Flyer Alert: No Soap OR Radio

If you’re flying within the next few days, don’t try to bring that nalgene of Dom Pom on the plane or listen to your iPod. A foiled terrorist plot involving combustible liquids detonated by electronics devices has raised a ban on carrying either aboard. Anything in a bottle is gonna go in the trash. Check everything except your wallets, keys and passports. Expect extended delays, canceled flights and intensive security searches at all airports.

UPDATE: Gadgets are not banned on US flights, just UK. No word whether handheld steam-powered devices are permissible. We presume so, just as long as they’re not in a bottle.

UPDATE: Whodathunkit, the terrorist news caused oil per barrel prices to drop a buck.


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  1. any such name says:



  3. kerry says:

    So, we’re supposed to check absolutely everything we own, including cell phones, hand cream, pacemakers, anything with a battery (watches, too?), to get on an airplane? For how long is this the case? How the mass chaos resulting from these new regulations supposed to make us safer? It’s official – the terrorists have won.

  4. amazon says:

    What are they going to do about infants with dirty diapers? ;)

  5. creamsissle says:

    The sign she’s holding is begging to be Photoshopped.

    If they’re such a threat, why are these items just now being banned? Shouldn’t DHS be proactive in realizing what items can be harmful? They’re like “oh s—! we didn’t think of that!”

    I’m predicting that we’re not far from having required in-flight uniforms. (I’m thinking paper hospital gowns.) But sir, the opening in the back is for your convenience to facilitate faster security searches!

  6. matto says:

    Great. Once again, instead of doing their jobs (and finding “the terrorists”), these overpaid sacks of shit cop out and screw us all instead.

  7. RandomHookup says:

    “I’m sorry, sir, but you’re going to have to empty that bladder before we can let you board.”

  8. Robin Hood says:

    Electronics are not banned on US flights, only the liquids and gels. Electronics (and most anything else) are banned in the UK.

  9. loudguitars says:

    I know they were banning all in-flight electronics in the UK, but from what I can see on the TSA’s site, there’s no indication that you can’t take your gadgetry aboard US Domestic flights.

    Granted, just because it’s not on the TSA website doesn’t mean it’s not being arbitrarily enforced by confused TSA employees, but it doesn’t appear that it’s something that should be happening for domestic flights in the US.

    You’ll still have to find toothpaste, but it looks like you can at least avoid sending your laptop through the jaws of the beast.

  10. Itch says:

    Dont forget that car keyfobs also have batteries. I own a cheap ass car I admit, with a noisemaker for an alarm. The alarm is set w/ said keyfob. I want to know what happens when my luggages w/ keys gets temporarly lost. The starting the car doesnt turn of the alarm.

    So who wants to start up an airport locker business? If you could provide security it would probably make money hand over first right now.

  11. MattyMatt says:

    That would explain the security woman’s limp, stringy hair.

  12. Yep says:

    No liquids, no gels? What about liquigels? Can I bring my liquigels?

    Announcing new prices for in-flight beverages:
    Water – $8
    Soft Drinks – $15
    Beer/Wine – $27
    Mixed Drinks – Please ask flight attendant for credit application.

  13. I started a photoshop thread here…

  14. Mojosan says:

    Pardon me for not being smug…

    But what, exactly, would be your response/solution to this issue?

  15. Rick Dobbs says:

    “We don’t really know what to look for. So let’s stop everything! Sir! What do you plan to do with those pants once the flight has departed???”

  16. matto says:

    Mojosan: How about the intelligence gathering and detective work that dozens of well-funded US organizations have been tasked with- pre and post 9/11, instead of periodic, purely reactive paroxysms of pointless gestures, which show ‘action’ by merely fucking over travelers?

    Its unthinking apologist sheep like you that make these irresponsible pigs think they’re doing a good job convincing us that they’re earning their keep.

  17. Triteon says:

    Mojo’s right…what would you prefer? Would it be better to hear that MI5 caught these bastards and revealed their plans– but the US response was to maintain the status quo and NOT heighten security measures?

  18. matto says:

    are you aware that the entire set of ‘news information’ on this ‘terrorist plot’ has yet to be substantiated by any fact whatsoever?

  19. Joe_Bagadonuts says:

    By banning hair gel, the terrorists win.

  20. any such name says:

    Joe… did I used to work with you because Brian gave you that nickname?

  21. Triteon says:

    …or that for the time being it may be classified? Yes, on all counts. So what is your preferred response, Matto? Mojo and I have posed questions you seem to dislike, yet you haven’t stated your ideal solution/response to the situation?

  22. matto says:

    Yeah. Taking action on “classified” information’s worked really well for us, hasn’t it?

  23. thwarted says:

    Good, ’cause we’re flying to Gatwick tomorrow and I WANT MY FREAKIN’ NINTENDO.

  24. GenXCub says:

    CaptainObvious. To borrow from our gaytarded president, we can see opportunity in this crisis. A business could get “registered” with the TSA (and UK’s TSA equivalent), and add a $xx charge onto tickets. Customers can be visited the day of their flight, and have all items picked up, taken through security, and sent to their destination airport. Customers can then be taken in their flight clothes (sans shoes) to a designated area, and placed on their flights. Belongings will be waiting for them at a counter.

    If the TSA could grant this type of service, using approved employees, people would pay a fuckton of money to bypass the hassle, I guarantee it.

  25. w.oods says:

    I am surprised they have not yet banned the exploding laptops. Could you imagine that thing going off in the cockpit. You wouldn’t even need a case of ammo to rest it on.

  26. RandomHookup says:

    Just waiting to fly again until we are guaranteed an anal probe first. Cause if our anuses aren’t violated, the terrorists win.

  27. AcilletaM says:

    GenXCub: You mean like this?

  28. Mojosan says:

    Looks like I hit a nerve with matto.

    Arrests were made by UK and Pakistani police.

    Are you still going to pretend it’s not real?

  29. Antediluvian says:

    So I really want to know about this liquid in particular:

    BABY FORMULA (or bottled breast milk).

    Are they allowing infant feeding supplies to go on board? Not a single article I’ve seen has mentioned this. Or are they banning all infants from flying?

    Not a parent, not apparent.

  30. Cory Doctorow had a good point over on BoingBoing, asking why governments are reacting this way when, you know, the police caught the terrorists:

    The point of terrorism is to make us afraid. The UK response to a foiled plot is to create an unspecified period during which fliers are arbitrarily deprived of iPods, novels and dignity.

    Apparently authorities are still trying to track down other suspects, so I suspose that accounts in part for the carry-on ban.

    Nevertheless, we can’t be too far away from the day a prominent terrorist goes, “We are going to blow up many planes using explosives packed inside brassieres,” just for fun to see our reaction.

  31. GenXCub says:

    Acell, take it one step further and have a shuttle service pick up things in advance. Basically be a luggage handling service. No more airline lost luggage.

  32. Re: baby formula – the articles I’ve seen (I forget where, though) said it’s allowed (in the US at least – I’m not sure about Britain) assuming you have an actual baby to go with it. And they have to check to make sure that’s really what it is (one article said they might make the parents taste it).

  33. Joe_Bagadonuts says:

    Andrew W.: Spot on observation.

  34. wikkit says:

    I agree completely with ‘matto’, proactive intelligence gathering and
    response is a sensible solution to terrorism domestic and abroad. Its
    this kind of activity that allowed MI5 to intercept the plot. Paranoid
    reactionary responses are nothing more than political ploys ment to
    soothe the frightened masses. How many terrorist plots do you suppose
    were thwarted because the TSA put a ban on nail-clippers and lighters?
    A resourceful person could get around this liquids ban in a number of
    different ways.

  35. Word from the NYTimes is that at major airports (the paper cites Newark), airlines are setting up overnight shipments for people who would otherwise have to trash small-but-valuable items like make-up.

    I’m picturing 747s flying in formation, one for the people, another for all the people’s stuff.

  36. Boo says:


    The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority issued new rules effective noon on Aug. 10 after British police announced a plot to bomb commercial aircraft from Britain to the United States.

    The rules will affect you if you’re flying from any Canadian airport, including on a domestic trip.

    You can take carry-on luggage but it can’t contain any liquids or gels, including:

    * All beverages.
    * Shampoo.
    * Suntan lotion.
    * Creams.
    * Toothpaste.
    * Hair gel.

    The exceptions:

    * Baby formula.
    * Breast milk in bottles.
    * Juice for a baby or small child.
    * Prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket.
    * Insulin.
    * Essential non-prescription medicine.

    Put all liquids and gels in checked baggage.

    If you’re boarding a flight to the United States, you’ll be asked to take off your shoes for screening.

    But I wish they would at least consider banning the screaming baby that sits behind me on the airplane

  37. So… Is it just me.. or were those people arrested for PLOTTING to do something.. Granted, it’s in the UK and the rights of people are different there, but I though in order to be arrested, you needed to, you know, DO SOMETHING. :)

  38. Fenni Fentu says:

    Phillip: I think it’s what known as “conspiracy to commit murder”; all you need to find conspiracy is that you have taken steps to carry out the crime. It’s more than simply thoughtcrime. Based on the specific details that have come out so far, it appears that the people arrested were past the point of merely conceptually discussing their dislike of America.

  39. bambino says:

    Phillip: I almost can’t communicate to you the disgust that your comment arose in me.

    The ‘SOMETHING’ that they ‘DID’ was the ‘PLOTTING’.
    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and not assume that you’d rather they commit mass murder before there’s a reason to put them in jail.

  40. Ben Popken says:

    Stuart writes:

    “Send your laptop ahead by FedEx or DHL. It’ll get there before you do and it won’t disappear on a baggage carousel.”

  41. Captain Obvious –

    The sign she’s holding *would* be begging to be photoshopped . . . except that the sign she is holding has reached a critical level of ridiculous. Photoshopping could only degrade the absurdity.

  42. Antediluvian says:

    Boo: Thanks.
    I get sick and tired of all the media repeating ad nauseum, “all liquids banned! don’t even think of bringing that diet coke near the airport!” when, in fact, there are some reasonable and important exceptions.

    Were I the parent of an infant, I’d be in a panic at the thought of a flight w/ out a feeding.

    I’d be in even more of a panic if I were a passenger on a flight of hungry babies.

    Of course, I suppose the mothers could always breast-feed if possible, but then the passengers would be faced with the terrible danger of seeing an “unwanted breast.”

  43. Spr1dle: Ah. I see. So they were about to step on the plane with the items in question and there is proof that they had planned on attacking the plane with them? If so, then I stand corrected. Apparently, I thought that I only commited a crime once I, you know, commited a crime. :) At any time, they could’ve backed out. No harm, no foul. Arresting them beforehand isn’t acceptable IMHO.

    bambino: Yes. Honestly (and I know I’m going to be flamed for this), I would’ve prefered to have them attack and then arrest them then to assume they were going to. Can you honestly say that you NEVER thought about harming someone? Even if it was a brief flicker of a thought. Would you consider it acceptable that once you thought that thought, you were arrested and thrown into prison?

    Some of you may say that if they planned it ahead of time and got the materials and were going to do it have one fatal flaw to your logic. They DIDN’T do it. Planning how to kill someone is not a crime. It’s sick and not a good way to think, true. But I’d like to think that I can think about killing my wife, go to a gun shop, buy a gun, go to the house and wait with it drawn until she opens the door. As long as I don’t pull that trigger, personally, I don’t feel I’ve broken any laws.

    Of course, once she saw me there with the gun, she WOULD break some laws. :)

  44. Triteon says:

    Have we found AOL user 17556639?

  45. Triteon says:

    I just reread your last opinion piece, Phillip. I think it’s safe to assume these were potential suicide bombers…how, exactly, do we arrest suicide bombers after the fact?
    This isn’t your LARP, this would have potentially involved real people and real deaths.

  46. “I just reread your last opinion piece, Phillip. I think it’s safe to assume these were potential suicide bombers…how, exactly, do we arrest suicide bombers after the fact?”

    So what you are saying (please correct me if I’m misunderstanding) is that if we SUSPECT that they are going to do something, we should arrest them. Right? If someone is planning to die in an act that we SUSPECT that they are going to do, it’s ok to arrest them before they do anything..

    Am I simply misunderstanding? Please tell me I am.

    “This isn’t your LARP, this would have potentially involved real people and real deaths.”

    This is true. I don’t think it’s a LARP. However, I also realize that death happens. It’s a part of life. I’d be upset if people died. I’d want revenge if I knew them and honestly, I probably would if I didn’t know them. But I’m not so controled by my emotions as to let my instincts override my judgement. Let me try to put it another way…

    You are planning on blowing up the white house because of all the stuff that you don’t like. You go and make a bomb and strap it to yourself. On the car ride over, you decide that you must be nuts and turn back around. As you get home, you find police there ready to arrest you for what you were about to do. You are taken and hauled away never to be seen again.

    Is that right? Seriously. Is it? I don’t think so. Like I said before, I’d like to believe that I live in a country where you are innocent until you commit the action that is guilty. You didn’t set off the bomb. You didn’t do anything illegial except to plan and get ready to execute your plan. That is not the same as actually doing it.

  47. “Have we found AOL user 17556639?”

    Just an aside, no. That isn’t me. I love my wife and 3 year old dearly and would never wish them harm. But it was something that I thought allot of you can relate to. Everyone who’s been married before has had at least 1 fight with their spouse (if you haven’t, your lying or in a coma). :)

  48. “I think it’s safe to assume these were potential suicide bombers”

    Sorry. I hate to be a comment hog, but I have to answer this and I can’t edit comments.

    The day when someone is arrested based on an assumption is the day when I give up hope that this country will ever find its moral side.

  49. Fenni Fentu says:


    Check out the Wikipedia entry on Conspiracy (crime). It should answer at least some of your questions. Conspiracy to commit a crime is a crime in itself. If you don’t like that, start a protest, but it’s not a new concept. It’s been in American and English common law for centuries, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it had its origins in Roman law.

    Also, your hypothetical does not address the issue of conspiracy because only one person is involved. More than likely, what you have described (if it ended with you not pulling the trigger) would not constitute a crime. Conspiracy, however, is different from that. Thinking about harming another person isn’t a crime. Talking about it with others and taking steps to carry it out, on the other hand, is.

  50. Fenni Fentu says:

    Phillip: If people weren’t arrested on assumptions, the only people who would get arrested are those who commit crimes directly in front of police.

  51. Spridle, thanks for the link. :) I guess it is a crime and I was incorrect. It shouldn’t be IMHO, but I understand that it is a crime now and will take other measures to address this.

    As for my example, that’s fine. As long as you agree what I purposed isn’t a crime, I will agree with that. I guess user 17556639 should keep quiet about his searches. :)

  52. “If people weren’t arrested on assumptions, the only people who would get arrested are those who commit crimes directly in front of police.”

    Incorrect. The only people who would be arrested are those who commit crimes that the police find out through fact that they did it. If I rob a bank and a cop reviews the tape and sees my face, that’s not assumption. That’s fact and I’ll end up getting arrested. If I’m walking down the street and a cop decided that I “Look Guilty”, he can’t arrest me on the spot without obtaining proof (the ease at which cops can find proof is very easy and not part of the discussion).

  53. Lindsiford! says:

    Okay bear with me as I try to formulate my thoughts on this situation. I will be flying three times (twice nationally once internationally) within the next four weeks. I am also a New Yorker who was personally affected by September 11th and thought I had lost a friend in the London bombings (luckily they decided to leave early for work). Additionally for the past two elections I vehemently rallied against our current administration and have been aghast with what they are (or are not) doing to protect our safety.

    That being said, some of the comments on this post have upset me greatly. I understand that not everyone has the same experiences and sometimes it is hard to understand where each person is coming from. However, folks, sad but true, a threat does exist. People want to kill us. And if it means standing on line for an extra hour or not being able to listen to my ipod, or drink my water on a flight, then fine, as long as I can arrive to my destination alive. It sucks, and that’s that. We can all complain about the way things used to be and how it was so much better and point fingers and blame each other. But honestly, that doesn’t do much. Matto (albeit somewhat childishly) and Andrew W. raised a valid point. There needs to be an overhaul of the TSA. Train people to do their jobs smarter and better. However, there needs to be a compromise. If the FSA relearns how to do their jobs smarter we, as a public, also need to be kept informed (a huge issue with this administration as we all know) and learn to be smarter about things. Don’t complain (as one young lady in a news article did) about not being able to listen to your ipod, read a book. Know not to bring goo-like substances on a plane. Be patient with each other.

    Now I am off to pack my hair gel in my checked baggage. Damn if I am going to let someone tell me my big-ass New Yorker hair has to look like crap – then that means the terrorists will win. :)

  54. “If I rob a bank and a cop reviews the tape and sees my face, that’s not assumption. “

    Really? There are plenty of assumptions there – that the person on the tape is actually you, and not someone else who just looks like you, that the tape hasn’t been altered, etc.

  55. Plasmafire says:

    I wonder if they are siezing people’s perscription medications and insulin.

  56. Philip –

    I’m not a big-city fancy lawyer or nothin’, but I suspect that if the police got a tip that you were planning on blowing up the White House and intercepted you on your way there, you would be in pretty deep trouble, especially if it was clear that you had, in fact, been planning this bombing for some time and there was documentation of this fact.

    Or did these would-be bombers get caught in a state of remorse, heading back to their apartments?

  57. Triteon says:

    Prescription meds (including insulin) are allowed as long as the name on the label is yours. (Please– no threads about how easy it is to print your own labels.)

  58. Triteon says:

    Phil– Also not a lawyer, but I have to believe if you make a bomb (regardless of strapping it to yourself) you are, at the very least, violating some sort of “possession of explosives” law. If not, then I need to pen a letter to my congressman.