What's the deal with liquids and freedom baggies?

Old Jul 24, 07, 2:48 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 438
What's the deal with liquids and freedom baggies?

It's been a while since i've flown, but I thought the purpose of the baggies was to pull them out and prove to security that we didn't have any possibly explosive liquids on board.

I came through an empty line at LAX over the weekend - I had my baggie in my suitcase, but forgot it was in there and no one checked. Good thing too because i had a tube of toothpaste that was larger than 3.4 oz. (the horror!). First reaction was that TSA had forgotten to look, but something similar happened today when I came through Newark. The line at security was as long as I've ever seen it there. And they had someone whose sole job was to sit at a desk in the middle of the massive line and hand out baggies.

I had my little baggie ready to go (actually two little baggies - one contained my too-big toothpaste), forgot to take them out of the suitcase and, again, no one checked. But this time, I also had a large bottle of water in my purse.

It could be that the screener was distracted because i somehow managed to drop my shoe in the "secure" area behind the machines and the people behind me were attempting to travel with an ice pack, but if liquids are really a threat, why weren't they checked/confiscated?

I'm not complaining that I got through with my stuff, I'm just slightly confused about the policy. Has it changed? I know you guys have been saying it for years, but this doesn't make sense!
caleo is offline  
Old Jul 24, 07, 2:57 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
IHG Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SEA
Programs: Delta - Silver; UA - Silver; HHonors - Diamond; IHG - Spire Ambassador; Marriott Bonvoy - Titanium
Posts: 13,412
It's not that the policy has changed, it's that the screeners "catch" items at random! As an example, The woman behind me a couple of months ago @ SEA had out a baggie with items obviously 4+ oz in it by eye. A couple of us advised her to put it inside her carryon, and hope for the best. While a screener was looking through my bag for the ziplock inside (all items under 100 ml) the machine operatorhad flagged (and chewing me out for not following directions), the Big Items Pax sailed right through. Exact same person looking reading the X Ray screen for both of us.
Points Scrounger is offline  
Old Jul 24, 07, 3:00 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: BDL
Programs: NWA Platinum, HHonors Diamond, SPG, YX, AA
Posts: 5,351
See http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthrea...hlight=freedom for a discussion about items hidden in plain sight.
MKEbound is offline  
Old Jul 24, 07, 3:04 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Salish Sea
Programs: DL,AC,HH,PC
Posts: 8,977
Designed Inconsistency™. That's Kippie-talk for "I don't what my employees are doing".
Wally Bird is offline  
Old Jul 24, 07, 6:28 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Brattleboro, VT
Posts: 702
This is just an unconfirmed rumor, but... I just got done talking to an acquaintence who said she called TSA yeterday to find out the current baggie policy and she was told that they haven't publicly posted this yet, but the liquid size limit is now 5 oz.

She doesn't know I post here occasionally, so I immediately went here to check out her story and all I found was this thread. Think there's any connection?
Brattflyer is offline  
Old Jul 24, 07, 6:30 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 10,037
Originally Posted by Brattflyer View Post
This is just an unconfirmed rumor, but... I just got done talking to an acquaintence who said she called TSA yeterday to find out the current baggie policy and she was told that they haven't publicly posted this yet, but the liquid size limit is now 5 oz.

She doesn't know I post here occasionally, so I immediately went here to check out her story and all I found was this thread. Think there's any connection?
Doubtful.

It wouldn't be the first time someone from the call center would dispense incorrect information.
LessO2 is offline  
Old Jul 24, 07, 6:45 pm
  #7  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: PDX
Programs: TSA Refusenik charter member
Posts: 15,973
Originally Posted by Brattflyer View Post
This is just an unconfirmed rumor, but... I just got done talking to an acquaintence who said she called TSA yeterday to find out the current baggie policy and she was told that they haven't publicly posted this yet, but the liquid size limit is now 5 oz.
No offense, but I'm skeptical that the TSA has any such alteration of the liquids policy in the pipeline, let alone one so specific that an agency phone jockey would dare give out it to an unknown caller.

Are you sure that your acquaintance heard this correctly?
essxjay is offline  
Old Jul 24, 07, 7:21 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Brattleboro, VT
Posts: 702
Originally Posted by essxjay View Post
Are you sure that your acquaintance heard this correctly?
Yes! Do I believe her? No! That's why I said it was an unconfirmed rumor. The only reason I even posted was the OP was suggesting that the TSA might be overlooking items bigger than 3.5 oz. I just put 2+2 together and got 0.
Brattflyer is offline  
Old Jul 24, 07, 7:52 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Danville, CA, USA;
Programs: UA Plat & 1MM, Marriott LT Gold, HHonors Gold, Hyatt Explorist & IHG Plat Amb
Posts: 12,113
I think it is about 50/50 as to whether they catch you (or maybe just whether the scanner operator gives a ****).

I went through SFO yesterday morning and as often happens I forgot to remove my baggie. No comment from the screener, just sailed right through.

Of course, I didn't complain
Boraxo is offline  
Old Jul 24, 07, 11:34 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Somewhere between DEN & ...
Programs: UA Global Services; UA/1K (since 1991); Marriott Platinum; Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 174
I never take my stupid baggie out of my bag. I always pack it on top of the bag's internal closure tabs, near the bottom of the bag. I've been stopped maybe three times this year. When they have stopped, they've opened the bag, seen the baggie, looked at me and informed me that "sir, you have to take the baggie out of your luggage." I just shrug my shoulders, laughing inside because they've missed all of the other "liquids" I have in my toilet kit; or, that I've put in my back pocket. And I'm screened at least a half dozen times a week.
DC-COFlyer is offline  
Old Jul 24, 07, 11:36 pm
  #11  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: PDX
Programs: TSA Refusenik charter member
Posts: 15,973
WTG, DC-COFlyer.
essxjay is offline  
Old Jul 24, 07, 11:53 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,449
I have a "sacrificial lamb" of baggie stuff to put on the belt and then all my stuff conveniently located in the 2 different toiletry vessels in which I have my stuff sorted for my most convenient use. In only 2 places has my stuff been messed with: Barbados, as they hand-searched every single carry-on bag heading for the US -- an annoyance, but not a problem, as they just put the items in my Freedom Baggie; and in Bozeman, MT where the "hidden" stuff was noted and I was "educated" about policy -- the screener put my stuff inside another ziplock I coincidentally had in my toiletry bag & didn't notice that I had already submitted a Freedom Baggie for official inspection as 311 became 312.

The whole thing continues to be a stupid security theater. Kip admitted it for lighters. Maybe in a few more years he'll admit it for shampoo & toothpaste.
Telfes is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread