The sheer idiocy of airport security 

Every time I travel, I find some new piece of utter stupidity in what has become of security in air travel. Here’s the latest.

My wife travelled from Jamaica to Miami on American Airlines. She bought items in duty free before her flight. She arrived in the U.S. and cleared Customs, without a hitch. However, her journey continued beyond the U.S.. When she passed to another concourse for her next flight, her hand luggage was scanned and the duty free items were deemed a ‘security risk’. They were confiscated.

What kind of utter foolishness is this? 

The U.S. says you can bring in liquids in your hand luggage but these must be put into checked baggage for onward travel, after clearing Customs.

If she had left the airport with her jars of highly volatile jam, she would not have been chased by foot patrols or pursued on a high-speed chase along a highway. She would have casually put the USA under the threat of death by pectin overdose.

But, because some halfwit thought otherwise, a TSA officer was left wondering whether to keep the jar of guava jam or take the mango jam and give away the guava. Or, he was going to pitch it in a bin to add to global food waste.

Presumably, my wife’s devious plot of taking jam to her mummy was a thinly veiled plot to have her native land blown to smithereens by two pots of highly explosive confiture.

I’d never suspected that this terrorist was there in my home all along.

Meanwhile, the man with his golf clubs thinly disguising a dozen gunpowder-filled clubs, pulled his bag along the concourse.

We know the experiences of terrorists and have suffered from forgetting to remove body or hair wash from hand luggage.  

But, sealed duty free items? Is there a trust issue within the airport vending industry?

Danger is everywhere. A sticky end has been avoided this time, America. 😱

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

7 thoughts on “The sheer idiocy of airport security ”

  1. Sometimes I think it all depends on who you get when you pass through security. When I went through security in Cuba last spring, my lighter was confiscated, yet others weren’t? Apparently there is no clear policy, so I guess it all depends on how evil you look?


  2. Lost things twice last year….Coming back from Mexico via Miami to Jamaica.(No stop over… direct) … Bought a bottle of Tequila on the way out of Mexico from the bonded store.. Got to Miami and had to surrender it before I could board the flight to Jamaica…Also lost some lovely Mexican preserves…very small sample bottles .. wondered what harm it would have done :-)…. A did really bex!!!!

    Had a similar experience between Japan and China (Beijing)… they were even more severe and unyielding…

    I have now given up travelling with anything that even has a hint of fluid in it… Even afraid to sweat!!! Lost too many small items that some airports allow and others behave like you are committing the most horrible of crimes…


  3. I haven’t traveled for ages and when I do I don’t really get upset about these things. Can’t be bothered. I just go into another mental zone at airports.


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