TSA Confiscates Water Bottle, Misses Bomb

Federal inspectors were able to slip a bomb past the TSA 5 out of 7 times, according to the Albany Times-Union. Here’s the best part: One fake bomb was placed in the same bag as a bottle of water. The TSA opened the bag, took the water, and let the bomb on the plane.

The TSA spokesperson responded:

“We don’t discuss the results because they tend to paint an inaccurate picture of the competency of our work force,” she said. “The tests are designed to be incredibly difficult and TSA does anticipate a fair level of failure.”

They seem pretty good at detecting Evian, though, don’t they?

Fake bomb eludes airport test [Times-Union via BoingBoing]
(Photo: antigone78)


Edit Your Comment

  1. mopar_man says:

    Flying sure is looking less and less desirable every day.

  2. danieldavis says:

    This seems rather typically for a government agency. Perhaps they dont want to seem incompetent because they really are..?

  3. clickertrainer says:

    Ah. So a real terrorist would go easy on the TSA and make the bomb not incredibly difficult to find.

  4. @clickertrainer: Beat me to it.

    “Oh we’re competent, just not good at hard stuff.”

  5. dbeahn says:

    Wait, so “the test is designed to be difficult” but they think that terrorists will try to make it EASY for TSA (which stands for “Thousands, Standing Around” by the way) to stop them?


  6. gundark says:

    I cant think of anyone that doesn’t simply roll their eyes when they think of something this stupid. So all this waiting in line and taking my shoes off, getting my Pepsi taken away along with some finger nail clippers is supposed to make me feel safe. All that, and the F@#%ing bombs aren’t found?
    The terrorists have one, we are terrorized.

  7. banned says:

    rofl. Typical. Does the US government do anything right!!??

  8. ChrisC1234 says:

    @rocnrule: Well… We consistently expect the government to screw up. They consistently DO screw up, meeting our expectations. So YES, I’d say they do consistently do SOMETHING right.

  9. nachas101 says:

    Okay everyone, settle down and try to put on your reasonable hats.
    Perhaps you would prefer if the TSA wasn’t tested?
    Seems to me that these tests were designed to expose training weaknesses and vulnerability, which they did.
    I’d wager that some of you won’t bother to read the article, where it says:
    “Davis said security screeners who fail tests must undergo extra training in addition to annual recertification exams.

    “These covert tests conducted by security personnel simply augment their training regimen,” Davis said. “

    In other words, these tests were designed to illustrate failures and weaknesses. The results end up helping the TSA better train their agents.
    While I agree that the failure rate seems too high, it isn’t beyond repair.
    I, for one, am glad that the results came back so bad.
    In the restaurant biz, we used to fork out good money to have secret shoppers come in to help us evaluate our staff. Of the 100 or so reports I saw, 99 of them indicated a problem. We reviewed each one and designed individual trainings to address unique issues and broad trainings to correct sweeping issues.
    And no, all this waiting in line, removing your shoes, and having your liquids confiscated isn’t designed to make you feel safe – it is designed to make you safer. Safe – er.
    Glad you caught this, TSA. Now make it better.

  10. ShadeWalker says:

    hey i think they’re doing a great job by preventing terrorists from being hydrated. cause that’s the point right? don’t hydrate the terrorists.

  11. missdona says:

    Of course they have to be tested. I would prefer if they were something close to compentent.

    If I had test results like that at my job, I wouldn’t have one.

  12. drummer_kev says:

    While there may or may not be “re-training”, the issue is that certainly no one will ever be fired at the TSA for being incompetent and there is no real incentive for them to BE competent. This is the downside of a unionized government workforce with guaranteed jobs.

    This workforce is no different than the minimum-wage people that worked security pre-9/11, except that they now get much better benefits and jobs for life.

  13. levenhopper says:

    Come on guys. Now, I’m not defending the TSA, because obviously they screwed up.

    But, I would bet this would have happened pre-9/11 also.

    One of the major things a teacher said that stuck with me was “You can’t let the terrorists run your life. Sure, if they kill someone, they like it, but they get more satisfaction with the aftermath, seeing how many people they scared, and how many lives they changed.”

    And I agree. So now, I fly. More often than pre-9/11. To send a message: I will NOT back down to terrorists. Sure, I’m just one person, but it’s the idea…

  14. Hoss says:

    There are two confusing aspects of this.

    (1) Why did they go to the press with this information?

    (2) What is a fake bomb? Do we have any military people reading that can explain this — I mean, if it’s not a bomb then there was no preach

  15. eross says:

    I think people are missing the real problem. It’s not that safety threats are getting through the tests. as others have mentioned, that’s what the tests are for. The problem is that screeners are confiscating water bottles and other innocuous items that distract their attention. It’s a well-known psychological concept that finding/spotting a decoy item will increase the chances of a hidden item/person/action past any kind of screening procedure.

    The ban on water and other items undermines our safety.

  16. ancientsociety says:

    @nachas101: It’d be one thing if these tests really DID help the TSA improve…but this stuff has been going on for YEARS and still nothing has changed. I’d say that just shows how meaningless all the security theatre is.

    @levenhopper: Yes, but it’s not like we’re givien a choice NOT to be subjected to searches and confiscations.

  17. Pelagius says:

    @nachas101: I think the point is that after six years of this security theater bullshit they still can’t perform their primary mission because they’re too distracted taking bottled water away from people.
    I would prefer that they repeal the ridiculous liquids ban, start screening the catering and cleaning crews, and start profiling (which has worked for El Al for 40 odd years).

  18. foghat81 says:

    Not surprised. I was stopped on one of those “random” security checks back in the summer of 02 when I flew a lot for my internship. My name is middle eastern (though I am not) so I got “randomly” flagged by the computer about 75% of the time!

    Once they searched everything and didn’t take my small pocket knife which I accidentally still had in my bag. Thanks for wasting my time!

  19. Art Vandelay says:

    Where else is a failure rate as high as the TSA’s acceptable? It’s all smoke and mirrors to make idiots feel safer, but really just drains money, resources and passenger’s patience.

  20. Lee2706 says:

    Perhaps for the next test of TSA, the testers should put in a full water bottle next to a hunting knife, a handgun, a grenade, and cuticle scissors. Which will they confiscate first?

    Kip Hawley is a flippin’ idiot.

  21. nachas101 says:

    What stuff has been going on for years?
    Proof? evidence?
    I see this as a way for the TSA to improve performance.
    And I say that is nonsense.
    Why are you and so many others so freaked out about the liquids ban? Let it go. It’s just a liquid.
    Are you one of those kids who chewed gum in the library even though you knew it wasn’t allowed?
    However, I agree with you completely about screening the way el-al does. I’ve experienced that and sure didn’t mind it.
    The liquids ban doesn’t detract them from anything, if anything it provides them a reason to stop someone and interact with them, which is essential to the screening process. It isn’t a distraction and it sends a message to would be terrorists – we are looking at everyone.
    Don’t you think it is more of an excuse to interact with people?
    I say profile away.
    Not all muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are muslims.
    So stop and interact with anyone who might be muslim first and foremost.
    Hell, I think the TSA should screen every single person trying to get into an airport. period. I don’t mind the idea of having to show up 3 hours early for a flight if it means I will land in my destination city.

  22. axiomatic says:


    Not cold enough, not a smooth enough ride to mate the chemicals, you would explode walking with the separated chemicals trying to get on to the plane if they were not transported in dry ice or something else VERY COLD.

    This isn’t chemistry 101, but its pretty friggin’ close!

    TSA and the government needed a scapegoat to make it look like they were securing our travel. TATP was that scapegoat.

    Basically the TSA reforms only effect is raising revenues at the airport news stands and vending machines because you now have to buy liquids there if you want them.

  23. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    “We don’t discuss the results because they tend to paint an inaccurate picture of the competency of our work force.”


    Ya know, this bomb thing is really hard! Do you know how hard it is to find bombs? Man, it’s really hard.

    “The tests are designed to be incredibly difficult and TSA does anticipate a fair level of failure.”


    We can’t do our jobs. Which is stop stopping bombs. Excuse me, there’s a guy trying to bring a Fresca on the plane.

  24. missdona says:


    Sure, it’s “just a liquid.” But in the times I’ve flown, since the liquids ban, TSA seems all-consumed with confiscating liquids. In Honolulu, they acted like they just hit bingo when they confiscated my (legal, according to their rules) contact solution.

  25. nucleotide says:

    @nachas101: While a do think it’s a good thing that TSA is running these tests, I don’t think it will do much good until they hire well paid professional security.

    FTFA: “We don’t discuss the results because they tend to paint an inaccurate picture of the competency of our work force,”

    No, it paints an accurate picture that the screener’s are in fact incompetent. Look at the “myth-busters” video that they displayed to discredit the dangerous water-wielding mother. You can clearly see a lack of composure and professionalism by TSA screeners.

    Maybe it’s now part of American culture to act like a slacker with attitude while poorly performing your job. I definitely packing my parachute to get out of this country when it implodes.

  26. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    Nachas, I was going to reply until I read your bon mott “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

    Even Dubya, as dense as he is, would call you an idiot.

  27. Shaggy says:

    @nachas101: “Not all muslims are terrorists, by all terrorists are muslim.”

    Oh, really? So Tim McVeigh was a muslim? And those members of the IRA that were bombing people, they were muslim, too?

  28. humphrmi says:

    @levenhopper: I worked airport security before 9/11 (way before) and if a test bomb got past the checkpoint, disciplinary action was taken against the person who let it by. Alternately, if you caught it, you received a small bonus.

    I know this because I caught one, and got the bonus. Back in ’85 it was $100.

    Ironically, I also caught someone (a real bad guy, not the test guys) trying to sneak a gun through security. I didn’t get any bonus.

    Pre-TSA they were still underpaid and undertrained but at least then management instilled the attitude that failure wasn’t acceptable.

  29. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    The problem with the current administration is that when failures like this are shown, they

    – get rid of the people who found the failures
    – get rid of the procedures that found the failures
    – discredit the people who found the failures
    – reward people who lie to your face and say “that never happened”

  30. ExecutorElassus says:

    what i want to know is how the mystery shoppers who snuck the bombs past security managed not to get disappeared.

    “congratulations, you missed the fake bomb i just passed through the checkpoint! no, really, i’m an official government agent! this was only a test, it’s not a REAL bomb- hey, where are you taking me?”

  31. enm4r says:

    Next time I’ll just have to remember to hide my water IN the bomb, that way I can take it out after I get through security and have a drink while I wait due to a 6 hour delay. That’ll save $4 or whatever insane price they want to charge for something to drink after you get through security.

  32. memphis9 says:


    Okay everyone, settle down and try to put on your reasonable hats.
    Perhaps you would prefer if the TSA wasn’t tested?

    Um, okay, let’s put on the reasonable hat.

    Let’s say these kinds of tests result in better testing of passengers and their carry-ons.

    What’s the point of competently screening for the bomb OR the water bottle, when the cargo hold is being held to much laxer standards.

    We keep hearing about the amateurs and wanna-bes who have something in their shoe that won’t light, whatever? Wouldn’t an intelligent terrorists love to keep us fixated on airline passengers? There’s the hold, there’s ports of entry and cargo containers, there’s all sorts of stuff.

    It’s reassuring I guess that more people are onto the TSA’s dog-and-pony show. But some think there’s more, having everything to do with keeping the public a little scared and a lot unquestioning/obedient ain’t exactly a stretch either. You can certainly argue that this is political paranoia, but a governmental mandate to condition societal behavior in that direction is one of the few explanations that could make TSA policies conform to some kind of logic.

  33. WindowSeat says:

    Of course they didn’t spot the bombs, they weren’t sticks of dynamite wired to a huge, wind-up alarm clock or a mysterious metal cylinder in a briefcase with a red digital display counting down to zero. That and there was a bottle of Squirt next to them.

  34. I guess they didn’t get the memo that “opposite day” was not a real holiday

  35. ExecutorElassus says:

    @nachas101: oh, and you seem to be overstating the TSA’s responsiveness here. In what other field can you fail crucial security screening tasks at this rate? and then complain that the random checks are just “really difficult”?

    maybe it’s because airport screening is designed to make us feel less safe, not more. just like those dumbass color-coded threat levels that will be elevated from now until forever.

  36. falonsade says:

    earlier this year, my husband and i flew to colorado from texas. my husband forgot his pocket knife was still in his pocket – it’s not small either – we live in *texas*. we decided to sit it out since we were close to the front of the security line. in addition his keys and change, he took the knife out of his pocket and put it in the little container they give you when you walk through the metal detector…

    and they didn’t say a word…

    he went through the detector, stuck it back in his pocket…

    and they pulled me aside because i took too long removing my 12 hole black boots. “code orange”, the said.

    my husband just sat there and laughed while i was searched.


  37. jamesBrauer66 says:

    If y’all spent as much time complaining to your elected representative as you do to each other maybe things would change.

  38. acambras says:


    Not all muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are muslims.

    Uh… Timothy McVeigh? The Unabomber? Eric Rudolph?

  39. bluemeep says:

    I’m glad I take the train.

  40. Mathray says:

    hey i think they’re doing a great job by preventing terrorists from being hydrated. cause that’s the point right? don’t hydrate the terrorists.

    As a kid, I always thought that Seamonkeys were awfully suspicious, say maybe…

  41. jeffj-nj says:

    FTA: “We don’t discuss the results because they tend to paint an inaccurate picture of the competency of our work force,” she said. “The tests are designed to be incredibly difficult and TSA does anticipate a fair level of failure.”

    I liked the translations above, but I have another one.

    Translation: “The bombs did not resemble marketing items for a cartoon.”

  42. falonsade says:

    @jamesBrauer66: some of us have – i’ve written my representatives on all levels…take a wild guess how successful the campaign was?

  43. ironchef says:


    Well the liquid bomb (hidden in a contact lens fluid bottle) did kill one person and ripped a hole next the to fuselage of a Boeing 747 in 1994


    The bomber was an Al Queda bomber responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing.

    The Liquid bombs that went off in Phillippine Airlines Flight 434 was a test run by Al Queda in a plot to detonate 7 to 10 commercial jets.

    Sorry you feel you don’t think liquid bombs are a potential threat. They are.

  44. VA_White says:

    They spend so much time and energy training these TSA goons to ferret out moisture that they have less time to spend ferreting out items that actually might be dangerous. Flying just makes me angry these days.

  45. ironchef says:


    The reason why a cargo hold bomb is impractical is because the bomber has no control WHERE the bomb can be placed. The choice for the potential terrorist is precision control where the bomb can be placed due to the small amount of explosives a bomber can reasonably use to take down a plane. Duh.

    bombs in check-in luggage allows the criminal a level of control and stealth by ASSEMBLING a device from harmless looking components.

  46. eross says:

    Ironchef: Of course there are explosive liquids and they should never be carried onboard. Solution: if an official is suspicious, open the container to inspect.

  47. Teira says:

    The problem isn’t really that they failed A test, it’s that they keep failing these tests over, and over, and over again. I can’t count how many of these articles I’ve read. We’ve identified that there’s massive room for improvement, but nobody’s taking the steps to enact it.

  48. yg17 says:

    @nachas101: There’s a difference between a bomb on a plane and McDonalds accidentally giving you medium fries when you ordered large. There’s no excuse for this at all. Last time I checked, hundreds of lives weren’t on the line when someone didn’t get enough fries.

  49. Erskine says:

    The fact that anyone is paying even the slightest bit of attention to nachas is letting the terrorists win.

  50. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    I had a retired chemist tell me exactly the same thing when they came up with the liquid ban.

    It’s the same with all the cols medicines. The pharmacies are locking up all sorts of stuff that can never be turned into meth.
    It’s just Republicans being stupid & fascist at the same time.

  51. Thrust says:

    I won’t fly anymore. Not because I’m afraid of terrorists, bombs, or the likes. I just won’t fork over that much money to a company if they aren’t going to treat me like a customer. If I had to go through a security checkpoint every time I went to A&W, I’d stop going to A&W. If a store treated me like a shoplifter just because I entered their shop, I’d never f’ing shop there again. But the airlines treat everyone like a terrorist, you pay a small fortune for a ticket, and they look for any reason whatsoever to stripsearch you and ban you from the flight. And you pathetic SOBs keep going back.

    But it’s not the airlines fault, its TSA or the Government

    Don’t care. You will not get me into a fucking airport. By entering their security-nazi fortress you forfeit your otherwise-untouchable rights.

    I have a rather reliable and comfortable car. If I need to go anywhere, I drive. At least that way I’m allowed a god damned bottle of water.

  52. JayXJ says:

    The security officers at airports are FAR better now than they used to be. Pre 9/11 an airport security officer could expect to make about $6/per hour. Exactly what level of competence can you expect at that wage? Really? This was not the fault of the assorted contract security companies. They can’t pay officers more than they are getting on the contract, not if they wanted to stay in business.
    Yes, I’m glad they are testing. And yeah, they are always going to find problems. These screenings are being done by people. No amount of training can prevent an Officer from thinking about thier wife, husband, etc… instead of thier job. These tests let TSA (or contract company) know they have an issue. Employees can then be brought up to standard or removed, depending.

  53. davere says:

    I flew out of Orlando the other day and I forgot that I had a 20oz coke bottle in my back pack.

    I didn’t remember until I opened it at the gate to get some stuff out of the bag. TSA didn’t catch it.

    Good thing I’m one of the good guys and it just contained sweet delicious coca cola.

  54. Youthier says:

    I don’t know what would make people happy. There are people who want the TSA better trained (which, I totally agree with) and for them to recognize suspicious materials more readily but hate the delay and then there are people who don’t want airport security at all. The TSA could be 1000 times better but I can’t imagine getting onto a tiny little cylinder to go way up in the sky without someone at least making an attempt to see if the passenger sitting next to me is packing heat. Maybe I’m just one of the sheep that don’t care about their basic rights.

  55. Youthier says:

    @JayP71: It is a little their fault. The contract companies all put in low ass bids.

  56. VA_White says:

    I carried on two giant bottles of Kentucky Bourbon through airport security in Marion, IL. They were wrapped multiple times in my dirty laundry. They did these complex sniffing tests all over the outside and inside of my bag but never caught the two bottles of hooch.

  57. grayFalcon says:

    First of all, the myth of liquid bombs is just that – a myth. You can’t take a fwe liquid components with you into the plane and mix them there into a deadly bomb. Yes, there are explosives that you can make out of liquids alone. No, there are none you can make without a lot of time and lab equipment.

    Second, banning liquids because there is liquid nitroglycerin, but not banning baby powder is plain stupid. There are hundreds of highly explosive compounds that can be easily transported as powder and detonated with your mobile phone or whatever.

    I think there’s two possibilities:
    a) The policy makers really are that stupid and gullible and they ban fluids because they really think that it does anything for our safety
    b) They want you to get used to following orders and not questioning degrading treatment

    And anyway, why should they care about the safety of passengers? What better thing could happen to the Bush administration than some muslim terrorist blowing up a plane? I’m not saying they’re trying to make it happen, I’m just saying that they have no motivation to actually try and stop it from happening.

  58. memphis9 says:


    The reason why a cargo hold bomb is impractical is because the bomber has no control WHERE the bomb can be placed. The choice for the potential terrorist is precision control where the bomb can be placed due to the small amount of explosives a bomber can reasonably use to take down a plane. Duh.

    Oops. I guess you’re right. If a bomb just blows a big old hole through the plane at any old location, it probably won’t even make the evening news.

    If people want to kill us or frighten us – short of The U.S. building two great walls and closing every port and runway – they will find a way. You’ll never get the stat down to 0%, just as you will never get 0% homicide rate or 0% child abuse rate or 0% of anything that the world would be better off without. You can use common sense procedures to mitigate, but as soon as someone’s answer to “so why are we voluntarily submitting ourselves to police state level abrogations of of personal freedom, dignity and privacy” is a snappish “Well, I guess you won’t feel that’s way if it’s YOUR loved one who is torn assunder!” – that’s when I Get. Really. Angry. I’m a mom and the teensiest insuation that my objections to the systematic decimation of the things like Bill of Rights or even just Accountable Customer Service, could result in Dead Loved Ones, strikes me to the core. And I know I’m being terrorized all right, the only question is, by whom? That, and where’s the buck to be made by it?

  59. ironchef says:


    Inspect a fluid? Seriously you must be joking. Not all chemicals have an odor you can detect (like peroxide).

    Plus liquids come in bottle that are asking for longer wait times. What if you hide the liquid in a bottle of wine….how long would that take to inspect? How about a liquid bomb wrapped up in a sealed contact lens fluid bottle (where you can’t see the liquids).

    It’s NOT PRACTICAL. Seriously…a total liquid ban ISN’T a big deal. Their job is hard enough already. Just be glad it isn’t a ban on carry-on luggage.

  60. levenhopper says:

    @ancientsociety: Yes, but a lot of people are saying they’d rather drive — which is an option.

  61. humphrmi says:


    Oops. I guess you’re right. If a bomb just blows a big old hole through the plane at any old location, it probably won’t even make the evening news.

    Are you being facetious? Because it’s actually true. About ten years ago, someone set off a liquid bomb on an aircraft that raised holy hell with the fuselage, but didn’t manage to detrimentally impact the airframe. The passenger next to the bomber was killed, but the plane landed safely.

  62. EtherealStrife says:

    @levenhopper: BULL. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: private security forces competition and competence. If a private security company had these horrible results they’d lose their contract, plain and simple. TSA is government, meaning they sit on their asses with 100% job security.

    The current regime has traded actual security for an enhanced image of security.

  63. Treved says:

    @THRUST: great plan. explain how i would implement your plan and take the hawaii vacation i just had? or the one to europe?

    by the way, speaking of that Hawaiian vacation, i had a jello pudding snack in my carry on going through security. They confiscated it. I said “it’s not even a liquid!” and they told me it’s a “gel.” lol…reminded me of that recent SNL skit with dane cook:

  64. Treved says:

    @ironchef: actually, the Israelis do this all the time. They simply make you take a sip and swallow. This would eliminate cans but would still let you take through your bottles and starbucks.

    the israelis also, by the way, have a much smarter system of security that has kept their planes safe for decades.

  65. ironchef says:


    Private security screeners are even WORSE. They don’t even bother with criminal background checks. And private screening companies hire too many temp workers with NO histories at all.

    This was an article about the state of things BEFORE 9/11 under private screeners. You had it your way. It didn’t work.

  66. ironchef says:


    even for contact lens fluid? Take a sip? Forget it. No way.

    What you said about the sip test isn’t true. El Al has a total liquids ban too with the exception for breast milk and certain medications.
    They won’t even let you on board.

  67. missdona says:

    A full bottle of contact lens solution is allowed.

    “Volumes greater than 3 oz. must be declared to the Security Officer and cannot be carried in your clear, one-quart bag.”

    You have to show it separate from your ziploc bag; but you can bring it.

  68. Thrust says:

    @Treved: Y’ wanna go to hawaii, take a cruise ship. Y’ wanna go to Europe? Take a cruise ship to hawaii instead.

  69. Trai_Dep says:

    @EtherealStrife: “If a private security company had these horrible results they’d lose their contract, plain and simple.”

    Wow, that’s the most ignorant thing I’ve seen on here in a long time.

    Perhaps in your world, filled with fluttering butterflies and butter scotch unicorns, sure. But given what we’ve seen in how viciously and callously (/sarcasm) Haliburton, Blackthorn and the rest are treated in spite of their fraud, overbilling and failure to deliver, I must ask, “Are you stupid? Or just a troll?”

    And, love how these supposedly rugged, individualist free-thinkers are always the first to mewl the party line when reality intrudes on the dumb propaganda (TSA policies in this case). Whenever the government or your (Conservative) politicians tell you to jump, you whimper, “How high… Sir?!”

  70. not_seth_brundle says:

    @Treved: Apparently in the London plot that inspired the liquid ban, the plan was to use a bottle with a false bottom, or secret compartment, essentially. The bottom portion of the bottle had the explosive chemical, but there was real Gatorade or whatever in the top part, so that it would seem legit if inspected.

  71. mac-phisto says:

    Davis said security screeners who fail tests must undergo extra training in addition to annual recertification exams.

    hmm…let’s change annual to weekly, recertification to rectal & i think we have a method to really instill some motivation in the screeners! i sure as hell wouldn’t let a bomb thru if i knew my cornhole was gonna bear the punishment for missing the mark.

  72. Amy Alkon says:

    Most terrorists are Muslim. A handful are not.

  73. MaximuM_MayheM says:

    I understand that these tests are meant to be hard, but jeez, that failure rate seems too high to be comfortable with. Along with increasingly shitty airline services, the TSA isn’t making it too appealing to fly these days.

  74. ChucuSCAD says:

    TSA does not inspire any confidence in me. I thought I should share a story that my boss recently experienced…

    He was going through security and they pull his bag off of the xray belt and rummage through it to find one of those yoplait yogurt cups and proceed to tell him how he can’t take it on the plane…so he takes it and as he was getting ready to toss it out the TSA employee asks if she can have it! Being a nice guy he gives it up. Then the best part, the TSA woman asks if he has a spoon too!

    Too dangerous to take on a plane but ok for a TSA employee to eat.

  75. kevinhall says:

    My older brother flew in to visit me last week and had a great story about his time at the airport.

    When the announced that the threat level was ORANGE over the airport PA system he just started shouting “Oh my God, everybody panic! It’s threat level ORANGE. Wait, oh, never mind…”. Yeah it was kind of obnoxious, yet also kind of hilarious and appropriate.

    I feel this response would do well to be repeated thousands of times over in airports across the country until we find a slightly more level headed response to the threat of terrorist threats like the blokes in Glasgow who managed to set both themselves and a luggage cart on fire in a most terrifying display of idiocy.

    Also, the TSA is really, really ridiculous. I think Mayor Bloomberg should be in charge of their training and policies. Perhaps they’d calm down about water and nail clippers and focus on real threats.

  76. mikecolione says:

    My sister recently flew to Tampa Florida from Atlantic City NJ. She had her baby (under a year old) and her 11 year old daughter along for the flight.

    The idiots at the TSA checkpoint took the baby’s formula, even though he can’t drink normal milk yet. They provided no alternative to her, or offered formula for sale on the other side of the checkpoint.

    I was under the assumption from reading the rules regarding liquids that if you had a baby, you were allowed to carry enough formula for the plane ride, the rest had to be packed.

    Throughout the second hour of the trip, the baby was crying because he was hungry, but couldn’t be fed because the jerks at the checkpoint.

    Her return flight back to NJ was fine and she was allowed one bottle of formula for the ride.

    There is no consistancy accross the board for the TSA agents. Someone in power needs to be held accountable for the lack of training of the agents as well as providing alternatives on the other side of the checkpoints for situations like this.

  77. eli_b says:

    somebody set tsa up the bomb. all your liquids belong to them.

    on a side note, we are talking about the same security plans that posted the military guards at the screening machines with unloaded m-16s.


  78. TechnoDestructo says:


    The fact that it happens now is less acceptable than pre-9/11, because of all the added BULLSHIT we have to put up with which is SUPPOSED to be resulting in increased security.

    So it seems we’re bending over and taking it and getting absolutely nothing in return.

  79. Doody says:

    I habitually carry some very sharp blades, for a quite innocuous reason. Traveling in the States a little while ago, I realized on a plane that I had them on my person. Out of (perhaps cynical) curiosity I wondered if they would be detected. I took 24 flights in a three week period.

    I had my shoes sniffed, my computers examined, my clothing fumbled with, and answered innumerable humorlessly inane questions, and I had a bottle of whisky ‘confiscated.’ At one airport, I was even treated to ‘special security measures,’ for the quite good reason that I had bought my one-way ticket in cash the previous day.

    I still have the blades.

    I believe the purpose of most of the so-called security is primarily propaganda, and the maintenance of a climate of fear.

  80. btdown says:

    As a police officer who happened to be working a TSA checkpoint when the “red team” came through a few years ago…
    I can tell you the fake bomb looked like you have seen on tv, except when you physically open the bag, it was labeled that is was a non-live test device).

    TSA caught the bomb in the carry-on, but missed a gun a female had strapped just below her crotch.

    Its a good thing they notified me just before they came through, else it coulda got ugly.

  81. Thrust says:

    @mac-phisto: Um… Bad idea. Start probing the back door of TSA smacktards that screw up and within weeks the security agency will be staffed by lonely gay men who will mess up on purpose for a little tough love.

    @Amy Alkon: Lets see here… We have the muslim radicals which make up most of the terrorists worldwide. (Note that regular non-terrorist muslims hate these f**kers and take all the flak for things that aren’t their fault). Next we have the second largest terrorist group, the IRA, which is pretty much all kaput. And smallest of the terror groups is a small group of Quebec radicals. Can you believe it, frickin frenchy-foo canadian terrorists who demand a their province be soverign and their cheese be free.

    @btdown: Hmmm. New security precaution. We must grope the crotch of any attractive women boarding a flight to make sure they ain’t packing.

  82. Art Vandelay says:

    @Amy Alkon: If you’re going to troll, at least put some effort into it.

  83. ironchef says:


    Liquid bombs a myth? You obviously didn’t pay attention.READ>>>>

  84. Trai_Dep says:

    @Art Vandelay:

    Most “Amy”s are terrorists. Some are not.

  85. guitarrocker1117 says:

    I actually flew El-Al recently and they let me bring my water bottle through security without any hassle. El-Al has smary security and they know that a 17 year old white kid isn’t a terroist with a liquid bomb. Its all about smart security and common sense, something El-Al has and the TSA doesn’t.

  86. abbamouse says:

    Since no one else bothered to point this out, the TSA is not a unionized workforce. They are forbidden to strike, etc — it was written into the Homeland Security bill. I’m surprised Drummer_Kev’s inaccurate comment lasted a whole day.

  87. synergy says:

    I’m glad I only fly once every two or three years. Maybe by the next time or two I fly some of this craziness will be history.

  88. @Art Vandelay: Hell, Amy’s username is flame777.

    Funny, her other comments don’t look like they were intended to start flame wars. Why the change of heart I wonder.

  89. ZzFDKzZ says:

    I have been working for TSA for around a year. People get fired from there all the time. My co-worker who worked for 2 years got fired for failing a test 2x in a row just last week. The X-Ray machine that we used at checkpoint are really old. Probably from the late 80’s. That technology is really outdated and you guys would be surprise how hard it is to spot liquids, lighters, stunners, and bombs. Guns and knives you can easily see but the other items are really hard to spot. Blame the Government for not giving us more advance x-rays. Then we get blame for banning liquids. Ah HELLO! There’s something call Liquid explosives! People probably think we made up such thing.

    CHUCUSCAD – That TSA Officer could have gotten fired. We are not allow to keep items or except tips even if the passengers give it to us.

    MIKECOLIONE – That’s weird. If your traveling with a baby your allow to bring a certain amount. Next time ask to speak to a Supervisor. If you don’t want any hassle just place the milk in bottles that are less than 3.4 oz. I know it might be annoying but atleast the baby will have milk.

    For those who accuse us of stealing. Don’t forget pre-TSA there were items being stolen all the time. Also we are not the only ones who handle the bags, there’s also those people who drive them to the plane etc. Of course I’m sure TSA employees steal too but don’t forget just like in any other jobs there’s always bad people.

  90. ZzFDKzZ says:

    Tons of grammar mistakes… anyway to edit my previous comment?

  91. Peeved Guy says:

    @guitarrocker1117: You must not have read all of the posts above.

    For that little scheme to work, the TSA people would have to make a judgment call as to the likelihood of a certain individual being a bad guy or not. In order to do that, profiling would have to be used. And the mere possibility of profiling is enough to send many people into fits of rage.

    Personally, I think it’s idiotic to NOT profile. At the risk of suffering the slings an arrows from the more enlightened folks on this site, it seems to make sense that considering the current state of world affairs that the security folks in American, British, German, etc. airports would perhaps scrutinize people of Middle Eastern descent and/or have Arabic/Muslim sounding names. But heaven forbid we should offend anyone.

  92. “We don’t discuss the results because they tend to paint an inaccurate picture of the competency of our work force,” she said. “The tests are designed to be incredibly difficult and TSA does anticipate a fair level of failure.”

    Whats so innaccurate about it? Many, not all, but much of the TSA are a bunch of nuerotic incompetent fools, and in some cases, total assholes. Need I remind you of the sippy-cup incident? Or perhaps the fact that those of us with middle eastern sounding names, note you may not even be of middle-eastern decent, somehow magically ALWAYS get the “random” check. I won’t even get started on stolen individual property.

    In addition, 5-7 failed on a test means thats 5-7 times a real bomb could’ve successfully gotten onto a plane. Twist it any way you like, you guys fucked up.

  93. mistacoffee says:

    I’m currently on a business trip in the lovely city of Detroit. Knowing that Detroit is one of the world’s worst cities, I decided that I would not travel here unarmed and unprotected.

    I packed two knives – a 3.5″ Benchmade Axis folder, and an Emerson Combat Karambit. I carried the Benchmade in my carry-on, along with all of the wires, power adapters, etc. that were in my laptop bag and made it through without any problems. Not even a second look from the screeners – it went right through.

    Yet these same screeners always question my laptop’s wireless antenna – they see the external antenna and freak out. They pull it aside, open it, examine it, ask me to power it on, take pictures of it, and act as though it’s ready to explode.

    It’s true – our TSA is a joke; an exercise in “feel good” politics that the American public has come to expect.

  94. LionelEHutz says:

    TSA is a total scam on America. It’s a vacuum for tax funds and only provides a false sense of security.

  95. bluesunburn says:

    I’m trained and licensed as an EMT, and often carry my gear in the same backpack that I use as a carry-on.

    Two years ago, on my way to my brother’s wedding, I forgot to remove my bandage scissors from my backpack.

    Guess what got through security without anyone noticing? :-)

    They should have been more careful, the wrong person with a bandage scissor could do something dangerous, like cut the clothing off of people…

  96. ogman says:

    This is what happens when you hire idiots, pay them nothing, grant them power, and give them a set of “rules” to enforce.

  97. 7livesleft says:

    These people are federal employees. Having been one myself for several years, I have to say that most are idiots. Once they get into the Federal Employees Union, it’s almost impossible to fire them, so they don’t care. When they were made federal employees, my first thoughts were concern for travelers. NEVER put a federal employee in charge of anything they have to use their intelect for. Case in point…