The Evolution Of Airport Security: From Carry-On Dynamite To No Liquids Allowed

The Evolution Of Airport Security: From Carry-On Dynamite To No Liquids Allowed

Airports can be one of the most frustrating places in the world to spend an afternoon. Getting to the airport two hours early, waiting in security lines, taking off your shoes, walking through space-age like metal detectors, it can all be a huge hassle. But it wasn’t always that way. Before the days of 3.4-ounce liquids and random screenings, airport security was pretty simple.  [More]

TSA Just Decides Everyone In My Line Is Qualified For Expedited Screening

TSA Just Decides Everyone In My Line Is Qualified For Expedited Screening

Usually when we write about gripes with the Transportation Security Administration, it’s that the TSA is being too nosy and touchy-feely at airport security checkpoints, but what about when it just decides that two entire lines of travelers don’t need the full screening and deserve the same expedited screening as the pre-vetted travelers in the TSA PreCheck program? [More]

The TSA Kids Website Is Gloriously Hilarious (And A Bit Scary)

The TSA Kids Website Is Gloriously Hilarious (And A Bit Scary)

Whether it’s removing a family from a flight because their 18-month-old is on a “no-fly” list, demanding that a 4-year-old get a pat-down because she hugged her grandmother, patting down an infant, evacuating a terminal because one parent passes a baby to the other without receiving a secondary screening, or screaming at the parents of a child with cerebral palsy, the TSA has shown time and again that it has a masterful touch when dealing with young children. That unique sensibility is definitely on display at the agency’s new site dedicated to educating children about security theater. [More]

Did An Airport Employee Place Dry Ice Bombs At LAX?

Did An Airport Employee Place Dry Ice Bombs At LAX?

Police in Los Angeles say that the dry ice bombs found in supposedly secure areas of Los Angeles International Airport earlier this week may have been set by a disgruntled employee, though the exact reason for placing the devices is still unclear. [More]

(Source: GAO)

TSA Misconduct Cases On The Rise; Agency Not Following Up On All Complaints

In theory, the Transportation Security Administration is supposed to be a last line of defense against terrorists and other folks who want to do bad things on airplanes. With so many lives on the line, employee misconduct of any kind can’t really be tolerated, but the last few years have seen an increase in bad behavior by TSA staffers. [More]

TSA Making It (A Bit) Easier To Enroll In Expedited Security Screening Program

TSA Making It (A Bit) Easier To Enroll In Expedited Security Screening Program

We’ve been writing for quite some time about the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck (or as the TSA obnoxiously insists on writing, “Pre✓™”) program, which allows vetted travelers to go through an airport security screening process. To enroll, consumers need to be a member of certain airlines’ frequent flier programs or already part of other trusted-traveler services, but starting this fall, the TSA will open up online enrollment in PreCheck… with one major catch. [More]

(Bill Binns)

The TSA’s Solution For My Reluctance To Open Baby Food Jars? A Pat-Down

While we’re not fans of hands-on pat-downs from security, we understand that they exist as an alternative or a supplement to being screened at a scanner. But one Consumerist reader wants to know why a pat-down would be viewed as a way to ensure that he’s not carrying explosive materials in baby food jars. [More]

No more of these backscatter images.

TSA Replaces Backscatter Airport Scanners With Technology That Won’t Show Your Private Bits

We’ve come a long way, baby, and it seems the days of worrying over whether or not Transportation Security Administration agents were snickering at your nude image on an airport scanner are over. The backscatter scanners are gone — so now we can get back to worrying about what kind of funk we’re picking up in our socked feet during the security line walk instead. [More]

Airports Say More Travelers Are Faking Need For Wheelchairs Just To Get Through Lines Faster

Airports Say More Travelers Are Faking Need For Wheelchairs Just To Get Through Lines Faster

The law requires that airlines provide free wheelchair assistance to anyone who requests it; no documentation or evidence of injury required. And a growing number of unscrupulous travelers are taking advantage of this system, faking injuries and disabilities to get preferential treatment at security checkpoints and at the gate. [More]

These are AOK by the TSA.

Air Marshals & Flight Attendants Not So Happy With This “Knives Are Okay On Planes Now” Thing

Yesterday the Transportation Security Administration announced that it was tweaking the rules regarding small pocketknives, carry-on golf clubs and other sporting equipment. While travelers sick of losing their Swiss Army knives and other little blades rejoiced over the decision, groups representing Federal Air Marashals and flight attendants are all like, “Wait, hold up — knives on planes? Really?” [More]


More than a decade after enacting strict prohibitions on carrying knives on U.S. flights, Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole says the agency will begin allowing smaller pocketknives and limited carry-on of golf clubs and other sporting equipment. (via Bloomberg)


Standing In A Long Line At The Airport Right Now? You Can Maybe Blame Sequestration

The Department of Transportation issued a foreboding warning about the effects of across-the-board government spending cuts if sequestration went into effect on March 1, which it did. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is already warning travelers of delays, but if you’re currently standing in a long line at airport security, this isn’t news to you. [More]


You Can’t Bring A Loaded Gun In Your Carry-On Even If You’re An NFL Player

The human brain is a shifty thing — you thought you put your keys in your pocket but really they’re in the freezer! — but there’s no way the Transportation Security Administration is going to accept “I forgot a gun was in my bag and/or that it was loaded” as an excuse without a little bit of digging. Even if you happen to be a defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. [More]

Your passport to savings... and apparently airport security.

Lost Your License Or Passport? Airport Security Will Accept A Costco Card

A few years back, I misplaced my license while in Washington, D.C. for a wedding. Little did I know that I didn’t have to take a bus back to New York; I apparently could have just shown my Costco card. [More]


Woman Sues TSA, FBI, Frontier Airlines After Being Detained & Strip-Searched

Back on Sept. 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an Ohio woman was one of three people detained by authorities at Detroit Metro Airport, where she claims she was strip-searched and held without cause for four hours. [More]

Image from a back-scatter scanner

TSA Finally Removing “Naked” Full-Body Scanners From Airports

Last fall, it was reported that the Transportation Security Administration was moving its controversial backscatter full-body scanners out of busier airports and moving them to smaller ones. Now, the agency says it is getting rid of these scanners altogether. [More]

No, this is not the sequel to the 1997 Joe Pesci comedy.

18 Heads Found In Airport Duffel Bag; May Be Completely Legal

There are all sorts of restrictions on things you can carry on to a plane; don’t dare try to bring that bottle of Poland Spring through the checkpoint. But 18 heads in a duffel bag? That might actually be okay, say customs officials. [More]

(Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie)

Posing Problems For PreCheck: Smartphones Can Scan Boarding Pass Barcodes

You’ve lost that random feeling, ohh that random feeling, now it’s gone… gone… gone. Security experts say a flaw in airline boarding passes that allows their barcodes to be scanned with smartphones makes the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck system not very useful. If PreCheck passengers can scan their barcodes ahead of time and see if they’ll be screened routinely or [More]