Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Safety/Security > Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate
Reload this Page >

Soap and shampoo in checked luggage are now "suspicious" items

Soap and shampoo in checked luggage are now "suspicious" items

Old Feb 9, 20, 5:07 pm
  #1  
KDS
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: Delta Diamond Medallion 1MM, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, National Car Executive Elite
Posts: 550
Soap and shampoo in checked luggage are now "suspicious" items

Despicable people.

TSA decided today that my suitcase contained "apparently dangerous" soaps and shampoos. They opened it at Detroit and went to "work".

I had a plastic bag in the suitcase that contains extra bathroom items -- soaps, shampoos, toothpaste. The plastic bag was tied shut by the handles. TSA decided the best way to get to the dangerous soaps was to tear open the plastic bag -- making it useless now. And they opened one of my shampoos but did not close the cap -- it leaked. And they dumped many of the soaps into the suitcase after they tore the plastic bag.

I just spent 20 minutes cleaning up after the morons. I despise them. Tell me again how they carefully handle your personal items...
Spiff, chollie, 84fiero and 1 others like this.
KDS is offline  
Old Feb 9, 20, 6:04 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: on the path to perdition
Programs: Delta, United
Posts: 4,238
Hopefully you took some pictures so to file a claim. Any clothing that need to be washed take to a dry cleaner and get an estimate of the costs. (You do not need to actually have them do the washing). File a claim for the damaged plastic bag. Etc, etc. I made TSA pay for twist tie they failed to put back on my bag.
FlyingUnderTheRadar is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 5:25 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,517
Originally Posted by KDS View Post
Despicable people.

TSA decided today that my suitcase contained "apparently dangerous" soaps and shampoos. They opened it at Detroit and went to "work".

I had a plastic bag in the suitcase that contains extra bathroom items -- soaps, shampoos, toothpaste. The plastic bag was tied shut by the handles. TSA decided the best way to get to the dangerous soaps was to tear open the plastic bag -- making it useless now. And they opened one of my shampoos but did not close the cap -- it leaked. And they dumped many of the soaps into the suitcase after they tore the plastic bag.

I just spent 20 minutes cleaning up after the morons. I despise them. Tell me again how they carefully handle your personal items...
I swear it's done deliberately just because they can. Always take before and after pictures to make it more difficult for TSA to claim they didn't cause the damage.
Spiff and STBCypriot like this.
petaluma1 is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 5:36 am
  #4  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 93,396
I do a fair amount of transporting of shampoo/conditioner/shower gels, soaps and other toiletries; and while the TSA has opened the bag and inspected them rather frequently, I've yet to have a mess leak arising from the TSA's searches of my checked luggage with these items. I do tend to have them sealed in re-sealable plastic bags and do put them in boxes inside suitcases/duffels while realizing there is a risk of the runny contents coming out for one reason or another, but I've been lucky so far.

It helps to keep the toiletry stuff away from metal and electronics stuff in checked luggage if wanting to reduce the chance of the TSA digging into the bag. I've found boxes of this stuff inside a soft duffel bag reduces the odds of my bags being opened and dug through as completely by TSA.

Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
Hopefully you took some pictures so to file a claim. Any clothing that need to be washed take to a dry cleaner and get an estimate of the costs. (You do not need to actually have them do the washing). File a claim for the damaged plastic bag. Etc, etc. I made TSA pay for twist tie they failed to put back on my bag.
How much did the TSA pay for the twist tie? And how long did it take between filing the claim against the TSA and getting the TSA to pay up for the claim?
gsoltso likes this.
GUWonder is online now  
Old Feb 10, 20, 6:30 am
  #5  
nrr
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: jfk area
Programs: AA platinum; 2MM AA, Delta Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 9,375
For the last 10 years I've kept a small bar of hand soap* in my c/o, that's approx. 200 tsa (precheck) interactions as well as several at LHR, never been an issue except ONCE at JFK T4 it was "flagged": "is this soap", me:"yes", them: "OK", JFK T2, T4 and T8 every now and then has TSA who have not been trained properly.
*I once arrived late at night in my booked hotel, the room had NO soap.
nrr is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 7:18 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: on the path to perdition
Programs: Delta, United
Posts: 4,238
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
How much did the TSA pay for the twist tie? And how long did it take between filing the claim against the TSA and getting the TSA to pay up for the claim?
I think it was $8 or so. I filed the claim on principle. As for the time it took. I spent 30 minutes on filing the claim, but only because I had to find a commercial version of the twist ties. However, the followup letter to ask my Congresman to intervene took a bit longer. TSA initially rejected my claim for completely unrelated reasons. My Congressman wrote a letter asking them to reconsider their rejection as the alternative was to file in Court and a friend who is a lawyer was up for representing me on principle as well as he thought it would be hilarious especially if I had to read the rejection letter in court.
FlyingUnderTheRadar is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 7:44 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: WAS
Programs: enjoyed being warm spit for a few years on CO/UA but now nothing :(
Posts: 1,861
Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
... as he thought it would be hilarious especially if I had to read the rejection letter in court.
this sounds promising - can you share it with us?
Section 107 is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 8:27 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 452
seems like a bag tied closed by handles would be prone to leaks anyway...
mctaste is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 9:11 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,517
Originally Posted by mctaste View Post
seems like a bag tied closed by handles would be prone to leaks anyway...
The point is that the TSA, if they have to open a bottle of shampoo, should close said bottle securely and not destroy the bag it was in to protect the other items in the suitcase. Accidents can happen but destroying the bag and not closing the container are deliberate.
petaluma1 is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 9:24 am
  #10  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,075
Originally Posted by KDS View Post
Despicable people.

TSA decided today that my suitcase contained "apparently dangerous" soaps and shampoos. They opened it at Detroit and went to "work".

I had a plastic bag in the suitcase that contains extra bathroom items -- soaps, shampoos, toothpaste. The plastic bag was tied shut by the handles. TSA decided the best way to get to the dangerous soaps was to tear open the plastic bag -- making it useless now. And they opened one of my shampoos but did not close the cap -- it leaked. And they dumped many of the soaps into the suitcase after they tore the plastic bag.

I just spent 20 minutes cleaning up after the morons. I despise them. Tell me again how they carefully handle your personal items...
Checked or carry-on bag?
Often1 is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 9:54 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: on the path to perdition
Programs: Delta, United
Posts: 4,238
Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post
this sounds promising - can you share it with us?
I probably should have kept the letter but it is long gone. The gist was that TSA had to be able to inspect baggage and should not be impeded in do so thus they had no responsibility. There was lots of additional pomp. I really would have loved to have had the opportunity to read the letter to a judge, and then explain that the issue was not that the twist tie prevented the TSA from inspecting my bag, they were more than capable of removing them. And in fact had done so numerous times. The issue was that they were incapable of putting them back on the zippers. Thus I had to keep replacing them.

Last edited by FlyingUnderTheRadar; Feb 10, 20 at 10:02 am
FlyingUnderTheRadar is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 10:08 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,517
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Checked or carry-on bag?
It's obvious from the post that it was a checked bag.

Soap and shampoo in checked luggage are now "suspicious" items
petaluma1 is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 10:20 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
Programs: Aeroplan Airmiles AMEX-MR Alaska Airlines
Posts: 542
Had a similar issue happen to me at ORD. Transferred from CX to AC - landed back at YYZ. Collected my bags only to find out the lock on one of them was gone and everything inside was just out of place - luckily they didnt steal the booze I had stashed inside.
injian is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 3:38 pm
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,075
Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
It's obvious from the post that it was a checked bag.

Soap and shampoo in checked luggage are now "suspicious" items
Meh. Not even worth a complaint. Won't change anything and OP won't get a reimbursement for a plastic bag with tie handles just as he would not be reimbursed if TSA forced a lock on a valuable suitcase.
Often1 is offline  
Old Feb 10, 20, 3:48 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SEA
Programs: Delta TDK(or care)WIA, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,853
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Meh. Not even worth a complaint. Won't change anything and OP won't get a reimbursement for a plastic bag with tie handles just as he would not be reimbursed if TSA forced a lock on a valuable suitcase.
If that's your opinion, don't file a complaint for the damage to the bag.
GUWonder likes this.
Carl Johnson is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: