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“Bomb in My Bottom” Remark Causes Beijing Disruption


There are a number of things you shouldn’t try sneaking past airport security agents – meat cleavers, cricket bats, hatchets and sarcasm to name a few. One frustrated traveler at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) recently made the mistake of bringing that last travel no-no to a security checkpoint with him. After being told to remove his shoes, the unnamed man asked, “Do I need to drop my pants as well? I have a bomb in my a**.”

His remark raised a security alert, led to an emergency evacuation and immediately resulted in the man’s arrest. After a thorough search at the police station, the security alert was called off, but only after it disrupted operations at PEK for several hours Monday evening. The unnamed man told police he was simply angry over “time-wasting” security checks, and didn’t realize his actions could result in a minimum of five years jail time under Chinese law.

“I said it just venting about the long wait for the security check,” the man told investigators according to RocketNews24. “It was meant to be a light joke. I certainly didn’t expect it to turn out like this.” His “light joke” earned him five days in custody for disturbing the peace in a public place.

Passengers are not always the ones at fault for enhanced security. Earlier this week, TSA agents in Phoenix created delays due to a perfume bottle.

Lois Lewis was flying out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX) last Saturday when agents confiscated her grenade-shaped perfume.

The two-ounce bottle of Jimmy Choo perfume, according to frequent flyer Lewis, had been cleared through security over 300 times previously. Due to its shape, though, PHX TSA agents shut down lane six of the Southwest Terminal for almost an hour. When bomb experts were called in, Lewis describes going “from humorous to, alright, let’s be real. It’s perfume.”

After determining it wasn’t a bomb, TSA agents confiscated the bottle, took her information and made a copy of her ID. They justified their actions by suggesting other passengers would panic if Lewis boarded the plane and waved the bottle around. The TSA stands by their agents’ actions, and encourages passengers to place the Jimmy Choo fragrance in checked luggage to prevent future incidents.

Lewis purchased a new bottle of Jimmy Choo upon landing in Denver, and placed the bottle in her checked bag as instructed for the flight back to Arizona. It wasn’t until she returned home she realized her checked luggage had been searched and her new bottle of perfume taken out of its wrapping.

“I know the TSA is there to protect us. I know that. I am a traveler. I travel a lot, many many flights a year. I have a husband. I want to come home. I want to be safe. But I want [it] to be logical,” Lewis told AZFamily.com

So who’s more at fault? A joking passenger or over-cautions security agents?

[Photos: Micah Sittig / Jimmy Choo]

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Moving Chicane March 21, 2014

Who's at fault? TSA for not being risk intelligent.