The Transportation Security Administration wants you to know that it takes “cupcakegate” very seriously, which is why they’re reiterating why it was deemed not okay for a woman to take a cupcake through security in a jar, when carrying a regular, non-jarred up dessert with icing is fine. It’s the level of frosting, you see, and the 3-1-1 rule.
In a recent blog post, via NPR, Bob Burns of the TSA catches readers up on the story of the woman who wasn’t allowed to bring her cupcake-in-a-jar on the plane in Las Vegas. Using a side-by-side comparison of two different cupcakes, one outside a jar, one in, Burns writes:
I wanted to make it clear that this wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill cupcake. If you’re not familiar with it, we have a policy directly related to the UK liquid bomb plot of 2006 called 3-1-1 that limits the amount of liquids, gels and aerosols you can bring in your carry-on luggage. Icing falls under the “gel” category. As you can see from the picture, unlike a thin layer of icing that resides on the top of most cupcakes, this cupcake had a thick layer of icing inside a jar.
In general, cakes and pies are allowed in carry-on luggage, however, the officer in this case used their discretion on whether or not to allow the newfangled modern take on a cupcake per 3-1-1 guidelines. They chose not to let it go.
While the cake on the right does look gooey and frosting-covered, the one on the left is also pretty heavy on the icing. And “newfangled,” really? Is that what the kids are calling putting things in jars these days?
However, he does have a point, in that if someone’s going to hide an explosive, they’re not going to put it in a box labeled “TNT.”
“When you think about it, do you think an explosive would be concealed in an ominous item that would draw attention, or something as simple as a cute cupcake jar?”
Duly noted. Delicious treats must stand on their own delicious feet. And how’s about we all stop using the suffix “gate” to indicate anything remotely controversial?
Cupcakegate [TSA Blog]