away with carry on luggage all together. Actually it should have been done 20 years ago for safety reasons.

    It would dramatically speed up the terminal screening process and allow for much more headroom in the aircraft.

  5. It’s time to do away with carry on luggage all together…

    yeah, we could all sit quietly in our seats with our hands in our laps watching the airline’s television or reading the airline’s magazine. people in first class would be allowed to play charades with their fellow travellers.

    …allow for much more headroom in the aircraft…

    is this really a problem? headroom? i’d kill for more legroom, but i’ve never had a problem ducking for 2 seconds as i sit down or get up.

    what i would support is a separate security screening line for people like davebo that can do without carryon baggage. then i could make a choice for myself on whether the hassle was worth it or not.

    for relatively short distances, the train is SO much better.

    -cab

  6. It’s time to do away with carry on luggage all together.

    That’s one way to get rid of those pesky business travelers.

  7. *whew*

    Glad to see our business will return!

  8. So they just admitted that the whole “liquid explosives” thing was a bunch of bullshit. “After extensive investigation by bomb experts…..”, they could have just googled TATP and seen it was all a crock.

  9. That’s one way to get rid of those pesky business travelers.

    And to lose all that pesky luggage.

  10. It’s time to do away with carry on luggage all together. Actually it should have been done 20 years ago for safety reasons.

    Ugh. I feel I have to respond to this everytime it comes up, just to make people understand; there are times when something fragile and valuable *has* to be hand carried. Items that are valuable and fragile *cannot* survive baggage handling. Laptops are the most commonly cited by the all powerful business travellers, but there are also musical instruments, art, souvenirs, scientific instruments, etc.

  11. I found an interesting related story on the

  12. It’s time to do away with carry on luggage all together. Actually it should have been done 20 years ago for safety reasons.

    It would dramatically speed up the terminal screening process and allow for much more headroom in the aircraft.

    I agree! We should also do away with all clothing as it will speed up the screening process. Of course the next logical step would be instituting full cavity searches so that might slow things down again. Oh, well, it’s all for passenger safety.

  13. Davebo: Carry-on should have “been done away with 20 years ago”? By who? Write the FAA you ninny.

    Airlines let people bring on carry-ons because the people want to. The market at work…amazing.

    I have job now (passing the Bar helps job prospecting enormously) so I only get to visit H&R once in a while, but occasionally I think some of us are missing the point…less nannying good, more rules bad.

  14. I never, ever check luggage. I always travel light enough to not need to.

    It would absolutely infuriate me, and pretty much cause me to not fly, if I had to check every bag. And I know some other people who would probably feel the same way.

  15. It’s time to do away with carry on luggage all together. Actually it should have been done 20 years ago for safety reasons.

    It would dramatically speed up the terminal screening process and allow for much more headroom in the aircraft.

    …not to mention how it will eliminate congestion problems at busy airports.

  16. One more time… if the majority of passengers chose to eschew carry-ons, the airlines would respond.

    Airports are so damned busy because the airlines are providing an inexpensive way to travel great distances.

    TSA will reduce time in line by outlawing carry-ons?

    (laughing hysterically on floor)

  17. Sorry, Kwix, but even full cavity searches would not eliminate suicide bombings.
    They could be carried out by people that have swallowed condoms stuffed with plastique + swatch timers.
    We’ll need full body x-rays to detect these bombs.
    Nothing beats profiling, I think, except pre-emptively killing the terrorists before they get on the planes….which is called warfare.

  18. MarkV,
    We could just institute a National ID that was impossible to forge, coupled with clotheless searches, x-rays and no baggage of any sort (Lockerbie 103 bomb was in checked baggage) and then we’d be safe to fly!

    Of course, we’d be butt naked and have nowhere to store said ID card, and we’d have no clothes or baggage when we got to our destination but it’d be a small price to pay for our security.

  19. Kwix,

    I believe athletic young women are potential terrorists and should be restricted to bikinis only. What can I do to get this through the TSA’s head?

  20. Don’t call your travel agent just yet-
    TSA has banned something completely different in Boston-

  21. Here’s the link to the Boston Massacre refered to above

    http://adamant.typepad.com/seitz/travel/index.html

  22. Hi Cecil.

    [he said knowingly]

  23. The real fear is that someone will drink a Diet Coke before he gets on the plane, then eat a bunch of Mentos when he gets on it.

  24. One more time… if the majority of passengers chose to eschew carry-ons, the airlines would respond.

    The problem is that from an individual standpoint, there is no reason to not carry on luggage because it will not make the overall screening time any shorter but will inconvience you.

    But if all carry-on luggage was disallowed, it would make the screening process much quicker…but only because it applies to everybody.

    So this is a case where the “market” will not correct the problem even if the majority of travelers would be for it.

  25. I’ll start taking Amtrak before I give up my carry-on luggage. Maybe the airlines should’ve found more space in their overhead compartments one of those times they compressed the passengers into a smaller area. As a 6’2, 200 lb guy, I am not fond of the airlines’ philosophy in that regard.

  26. It’s time to do away with carry on luggage all together…

    If Northwest Airlines can manage to get me and my checked bags to the same place at the same time, I would check them. Since they can’t, I’ll carry them on.

  27. It’s easy to take liquids and gels through security. Put them in your pockets. Furthermore, put your lighters in your pockets. They don’t set off the alarms (at least in Chicago/Miami/Las Vegas).

  28. I appreciate all the practicalities, complaints and ideas about carry-ons here, folks, but let’s not get our hopes up. The War on Toothpaste will be as open-ended as the War on Terror.

    Yesterday’s USA Today reported that the coalition of companies attempting to save the faltering Registered Traveler program (to which you may pay a fee and sacrifice your privacy to go through an express security line) is headed up by former top TSA executive Tom Blank. In the spirit of the American free-enterprise system/plutocracy, don’t expect TSA regulations to get less onerous when these guys can wrench $110 a head out of you to avoid this nonsense.

    Also, watch for Halliburton to start marketing toiletries in small, disposable containers.

    One more thing: I’ve read elsewhere that the typical airline luggage-storage compartment can only hold about two-thirds of a plane’s passengers’ luggage.

  29. Also, watch for Halliburton to start marketing toiletries in small, disposable containers.

    Because a company that specializes in characterizing and servicing oil wells, with a side of engineering consulting, is a natural choice for expansion into the trial-size toiletries market.

  30. firebee:

    I was facetiously referring to the big picture here. Maybe the term “petroleum-based toiletries in small, disposable containers” would have conveyed that message better.

  31. It’s time to do away with carry on luggage all together… It would dramatically speed up the terminal screening process…

    So what? You have to check your other bags at least 45 minutes before the flight, and it doesn’t take that long to go through terminal screening. So the net result will be that you have to arrive at the airport at the same time, but you spend longer sitting at the gate waiting to board. Whoopee.

    I took a trip early this month that included flying out of San Antonio, Portland, and Denver. I flew during the Labor Day weekend. I carried a handgun, which added a couple of extra steps to check-in. In every case I still made it to the departure gate within a half-hour of airport arrival.

    Also, it didn’t take as long to scan my carry-on as it did my shoes and the stuff out of my pockets.

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