Sunday, November 1, 2009

A few words from the TSA

I wrote TSA through their web site, asking if they used a particular definition of gel in their rules for carry-on luggage. {I identified myself as a science blogger.} The TSA Contact Center responded by saying
"Regardless of whether an item is on the prohibited or permitted items list, the Transportation Security Officers (TSO's) have discretion to prohibit an individual from carrying an item through the screening checkpoint or onboard an aircraft if the item poses a security threat. Therefore, TSA security screening personnel make the final decision on whether to permit items like certain gels into the sterile area of the airport."

I infer from this that TSA's definition of a gel is somewhat arbitrary. The security officers have jurisdiction over all fluid and semi-fluid materials.

1 comment:

  1. "When in doubt, leave it out" is what one our technicians says. He moonlights for for one of the smaller local airlines and has endless stories about TSA guys doing the "double tug" (the action of putting on two rubber gloves).