The new normal

The new normal: In a few hours I’ll be traveling on my first liquid-free carry-on flight. I thought I’d review the new prohibited items list on the TSA website. I saw also that they have a web-based tool that provides an estimate of the time it takes to get through security at a specific airport at a specific time and day. According to the website, I will have zero wait time to get through security when I’m traveling tonight. We’ll see.

Merchandising idea: I’ve wondered if airport retailers will lose money from the inability to sell water and drinks that passengers carry on board. However, they can more than make up for that if they start packaging together grab-bags for arriving passengers that include small versions of all the items one can’t carry onboard anymore. (I say this because I know I’ll have to swing by a drugstore with I land tonight.)

Update: The time through security was just as the TSA site predicted: zero wait time. Thumbs up TSA agents. Thumbs up TSA website meisters. However, I’m beginning to question my optimistic assumptions regarding the level of intelligence of the average TV watching American as the woman in front of me had a bag full of all sorts of liquids, pastes and gels confiscated — and she was dumbfounded as to why. I wanted to ask her about the rock under-which she resides, however, well it’s the south and I’m a gentleman and all. The security process was rather standard, except for the zealotry with which the TSA agents were seeking bottles and vials. However — and this is not a suggestion or recommendation and is especially not a confession, but just an observation of this guy I know — the security checkers don’t seem to be looking for a tiny bit — say about the amount that you’d find in a ketchup package at McDonald’s — of tooth paste or gel or lotion that is spread thinly and evenly inside little baggies and in, hypothetically speaking, a file folder in ones backpack.

  • bhudgins

    Hotels might be smart to do the same thing (and go easy on the prices – i recently paid $8 bucks for some deodorant at a hotel). Those grabbag kits already exist – i saw some in Publix recently.

  • bhudgins

    Your fellow travelerette probably goes you one better and not only ignores the nightly network news, but all other sources of input. Or, maybe she thinks those rules only apply to those suspicious looking Alla-fearing types and not to upstanding Yahweh fearing types such as herself.

  • Cole

    Another Hammock employee was traveling this evening also (on her way to Nashvegas). We’ll have to get her to post an account of her trip through security at Austin-Bergstrom.

  • Lisa Williams

    Rex, what did you do with your laptop? I, for one, have real worries about checking a vital and fragile piece of equipment in luggage, but I guess now we have to.

    So what did you do?

  • rex

    Lisa, The TSA guidelines in the U.S. still allow you to carry-on all all your electronics — it’s the liquids and gels and pastes they are looking for. So, if you off-load any of those (or do something I try never to do, check your luggage), there is nothing different.

  • Summer

    My experience getting through security and on the plane in Austin heading to Nashville was just as smooth as usual… Until the flight attendant walked down the aisle at the end of the flight with a trash bag and the guy sitting beside me handed her an empty Snapple bottle. The look on her face was priceless! Had we not already been “seats and tray tables up,” I think she might have turned the plane around.

    Then she had 20 questions to the guy about where he got it and how he got it down the jetway… he didn’t seemed phased at all…