I Demand the Right to Pack Chianti in My Carry-On Slideshow

When is the TSA going to give up these stupid rules?

3.38140 Ounces or 3 Ounces?

Why are travelers at most of the world’s airports today permitted to pack vessels containing up to 3.38140 ounces (i.e., 100 milliliters) of liquid in their hand luggage, while travelers in America are limited to 3 ounces? Or are they?

Dangerous Fluids?


OK, so I got this one from a Saturday Night Live sketch a couple of years ago, but: What measures are in place to insure that, say, four terrorists, each with four 3-ounce containers of some dangerous fluid, don’t get on the same plane, then meet up in the galley and mix everything together?

Dangerous Powders?

For that matter, what’s to stop a single bad guy from bringing on an ample quantity of some dangerous dry powder or other and turning it into a dangerous fluid with water from the galley (other than the fact that on some airlines said bad guy might well have to pay for the water)?

OK in Checked Bags?

Why is it OK to have those bottles of wine or olive oil in checked bags but not in hand luggage? Couldn't explosive substances simply be checked through, to foment down in the hold?

New Concept?


Why was the limitation on the amount of liquid that may be brought onboard not implemented until August of 2006, after 24 men were arrested in Britain and charged with planning to blow up as many as 10 airplanes flying between the U.S. and the U.K. with peroxide-based liquid explosives? Does that mean that, until the plot was exposed, it had never occurred to all those experienced security experts responsible for the safety of air travel that liquids could be explosive? (Wow, makes me feel really secure...)

Duty Free?

Has every bottle of duty-free wine, liquor, and perfume sold on the far side of the security barrier been inspected before being placed on sale? If not, what’s to prevent a terrorist at the distributor's warehouse from doctoring and marking some bottles, which might then be purchased by a confederate and brought onboard with impunity? (And if the answer is that they haven't been inspected, would that have anything to do with the substantial revenue that accrues to airports from duty-free shops and/or the lobbying power of the duty-free industry?)

French Shoes Don't Come Off...?

This one's admittedly outside your purview, but maybe you'd have some idea as to why screeners at French airports don't require passengers passing through security checkpoints to remove their shoes — especially since it was from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris that "shoe bomber" Richard Reid embarked back in December of 2001, en route to Miami?



Come to think of it, how come we have to take off our shoes at American (and many other) airports because Richard Reid tried to ignite a shoe bomb but we haven't had to take off our underwear since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to ignite an underwear bomb eight years later?

Sharp Objects?

If implements as seemingly benign as nail clippers and two-prong corkscrews are forbidden onboard as potentially dangerous, why doesn’t the TSA confiscate pens and pencils, which I'd imagine could be used to put out eyes and puncture jugulars pretty easily?

Out of Curiosity...?


Oh, and just out of curiosity, how do you hijack an airplane with a pair of nail clippers or a two-prong corkscrew?

Is This 6-Inch Awl OK?


Speaking of puncturing, according to the TSA web site, passengers may not carry aboard "any tools over seven inches in length or hammers, saws, or crowbars of any size" so, er, is this 6-inch awl OK?

Talking and Standing Around?

Does it bother you that some airline ground personnel joke that "TSA" stands for "Talking and Standing Around"?