As anyone who has flown recently knows, the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints continue to be a crapshoot. The rules are necessarily subject to whatever the Mohammed Attas, Ramsey Yusefs and Richard Reids can concoct.
Only last week we were still in the better-safe-than-sorry throes of the moisturizer moratorium and the near-complete ban on carry-on liquids and gels of all sorts. Now it’s the era of the zip-lock baggie and the secure latte. Common sense and softer passenger traffic proved a holy alliance.
But back to the recent past. Going through security recently at Philadelphia International Airport, I was encouraged in that perverse, post-9/11 kind of way that I was flagged. For packing Neosporin. I had forgotten it was there. It probably predated the old, rarely-used briefcase it was in.
Regardless, good catch. Score one for the TSA. If these are today’s rules, enforce them.
And yet an accompanying backpack contained three thin, clear plastic vials of bubble mix – left over from a family wedding and reception the previous day. Sure, it was dumb to be packing bubbles in 2006; at least Neosporin made pharmaceutical sense. But more to the point, the bubbles went undetected.
Worse yet, they looked, well, downright suspicious outside their ceremonial context. It’s probably a good thing they weren’t Sam Rashid’s vile bubbles. Anyhow, strike up the contraband and take one back from the TSA.
Whatever the prevailing rules and degree of hassle, 50-50 is not the kind of odds you want in airport security.