TSA Detains Mother, Threatens Arrest Over Sippy Cup Full of Tap Water

UPDATE: TSA released video of the incident: TSA Denies “Sippy Cup” Incident, Creates “MythBusting” Website In Response

The TSA is out of control! Monica Emmerson was traveling with her 19 month old toddler when she was detained at Reagan International Airport and threatened with arrest because her toddler had a sippy cup with tap water in it, according to NowPublic:

“I demanded to speak to a TSA [Transportation Security Administration] supervisor who asked me if the water in the sippy cup was ‘nursery water or other bottled water.’ I explained that the sippy cup water was filtered tap water. The sippy cup was seized as my son was pointing and crying for his cup. I asked if I could drink the water to get the cup back, and was advised that I would have to leave security and come back through with an empty cup in order to retain the cup. As I was escorted out of security by TSA and a police officer, I unscrewed the cup to drink the water, which accidentally spilled because I was so upset with the situation.

“At this point, I was detained against my will by the police officer and threatened to be arrested for endangering other passengers with the spilled 3 to 4 ounces of water. I was ordered to clean the water, so I got on my hands and knees while my son sat in his stroller with no shoes on since they were also screened and I had no time to put them back on his feet. I asked to call back my fianc

, who I could still see from afar, waiting for us to clear security, to watch my son while I was being detained, and the officer threatened to arrest me if I moved. So I yelled past security to get the attention of my fianc

.

(Photo: Bill Adler)

“I was ordered to apologize for the spilled water, and again threatened arrest. I was threatened several times with arrest while detained, and while three other police officers were called to the scene of the mother with the 19 month old. A total of four police officers and three TSA officers reported to the scene where I was being held against my will. I was also told that I should not disrespect the officer and could be arrested for this too. I apologized to the officer and she continued to detain me despite me telling her that I would miss my flight. The officer advised me that I should have thought about this before I ‘intentionally spilled the water!’”

“I missed my flight, needless to say after being detained for over 40 minutes. After the officer was done humiliating me, I was advised that I could go through the security check point in an attempt to catch my flight. The officer insisted that my son and I be rescreened despite us both being detained and under her control the entire time.”

We don’t even know what to say to that. Maybe the TSA agent was secretly the Wicked Witch of the West and water makes her melt? Or maybe she was one of those aliens from the movie Signs. The ones who invade a planet full of “deadly poisonous water” while naked. Your guess is as good as ours.—MEGHANN MARCO

Nightmare at Reagan National Airport: A Security Story to End all Security Stories [NowPublic via BoingBoing]

Comments

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  1. Beerad says:

    Jeez, Consumerist (and Meghann especially) — why do you hate America?

  2. nickripley says:

    Can we organize a boycott of all flights until further notice?

  3. Buran says:

    If you were treated this badly, I wouldn’t go to that airport again. Ever.

  4. skittlbrau says:

    i’m surprised this happened at reagan. when i fly, i find that the tsa is far meaner/on a power trip at smaller airports, when they have a lot of passengers to clear.

    that being said, the tsa officer sounds completely unreasonable. i hope she got a name/supervisor contact and complains to both them and her congressman.

  5. Buran says:

    @Beerad: STFU.

  6. JTres says:

    Please tell us you got a name!

  7. skittlbrau says:

    * a lot fewer

    i guess the post above didn’t make too much sense!

  8. rbb says:

    And this story has what to do with consumerism? C’mon, it only gives one pissed off parent’s side of the story. Unless you live in a cave, everyone knows by now the liquid restrictions. That sippy cup pictured holds at least 8-10 ounces. The mother should have known better. And she thinks she is in the position to “demand” to see a supervisor? What for? She screwed up.

    Could the situation been handled better? Yes. Could it have been avoided completely if mommy did not have a brain fart? Absolutely.

  9. Godz says:

    1st time flying?

  10. Fuzz says:

    I wonder what would happen if you asked for their identification and told them it was so you could file a formal complaint against them? Do you think they would suddenly become Mr. Nice Guy, or detain you for 40 hours with full cavity searches all around? Anyone wanna give it a try?

  11. Jon Mason says:

    unless you have been on another planet for the last year every traveller in the country knows that you cant take liquids past security. People who “suddenly realise” they have liquids do not have my sympathy – same as the people who suddenly seem put out to have to put their possessions through the scanner or take their shoes off – think 2 minutes ahead and this situation (and most other airport ‘security’ horror stories could have been avoided). If you really couldnt remember not to take liquid through, then well, Its just a sippy cup – let them take it and move on… you probably caused more stress to your child and embarrassment to yourself by making a scene in an airport over a plastic cup…

    Is this ridiculous? Yes. Is it unfair? Yes. Could this situation have been avoided? 100%…

  12. bedofnails says:

    Why do people refuse to follow rules, get into (moronic) arguments with bullish egomaniac governments types, then cry fowl. If the woman would have followed rules in the first place, none of this would have happened.

    I just realized rbb said the same thing above me…

  13. Nicholai says:

    The TSA crossed the not so fine line between security and dementia/paranoia a long time ago.

  14. acambras says:

    OK, so the mom didn’t show a lot of smarts in (a) bringing the sippy cup full of water; and (b) getting pissy with the TSA uberlords.

    But TSA is out of control. The rules change constantly, and some of the screeners are so capricious and drunk with their bestowed authority and power that they add to travelers’ problems rather than enhancing safety.

    If everybody showed a little common sense, travel would definitely be easier and would probably be safer (seeing as how they might free up time and resources going after terrorists and not toddlers with sippy-cups).

  15. bedofnails says:

    @Fuzz:

    How is that relavant? The TSA’s were doing there job. If your job was dealing with thousands of retards on a daily basis, you would be a little edgy too. (Everyone wants to be the exception)

    Naysayers will come back with the “find a new job”, or “they don’t have to be dicks” argument – which is as intelligent as trying to break the rules in the first place.

  16. joeblevins says:

    These TSA Screening agents worked hard to get their GED’s and then show up for the hour long training session. You need to understand they are highly trained and educated people. They know better than you.

  17. Beerad says:

    @Buran: “STFU.”

    Ummm, thanks for playing, but you lose.

    [en.wikipedia.org]

  18. bedofnails says:

    @joeblevins:

    How are a TSA’s qualifications relevant to the guidelines they are hired to enforce?

  19. bnet41 says:

    @masonreloaded:
    You know, I think some people just don’t pay attention. Seriously, some people seem ignorant to the world around them.

    I was in San Francisco’s airport, and this lady was amazed that non-ticketed passengers couldn’t go past security. She asked “how long has that rule been in effect?” How could you miss the 90 signs say that, let alone all the media coverage when that rule was created.

    The second example I have, is recently my train home had one of it’s stops platform cut in half. So only the last 4 would make it. The engineer/conductors made this announcement probably 15-20 times in the time it took to get to that stop. Also, there had been signs for a week about it, and also general platform announcements. Anyways, when the stop came, people still were in the wrong cars. Not off by one or 2 cars, off by 5 or 6 cars.

    My point is, a lot of people just don’t pay attention, and then get mad at someone else when they are to blame. I used to see it when I worked in a grocery store all time.

    Though, the TSA, and it sounds like more so the police were in the wrong here big time. I feel bad for the way they treated the lady, but I would like to hear the other side of the story, just to see if she was screaming at them the whole time.

  20. Fuzz says:

    @bedofnails:

    I don’t have a problem with them doing there job, but they don’t need to be dicks about it. Why not let her drink the water and let her be on her way? Instead, they figured it would be better to waste everyones time and send her back through an already crowded security checkpoint, and waste the time of an inspector for 40 minutes.

    There is clearly not enough common sense in this world.

  21. bbbici says:

    it’s simple. you find out the name of the TSA agent(s), then you have their entire family, pets, and friends tortured and killed.

  22. bbbici says:

    It’s simple. You find out the names of the TSA agents, then have all their family, friends, and pets tortured and killed.

  23. Mariallena says:

    FYI, in most of the rest of the world, the stupid liquids restriction does not even exist.

  24. matukonyc says:

    I don’t feel that sorry for her…. was the f**ing sippy cup made out of gold?

  25. jeffj-nj says:

    The “terrorists” have already won. That’s all there is to it. Everyone is far too afraid far too often. It’s ridiculous, plain and simple.

    Answer me this: Who benefited from the TSA officials’ actions? Who?

    No one.

  26. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Too bad they weren’t handling me…..I would have called in the next day and demanded that EVERY screener at that airport be fired, and I’d personally make sure of it. Just to get back at that one person. Oh and the next person they’d hear from would be the attorney general. Yes, I’d file CRIMINAL charges for harassment and whatever else. Not to mention the fact that I’d seek monetary damages in civil court. My mom almost fainted in one of those puffer things at SFO, and the TSA guys were begging her not to sue them (assign two people to hold her bags for her and stuff) until the moment she boarded the plane.

  27. matukonyc says:

    Why wouldn’t she give up the sippy cup? Was it made out of gold? Perhaps she spoils the child because she isn’t married?

    Seriously, this seems like another case of parent entitlement — doesn’t she know that women with babies are used to thwart security by all manners of criminals?

  28. randalotto says:

    @Beerad: That’s good stuff…

  29. cgmaetc says:

    Like the man said, freedom isn’t free. Even 40-something blondes with toddlers have to pay.

  30. bedofnails says:

    @Fuzz:

    I totally agree with you, it obviously just became a circle jerk, with TSA’s being dicks for the sake of being dicks. However, from reading the article, it’s also apparent that the woman in question did nothing to help her case; say for instance by shutting her mouth.

    Anytime you read someone’s account of an incident, and 93% of the sentences start with “I” – you get a pretty good sense of said authors perception of a given situation.

  31. bedofnails says:

    @IRSistherootofallevil:

    But the TSA’s don’t work for Walmart.

  32. Dan25 says:

    I can’t stand when these types of people think they are above the law. The lady obviously has no respect for the law or other passangers. I think the treatment she recieved was well deserved. I’m not going to give somebody a hard time for trying to do their job and PROTECT the passangers.

  33. AnnieGetYourFun says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people who are claiming that this woman is an idiot have never traveled with a toddler. It’s easy to get distracted and to forget things. Anyone who has spent a minute around a toddler knows that THEY WANT THEIR SIPPYCUPS WAAAAAAAAAH! You just don’t make a kid part with his sippy cup. Or you do, but you don’t get to complain as the little bastard screams his head off for the entire flight.

    Nothing about this situation makes it appear as though the TSA officials were acting in accordance with their own rules of conduct. In any case, the woman was NOT obliged to apologize to the officers for spilling water.

  34. Buran says:

    @Beerad: Ummm, thanks for playing, but “I was trying to be funny” isn’t an excuse.

  35. Buran says:

    @rbb: There are exceptions for childrens’ drinks.

  36. WNW says:

    I don’t fly anymore. I don’t intend to fly anymore. I don’t know what else I can do.

  37. backspinner says:

    Couldn’t all of this been avoided if she had just followed the rules?

    Based on her melodramatic descriptions of her son crying for his ba-ba and sitting shoeless in the stroller (oh, the humanity!) it sounds like she is just another American momzilla who thinks she is entitled to special treatment.

    Perhaps some people do belive the TSA specialists did act incorrectly in making the woman clean up after her own spill, but the rules are there for a reason and nobody is entitled to special treatment.

  38. arachnophilia says:

    well, i’m feeling safer already.

  39. shdwsclan says:

    Why did they start xraying luggage when MUSLIMS with arab names blew up the PanAm jet above the UK?

    Why did they start screening everything and everyone by had when MUSLIMS with arab names blew up the wtc?

    Why did they start disallowing water and liquids when MUSLIMS were planning to mix explosives onboard, NOTE that this is similar to panAM.

    Why did they start to xray people after MUSLIMS blew up the wtc? [Yes they are gonna start doing that]

    Why are they giving everyone free colonoscopies at the airport because MUSLIMS tried to blow up a plane with an xray proof plastic ass-bomb ?[Soom]

    So why screen everyone else ? WHY? What the hell is the point ?

  40. VicMatson says:

    We, at BWI, have an idiot of a TSA agent who rides his scooter at full speed scaring people around support poles while he hits on the airline agents.

    He looks twelve!

  41. Dan25 says:

    If its such a problem traveling with a toddler, she should’ve thought of that before hand. Anyways, a plane is no place for a baby. They go nuts when their ears start popping.

  42. shdwsclan says:

    Why did they start xraying luggage when MUSLIMS with arab names blew up the PanAm jet above the UK?

    Why did they start screening everything and everyone by had when MUSLIMS with arab names blew up the wtc?

    Why did they start disallowing water and liquids when MUSLIMS were planning to mix explosives onboard, NOTE that this is similar to panAM.

    Why did they start to xray people after MUSLIMS blew up the wtc? [Yes they are gonna start doing that]

    Why are they giving everyone free colonoscopies at the airport because MUSLIMS tried to blow up a plane with an xray proof plastic ass-bomb ?[Soom]

    So why are they screening everyone else?

  43. BillyShears says:

    Airport security isn’t exactly where you go to make the big bucks. Most of the people working there are in it for the badge and the sense of authority, and that’s about it.

    I also smell a lawsuit. There’s zealous enforcement of security, and then there’s just good, ol’-fashioned harassment.

    (Incidentally, the whole “liquids on a plane” rule would be completely hysterical if the TSA weren’t so ridiculously serious about it.)

  44. Kifune says:

    Quoting from the original article:

    “Monica wanted the cup back because the sippy cup was the only way her son would drink — and it was a long flight between Washington, DC and Reno, Nevada where she was going for a family reunion. If you’ve ever had a toddler you understand about sippy cups.”

    I have a niece the same age and just two months ago flew with her, alone, on two flights that spanned about 5 hours. There is absolutely nothing unreasonable about asking that she keep the cup, even if she gets to dump it or guzzle it herself.

    I would have been lost without it with my niece — for one thing when they bite down on the softer top kind it helps them with the pressure in their ears (the same way an older person will yawn to pop them or chew gum or such on descent) and secondly dealing with keeping my niece hydrated during the long day would have been much harder with the cocktail cups they give you on the flight.

    So yeah — the woman asked for her toddler’s cup back and some agents went on a crazy power trip.

    This is ridiculous and these “security measures” really don’t a) protect us any better than before 9/11 and b) are quite out of control.

  45. jeffj-nj says:

    @Buran: It is when he was, in fact, funny. You just didn’t get it.

    @arachnophilia: I lol’d at the one too. Maybe Buran will get your comment?

  46. lawnmowerdeth says:

    The rules are stupid, the TSA is a bunch of idiot jackasses. Why do we as citizens allow this joke of a system to continue?

  47. catskyfire says:

    I don’t agree with what TSA did. It was way overboard. At the same time, I want to ask her why she was carrying a liquid at that point. With the exception of medical needs (which usually are either clearly marked, or you bring notice), and pumped breast milk, you’re not supposed to have unidentified liquids. Small toiletry items, in a plastic bag, are allowed, but that’s it. No water bottles, no sports bottles, no sippy cups.

    Should they have treated her as harshly as they did? No. But she could have avoided the whole incident by not having the cup full of water at that point.

    I’ve flown more since TSA was instituted than any time before, and most of it is easy to get through if you follow the rules and think it through.

  48. jeffj-nj says:

    @shdwsclan: It has to do with equality. It’s, uhm, like, the principle this country was founded upon. Do some research, or leave.

  49. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    The “terrorists” have already won. That’s all there is to it. Everyone is far too afraid far too often. It’s ridiculous, plain and simple.

    Yes. Exactly. The responses in this thread are chilling. People are so freaked out that they are ready to stone a mother and child to death over a sippy cup.

    She did nothing. So many of you are afraid to say the rules are fucking stupid and we have completely lost our minds. So instead, you’re like: “FOR GOD SAKE LADY WHAT THE FUCK YOU FORGET THE WATER IN THE SIPPY CUP YOU ARE EMBOLDENING THE TERRORISTS -

    You are all so freaked out you can’t even think straight anymore.

    The liquid cup rule is just one of a series of ever-changing policies that alter constantly. And, no, the public doesn’t get it and that’s not their fault.

  50. HawkWolf says:

    Jeffj, unfortunately, in this case equality means “a small segment of the population ruins it for others”.

    Which sounds a lot like terrorism.

  51. HawkWolf says:

    Also: I think seth has his head screwed on straight. Of course she should have known not to do it.

    People should know by now not to give money to nigerian spammers or buy viagra from spam emails, etc etc etc etc.

    That doesn’t mean the thing they ‘didn’t know was going to cause a problem’ isn’t something that shouldn’t cause a problem in the first place.

    As long as you’re alive, you can hurt someone and cause a giant fuss. This whole ‘banning liquids while we take liquids and dump them all into a big barrel’ thing is a joke. We all know it’s a joke, and we’re powerless to do anything about it because we have to fly around and so we have to follow the rules.

  52. mycroft2000 says:

    Personally, I’m looking forward to the day when someone (preferably a member of the Republican “base”) spontaneously combusts mid-flight, which will lead to the banning of humans from all commercial airlines.

  53. KenyG says:

    I had a diabolical plan once. I was just about ready to put it into play and figured my demands would be readily met. Everything went south when they confiscated the fingernail clippers… CURSE YOU TSA!!!!!!

  54. Crazytree says:

    If you outlaw the sippy cups, only the outlaws will have sippy cups.

  55. catskyfire says:

    Set

  56. backspinner says:

    @shdwsclan:

    Maybe you should ask Johnny Walker or Jose Padilla.

  57. catskyfire says:

    “So many of you are afraid to say the rules are fucking stupid and we have completely lost our minds.”

    There’s a time and a place and a way to change rules that are stupid. You start by working on your legislators. If that fails, then you move to some organized grass roots methods, including some peaceful demonstrations. One person can make a difference, but not while standing in a line when everyone else is thinking ‘what an idiot.’

  58. bedofnails says:

    I love the people with the “security is such a sham” posts.

    Maybe we should have two different airports, at one, they perform the same mundane, semi-efficient, (yet effective) techniques they are currently using.

    While at the other, the one you people would seem to favor – there is a more “casual” approach to the preservation of life and security. Don’t worry, you won’t be bothered by the annoyance of trying to protect you, feel free to bring whatever you like on the place. This goes for everyone.

    Enjoy the flight.

  59. Notsewfast says:

    I just realized while reading the comments how brainwashed we all sound (not that we all are)

    The first several comments were somehtink like “she should follow the rules and she won’t get in trouble.”

    It made me wonder just who was running this country, because it doesn’t seem like the people are…

  60. Tallanvor says:

    1. Having children on board planes are bad enough. Children who have already been upset, or have watched their parents be terrorized by the TSA are only likely to be worse. And for people who don’t fly regularly, they may only know that some liquids may be brought on board for children, but not that there are very specific rules about them (is there anything the current administration can’t make needlessly complicated?)

    2. As has been stated before, when you allow the so called terrorists to change the way you live, they win. That’s right, the government can fight their “war on terror” all they want, but it’s already been lost, because we’ve been forced to change the way we live our lives.

    3. And probably most important… There is NEVER any excuse for government employees to publicly humiliate or threaten people anywhere close to what was described in the article. Those TSA employees need to remember, if we didn’t fly, they wouldn’t have a job.

  61. jeffislouie says:

    awesome.
    sexy too.
    follow the rules and there is never an issue.
    break them, and well….
    here you go.
    sippy cup should have been emptied. the flight attendants are more than happy to fill it for you.
    and every airport has free tap water and sells bottled water at every kiosk.
    “”At this point, I was detained against my will by the police officer “
    I’ve never been detained in any other way.
    Lol.
    Settle down.
    Next time, be prepared.
    These rules have been around for a long time now.
    Sorry it happened to you, but next time make sure you aren’t such a putz.
    I’ll go ahead and say it and let everyone trash me:
    I’d bet my next paycheck that this innocent, doe eyed victim was less than polite about the whole thing.
    Heck, I’d bet she was downright obnoxious about it.
    I just traveled. Not one single TSA agent was even slightly rude to me or anyone else.
    Passengers on the other hand? Not so much.
    I watched a lady berate a TSA agent for telling the lady to toss the bottle of water or finish it before crossing through the security checkpoint.
    I’ll keep saying it, over an over – most issues like this can be resolved by being nice.
    Heck, most issues like this are a direct result of being nasty.
    Cue the mean spirited personal attacks! I look forward to being called ‘chief apologist’ and told I just don’t what it’s like to be a mommy.

  62. royal72 says:

    hurray for tsa and thank god we’re all safe now! she’s obviously a terrorist and a threat to national security, because we all know women like blowing up airplanes, but only if their family’s on board and 4 oz of liquid explosives make a yummy treat for toddlers while waiting in security lines.

  63. lohphat says:

    We won TWO World Wars last century and we’re now afraid of toothpaste and sippy cups on planes.

    I’m ashamed to be an American.

    For the rest of you who would say “Those are the rules” should have your citizenship revoked. This country was founded based upon the ideal of limiting the over-reaching, heavy hand of government over The People.

    The government should be afraid of the people, not the people should be afraid of their government. That is the definition of tyranny.

    This government is out of control.

  64. TPIRman says:

    It seems an increasing contingent of commenters have never made a mistake in their entire lives. At least, I can find no other explanation for how somebody could find this type of response acceptable. Yes, she failed to remember that the “3-1-1″ rule applies to your son’s sippy cup. She probably forgot her son was carrying it. We’re persecuting people for errors this minor now? Really?

    In other words, what Seth_Went_to_the_Bank said.

    Getting back to the OP, the “nursery water or other bottled water” question is hilarious. How could that matter? Nursery Water = bomb? Or tap water = bomb? Obviously, it must be one or the other. TSA, reveal your secrets!

    @shdwsclan: It’s about equality as jeffj-nj said, and it’s also about practicality. If you base your entire security apparatus on targeting Muslims only, then an Islamic extremist group only needs one non-Muslim operative (or non-Muslim-looking operative) to defeat the bulk of your efforts.

    Whereas the way things are now, an extremist group requires a sippy-cup full of potable plastic explosives to achieve its mission — a deadly weapon we can easily screen for, thank Allah.

    @Buran: Beerad doesn’t need an “excuse.” It was a joke, and a funny one, in fact. You didn’t get it. We forgive you. Let it go.

  65. jeffislouie says:

    @royal72:
    I know – its crazy.
    What sort of parent would blow up their own kid?
    Oh, right. A terrorist.
    Just like they do in Iraq. You must have missed that story.
    It turns out that parents were loading their kids up into cars with explosives rigged up to a timer.
    They would drive up to americans and hop out, arming the bombs and leaving the kids to die.
    It happens.
    This is what happens when we refuse to allow for any profiling.
    I agree that hot blond mommies aren’t a good target for TSA screening, but you can’t have it both ways.
    SO, the only way to protect ourselves is to apply the rules to everyone equally.
    Thanks, PC liberals!
    Great job.

  66. Televiper says:

    Wow.. there’s a lot of twats on the consumerist that appear to have a dumb founding hatred towards children and parents. Get over yourselves. Parents can’t just stand around scratching their balls they way you do. People with lives don’t remember every intricate detail of EVERYTHING.

    I for one would of had issues if my toddlers sippy cup was taken away as well. The sippy cup is an important part of keeping the kid calm and happy especially in changing altitudes. Yah, she fucked up. The kid probably needed a drink and not thinking she filled the sippy cup. That doesn’t give the security guards the right to bully the woman the way they did (or at least as he described). They could of just let her drink the water and have the problem dealt with.

  67. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @bedofnails Fuckin’ A, I am so there. Let the people on the plane police the people on the plane.

    The ‘no liquids’ rule is FUCKING STUPID. PLAIN FUCKING STUPID. All it does is piss people off, it’s not keeping anyone safe from anything.

    You sheep who say ‘why didn’t she obey the rules’ just keep bowing down and pretty soon we’ll all have travel papers and NAZI checkpoints at the end of your FUCKING STREET, let alone the airport.

    STFU. When the government gets this much control WE ALL LOSE.

  68. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    Our security is a sham.

    The TSA has failed nearly every test of their security, in nearly every airport. The employees are under trained and inexperienced in almost every important facet of detecting suspicious passengers and baggage.

    Almost 90 percent of time, random tests by our own government have shown that nearly anyone can get through with deadly weapons and even explosive materials.

    And because of people like you, who value the appearance of things, who prefer broad and meaningless pronouncements about our safety, who don’t care or comprehend about the hard work it takes to actually provide security and liberty in this country, this is why we are chasing after people with sippy cups.

    Anything, everything, to avoid the reality of the situation. If we just all follow the rules, no matter how stupid, we will be safe. Right?

    Wrong. When you see that the emperor has no clothes, you say it. LOUD. You say, I want our tax dollars to pay for real security. Real training. Real equipment. Rules that make sense. And rules that not only protect our citizens, but protect them from capricious and arbitrary abuse from the government.

  69. bedofnails says:

    @lohphat:

    For the rest of you who would say “Those are the rules” should have your citizenship revoked. This country was founded based upon the ideal of limiting the over-reaching, heavy hand of government over The People.

    Maybe it’s just me, but by electing to fly, (a convenience) you also elect to sacrifice a few minutes of your time to allow for the protection not only your arrogant self, but the other millions of air-travelers.

    Were you once given an rough anal cavity search; is that where this supposed violation of your rights is derived?

  70. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    FYI, my last message was in reply to Bedofnails.

  71. 3drage says:

    You are a good candidate for a false imprisonment and Intentional infliction of emotional distress. This really makes me sick, what has America become?

  72. Catalyst says:

    I’m surprised they don’t force us all to pee before we board the plane. Who knows what I could cook up with that liquid.

    And all you touting security might want to question why we our crack security teams are staffed with ex high school bullies at $8 an hour. If the only thing between us and terrorists is a guy who couldn’t get into junior college, I doubt our security is all that tight.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of fearmongering politics. No liquids on planes, border fences, and thousands of other completely illogical “solutions” to problems.

  73. 3drage says:

    p.s. I wonder how much profit airline companies are now making off of beverage sales due to these idiotic rules.

  74. TheSeeker says:

    again, as Morrissey sings in his song
    “How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel”

    “…and as for you in your uniform
    your smelly uniform
    and so you think you can be rude to me
    because you wear a uniform
    a smelly uniform
    and so you think you can be rude to me
    but even I / as sick as I am
    I would never be you
    even I / as sick as I am
    I would never be you
    even I / sick and depraved
    a traveler to the grave
    I would never be you…”

  75. TPIRman says:

    @bedofnails: There is a difference between wanting security to be conducted in a well-reasoned, even-handed manner and wanting no security at all. I’m sick of this strawman argument that to question the nature of security is to dispute the need for it.

    Only the most extreme liberatarians are unwilling to put up with any security measures. But many, including myself, are looking for is a logical justification for the rules that are in place. It seems the only justification is “those are the rules,” which in fact is no justification at all. There needs to be more of an open discourse on such a hugely important issue.

    Are TSA agents (i.e., the vast majority, not the power-trippers in this story) who enforce the 3-1-1 rule trying to protect us? Yes. Is this an effective use of their time? That’s the more pertinent question. We don’t know the answer, and many suspect that the answer is “no.” But we don’t get to have a real discussion about the problem because hey, those are the rules. There are scary terrorists out there who want to kill you, don’tcha know?

    Let’s not settle for that, because the appearance of security where there is none is more dangerous than no security at all.

  76. snowferret says:

    Fucking pigs…

  77. reeseball says:

    I’ll wait until there’s a news source for this other than “nowpublic.com”. This page is the top hit for her name in Google News, and the rest of the entries are partial matches.

    Not that the TSA doesn’t suck. They do. Oh yes, they do.

  78. faust1200 says:

    This whole story reminds me of Sally Field’s enigmatic role in “Not Without My Sippycup”

  79. jerseyjokeboy says:

    They should put her on a DO-NOT-FLY list for threatening other lives with her 4 ounces of spilled liquid! Wake up America! We can NOT allow people to drink filtered water at airports! Can you imagine how many planes that could bring down? I feel WAY safer knowing that people like her will be taken away. Because, as we all know, water can be basis for some sort of liquid bomb, which I’m sure she was planning to make. Why else would she have water with her? They should have checked her for toothpaste, shampoo and pop tarts, main ingredients in a liquid bomb!

    OR, maybe the security people are F***** crazy???

  80. cgmaetc says:

    @Seth_Went_to_the_Bank: LOL!

    Apparently, some folks didn’t see my tongue firmly planted in my cheek.

  81. ElenorR says:

    I am concerned when people seem to think that a person should be humiliated when they fail to follow rules.

    Having traveled with a young child, I would probably let the kid sip the water while in line (mostly to keep people like Dan25 happy, because many people seem to think that children have no right to travel because they can be noisy.) I would then dump the water and go through security, refilling the cup once through the checkpoint.

    Obviously there is another side to this story, and perhaps the mother was demanding and self-righteous. Well, the TSA taught her a lesson didn’t they? Now she will know that instead of keeping her young child quiet in line with some water, she should let him scream for the whole time that they are waiting in line so that they don’t have to deal with the question of a couple ounces of water.

    But, obviously, the mother was asking for it. What right does a parent have to take a child on an airplane for a family reunion, much less keep the objects that will keep the child comfortable on the flight?

  82. MercuryPDX says:

    @lohphat: The government should be afraid of the people, not the people should be afraid of their government. That is the definition of tyranny.”

    “V for Vendetta”?

  83. acambras says:

    @faust1200:
    This whole story reminds me of Sally Field’s enigmatic role in “Not Without My Sippycup”

    Oh my God — you made me laugh so hard that now everyone in my office knows I wasn’t really working.

  84. missdona says:

    TSA agents are the new terrorists.

  85. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Repent, Harlequin!!

  86. Miss Anthropy says:

    If the editors had wanted this woman to come across as more sympathetic, they might have started her account of the story with something other than, “I demanded…”

    I’d like to know what happened before that. Why was she demanding to see a supervisor? According to her chronology, nobody had siezed the cup yet. I’m wondering if they had an issue with the cup and instead of saying, “Oops.. mind if I just drink it now?” she got indignant and escalated what could have been an easily-defused situation. Most people know that getting indignant at petty bureaucrats is a sure-fire way to make them dig their heels in even more.

    TSA screening is a joke, yes, but getting pissed off at the TSA screening counter isn’t going to change that, and is likely to make a stupid situation even worse.

    (Also, I’m unclear on what the “consumer” message is here, other than: be prepared, and know the damn rules (even if they are asinine))

  87. cabinaero says:

    I don’t have a lot of sympathy for how she got herself into the situation, but the TSA clearly overreacted. There’s no excuse for threats of arrest, etc. unless the subject of the story was truly belligerent and not just ‘difficult’.

  88. Tristan Smith says:
  89. TechnoDestructo says:

    @nickripley:

    God I wish. But the way our infrastructure is built, it would probably never work.


    All my flights outside the US have been in Asia. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY IN WHICH THE EXPERIENCE OF FLYING THERE IS NOT BETTER THAN IN THE US. NONE.

    Airports? More convenient, more services, better exchange rates (fuck Travelex), no price-gouging. A wider variety of ground transportation, usually cheaper.

    Airlines? Better food, better service (on the plane and off), usually SLIGHTLY better fares, fewer idiotic policies.

    Security? Far fewer idiotic policies, and most of the ones there are are due to the demands of the TSA.

    Customs? They usually don’t care, but when they do, you won’t have any trouble finding a pen and someplace to write your declarations. (MCCARRAN!!!!)


    Oh, and a lot of places have high-speed rail, which is superior to their superior air travel.

    I doubt I’d hate flying in the US so much if I’d never flown places which didn’t suck (even post 9/11 they didn’t suck) And no problem I’ve ever had in Asia didn’t result from some idiotic overreaction in the US.

  90. Tristan Smith says:


    sorry, arg, it’s been posting automatically. anyways, this video totally sums up the TSA
    [www.youtube.com]

  91. ab3i says:

    I would have to side with the TSA on this one, I would like to point on two things:
    Firstly, Ms. Emmerson broke the rules, I don’t know why she would be unaware of the liquids restriction and then ‘challenge’ the TSA underdogs esp. at a busy airport. My Nephew is around the same age, and he flies a lot with my sister and brother-in-law on their vacations, and I haven’t heard of any TSA horror stories from them.

    Secondly, My Job (Corporate Slavery, ummm Technology Consulting) requires me to fly every week, and I have never had to deal with TSA horrors, perhaps because its not really that hard to follow a simple checklist – No Restricted Items, Laptop/Shoes/Belt/Clear Plastic Bag out and in the Trays, and ID and Boarding Pass in Hand. I have flown through some very small and some very large airports, mostly (unfortunately) during Busy Hour. Agreed, airline status gets me priority screening at some airports, but not always.
    Do we need all the extra security and paranoia? Probably not, but it is there, and we can either make it as painless and efficient, or we can create a problem for ourselves and fellow passengers.

    Best,
    A.B.

    P.S. I am Asian-Indian, and am easily mistaken for an Arab, and yet – just following the stupid rules, and i haven’t had to encounter any ‘additional’ or ‘random’ screenings.

  92. Chicago7 says:

    What if the woman was wearing a hijab? Would you still feel the same way or would she then be a “terrorist”?

  93. royal72 says:

    @jeffislouie: “I know – its crazy. What sort of parent would blow up their own kid? Oh, right. A terrorist. Just like they do in Iraq. You must have missed that story. It turns out that parents were loading their kids up into cars with explosives rigged up to a timer. They would drive up to americans and hop out, arming the bombs and leaving the kids to die. It happens. This is what happens when we refuse to allow for any profiling. I agree that hot blond mommies aren’t a good target for TSA screening, but you can’t have it both ways. SO, the only way to protect ourselves is to apply the rules to everyone equally. Thanks, PC liberals! Great job.”

    rules of stupidity and fear. if someone wants to take down a plane, then they will and no amount wasted time, money, and freedom taken away will change that… then again maybe you’re right and the 90 year old lady next to you on the plane, dipped her wig in some explosive substance and has a pack of matches ready to take you with her.

  94. robotprom says:

    the next time a plane blows up you’ll be glad the TSA is a bunch of hard asses.

  95. notebook says:

    If I was treated like this…. Oh, would I let my news station have a FIELD DAY with this.

  96. yg17 says:

    I’m going to be flying out of DCA next month, and I feel SO much safer. I was a bit worried about getting on that flight, thinking that someone might blow it up, but now that mothers can’t bring their infant’s sippy cup on the plane, I feel a lot safer now. I’m so glad to be flying out of DCA instead of Dulles because I know their TSA staff will make sure I arrive back home safely.

  97. JustAGuy2 says:

    @bedofnails:

    Sign me up for airport 2 tomorrow. So long as they have metal detectors set at a level necessary to detect a gun, I’m good to go.

  98. TechnoDestructo says:

    @bedofnails:

    “Why do people refuse to follow rules, get into (moronic) arguments with bullish egomaniac governments types, then cry fowl. “

    That’s “foul.” Followed by a question mark.

    “The TSA’s were doing there job. If your job was dealing with thousands of retards on a daily basis, you would be a little edgy too.”

    Their job is making air travel safer. They aren’t.

    “Maybe we should have two different airports, at one, they perform the same mundane, semi-efficient, (yet effective) techniques they are currently using.”

    The ONLY security measures I’ve seen at an airport which I, while going through the motions along with the TSA’s human placebos, can not think of multiple ways to get past them, are bomb sniffing machines (you’d need detailed information on their capabilities) and dogs.

    If you really want a weapon on a plane, you will GET a weapon on a plane.

    “While at the other, the one you people would seem to favor – there is a more “casual” approach to the preservation of life and security. Don’t worry, you won’t be bothered by the annoyance of trying to protect you, feel free to bring whatever you like on the place.”

    You are not allowed to just bring ANYTHING onto a plane outside the US. But they don’t have an issue with BEVERAGES.

    Pre-9/11, if you took a beverage into the UN headquarters building, they made you drink some of it before you were allowed in. That would pretty much take care of anything dangerous, I think. It would be just as effective as disallowing everything (everything that they can FIND at any rate.)

    This isn’t a security precaution, it’s a security POST-caution. It’s too late to be do any good.

    “Maybe it’s just me, but by electing to fly, (a convenience) you also elect to sacrifice a few minutes of your time to allow for the protection not only your arrogant self, but the other millions of air-travelers.”

    I sacrifice that for a purpose, one which is not being fulfilled.

  99. LionelEHutz says:

    I can’t believe there are so many people who think that harassing a mother with a toddler for no reason equals real security. Must be the Fox News brainwashing talking.

  100. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    This is why I’m driving to Maryland (from Florida) this Sunday for business. I’m terrified of flying, but I can handle it if I have to, but I couldn’t handle dealing with something like that & then getting on a plane.

    @robotprom:
    Please use some common sense. If another plane blows up it’s because these guys screwed up, probably by harrassing a single mother instead of doing their job properly.

  101. memphis9 says:

    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Ben Franklin

    Yeah, the quote is trite and overused, but it fits the times.

    I’m a mommy, I don’t want risk. I’d prefer my kids safe in bubble wrap. But honestly, where is any sense of proportion? Kidney-destroying pet food. Poison toothpaste. Lead-laden toys. Sippie cup carrying plane passengers. Which of these poses the greatest REAL threat?

    I know our fearless leader thinks it’s that last one, as he points out in press conferences again and again. “They want to kill YOUR children, Jeff (Jane/Chet/Brian)! Never mind that Jeff doesn’t have kids, because really he’s saying it to ME and all the rest of us who worry. It works; it’s effective manipulation. But where are the regulatory agencies to keep our kids from eating (or playing with) misrepresented, toxic products? Where are the port inspectors? The FDA inspectors? How much of that checked luggage is being really, thoroughly screened, again?

    So much of the political crap really does tie in to consumer issues, because it’s a financial war behind the ideological one. And guess who’s losing? Pass the melamine-tainted cheese-puffs, please. (Brought to you – hint, hint, NOT by your friendly neighborhood terrorist. Or anyone one who even really wants you dead, because heck, you’re the customer!)

  102. Jon Mason says:

    For all the people saying “these rules are ridiculous, she was right, blah blah blah”: yes – the fact that the TSA re-allowed certain blades onto flights, while freaking out over a child’s sippy cup is ridiculous. However, there are 100s of other passengers who have to follow the same stupid rules, if you want to work to change the rules, be my guest, but if you want a trouble free, relaxing journey (with or without a child) is to follow said rules and breeze through security. She wasnt some activist trying to make a point, she was an ignorant parent who screwed up , then overreacted and needlessly caused a scene and ruined her (and her child’s day).

  103. Jesse in Japan says:

    That sippy cup was filled with deadly dihydrogen oxide, which everyone knows is responsible for thousands of deaths in America each year.

  104. fredmertz says:

    What is the point of this posting? Why did an editor find it interesting? This site is becoming overrun with one-sided, generally petty complaints with no significant learnings for the readers. Guys — you don’t need content for content’s sake.

    If I wanted to make a Consumerist parody site, I couldn’t do better than half the things you post.

    “Area Resident Gets Bad Customer Service”

    “Area Resident Complains to CEO About Serving of Fries That Was Too Small”

  105. Haplo9000 says:

    @robotprom:

    “the next time a plane blows up you’ll be glad the TSA is a bunch of hard asses.”

    Hmmm…well, if the plane blew up, then their being a “bunch of hard asses” didn’t really help, now did it?

  106. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    I have had chemists tell me that it isn’t possible to bring aboard liquids that can be combined into an explosive on an airplane.

    The liquids that can do this require refrigeration or even below zero temps to do so. They require other chemicals that are so reactive, that it wouldn’t be possible to do so on a plane without all the passengers & crew dieing from the poisonous fumes!
    That includes the terrorists that would have brought the chemicals on board, unless of course they also brought aboard full protective gear for the chemicals. Like gas masks with portable air supplies & anti-poison gas suits like the army has.
    Squeeze that into a carry on bag!

  107. iMike says:

    Anyone post yet that she’s a MILF?

    OK. I will.

  108. Ponygirl says:

    1. You can bring fluids for a small child. The TSA employee was nit-picking over it being faucet water rather than formula (my guess that is why they asked her if it was “nursery water”, which they might have allowed under some guideline interpretations)
    2. We’ve all reached the security table and realized we were holding something which was FORBIDDIN! Should that result in multiple men and women with weapons humilating us in a public place? I think not.
    3. This liquid ban is bullshit based on pseudo science or as I like to call it “Movie Science”. This UK article explains the impossibility of these liquid triggered explosions and the sheer redonkulousness of our current liquid ban.

    [www.theregister.co.uk]

  109. Ponygirl says:

    @Haplo9000:

    lol

  110. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    @Robotprom

    “the next time a plane blows up you’ll be glad the TSA is a bunch of hard asses.”

    Did you just say: “If the TSA fails, you’ll be sorry the TSA is really good.”

    Aren’t you really trying to say the next time something bad happens, we’ll blame it on others, because that’s what our party does? And even though we are saying NOW that we are secure, that when we apparently won’t be, we’ll say we need MORE security and then THAT security will be the security you cannot question, even though we said you were secure before, something about Bill Clinton?

  111. zolielo says:

    For the mother such actions where foolish and troublesome…

    For the TSA their pay is too low, too much time share, too much turn over, too many promotions by attrition, too low of standards, too few in numbers, poor command and control at all level and in all tasks.

    Boo to all.

  112. Jon Mason says:

    @fredmertz – Totally agree, CONSUMERist needs to start having more “consumer advice” or “scam alert” type stories, rather than and here’s some more headlines for your parody site:

    “328 Confessions of a Former Sales Rep”
    “Cellphone company won’t let you cancel your contract”
    “How to get your cellphone company to cancel your contract”

  113. din says:

    can we just ban everyone in this entire thread? it’d take eternity just to seperate the wheat from the government apologists and racists, or at least a good ten minutes.

  114. backspinner says:

    Mommy then proceeded to slap precious baby’s gymboree coach for a bad call and browbeat his teacher for a bad review on precious baby’s fingerpainting masterpiece. She then got in her Navigator while yakking on her cell phone and screamed at the cop who pulled her over for running a red light–after all, she was only filling precious’s ritalin scrip! There are mommies like this all over the place where I live.

    To the people who berate as “Nazis” or cowards those of us that believe this could have been prevented just following the rules– the way to change a ridiculous rule or law is through the democratic process, not through shirking it because you believe you and your little poopsykins are above the law.

  115. valthun says:

    Seriously the idiots (Bush and Blair and the TSA) that came up with the liquid explosive scenarios, need to stop their idiocy and let us bring our own drinks again. This whole thing is idiotic and only benefits the airports and jacking up the price of drinks.

    Let the idiocy stop, I see this article being relevant to show how retarded the TSA and Homeland (in)Security are.

  116. lihtox says:

    @bedofnails: Flying is worth a few minutes’ inconvenience. It isn’t worth being threatened with arrest for trivialities. It isn’t worth the constant fear that you might say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing, or lose track of all the byzantine rules, and be hauled off by a police officer. That is unreasonable by any measure, and an affront to human dignity.

  117. superbmtsub says:

    WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF MINORITIES MS EMMERSON!

    Unfortunately, you get that crap from everybody if you’re not white. Well “crap” as in “bad service”. Good to hear that the “random checks” arent always brown ppl but some of these issues jus makes me sad at our current system of living in fear.

    And what’s up with the fiance? Whas he eyeing other female travelers during this whole time to not notice that Monica wasnt by him??? Either her fiance is a wimp or doesnt care about Monica. Time to find yourself a new man, girl.

    I’ve flown a million times with all sortsa problems. What I kno is you’re allowed to enter and leave security gates, jus remember that you’ll have to go thru the screening again to enter.

  118. dcseattle says:

    Good thing that soda pop wasn’t in that sippie cup, they may have thought it was a mysterious substance that would have left a suspiciously sticky floor. This incident sounds like a good distraction if you want to deter TSA agents.

    This reminds me of the time when a 3 year old was “randomly selected” to be searched while boarding a plane….thanks airline security, you just started my flight with a crying and whiny kid.

    O also, thank you jet blue for me to be “randomly selected” at security all four times going to Puerto Rico from Seattle through New York last year.


    The TSA rules are over the top and even the government tests proves they aren’t doing as good as they should. Whats next? Cavity search? Strip search? How far do we go?

  119. superbmtsub says:

    Sorry. Forgot to add. Remember all this code orange and red business made up by this administration? Yea. Anytime you think of flying, check out all the guidelines. It’s not even a page long so shouldnt take you much to read.

    And remember not to use words like “bomb” and “terrorist” in airports by the security points. You’ll probably get treated the same way you were with the water.

    I remember back in the 90s when taking the plane was as easy as going on a roadtrip with your buddies. Pack your bags and leave.

  120. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @royal72: Yeah, what you said. If someone really wants to do something illegal, he/she can probably figure out how to do it. Getting away with it is a lot harder, but in this case that doesn’t even matter.

  121. jendomme says:

    It is obvious that both parties are at fault.

    You have the mother that is dumb as a bag of hammers who brings a sippy cup of water. What about ‘No more than 3oz. of liquid/gel’ does she not understand? She could have also just drank all of the water from the cup and then bought some water beyond the security checkpoint. Airports are serious about security and if you plan on flying you should be serious about it too. It is a privilege to fly, not a right.

    TSA and police officers – oh where to begin. The TSA folks are practically plucked from the fertile brain trust known as the DMV. These losers think they are doing America a favor, but if a terrorist dropped her grenade on the ground these shitbags wouldn’t know it because they are either too old or too fat to bend over to look for it. The police just love to think they are important. Half-educated rednecks and white trash who have a gun and badge suddenly think they can exercise something called ‘judgment’. They are better off sticking to eating donuts and writing speeding tickets.

  122. BStu says:

    Classic case of a someone with a small zone of power abusing it for all its worth and then some. The problem here is that the “security personnel” escalated a situation. They took something that would have been annoying and turned it into an ordeal. I’ve had that happen to myself where a frustration turned into a scene because a customer service worker flipped out at having to deal with a frustrated customer. Like here, it wasn’t over a pair of slacks at Target, but was as I was trying to get into a Subway station to get to work. The stakes are higher for customers in these situations, but the customer service frequently seems only to inflame and escalate the situation. Its inexcusable. Creating a problem for a customer so you feel important is unacceptable. Its unacceptable when they have the power to deny you your pants, when they deny you your means of commuting, and most especially when they have the power to have you arrested.

  123. @Buran: I concur.
    @Beerad: What Buran said.

    Sounds like typical TSA antics to me. I had about $400-$500 dollars worth of clothing stolen by the TSA from my checked bagged from somewhere in between Ontario, CA, Las Vegas, NV, Chicago, IL, and Baltimore, MD and can’t file nothing because I was transferred to a different airline in addition to my checked baggage was handled by security whom transferred it “behind closed doors” between the airlines.

    I should mention I have a beautiful little “Random” security check notice in the bag the stuff magically dissapeared from.

    I was also told that I should not disrespect the officer and could be arrested for this too.

    One word for you: Bulls**t.

  124. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Next time they harass me about bringing water/coke/whatever, I’m going to lean over and calmly ask the screener “Would YOU like to pay for my big water/coke/whatever in the boarding area? I didn’t think so. Oh yeah, did I mention I’ll sue the shit out of you if I faint from dehydration because I had to find a kiosk to buy an $8 water?” and pack my water bottle away in my carryon, all with a big smile on my face.

  125. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    We should all file a class-action suit against every airline we flew when they lost stuff from our bags (or the bags themselves), TSA, Kip Hawley, AND George Bush. Sue for damages somewhere in the range of, oh, $500 billion.

  126. HaxRomana says:

    The last time I flew, I was coming home from visiting my best friend. She and I were both upset that I was leaving, and we both started to cry.

    After several unsuccessful attempts by both of us to regain composure, I made my way towards the empty security checkpoint (this was in Wisconsin). I fished out my photo ID and my boarding pass, still blubbering, and the TSA agent gave me a box of tissues and a hug.

    Terrible, vicious people, the lot of them.

  127. lestat730 says:

    Very disturbing. Sometimes I really have to wonder how certain people end up in positions of legal authority. What’s the big deal with a cup full of water? I understand things had to change after 9/11 but this is pure harassment. She probably has herself a solid case in court if she chose to go that route. I’m sure there are plenty of witnesses that would be willing to help her. At the very least this officer should be closely looked at for harassment (and hopefully terminated, or at the very least suspended for a period of time.)

  128. formergr says:

    Jesus I’m shocked everyone is overlooking the fact that they made her get down on her hands and knees and clean it up?!

    I don’t care what she said to the TSA agent, they made her get down on her hands and knees in front of an airport of people. That is so insanely over the line I can’t believe it. It’s called a spill, people do it by accident. You either throw down a towel yourself or you call maintenance. You don’t make a woman get down on her hands and knees in front of her toddler.

    Holy power trip, batman.

  129. formergr says:

    Oh, and haxroma, because one TSA agent was nice to you when you were upset, it means they all are great and clearly this woman was completely in the wrong?

    No one has said all TSA agents are bad– I travel a lot for work and I come across plenty that are polite and reasonable, but also more than a few who are power hungry, surly, and out to make someone’s day as miserable as theirs.

  130. Trai_Dep says:

    It’s funny as Hell reading the comments that say, basically, “Big Daddy Says Jump So We ALL Better Jump HIGH!” It’s like having a functioning brain evaluating things independently is simply incapable for them.

    Terrorists Reading Consumerist For Future Havok to Wreck, Please Read:

    Underwear Bomb.

    No. Seriously, Underwear Bomb.

    That way, TSA will demand we strip naked on all future flights. And that’d be so absurd that it’d be AWESOME!

    Maybe C-4 inserted rectally. Except: Eww!

  131. Tallanvor says:

    @robotprom: No, next time a plane gets blown up, I’ll say “I told you TSA security is a f*cking joke.”

  132. RiptideReo says:

    Okay, I do pre-screening for TSA (BOOO! HISS!) I’m not TSA, mind you.
    1)Obviously this woman has been living in a magical fantasy world where she and her percious child fly around on a fluffy unicorn for the last year or so.
    2) About the spilled water…why the fuck would she try to open the sippy cup and drink the water while she’s being dragged or led around instead of just waiting until she stopped moving to put up what I’m guessing is a “LOOK, I’M DRINKING IT!” drama?
    3) Sounds like the TSA definatly went overboard on this IF everything the woman is saying is true. I’d want to hear from more witness passangers, this is so one-sided.
    4) IF you act like a retard and put up a fit, yeah, we’re gonna detain you, because we do not have time–and the 200 passangers in line behind you do not have time–to put up with your self-important bull shit.

    Just today, some stupid woman in line huffed when I asked to see her bording pass and ID and said “Oh yes, I’m quite the terrorist!” when I asked her to please remove her (gigantic, nearly novelty-sized) sunglasses.
    Guess where I sent her.

  133. Kashell says:

    National Flying Rules (2026).

    1) All passengers are subject to random drug tests. “Suspicious” passengers will be submitted immediately to such tests.

    2) All passengers must wear TSA approved clothing on all flights at all times. The TSA approves several major brands of clothing as safe for flying.

    3) No electronic devices are allowed on the plane at any time.

    4) Only TSA packaged and approved food may be brought onto the plane. (IE: Delicious TSA peanuts)

    5) Only TSA approved pens, pencils, and paper are allowed aboard the plane. The TSA approves most major publishing company’s books, however, “suspicious” books are subject to scrutiny.

  134. justarep says:

    And this is why I refuse to fly into the U.S. (I’m Canadian.) Hell, the fact that I can’t bring something to drink past security on a DOMESTIC flight (but I sure can buy things from the Starbucks outside my gate, of course) and a watchlist is being implemented in Canada now chokes me up, but this is crazy.

  135. amapper says:

    As a matter of fact, TSA screeners first must go through extensive back ground checks that most travelers might not be able to meet. Then weeks of training and ojt. Add to this constant testing. Many come from professional, business and government backgrounds. Are there some bad apples? Yes. But try asking hundreds of fliers, “Do you have any liquids, creams, jells or aerosols?” every day. Then having to search bags for liquids hoping there is no hypodermic needle waiting for you in there. Just take the liquids out and you’ll sail through security in no time!

  136. palaste says:

    “Release the following political prisoners or I will blow up this plane with this 8-ounce cup of filtered tap water!”

  137. aikoto says:

    @fredmertz (and anyone else like him)

    What is your problem? Why are you giving the Consumerist a hard time when they’re doing what they should: reporting on abuses to normal people?

    Everyone should know about situations like this where the TSA is abusing people with no return in security at all.

    Not only that, but they provide a voice to people who can’t get traction on their own. I’ve seen people get justice so many times on this site because of the support of the Consumerist community.

    So I say “quitcherbitchen”. Thanks Meghann and keep up the good work.

  138. pirate says:

    I was able to carry milk for my son (20 months at the time) through the checkpoint by simply pulling on the the officers aside and explaining I had milk in the cup for my son. I had complete a form that documented this and they tape the form to the cup I I went the the checkpoint with the my son. no issues.

  139. Canadian Impostor says:

    How many passengers were pushed through security with a below standard search because of the resources and attention given to a mother, her toddler, and a sippycup?

    Forget this security vs. no security argument, does the TSA think hassling a mother with a cup of water she offered to drink is an efficient use of their limited resources? Is a cop demanding an apology for spilled water the best way to handle the situation?

    Sure the mother is probably some bizarre momzilla, but if a cop demanded I apologize to him for spilling water I’d refuse. Police officers and TSA agents get paid to deal with the public. They should be held to a higher standard in situations like these.

  140. TheBigLewinski says:

    @lohphat:

    “I’m ashamed to be an American.”

    Perhaps you should consider moving to Gaza, they are such compassionate people. Gimme a freakin break…

    How about we implement security measures like El Al? This would significantly improve security and create 4-5 hour wait times to fly.

    Just wait until it happens again, then everyone will cry that we should have been more prepared, we should have known.

    Sorry folks but I am willing to sacrafice a small bit of liberties to have a more secure environment. Don’t worry, the government is really not interested in who you are banging on the side.

    just my 2 cents.

  141. aparsons says:

    Anymore, I just take the train. That weekly security check was bullshit, and to be honest, the train is just as quick when you factor in getting to the airport, going through security, finding your flight delayed, getting your bags, etc. Unless you are flying clear across the country, driving could even be faster…

  142. TheBigLewinski says:

    @iMike:

    Dud, I second u on the MILF comment.

  143. MauriceReeves says:

    I’d also like to point out that my wife’s not an idiot, she’s a fabulous mom that’s doing a great job raising two toddlers right now, and if you asked her today, while things are calm, if you can take liquids on the airplane she’d tell you clearly “No, you can’t”, but in the middle of the rush to get on the plane, worrying about the crowds, the noise, the safety of the toddler, if the plane’s going to crash, is she going to make it through security on time to catch the plane, is there enough space for the stroller in the overhead bin, did she forget X, Y, and Z, is the child wet, and on and on, you forget the stupid little details like whether or not the child has water in their sippy cup.

    And for the TSA to make her clean up the few ounces of spilled water, while barefoot in the middle of the airport, while taking care of a frightened child, like she’s some serf is just ridiculous. It’s absurd, and the TSA needs to be smacked around for it.

  144. Brilluminati says:

    This story would have been interesting if it was breast milk in the cup.

    Lets get the other side of the story before we pass judgement (in this case) on the TSA.

    I flew out yesterday, and there are people that refuse to take off their shoes, put phones through, etc.

  145. Funklord says:

    @masonreloaded: Hundreds of other passengers also had to publicly apologize and clean the floor?

  146. aikoto says:

    @TheBigLewinski:

    You:Don’t worry, the government is really not interested in who you are banging on the side.

    Me: Until you run for office or embarass someone in office. You’ll be surprised how quickly stuff will surface that you’d rather keep private when you go against people with access to these databases.

  147. Oilwellian says:

    Mmmm…this crap sandwich sure does taste good sir. May I have some more please?

    (And while the sippy cup no longer posed a danger to the flying public, the plane’s cargo bay was being loaded up with unchecked luggage.)

  148. rea_music says:

    1) MOST of the TSA officers are currently in the military or are ex-military
    2) Nearly 2/3 are in college or graduated from college.
    3) The Training classes are bi-weekly for 2 hours straight, also there is 2 weeks full-time training before even going to the airport to do “On the Job” Training for 3 weeks for new hires.
    4) NO LIQUIDS over 3.4 ounces can go through the security checkpoint. That includes but not limited to butter (yes as a TSO I have collected this), peanut butter, skin lotions, anything that is slimy!!! (juice needs for medical reason is permitted along with milk for young children, think too young to start school)
    5) If you take the time to THINK before walking past security it won’t take much time, wouldn’t be a hassle.
    – all liquids 3.4 or less (size of the container not the liquid inside) needs to be in one clear quart size tip top page and run by itself through the x-ray machine. (one bag per person in the group)
    – lap tops taken out of your carry-on
    – all shoes (flip flops included) ran FLAT on the x-ray machine
    – all breathing machines accessible for additional testing.
    – all texas style belts, studded belts, big bracelets, earrings (don’t have to, but if it’s big it will alarm), pins, etc.
    – take your items off the belt and help stack the bins. The process has to completely stop if the x-ray operator has to stop the belt because all the bins are lines up blocking new items.
    – any other questions READ THE WEBSITE http://www.tsa.gov it will TELL you what to do.
    One last note…. why aren’t more columists writing about what to do correctly and WHY it has to be done than writing about “well this happened to this person because this person didn’t do this right”????????
    I could write an article by myself listing all the reason why
    a) you need to take your shoes off to be scanned
    b) No liquids bigger than 3.4 ounces are allowed
    c) lap tops need to be taken out of the carry on
    d) you need to take your belt off
    e) you need to take your jacket (button down/zipper) off
    Any other questions?

  149. rrapynot says:

    Judging by most of the comments here I would guess that most consumerist readers don’t have kids. It’s incredibly stressful to travel with a child that age. Cut the woman some slack!

  150. rea_music says:

    @IRSistherootofallevil:
    I had a woman say that to me about her two bottles of water. I told her I could dump out the water and she could keep the containers and fill them again after she enters the checkpoint. She said she wanted to see me dump it out. I dumped it out handed her the containers and she threw them away in front of me. Your airline will have drinks for you if needed. If you have a medical condition you need a liquid to drink, bring juice and tell the TSO before you put your bag through the x-ray machine. PULL THE LIQUID OUT OF YOUR BAG. You making that statement will NOT let you keep your liquid. I had an old lady tell me her eye cream is medication. I had a guy tell me his 7 jars of peanut butter was for kids in Africa. I had a lady through a hissy fit because her two BIG bottles of wine isn’t allowed. She screamed, walked behind the belt where I was, and than refused to have her laptop tested. The police officers had to take her out of the checkpoint and tell her she was not allowed to fly that day. He story probably read more like, “All I was doing was walking through the medal detector, when the x-ray operator stopped the belt and looked at me. I than asked her what was wrong. She replied ‘ma’m all liquids over 3.4 ounces can’t go.’ I replied my bag was to heavy to check under the plane so I was told to take out the bottles and carry them on. I grabbed my shoes and she yelled at me for reaching into the machine. Another guy took my bag with my wine and was telling me they couldn’t go. Than a third person said they had to do testing on my laptop, so I said ‘NO’. The person put my laptop by the x-ray operatorfor holding. Three policemen came over to me. I went to get my lap top and the police said I couldn’t get it. I was than told I couldn’t fly that day.”
    TRUTH 1) The wine was too big to go, 2) She reached into the machine, could have been hurt and yelled at me that it was her shoes, 3) She denied testing on her laptop, 4) She went behind where only TSO’s are allowed to go 5) She TOLD the police officer she didn’t have to listen to him.
    Know all the facts before you listen to someone crying that they broke a rule and were treated as such.

  151. Poohbah says:

    I’ve flown a lot since 9/11. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories courtesy of the Internet.

    The thing is . . .

    1. I’ve never had anything like this happen to me.
    2. I’ve never seen anything like this happen at a checkpoint.
    3. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening to anyone I know.
    4. Nobody I know has seen anything like this happen at a checkpoint.

    Methinks that there is something missing from this tale . . . something akin to the time I had to bail one of my Marines out of jail, and he finally said to me, “Honest, Sarge, I wasn’t trying to start a fight when I called that Army Ranger a faggot!”

  152. Jon Mason says:

    @FunkLord – no, 100s of people follow the same rules, deal with the same TSA agents and manage not to get into embarassing scenes. Dozens of people forget the same rules, but don’t act like idiots when the TSA points this out to them. The only different factor in this case was the passenger behaving like a spoilt brat…

  153. Invisobel says:

    @doctor_cos: I’ve got to say that while no liquids on the plane seems like a great idea, it strikes me as a bit futile. I mean a guy could walk onto a plane with a pen full of explosive and that would be enough to blow out a window, unless they’re prepared to strip search everyone they are only trying to maintain an illusion of safety. If somebody wants to blow something up they’re gonna do it. I believe freedom has a price, but who determines when we cross the line?

  154. jeffislouie says:

    @royal72:
    “rules of stupidity and fear. if someone wants to take down a plane, then they will and no amount wasted time, money, and freedom taken away will change that… “

    Great logic.
    I guess the same could be said about anything now, couldn’t it?
    For instance – if someone wants to murder other people, no amount of wasted time, money and freedom taken away will change that.
    Same with rape, robbery, assault, tax evasion, etc.
    To hell with the rules!
    That’s why I don’t wear pants, have shirts with bullseyes on them, carry my money pinned to my shirt, leave my doors and windows open and unlocked, and carry a sign saying: ‘feel free to do what you want!’. I’ve also painted “My doors are unlocked” on the side of my building and had sticker made for my car.
    Absurd.
    By the way – is flying a right? Nope.
    It is a privilege. That’s it!
    Meaning that any private company can impose restrictions on what goes on a plane as well as determine what security procedures they want.
    TSA is a federal agency that does its best to protect people who fly.
    Don’t like it? Tough. Don’t fly.
    This amounts to a whole bunch of complaning over nothing.
    And so many have posted how silly the rules are and how poor of a job is done…
    Have there been any terror attacks on airplanes since these rules have developed?
    Not one.
    Your choice is security or no security. That’s it.
    I have flown to Israel 4 times and each time, I spent the extra money to fly EL-AL. They have the strictest security of all. Every single member of their security team is ex-military. They ask you all sorts of questions and go through each bag to ensure the safety of their passengers. It lengthens the amount of time before you actually get on the plane, but I’ve never felt safer. When trying to determine security levels, Americans were unwilling to accept this level of security and we get what we always get from the federal government – the winner was the lowest bidder.
    I am not a huge fan of the TSA, and I don’t think they should have ALLEGEDLY berated her – but I would not be surprised in the least to find out that instead of simply complying with TSA, this person freaked out and started being a pain in the butt.
    You get what you deserve (admittedly, the alleged behavior of TSA was over the top, but also only alleged).
    The funny thing is that very few complaints seem to be coming from people who actually fly frequently.
    And the excuse that she ‘forgot’ or should be required to ‘remember’ the rules is asinine on it’s face. I literally JUST got back from vacation in California. I heard the announcement so many times that it is burned in my brain. NO LIQUIDS.
    Comply, or don’t fly. But most of all – listen to the TSA agents and don’t argue. They will let you empty your screaming kids sippy cup, pass through security and then let you go fill it up again. BIG DEAL.

  155. fredmertz says:

    At some level, unpredictability of TSA employees is a very important and good thing. The more predictable the procedures are, the easier they are to thwart. Whether it is intentional is another question entirely.

  156. jeffislouie says:

    And one more thing -
    Too many of you seem to think that the only danger liquids can pose are explosive in nature.
    That’s is just simplistic liberalism for you.
    Mixing two odorless and colorless liquids can result in toxic fumes that could kill everyone on a plane.
    It can also create acids that can burn through people’s skin as well as metals and plastics.
    Think outside the box – the terrorists sure are.
    Too many of you have forgotten what it was like BEFORE 9/11.
    People could travel with knives and box cutters and no one would say boo.
    But yet again, many of you miss the point here:
    this young woman claims to have suffered abuse by the TSA agents. We don’t know what she did, we don’t know what was said, and we don’t really know what happened.
    She claims to have been threatened with arrest and intimidated by armed TSA agents. Can we verify that?
    Of course not.
    Take a step back and think for a moment. The majority of us that travel via airplane have ZERO complaints that come even close to what this story alleges.
    I’d still bet the mom (yes, she’s pretty hot) wasn’t polite and coureous at all – I’d bet she was madder than heck that TSA had the cojones to say anything to her.
    Hey – i feel for her. Traveling with a kid can be rough. Suck it up! It’s YOUR kid. Why excuse anyone of their responsibility because they have a kid? Horse poop. Not buying it.

  157. Broncobri5 says:

    TSA is the worst idea ever. They can be complete asses with no consequences. The worst part is that we, the customer, are paying them through taxes and aitline tickets. They have no one to report to, and are all on a power trip. They broke a portable DVD player of mine, so I filled out countless pages of BS forms, only for them to respond “your word against our’s, and we win”

  158. bbbici says:

    How about we go back to the old fashioned method, which was more than adequate (metal detector and xrays).

    It was the passengers on board the doomed 9/11 flights who were so afraid of a 1/4-inch-deep slash from an exacto knife that they let themselves fly into buildings and set off a massive war.

    If you can hijack a plane with an exacto knife, then surely you can find something onboard a plane to serve the same purpose.

    Lock the flight deck and arm a stewardess. done.

  159. skyyguy says:

    I’m glad the bitch and the bastard missed their flight. While the TSA douchebags were out of control; I hate people with kids when I’m flying. I was behind a family the other day in security; and they take forever, with all their crap. And of course they have vitamin water that they want to take on board; but it has to be thrown out or checked. The rules are the rules; they have been in effect for a long time. Drug the damn bastard; and he will be quiet without his damn sippy cup.

  160. nidolke says:

    That’s why I driiive everywhere baby.

  161. zolielo says:

    TSA screeners are not TSA air marshals, not even close and that is part of the problem…

    TRANSPORTATION SECURITY OFFICER (TSO) (Screener)

    QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

    • Be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National

    • Have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent; OR

    • Have at least one year of full-time work experience in security work, aviation screener work, or X-ray technician work.

    In order to successfully perform this work, TSO’s must possess the following job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities:

    • English Proficiency (e.g., reading, writing, speaking, listening);

    • Mental Abilities (e.g., visual observation, x-ray interpretation);

    • Personal Characteristics and Skills (e.g., customer service, dependability, integrity); and

    • Physical Abilities (e.g., repeatedly lifting and carrying baggage weighing up to 70 lbs, bending, reaching, stooping, squatting, standing, and walking)

    In addition, all TSO’s must meet job-related medical standards that will be assessed in a pre-employment medical evaluation. This evaluation considers relevant aspects of all body systems (e.g., cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, auditory, etc.). The medical standards include but are not limited to:

    • Visual ability including two functioning eyes with:

    * Distance vision correctable to 20/30 or better in the best eye and 20/100 or better in the worse eye;

    * Near vision correctable to 20/40 or better binocular;

    * Color perception (e.g., red, green, blue, yellow, orange, purple, brown, black, white, gray).
    Note: color filters (e.g.,contact lenses) for enhancing color discrimination are prohibited;

    • Hearing (corrected or uncorrected) as measured by audiometry cannot exceed: a) an average hearing loss of 25 decibels (ANSI) at 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000Hz in each ear, and b) single reading of 45 decibels at 4000 and 6000 Hz in each ear;

    • Adequate joint mobility, dexterity and range of motion, strength, and stability to repeatedly lift and carry up to 70 pounds; and

    • Blood pressure not to exceed 140 / 90.

    Conditions of Employment: To be considered for initial employment, you must be able to:

    • Pass a pre-employment drug screening test

    • Pass a background investigation, including a criminal check and a credit check. NOTE: This is a non-critical sensitive National Security position that requires you to be fingerprinted, photographed, and complete appropriate security paperwork, including a SF-86 Questionnaire for National Security Positions. The pre-employment background investigation must be completed with favorable results prior to a final offer of employment and cannot be initiated until submission of a COMPLETED questionnaire.

    If your credit check reveals any of the following, YOU WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR THIS POSITION:

    • Defaulted on $5,000 or more in debt (excluding certain circumstances of bankruptcy), or

    • Owe any delinquent Federal or State taxes, or

    • Owe any past due child support payments.

    • Pass initial hiring and all training requirements including 56-72 hours of classroom training, 112-128 hours of on-the-job training, and initial certification testing.

    NOTE: Initial training may require you to travel for up to two weeks on a full-time schedule.


    To maintain employment, you must meet all qualification requirements described above. In addition, you must be able to:

    • Demonstrate daily a fitness for duty without impairment due to illegal drugs, sleep deprivation, medication, or alcohol;

    • Work all of the following: part-time work consists of shift-work on any day from Sunday through Saturday, which may include irregular hours, nights, holidays, overtime, extended shifts and weekend shifts, changing shifts, and split shifts (e.g., some duty hours are completed in the morning while the others are completed during a night shift). The airport will determine specific work schedules after you begin your appointment.


    • Pass all recurrent and specialized training and re-certification tests on a periodic basis;

    • Pass random drug screening tests; and

    • Pass all recurrent background investigations, including a criminal check and credit check.

  162. xamarshahx says:

    It always pisses me off that these retards think their God just because the government upgraded their pay and gave em shiny new badges. They let the terrorists walk through with smiles, but harass everyone else who they can bully around. Even the asshole customs officers whose signs clearly say they must greet you with a smile never do. I am sure if I questioned it they would stick my ass in Guantanamo, they always treat me like a total 2nd class citizen. I wonder how they treat non-Americans, no wonder the rest of the world think we are as rude as the French.

  163. jeffislouie says:

    @xamarshahx:
    ” They let the terrorists walk through with smiles, but harass everyone else who they can bully around. “
    As evidenced by….?
    Oh right, your anger and distrust.
    Putz.
    Go back to the downers – the uppers clearly make you easily agitated.

    “I am sure if I questioned it they would stick my ass in Guantanamo, they always treat me like a total 2nd class citizen.”
    Mmm hmm.
    Sure they do.
    Again – settle down.
    “no wonder the rest of the world think we are as rude as the French.”
    I’d guess it’s more because of crap like this than anything the security and customs agents do.
    See, when you vent your spleen about people not smiling and make false accusations about getting thrown in gitmo if you ask a customs agent why they don’t smile, people from all over the world read it when they come here. They don’t think “Yeah, that guys right! TSA and Customs agents are jerks.” They think “What an asshole this guy is. All Americans must be assholes.”
    Think, then speak.

  164. andrewsmash says:

    This is what happens when you combine minimum wage employees with the “power of authoritah!”

  165. bp_lv says:

    People in the US have given up their civil liberties so easily because they want to be “safe” yet fail to realize what has made them more safe… people on a hijacked airplanes will not sit quietly and try to wait it out anymore. That change happened so quickly the fourth plane on 9/11 didn’t make it to its target. And the government didn’t implement that change. Hopefully everyone will checkout Ron Paul so that we might shutdown the TSA.

  166. rea_music says:

    THE TRUTH
    [www.tsa.gov]
    Click the link and read and watch the video for yourself of what REALLY happened. You can see the woman take the lid off the sippy cup, pour the water onto the floor (with her shoes on), and try to walk back into the secure area through the exit lane, THAN argue with the police officer who stopped her. The truth comes out!

  167. Miss Anthropy says:

    Ohhh… that video is awesome…

    I love how opening the cup, dumping the contents, and shaking it out becomes “I unscrewed the cup to drink the water, which accidentally spilled because I was so upset with the situation.”

    The best part is that her toddler was behaving better than she was.

  168. Jon Mason says:

    Ben, if you are reading the last couple of comments, PLEASE either update this story or post the other side of the story, with the video on the main page. Suggested headline: “Woman claiming to be Secret Service Agent freaks out at airport security while trying to carry TWO liquid containers through security”

    Not that we should necessarily believe the other side as the truth either, but the fact that we can see her tip the water out, the report makes no mention of 40 minutes of detention, and she managed to leave out the fact that she tried to skip the line by flashing “secret service” leaves me even more inclined to disbelieve her…

  169. ingmar says:

    Lol. Add to that the fact that we foreigners literally must pay for the privilege of being probed by an anal retentive pack of monkeys so we can spend MORE money on the US; if we fail to comply, we’re gently invited to leave the country by deportation. That if we have been able to pass through the mandatory interview with the US ambassador itself (through 10-15 cm. thick bulletproof glass, like if I’d bring a bazooka to the interview).

    How many _real_ threats have been actually stopped by this “you are a damn criminal until proven otherwise” policy?

  170. zolielo says:

    But all of the secret service agents I know are so outstanding. Honestly, what happened there?

  171. curmudgeon5 says:

    The Washington Post is reporting on this this morning and says that TSA has actually posted footage and the incident report on their Web site. You can read the article at this link:
    [www.washingtonpost.com]

  172. afran303 says:
  173. Onouris says:

    @lohphat:

    I certainly hope by we you just mean America.

  174. xamarshahx says:
  175. synergy says:
  176. synergy says:

    @Johnny: FTW

  177. WSUCanuck says:

    I really wish you guys would run an update to this story that has video of the incident, and that the TSA agents weren’t harassing her, but the exact opposite. She flashed her SS badge (secret service mind you) and acted like the rules didn’t apply to her.

    The water was not “accidentally” spilled. She dumped it on the agent.

    want video proof? You guys may not like the source, but the evidence is indisputable [www.tsa.gov]


    I don’t like the TSA myself, but i hate lying whining attention whores more than the TSa.

  178. jeffislouie says:

    As much as I hate people who say ‘I told you so’…..
    I told you so.
    :-)

  179. MandM813 says:

    Beerad, lmao! Good one!

  180. liberal_conservative says:

    If you watch the video, the woman clearly opens the lid and dumps the water onto the ground. She even gives the cup a few shakes to get every last drop out. Why not just do what she was asked to do? She turned the situation into a pissing-contest by her careless action and flashing her credentials. While I have never flown with a toddler in-tow I am very much aware of the ban of liquids in airports (as I’m sure a government agent would/should be as well). If that sippy-cup is so precious why not carry it minus any liquids until making it through the security checkpoint? Surely the little boy was at no risk of dehydration from the time he left the origin of the magically filtered tap water to the time he and his mother made it to the gate! My question is what took the TSA so long to clean up the spill? If you watch the video dozens of people can be seen walking through the area where the spill occurred. That selfish woman put other travellers

  181. Well, I watched the TSA video, and it looks like the airport police, not the TSA, intentionally humiliated the woman. Yeah, she seemed frazzled trying to get her infant, his baggage-laden stroller, and herself onto the plane, and she does appear to spill the water from the sippy cup on purpose. If you’ve got a kid, you know that sippy cups typically hold only a few ounces of water and, if the kid had already drank some, there was probably not much to spill.

    Now, I’m not arguing that she should have just been permitted to spill the water, but what APPEARS to transpire next does not speak well for the government: The female cop stops her, threatens her with arrest, and demands that Frazzled Woman clean up the water herself. FW crouches down and tries to clean up the water with something from her bag. The female cop radios for backup and puts her left hand on her gun (since she had a likely terrorist here, I guess). FW then pulls the kid from his stroller (probably he started crying) and, well copper looks on, goes back to trying to clean. The kid then runs off and almost gets to the end of the floor before FW catches him. Some guy in a suit shows up and picks up / holds the kid — so FW can go back to the hard labor to which copper sentenced her. Then a TSA guys comes up and starts handing FW paper towels, and still she’s wiping, and still copper looks unsatisfied. The TSA guy actually starts to help her clean, but, perhaps because of a remark from copper, stands up and lets FW finish (but takes her used towels). The whole process takes 10 or so minutes, for most of which Frazzled Woman is seen trying to clean.

    How hard can it be clean up a few oz of water? It looks like the cop wasn’t going to let FW get back in the security line until every molecule of water was cleaned up, twice.

    So, the bigger picture looks to me like the following: FW does something she shouldn’t, but nothing that’s a big deal, either. Airport police woman on power trip makes it a very big deal, and does in fact abuse FW. FW posts her experience to a listserv and, although she was genuinely abused, glosses over her role in triggering the abuse. Bloggers pick up the story, treating each word as fact. TSA, mis-using the power of the state, posts the video and police report, and contacts Wash Post and other papers “on background” to discredit the woman, glossing over the police’s misconduct. It works.

  182. Hunner says:

    I think she should have been arrested after viewing the video on TSA’s website. TSA has a difficult time keeping passengers safe, and we should all be a little more sympathetic to what they have to face after 911. They are the first to get blamed when something goes wrong and the last to receive kudos when a terroristic plot is stopped and they are involved. I don’t want their job. But to be effective in their positions NOBODY can receive special treatment. Someone could have stolen her ID and used it to gain access. I don’t care who she works for, when special treatment is extended, security is compromised! Let’s not forget the astro-nut!! Should she have gotten through also, with Depends undergarments and all? Let’s think about this for a moment folks….NO!

    Did you ever wonder why the fiance was walking so far ahead of her? It took me 15 seconds of viewing this woman’s body language, attitude and demeanor to figure out that she is a loose canon. The fiance got the heck out of dodge and left her to fend for herself. She clearly dumped water on the floor posing a slip and fall hazard to other passengers. She could have been arrested for disorderly conduct and should have been arrested!

    No one is exempt from the screening process. Even flashing her credentials to obtain favors or special treatment is unethical and a prohibited practice unless for official business…shame on her! If those are the type of individuals who protect our President, I am concerned. Would she let someone bypass security measures that are in place for keeping our President safe? She of all people should understand and respect security measures that are in place to keep our country and citizens safe!!

  183. Trackback says:

    Downgraded: Odds of seeing pole-dancer art on London-Gatwick approach First it was the Kentucky Fried Chicken ad featuring a Colonel Sanders image visible from space. Now, a website’s advertisement featuring a giant chalk outline of a poledancing stripper is causing controversy in the UK.

  184. fedfed2 says:

    They werem’t harrassing her. She conveniently left out the part about flashing her badge and her pathetic attempt to get special treatment. Don’t fell bad for her and don’t blame the TSA. It’s the child one should worry about. What kind of a possible psycho, self-indulgent monster is he gonna end up being after having been raised by a mother like that!?

  185. jeffislouie says:

    riiiiight.
    I guess the rules don’t apply to mothers with kids.
    Everyone else can’t have any liquids with them, but mom and baby? Sure – we’ll overlook it.
    And when a terrorist sneaks through using this exploit and releases an airborne toxin into the recirculating air system on an airplane and it goes down, we’ll laugh and laugh at how darned creative these guys can be!
    Hooray!
    Bottom line – I watched the video. I’m glad the TSA put it out there. They were accused of wrongdoing and responded with video evidence.
    The woman made a bunch of claims that were ridiculous and disproven.
    She dumped the water out – I don’t care if you think it was a few ounces. Someone could have slipped and fallen, then sued the TSA and the airport. And if it was only a few ounces of water, not a full cup, why did it take almost a half a roll of paper towels to clean up?
    Go watch the video, I lost count of the number of sheets of bounty the woman had to use to clean it up.
    Bottom line – listen to the TSA and don’t argue. This wouldn’t have been an issue if she had said – OK. I’ll dump it out and come back through the line. My bad.
    And she exasperated the incident by removing her kid from the stroller. Why did she do that? Because she knew her kid would likely wander away and make it more difficult. Any person that has ever traveled with a kid knows that the best way to keep a toddler restrained is to keep them in their stroller, not release them while trying to argue with the TSA.
    She got what she deserved. Maybe even less.
    Like it or not (and I don’t care), the TSA IS the authority. Don’t pull out an expired secret service badge, don’t talk down to them, don’t tell them they are wrong, and don’t throw a hissy fit. COMPLY.
    If you get pulled over for speeding, you don’t tell the cop that the law is stupid and doesn’t apply to you. You apologize and comply with them. Argue in court, not with the enforcement officer. And have some damn respect – the TSA agents are doing their job.

  186. Syliva says:

    This lady was 100% in the WRONG! Say what you want about the TSA, they were RIGHT and I’m glad they posted the video and called this woman out to be the liar she is. She didn’t try to drink it like she claimed and it DIDN’T spill on accident, she CLEARLY spilled it out in frustration. The she had the nerve to play the “do you know who I am” card! I am thrilled they made her clean it up, she needed to be knocked down a few pegs.

  187. joe573 says:

    I hate to disagree with you guys but I saw that video and I think she deserved it. She is an ex Secret Service member and told security that she should be exempt from the rules. She then preceded to push her way through the checkpoint. When they chased after her and stopped her, she threw a tantrum and poured the water from the sippy cup onto the floor. She got flustered, lost control, and acted like a child. She deserved the treatment she recieved. Nobody is exempt from the rules.