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One Last Travel Complaint

By - August 31, 2006

244 L-1

The man hours devoted to separating me from my Kiehls face lotion. I mean, my goodness. If I wanted to destroy a plane with two ounces of face lotion, why, I might just figure out a way to add water later while in the air.

At SFO, there were at least ten full-time lotion swipers at work when I went through. I wonder, did they hire new staff? Repurpose others? There are at least ten more security screening sites like the one I was at in SFO, so that means 100 full time lotion swipers. At SFO alone. All day.

Are they doing this at all major airports? They took my toothpaste, my Carmex, my 4’n’1 sinus medicine (I forgot I had THAT in my bag).

More than one thousand TSA agents, dumping toiletries into the garbage. Something tells me there has to be a better use of manpower in the War on Terror (TM).

Or…maybe there’s not. Maybe this is all for show. Maybe in fact if we gave the government thousands of foot soldiers to work on this War (TM), they’d have no idea what to do.

End of rant.

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21 thoughts on “One Last Travel Complaint

  1. Joe Hunkins says:

    A righteous rant as long as you are not in the group that suggests we should also spend in reckless and foolhardy ways to delay global warming a few years, fund exhorbitant health care initiatives, etc, etc. Why can’t we all agree to spend tax money based on a ruthlessly rational calculation of risk and reward rather than terror alarmism or environmental alarmism?

  2. Ken Leebow says:

    When I purchased a Diet Coke at Newark Airport, I had to leave the bottle cap with the vendor. I asked: “Why?” There was no answer. Maybe they thought I would put some Mentos in it.

  3. Grant Belaire says:

    Never doubt the power of the Lotion lobby and the control that they have in Washington.

    I wonder what TSA family members will be getting for Christmas?

  4. Jeremy Crane says:

    I’m convinced this whole thing is plot to boost the health & beauty product industy’s revenue. Somewhere there’s a secret consortium of P&G, Colgate Palmolive, and Unilever insiders that got together and planned this whole terrorist plot so we would all have to buy new products everytime we take a business trip.

    FYI … they’re doing this in most airports I’ve been to. That includes Boston, Newark, Philly, Detroit, and Chicago.

    That’s a lot of lotion and toothpaste!

  5. soreng says:

    It’s getting close to elections, John, and the people in charge want to make sure you are adequately frightened. When travelling yesterday, I kept hearing over the loudspeaker, “We are in Code Orange, report any suspicious activity you see.” That was odd, I thought, The last time I heard that was about two years.

  6. MikeM says:

    To keep us frightened Soreng? Naw, I’m guesing it has to do with the plot to blow up 10 planes simultaneously over the Atlantic uncovered by British and U.S. anti-terror agencies last month.
    The plot was uncovered by phone calls caught by the NSA people working hard every day to keep us safe from the terrorists bent on killing us.
    Solution for the lotion denied– I understand they will soon be offering in-flight sales of toiletries for passengers.
    It’s a bitch to be hated for our freedoms and have to take precautions from having our families blown up.
    God bless those Marines and soldiers on the front lines putting everything on the line to help keep us safe.

  7. DC says:

    Right. And then you get on the plane and they bring a cart around to see if you need anything liquid. If a terrorist network really wanted to ruin air travel, they would just hatch ten different plots that planned to use ipods, laptops, strapping small bits of paper to their underwear, etc. and then make sure those plots were discovered. A month later we’d all be flying in TSA plastic bags, picking up our clothes and other personal belongings in baggage claim at our destination.

  8. Re: bottle cap

    If you had the bottle cap, you could take that Diet Coke, seal it and smuggle it on the airplane.

    Next thing you know, they’ll be creating special bottles so that you can’t bring spare bottle caps with you.

  9. Joe Hunkins says:

    The “lotion lobby” ?! I assume most of you are joking to suggest this is a plot to boost revenues for the manufacturers of lotions, caviar, and coke. If not … you be nuts.

    Wait… NO Ms. TSA! Please don’t take my NUTS!

  10. Jason Dickson says:

    The next plot…exploding bras.

    Uh, excuse me ma’am, can you remove your brassiere and place it in the plastic bin please?

  11. Kevin says:


    Have you read the bit in the guidelines about gel filled bras? They’re way ahead of you.

  12. Alberto says:

    They’re doing it in London too… the bizzare thing is that you can buy the products after the security screen and bring them on the plane… I understand that part of it is that this avoids people bringing on board liquids they’ve potentially tampered with beforehand, BUT when the measures were brought into place reports said that some substances (such as Gatorade) could be used, easliy compiled with other legal liquids and with a detonator directly onboard i.e. not preparing the bomb before hand and Gatorade itself being “dangerous”)…

    maybe the fact that 11% of duty free commerce is concentrated in Heathrow and lots of $$$ were being lost when the ban was total has something to do it…

  13. Matthew Holt says:

    Are there really people like Mike M? Or is he just a bot created by whichever alien life force took over Karl Rove?

    And as for that plot? Well the answer is real people aren’t buying it and real businesses are suing the UK government over it.

    It staggers me that Blair is so keen to help Bush/Repubs win the election that he’ll screw his own country. But then again, wouldnt be the first time.

  14. Hasan says:

    MikeM, On the possibility that your comment was not tongue-in-cheek, I would like to inform you that the plot has been shown to be crap.

  15. Daniel says:

    It also makes me wonder how safe it is to be throwing all these possible “chemical explosives” into a large container… together?

    If they were worried about them being mixed and armed on board aircraft then they’re taking a huge chance (if you subscribed to their original logic) that they might blow up a lot of travellers on the ground standing in front of those bins.

    The dual irony is that more airports are claiming they’re trying to not let these things go to waste and that some things may be donated to shelters (toothpaste in the boxes, shampoo still in the sealed carton).

    …wouldn’t that suggest (again, according to their logic) that they’re supplying the homeless with bomb-making chemicals?

    This has crossed so far beyond common sense they’re just reciting mantra so it seems like it has some logic to it.

  16. Sarah R. says:

    This is what happened to me at SFO about day three into LotionGate:

    “My flight was so severely delayed today that I would have missed the connection in MPLS and been stranded there for the night. I opted instead to come back to SF and be stranded here…

    I took all the makeup out of my purse and stuffed it into my checked piece of luggage at the last second – great move, except that I am stuck here with absolutely nothing but a tube of Redwood and a black glittery eyeliner. I can make magic with these few items, right? I almost lost a new pot of Bumble and Bumble Sumo Wax (read: WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION), as I inadvertently had left it in my bag from last night, and they pulled me out of line, swabbed me for DRUGS, and then investigated my product. After I begged, through watering eyes (“…aaand scene!”) for them to not take it, as I just bought it before I came on this trip and it’s over $20 a pop, they returned it to me. I just opened the little jar a few minutes ago and found all these little stab marks where they must have scooped some of the compound out and analyzed it before giving it back. I think it’s clear that the terrorists have, in fact, already won.”

  17. I wonder what TSA family members will be getting for Christmas?:)

  18. i donr think so they were worried about them

  19. resim says:

    I took all the makeup out of my purse and stuffed it into my checked piece of luggage at the last second – great move, except that I am stuck here with absolutely nothing

  20. resimler says:

    I wonder what TSA family members will be getting for Christmas?:)