Rejoice, Air Travelers! Sanity’s Restored!


Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Consider me a fan of airport security. I gladly remove my shoes, belt, jewelry, and loose change and happily place my 3 oz. liquids in a clear quart-sized plastic bag.  My underwire bra always triggers the metal detector. The female attendant and I exchange a little small talk, there’s a pat down and maybe a cigarette afterwards. I kind of look forward to it now. The point is that security professionals developed these procedures in response to potential threats and I’m willing to be slightly inconvenienced and sacrifice a tiny slice of my individual liberty to comply because I believe it increases my safety while traveling.

However, on my way to Indianapolis to see my beloved NY Jets take on the Colts for the AFC ChampionshipSnow-Globe-airport-Warning in 2010, I was dumbstruck when I saw a prohibition against snow globes posted outside the security entrance at LaGuardia Airport.  The TSA had, after considerable debate, determined this to be a serious threat to public safety and issued a ban against transporting these souvenirs in a carry on bag.  No knives and box cutters I can understand, but snow globes?  I imagined myself as the mom who has to explain to little Addysen why her Golden Gate Bridge snow globe had to get dumped in the trash.  It was probably her only souvenir.  It’s highly unlikely she was going to find a key chain or mug with her name on it.

The LA Times reported last week that the TSA has changed its position on snow globes and will allow small ones that comply with the 3-1-1 rule to be carried onboard. That’s a relief.

And now that we’ve resolved this burning issue, perhaps we can turn our national attention towards conducting a rational debate about an actual threat to our safety and consider reenacting the Federal Assault Weapons Ban?  Just a thought.

11 thoughts on “Rejoice, Air Travelers! Sanity’s Restored!

  1. Sometimes the issues become snowy! Can’t believe snow globes were an issue. I can only imagine the hardened criminal, planning on unleashing damage on the crew of flight xyz turning to Jake the Snake and say, hey dude – did you get the snow globe!!!!

  2. Unfortunately, these procedures are only supposed to make us “feel” safe, not “be” safe. According to the news, so many “testers” have breezed through so-called security with actual weapons then reported it later, and that doesn’t make me feel safe at all. And many security screeners have been abusive to passengers. A woman friend of mine was given an invasive pat down with lots of sexual innuendoes thrown in by a female screener simply because she is well endowed. Then there was the screener who forced a woman to remove her nipple ring (is a nipple ring really a threat to airline security?). There have been so many abuses and the screeners are not trained well. Some of them are just plain bullies. Sorry for the rant, but I think better training and more oversight is essential if we are actually going to “be” safe when we fly.

    • Feel free to rant away. I’ve only had one bad experience. Our very large group of 12, including 7 children were separated into different groups for personal searches. During the melee, my camera disappeared. I’d be curious to hear from others.

  3. I flew from Batam, in Indonesia to Jakarta, and had two green lighter’s confiscated. While on a flight with Lion, same airline, from Jakarta to Singapore, they let me take my lighter aboard. My belt always goes off. I could take it off and avoid a frisk, but I like playing “stick your hands up” and getting a gentle massage. Its even better if it’s a female security officer!

  4. I wonder if at the genesis of holiday airflight, when the stewardesses were all shiney & bright did they ever imagine how the traveler would dread the schlep through the airport today? Line up after line up…it’s a drag. I long for the 1950’s traveler experience, alla Don Draper in Mad Men.

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