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Liquids, Part 1 (Commenting Disabled)

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Thursday, January 31, 2008
Liquids cover 70% of the earth and they also make up a good percentage of our comments from the traveling public. Post all of your suggestions and concerns about liquids in this blog post. Refresh your knowledge of traveling with liquids .

So, how much damage could a liquid explosive cause? See for yourself from the Myth Busters page on TSA.gov:

» Click here to see our video (wmv, streaming).

Comments

Submitted by Sra on

I was flying out of San Diego, and a TSA agent stole a little tub of my hair product. Do you know how expensive hair product is?

I think you seriously need to stop stealing toiletries from people. Seriously. I mean it. I'd like to know how many of the products you've stolen have tested positive for being an explosive or some other dangerous contraband? My bet is not a single one. You probably don't even test them, but just throw them away or take them for yourselves.

I don't feel safer, I feel more irritated, and like my rights are being taken away one by one.

I like to not check my bags whenever possible, because I don't like to risk them getting lost, but it's either risk losing them, or risk getting stuff taken away from you and being humiliated while some stranger rifles through your private possessions.

I feel personally terrorized by the TSA.

Submitted by PB on

From the link, regarding the liquid policy:

"Please keep in mind that these rules were developed after extensive research and understanding of current threats."

This is all the rationale given for a policy that is driving millions of travellers nuts. I don't believe for a second the liquid policy is based purely on a rational analysis of threats. Could this "research" be made public? Or will it be kept under wraps out of "national security concerns" or some other BS excuse?

Submitted by Mike_s on

Under what legal basis does the TSA deny travellers the right to carry liquids?

The basis under which the TSA restricts carry-on items is 49USC44935, which prohibits weapons. It also covers "dual use" items, but that "means an item that may seem harmless but that may be used as a weapon." It does _not_ cover harmless "look alikes," such as may be the case with water and a liquid chemical component of an explosive.

That law is implemented via regulations, the relevant being 49CFR1540.111, which states "an individual may not have a weapon, explosive, or incendiary..." Nothing there which prohibits water or or other non-dangerous liquids, and by law, the TSA has no authority to prohibit non-weapon items.

Furthermore, by law and regulation the only exception for prohibited items is one which allows law enforcement or authorized personnel to carry "firearms or weapons." If water were a legally prohibited item, it would be illegal for _anyone_ to possess it within an airport "sterile area." The same applies for many other items - if a traveller is prohibited from carrying a screwdriver on a plane, then airline mechanics are also prohibited from possessing screwdrivers.

Submitted by Bloggulator on

The "binary liquid explosives" scare of two years ago was a classic scam, employed by an administration intent on demonizing a section of society, while simultaneously scaring the public by broadcasting bogus threats and falsehoods via a complicit media. Any qualified chemist must have had an attack of hysterics at the idea of someone manufacturing triacetone triperoxide (TATP) while on a commercial plane! The article on "The Register" is worth a read, for a welcome, and highly appropriate, reality check.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/17/flying_toilet_terror_labs/

I trust that not being a "weasel" and publishing an unconventional viewpoint in these bizarre Orwellian times doesn't put me on the "no fly" list. Such tactics are used to *squash dissent* rather than for exercising legitimate security matters.

I am just trying to be helpful, for what its worth.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why they have to take my toothpaste is beyond me. All they have to do is one the lid and smell

Submitted by Barry on

Here's an idea: why not use the same policy that Israel uses for liquids? They don't care if you have them on the flight, and they seem to know a thing or two about terrorism.

I lost all confidence in the TSA's judgment when the liquids ban was started. It's the most infuriating thing about air travel in the US.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I've been asked to take off my Flip Flops. Please explain what I could possibly hide in those

Submitted by Gerrrg on

Presealed items bought from a store are easily, visually and physically verified against tampering. These items ought to be excluded from the 3 oz. rule.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"A" for effort, I hope the blog helps TSA change/shape policy. More communication is always a good thing.

Liquids = possibly bad. Got it.

But to confiscate the liquids, then dump them in a common trash can? It makes no sense.

If a 'bad' person really does find a way to make a compound explosive, and it is confiscated at the airport, and put into the trash can, where it sits, at a major hub for activity....

If causing destruction is the goal, wouldn't blowing up part of an airport be a potential game plan?

I would very much like the TSA to reconsider it's disaster planning, do away with the "theater of security" http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/08/terrorism_secur.html and implement some serious re-design of effort.

Consider the process in Israel, it works.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The liquid ban is arbitrary and not based on any sound science. But adding insult to injury - the liquids aren't even handled like the "security threats" that they are labeled as!

At many airports I've been to - ORD, MDW, DEN, SFO - travelers are forced to give up their water bottles, full sized toothpaste, expensive lotion, etc - which are promptly thrown into an exposed garbage can right next to the passenger line. If these are restricted, dangerous items, shouldn't they be taken away by the bomb squad? Why go through the theatre of taking them away if they're not even considered dangerous by the screeners in the first place?? It seems like a policy designed simply to create ill will and to make life more difficult for passengers, with zero safety benefit.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The two types of liquids proposed for use in the London plot are TATP & HMTD. Anyone with college level chemistry knowledge know this is a moronic method. Can’t be done easily. See below:

The explosive is easily made from three colourless liquids- hydrogen peroxide, which is common in antiseptic solutions, acetone, which is commonly used as a paint thinner and nail polish remover, and sulfuric acid, which is available from many sources as a battery electrolyte and drain cleaner.

But let’s be a little bit more critical here. You have to keep all of these three liquids separate from each other until you want to make TATP. You have to use highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide, which is not nice stuff at all- after all, it maimed and killed thousands of people during the Second World War, when the Nazis used it as oxidizer for their A-4 engines. It also gasses off oxygen constantly and reacts aggressively with plastics of all kinds, which makes carrying it anywhere a challenge. You have to use hydrogen peroxide at least a hundred times more concentrated than that which is used as a hair bleach. Oh, and peroxides are already banned in air travel. You have to mix the acetone with the hydrogen peroxide during the reaction, which is actually the hard part. Acetone plus hydrogen peroxide is actually a hypergolic reaction at room temperature. You have to keep the stuff cold to stop it reacting and producing water, carbon dioxide and heat. Oh, and the reaction when you add the sulfuric acid is strongly exothermic.

Then you need to filter and dry the product, and probably use a blasting cap to detonate it. Interestingly, one mole of explosive will produce three moles of cold gas; this means that for a couple of litres of reagent, the most gas that can possibly be produced is just over 75 litres. I can’t see that producing significant overpressure in a modern widebody jet of volume many hundreds of thousands of litres.

Can we please use some SCIENCE, before we make policy!?!?!

Submitted by Michael on

Hi TSA. Nice job overall.

My gripe is when you clearly have less than 3 oz. in a container, but the container's marking is over 3 oz, the TSA confiscates it. I have had this with toothpaste (about an ounce left in the tube, a dab of hair conditioner in a 4 oz. bottle, that kind of thing. And it happens to many others in line.

The reason given at one point was that the TSA cannot be responsible for the call. If it is marked more than 3 oz. then they reject it regardless.

My thought is that these capable people can indeed make a call as easy as this and not affect overall saftey.

BTW, I am a million+ miler on Delta alone, so these small difference in the process make a big difference to me as a traveler.

Thanks for the opportunity to vent. I appreciate it greatly.

Good luck,

Michael

Submitted by Rich on

What is the point of the 3.3oz rule?

I can understand having a total ounce limit, but not the individual container size.

For example, I can fit 5, 3.3oz bottles in my 1 quart baggy. But I cannot take 1, 10oz bottle.

If I wanted to combine the liquids into a larger bottle, I could easily purchase a 20oz bottle of water beyond the security lines, dump it out and combine the little bottles.

Again, I can understand a total ounce limit, but not the individual size rule.

Why is that?

Submitted by Water Drinker on

I would really like the TSA to reconsider its policy on all liquids, but specifically water. I take medication that dehydrates me. It is a constant struggle for me to regulate my water intake. Airline flight is notorious for causing dehydration. The combination of certain medications and flight require many passengers to be extra diligent about hydration.

The airlines are supposed to offer water to passengers. Let's be honest, they offer one six to eight ounce bottle per passenger. That is simply not enough for some people. I have typically consumed the entire bottle before the steward moves on to service the next aisle.

There should be some way for you to allow us to bring our own bottles of water. Test the contests if you have to, but please work it out.

Submitted by Matt_n on

I agree with pb, this is exactly what I came in here to say. If there is research out there that shows that liquids are a threat, surely this would be the right place to post them.

If these liquids have been researched to be such a threat, why are the confiscated liquids usually thrown into a bin right by where hundreds of people are lining up to go through a security check? Isn't that dangerous?

Submitted by Anonymous on

The liquids policy as a security measure makes no sense whatsoever.

If the liquids are potentially dangerous then why can anyone walk up to a TSA checkpoint and unload gallons of fluids, pastes, and lotions into bins right by your own staff and equipment?

All the liquids rule has succeeded in doing is increase queue length, massively increase the number of checked bags, and irritated customers.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I remember flying out of Burbank and having my toothpaste confiscated it -- a memento from my trip to Tokyo -- and yet the same container made the trip into SFO with no issue.

I flew through Canada, Germany, and Turkey last year with no difficulties carrying liquids; doing the same thing here is usually seen as permission to act like an ogre or treat travelers like cattle.

I understand they're just doing their jobs, but the liquids thing is irritating, invasive, and largely ineffective. In fact, from most accounts I've read, the TSA's record is abysmal and normal passengers end up feeling like criminals or second-class citizens.

Is a little consistency too much to ask for? Is it possible for transportation restrictions to be more well thought out, and less a knee-jerk reaction to every extremist nutcase who couldn't conceal a weapon if his life depended on it?

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA says:

The rule limits the volume of liquids, gels and aerosols to bottles 3 ounces or smaller (or 100 ml), in 1 quart-sized zip top bag, and 1 bag per traveler.

Since when is 3 ounces = 100 milliliters? How about 3.4 ounces.

From "3-1-1 Gains International Acceptance" says that Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, China, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom agree to 100 ml liquids.

In the US its 3 oz (or 88 ml).

Consistency?

Maybe the tagline should be 3.4-1-1 instead of 3-1-1.

Submitted by Anonymous on

regarding the liquids that get taken away... why does all of that stuff have to be thrown out along with the trash? anyone thinking about the environment? the TSA should think about REUSING these items, ie - donate them to a local homeless shelter. Most of the time I see items that are thrown out are BRAND NEW.
or maybe yet, place them in RECYCLING instead of trash? there are so many different options that can be thought up of...

Submitted by Anonymous on

I flew from Seattle to Dallas near the Christmas holiday.

I observed many people having their full bottles of toiletries in sizes as small as 3.5 oz being thrown into the trash, on it's way to a landfill, doing no good & causing harm to the environment & those passenger's pocket-books, having to purchase the products all over again.

I received some great herbal lotion from my mother-in-law for christmas, but thought better of packing it onto my carry-on (no checked baggage for a short trip) & instead, paid twice the cost of the home-made lotion in order to ship the heavy bottle home.

I don't understand how this stops terrorists or crazy people from smuggling bombs onto planes.
I really don't believe that it does. It's just a way to keep the masses in a constant state of fear and dread, testing little by little how much of our civil liberties we will sacrifice in order to travel where we want to go.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Preventing me from taking my water bottle through the checkpoint would not be so infuriating if I did not have to pay double or triple the price for the same bottle of water once inside the terminal. It seems to me that the sales of liquids at ridiculously inflated prices once inside is a prime motivator against lifting the ban.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Since the TSA has decided not to allow me to bring my own bottled water why don't the airports force the vendors beyond the check point the sell water at street prices. I don't think banning fluids has improved security at all, but I guarantee It has improved profits for the vendors that operate beyond the check-point.

Submitted by Argys on

Numerous experts have stated that there is little likelihood of a successful bomb being made using liquids or gels on an airplane.

Why does the TSA continue to cling to knee-jerk reactions to sensational news stories when the evidence is against them?

The same thing happened with the "shoe bomb." Now we must remove our shoes even though studies have shown the x-ray machines are not able to detect bombs in our shoes.

I can't help but feel like all of these extra measures are taken on the backs of airline passengers who can only complain ineffectually.

Initiating real reforms, like better training and supervision, better machines, a more accurate and useful terrorist watch lists (rather than the bloated, innacurate and misleading one that we currently have) would require legislation or actual money that neither the TSA nor the airlines want to spend.

Submitted by Anonymous on

If the TSA expects passengers to take the ban on liquids seriously they need to make sure they practice what they preach.
I was flying from Philadelphia to Frankfurt and passing through security I realized I was carrying a full, un-opened, security sealed bottle of water. When I got to the front of the line the TSA agent stuck out his hand and just looked at me. No words, no nothing, just a look.

He took my bottle of water, and upon noticing it was still sealed he set it to the side of the trash can.

I really had to laugh when I looked a few minutes later (it was a long line) as he was DRINKING IT!
Imagine... drinking potentially dangerous water!

Now to be honest, I feel better knowing it was not wasted, but I would much rather have had the opportunity to drink it myself!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Seriously... the whole 3 oz thing? Get over it. If someone needs 4.5 oz of something for 'evil' purposes won't people just split it across 2 containers.

Or is the purpose purely phychological?

If there is some serious legit research because this rule, can you at least publish it for peer review instead of pretending it's a state secret?

Submitted by Whoohoogirl1 on

When I took my plastic bag with my liquids out of my carry-on for inspection before my flight last week, the TSA agent informed me that I was using a gallon size bag, which was against the rules. She "let me go this time," and gave me a quart size bag, "courtesy of the TSA." Ridiculous.

However, like another poster mentioned: I find that going with the flow, smiling, and trying to make the best of things, is a good policy. Both for your sanity, and others'.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Enough is enough of this 3 oz liquid limit. Its beyond annoying and even more so that the TSA people (who would be flipping burgers at McDonalds if they werent TSA) dont know the difference between fluid ounces and solids. Its a joke and has just become annoying.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I would echo pb's comment, in that my understanding of the underlying science is that it is virtually impossible for a traveler using portable quantities of liquids to effectively fashion an explosive inside the sterile area or on board a plane without easily being detected.

I would be interested to see an scientific and technical explanation of:
(i) the actual likelihood that a traveller could create an explosive in this scenario;
(ii) how that risk is eliminated by allowing passengers to bring nearly 32 ounces of fluids (apprx. 1 quart) through security with no meaningful analysis conducted of those fluids' properties; and
(iii) why the sensitive explosives detection equipment already in use at security checkpoints (or why readily-available equipment sensitive to the chemicals likely to be used in a binary liquid explosive) is not a feasible alternative to the TSA's current policy on liquids.

Submitted by Crys_h on

Others have failed to mention how ridiculously pointless it is to now allow liquids/gels/aerosols in a quart sized bag. I can get about 10 3oz or less contains in my quart sized bag. Thus, I have 30oz of liquids! How is this better?

I recently flew with 4 travel-sized tooth pastes!

Submitted by Anonymous on

What makes the 3oz. rule even more ridiculous is that most of the screeners don't seem to know the difference between liquids, gels, and none of the above. Nor are they able to differentiate between measurements of volume and weight.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The liquids policy is inane. Confiscating baby formula and half-used tubes of toothpaste is invasive, ineffective, and it makes TSA look cretinous.
Seriously, after all of the negative feedback, what rationale does the TSA have TODAY for keeping the rule in place? Has anything dangerous been found?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Although I'm not entirely convinced about the necessity for the single-baggie rule, it is itself an improvement over the original liquid bans, and at least it is consistent

But, the 3-ounce part isn't entirely logical as other commenters have pointed out, and is tremendously inconvenient.

Some toothpastes come exclusively in 4.6 ounce containers that would fit in the quart bag, and the common European 100ml container is about 3.5 ounces. Some things, like shampoo, are easily poured into smaller containers. Toothpaste? Not so much...

I would love to see a modification of the 3 ounce rule that allowed a larger commercial (that is, lablelled) container that still fits in the quart baggie.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I would like to know exactly what the requirements are for a substance to be subject to the 3-1-1 rule.
About a year ago, in Nashville, I had a half full container of crunchy peanut butter confiscated. From what I understand, the issue was because it was in the jar, which was larger than 3.4 oz. If I had spread it between bread or crackers, it would have been acceptable.
Additionally, I have heard others give the advice of putting a too large tube of toothpaste or other item subject to the 3-1-1 rule in your pocket when you go through the metal detector. As long as the item isn't in a metal tube, it would not set off the detector. And, unless you are subjected to extra security screening, the item would not be confiscated. If these items are potentially dangerous, what's to stop a person intent on destruction from just putting these items in their pockets? It seems like a potential security risk.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I myself am composed of 50-65% water. Additionally, the human stomach has approximate capacity of 1 us qt. (which is 31.99 fl oz.) which is over 10 times large than the 3 oz. single container rule allows. I can't very well put my stomach in a clear plastic bag either. I only bring this up to illustrate the silliness of the entire affair. The illusion of security.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Another reason the liquids policy is asinine is that while law abiding citizens are prohibited from bringing bottled water past security, anyone wanting to blow up the plan could fill certain of their body cavities with enough explosives to down a plane.

Terrorists should float the rumor that they're going to do just that. TSA's reaction would be to do body cavity searches on all travelers.

Millions of americans waiting in line for hours to then be probed by badly trained TSA workers in rubber gloves would be victory for the terrorists.

Then again, so is the current level of security theater.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The liquid rule is idiotic, not backed up by science, and not in any way justified or explained by the TSA. It's a hassle for passengers and provides only the illusion of security. Either fully explain why it was implemented or get rid of it.

Submitted by Bingo on

If TSA is going to assume the right to commit forcible theft in the name of national security, it should at least treat liquids it steals from passengers as if they are a threat. When you're just throwing them away, instead of treating them as a threat, you demonstrate that you don't really believe that they are a threat.

TSA has to understand that a bottle of Aquafina is not a credible threat to security. I suspect that they perpetuate their security theater for no other reason than to make it look like they have some idea how to combat terrorism. However, in doing so, they only prove to the rational thinkers that a) they have no idea how to do so and b) they are willing to hurt innocent people in order to maintain the illusion of safety. That's a pretty sad way to run any organization, especially one tasked with keeping things safer.

If you honestly believe that my bottle of water is a threat to airline security, why don't you treat it as one instead of throwing it into a common garbage can? I suspect the reason is as I stated above: You know it's not a threat.

Submitted by Buckles Out on

So this winter my wife, 9 month old daughter and I were traveling across the country to visit some relatives and had with us a small water bottle with enough water in it to make one 4oz bottle and a container with some powdered formula. We thought this would be ok because you can bring liquid formula and breast milk through security. We found out otherwise. The TSA agent was very rude and told us we either had to make the formula here and now, or dump the water and try and get some on the 'secure' side of the lines. As anyone with kids whose ever used formula knows, the stuff only stays good without refrigeration for 30-45 minutes, and at IAD, that's barely enough time to find your gate if you have to take a shuttle. What I don't understand is why I could take that water and make it to formula then, but not bring the water with me. It was the same frigging water. I know terrorists aren't sane, but I doubt they bring their wife and kid with them to try and blow up a farking plane to Oklahoma. That was just ridiculous. Things like this need to be done away with, or they need to treat every single item they confiscate as though it was a 'real' threat, i.e. bomb team or some sort of hazardous waste disposal team.

Submitted by Laureno on

I agree with most of the comments already posted here:

-Liquids aren't actually dangerous, and the idea of being able to combine them on-board to improvise and explosive is silly
-The reasons for having this policy should be transparent
-It's unclear that TSA has legal authority to ban liquids
-Commercially-sealed items should be considered safe
-"Potentially hazardous" material should not be combined in one large bin, sitting in public together. Moreover, a trash bin is not an acceptable disposal method for "potentially hazardous" material.

Yes, these are all major concerns. Here's one that doesn't affect you everyday but is still a hassle:

When traveling back to the states from abroad, one has the option of buying lots of cheap goods in the Duty Free shop. A popular item is alcohol. Duty Free always delivers purchased goods to your flight or cruise, so if you're traveling directly to your final destination, there's no problem! But if you don't live at port or booked a hopscotch flight, your legal and safe purchases are confiscated. You can see bottle after bottle confiscated in airports near cruise ports, and once I saw a closet full of confiscated Duty Free items near a TSA checkpoint.

I wonder whether those bottles made it to the trash sealed and full.

Submitted by Anonymous on

why can we not bring liquids in bottles that are factory sealed? i.e. unopened soda or water.

if you've ever seen the SNL skit about going to school to be an airport security person, they bring out a lot of good points, such as the limit on liquids. if i can bring 3 3-oz. containers, what's keeping me from meeting up with 2 other people on the plane and combining everything? it's silly.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Not allowing us to carry liquids, or limiting the amount of liquid, or the type of approved containers for liquids, is all equally ridiculous. Let's start using common sense and stop treating American citizens like we're in prison.

Submitted by Anonymous on

As has already been mentioned there has been no evidence shown establishing that liquids are a large enough threat to down a plane. In fact the contrary has been shown, at worst (if they are an extremely skilled chemist) a liquid bomber might injure himself and a couple others but will by no means threaten a plane.

More interesting is the fact that this never was an solid plan it was merely an attempt by some very ignorant individuals to try and figure out how to copy a plot from 10 years earlier that couldn't have possibly worked then.

The only reason I can think of for not repealing the law is that it would require admitting a mistake which the current government is incapable of doing.

Submitted by Annoyed Flyer on

The liquid ban is for no reason. There are no magic MacGuyver liquids that you can mix in the bathroom and blow up the plane. All the binary explosives require heating/cooling and other chemical processing to work. This was shown with a short time after the initial scare, but the TSA keeps the ban. If you dont want us to fly, just tell us, close the airlines, and we'll try something else.

Submitted by Ben on

I know for a fact that on occasion TSA employs have not "confiscated" but rather stolen some items of mine and my mother. Also, i don't know what the TSA training entails, but they certainly could add manners in there. TSA employees are some of the rudest employees i have encountered.

Submitted by ***Dave on

Speaking of inconsistency ...

Given the ever-growing number of things that need to be emptied, taken off, rearranged, and wrangled into the x-ray machine, I have more than once forgotten to remove my little ziplock of tiny little liquids. They have sailed through the x-ray machine with nary a peep ...

... except when the crowds are light and the lines are short. Then, with time on their hands, the TSA staff will pull my suit case over and inspect it, finding the bottles and whatever else they choose to poke through.

So either the bottles are clearly visible on the x-ray (in which case why require them to be taken out?), or the agents are amazingly good guessers that they're still in there (but only when the lines are short).

Submitted by George on

The old adage "Nevey let logic get in the way of a good argument" certainly holds here.

I was flying recently when I went through security with a 5 oz. tube of factory sealed toothpaste. When the TSA agent wanted to take it away and toss it - I asked if he could just open it and squirt half the tube into the trash - thereby leaving 2.5 oz. left. He just looked at my like I had asked him to do differential equations in his head and said that even if he squirted out half the tube - I could not take it with me because the tube would still be marked as containing 5 oz. After reelling from this absurd counter-point, I acquiesced and left my toothpaste in his care and continued on my trip knowing that the fate of the free world would once again be safe since I could not take my toothpaste with me - - so basically it is not the contents of the tube - it is the marking.

Just waiting for some enterprising company to sell 10 oz tubes marked as 3 oz's ;-). In my opinion this is one of the most ridiculous rules I have ever encountered and makes me actually feel sorry for the USA and what we must now look like to the rest of the world with these ineffective, absurd rules.

Submitted by Aimee on

In response to:

TSA says:

The rule limits the volume of liquids, gels and aerosols to bottles 3 ounces or smaller (or 100 ml), in 1 quart-sized zip top bag, and 1 bag per traveler.

Since when is 3 ounces = 100 milliliters? How about 3.4 ounces.

From "3-1-1 Gains International Acceptance" says that Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, China, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom agree to 100 ml liquids.

In the US its 3 oz (or 88 ml).

Consistency?

Maybe the tagline should be 3.4-1-1 instead of 3-1-1.


I'm a TSO in ORD [Chicago O'hare]. The rules for liquids are the same in the US as they are in the various other countries you have listed. The rules are: "Any liquids, gels, creams and aerosols must be 3.4 ounces [100 ml] or smaller in a zip-lock plastic bag. Any liquid, gel, cream or aerosol not fitting this size can be given to family outside of security, mailed to you [if there is a post office available in the terminal], checked in another bag under the plane, or relinquished". I understand that there are inconsistencies between Officers and airports. The slogan "3-1-1" is there as a guideline. Perhaps you could suggest a new slogan that incorporates 3.4 ounces instead of 3?

Submitted by Anonymous on

What is up with the liquids rule? In every security test the screeners miss the bomb but are sure to make the person dump out they're water. Mission Acomplished.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I (deliberately) don't take my one quart bag out of my carry-on, just to see if the screeners are paying attention. 90+% of the time, it makes it through, in airports all over the country - my liquids/gels are always in a one quart zip bag, so if they noticed it, I would take it out and it would pass inspection - but the point is that 90% of the time no one even notices.

Either it's irrelevant whether it's in hand luggage (in which case TSA could save everyone the time and annoyance of taking their bags out of the luggage), or the screeners don't know what they're looking for.

In either case, TSA is one of the biggest wastes of taxpayer dollars I've ever seen.

As for the "well, there haven't been any more hijackings/bombings", you're right - and there haven't been any stampedes of elephants in New York or UFO abductions from Congress either. I hope that's not the metric we're supposed to use to judge the billions of dollars being wasted.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I recently flew back directly from Belize City, Belize to ATL, my final destination. In the BC airport past security I bought 2 bottles of duty-free rum, put it in my carry-on, and flew back home with it. I deplane, get my checked luggage, recheck it, and go to leave. When the TSA employee checks my carry-on bag he immediately goes to confiscate my rum. When I complain and point out that #1 the bottles haven't been opened yet, #2 the bottles haven't been outside of a secure area since I've had them, and #3 Atlanta is my FINAL DESTINATION and I am LEAVING THE AIRPORT and not flying again, he winks at me and puts back one of the bottles!

What kind of absolutely brainless policy created this pathetic mockery of "security"? DROP THE LIQUIDS BAN. It's ridiculous!

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