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The Stupidity of Baby Food Security Rules

Joe Sharkey has an interesting column in the NY Times today about a couple traveling with an infant who was not permitted to bring extra formula and baby food through security because you’re only allowed “a reasonable quantity” of foodstuffs for your child.  As Sharkey points out, in an age of 9 hour delays, what constitutes “reasonable” is up for debate.

I have small children as well, and I rarely discuss traveling with them here, as nobody cares about the difficulties of traveling with kids (unless you have them yourself).  However, I’ll share this little story along the same lines:  Returning from a trip last month, we were stopped at airport security because we brought along an ice pack to keep food cold for our twin 20-month olds.  We have traveled quite a bit with the ice packs, so we were surprised when we were stopped.  We had this ridiculous conversation with the TSA person:

TSA: You can’t have the ice pack because you cannot bring liquids or gels aboard the plane.

Me: It’s not a liquid or a gel, it’s a solid.

TSA: We consider it to be a gel.

Me: (holding up a bag of cookies): Is this a liquid or a gel?

TSA: That’s a solid.

Me: How would I know that if you consider some solids to be gels.

…and on it went.  The world was kept safe from 2 small children with cold turkey.

We hardly need additional examples of the incredibly ridiculous airport security situation, but I needed to pass along given Sharkey’s column…I’d love to hear your ridiculous security stories…

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  1. Here’s my insane TSA and babies story. Recently, my barely one-year-old nephew was required to take off his booties while going through security. He can barely walk – the “shoes” are glorified socks and they made his parents take them off.