"I demanded to speak to a TSA [Transportation Security Administration] supervisor who asked me if the water in the sippy cup was 'nursery water or other bottled water.' I explained that the sippy cup water was filtered tap water. The sippy cup was seized as my son was pointing and crying for his cup. I asked if I could drink the water to get the cup back, and was advised that I would have to leave security and come back through with an empty cup in order to retain the cup. As I was escorted out of security by TSA and a police officer, I unscrewed the cup to drink the water, which accidentally spilled because I was so upset with the situation.Link
"At this point, I was detained against my will by the police officer and threatened to be arrested for endangering other passengers with the spilled 3 to 4 ounces of water. I was ordered to clean the water, so I got on my hands and knees while my son sat in his stroller with no shoes on since they were also screened and I had no time to put them back on his feet.
"I was ordered to apologize for the spilled water, and again threatened arrest. I was threatened several times with arrest while detained, and while three other police officers were called to the scene of the mother with the 19 month old. A total of four police officers and three TSA officers reported to the scene where I was being held against my will. I was also told that I should not disrespect the officer and could be arrested for this too. I apologized to the officer and she continued to detain me despite me telling her that I would miss my flight. The officer advised me that I should have thought about this before I 'intentionally spilled the water!'"
(Sidenote: WTF is Nursery Water? It's a brand of fluoridated water for babies.)
Your article about this sippy cup airport hell reminded me of something that happened to me recently.Chaka says:
A while ago while flying out of PDX, a TSA person made a family unpack a bag because there was liquid containers inside. Upon unpacking it, it wasn't just a few. The ENTIRE bag was full of sippy cups and bottles etc all full of stuff for their bratty kid. The TSA sheep saw the amount of bottles and called over some supervisor. The supervisor glanced at it and waved them through. I was in such shock that I took this (bad) picture with my camera phone of the tray full of bottles.
After this, I spoke to the supervisor. I asked why that person was let through pointing out that they could be on my flight and I was in danger now.
He rolled his eyes and said "They're formula for their kid." to which I said, now a bit louder "NO! They're containers of liquid!" He shrugged. I said "So if I have a kid with me, I can just bring however much liquid on a plane. Any other TSA loopholes you can tell me about?" He said he couldn't tell me and I'd have to "find them for myself" and once more security started walking over, I felt it was time to walk away.
The only thing I hate more than stupid rules for the illusion of safety is when they arbitrarily just throw them away. It's a way of blatantly admitting they do nothing but continue to ruin life for anyone who wants to travel.
Maxx, what you saw was a TSA employee actually doing their job -- thinking! Please don't ruin it for everyone by acting like an ass when it happens. It doesn't happen often enough!
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects