Tomato Juice Spill Causes Massive Delays At LaGuardia

Lines the length of city blocks filled New York’s LaGuardia airport Saturday morning after a careless worker spilled tomato juice onto one of the five x-ray machines in the American Airlines terminal. A TSA spokesman cast the tomato juice’s victory over the machines as a failure of science, saying: “That’s the risk you take when you deal with technology.” Passengers were understandably pissed.

When CBS 2 HD told one woman the reason for the delays, she asked if we were “kidding,” but it was no joke. The Transportation Safety Administration confirmed the spill knocked out one of the five units that screen thousands of passengers here each day.

“That’s insane,” said Dallas bound passenger Pat Jones. “That shouldn’t be our problem, should it?”

But it was.

The delays left many passengers stressed out. “I just want to make sure I make my flight,” said one traveler. “I’m not sure that’s going to happen.”

Few could believe that a major airline terminal could be thrown into chaos by such a simple problem. “It makes one very sad and very worried,” said Bonnie Schmitta.

The terminal was back to normal by Saturday evening.

Tomato Juice Spill Causes Long Lines At LaGuardia [WCBS]
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)


Edit Your Comment

  1. HeyThereKiller says:

    Where’s the Lithium Ion Energizer Bunny when you need him…



  2. axiomatic says:

    If the TSA can be defeated by a can of soup, they most certainly can not stop a real potential threat.

  3. stevemis says:

    Maybe it was terrorist soup.

  4. yikz says:

    We pay $50,000 a year to government employees so that they can wear a badge and shuffle gray plastic tubs around the airport. Why do people find it hard to believe that these same employees put drinks on top of the X-ray machines? Frankly, it doesn’t surprise me. I think the manager, the supervisor, and the employee should all lose their jobs for not taking proper care. They make sure we live to the strictest letter of the rules, yet they can plop open drinks on top of a million dollar piece of X-ray equipment?

  5. skittlbrau says:

    heh. i fly out of lga all the time, and i have to say this doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  6. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    first of all, all of TSA should be fired. Second of all, the worker responsible for the juice or soup or whatever spill should have to bear the cost of repairs that now need to be made on the machine. Then FAA should take over. Or private security a la pre-9/11.

  7. tvh2k says:

    He’s getting canned …


  8. Caprica Six says:

    yea, let’s have blackwater security work there :) yea, and kill random people when they feel like it….

  9. Nighthawke says:

    Thats the risk when you mix idiots with million-dollar hardware.

  10. scoosdad says:

    Is there some law of physics or mathematics that I’m missing here? One machine out of five goes down (in just the American airlines terminal), and the lines suddenly are the length of city blocks and the delays termed “massive”?

    What, did they only have two functioning machines out of five here and the tomato juice took out half their capacity? I’ve almost never been through an airline security line and seen all the machines in use at the same time so maybe this is the case here and the story doesn’t mention that.

  11. DrGirlfriend says:

    Was it more or less than 3 oz of tomato juice? And clearly, it was not in a quart-sized ziploc bag. That’s what you get when you don’t follow the (arbitrary and pointless) rules!

  12. Little Miss Moneybags says:

    Why is a TSA worker allowed to have an open can of tomato juice at the x-ray machine, and my bottle of water with a cap on it in the bottom of my backpack is a hazard?

  13. howie_in_az says:

    @DrGirlfriend: The terrorists hate us for our tomatoes.

    @Scarfish: Because the TSA can do no wrong, silly citizen!

    When will airline passengers rise as one and slay the TSA agents that cause them to miss their flights?

  14. Akamaru says:

    Wow, thwarted by a can of processed tomatoes, as an above poster mentioned. I’m…not shocked at all.

    They don’t seem to hire the brightest of the bunch to work for the TSA. Then again they are only as smart as their commander in chief.

    I went on a trip to Hawaii last year when the liquids nonsense started. My room mate’s brother was able to smuggle water bottles and containers of sun screen through airport security 4 times before they finally caught him.

    (For those of you who are wondering what was going on we had to go in and out of the security checkpoint to get lunch and go to the restroom at Honolulu International.)

  15. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Did I say blackwater? Blackwater should not only be pulled out of Iraq, but it should get its corporate charter pulled.