TSA’s liquid rules: down the drain
The Transportation Security Administration’s unpopular restrictions on liquids have been vaporized, says travel commentator Chris Elliott.
“Passengers say the TSA has all but stopped screening their luggage for liquids,” he said.
Officers no longer ask passengers to remove lotions, shampoos and even water bottles from their luggage. They also are overlooking all manner of liquids packed in carry-on bags.
The TSA initially banned liquids and gels from carry-on bags in 2006 after British authorities thwarted a plot to blow up planes bound for the US with liquid explosives.
The agency in 2008 promised to ease its restrictions within a year by removing size limits on liquids.
A TSA spokesman insisted the rule is still in effect. “The policy continues to be enforced, although it is important to note that we empower our workforce with direction,” said TSA’s Lauren Gaches.
Elliott concluded the policy is largely unenforced.
He urges the much-maligned agency to come clean about liquids.
“If there’s any evidence that my tube of Crest is dangerous….then I think we’ll all quietly empty our toothpaste, hair gel and contact lens solution into one quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag,” he says.