Points, miles, and snide remarks.


TSA Weighs In on Viral Video: Shrimp and Potatoes, or Security Breach?

The TSA often gets a bad rap in the court of public opinion, but I’ve gotta say, my experiences with them have been mostly smooth sailing. Sure, there’s the occasional grumpy agent or a line that seems to stretch to eternity, but overall, I find the screening process here in the U.S. more friendly and efficient than in many foreign countries.

Call me crazy, but I actually miss the TSA when I’m traveling abroad. Maybe it’s because I’m a Global Entry member, enjoying the perks of expedited screening, but there’s a certain (dare I say) charm to the TSA that other federal agencies just don’t have. They’ve got personality – just check out their social media feeds. Honestly, they’re one of the funnier accounts I follow online.

In a previous post, we dished out the deets on a Delta passenger who took culinary creativity to new heights by cooking shrimp and mashed potatoes in an airplane lavatory sink. Yep, you read that right. He rigged up a contraption involving a 6v battery pack, a beverage warmer, and some alligator clips – a setup that could easily be mistaken for something you wouldn’t want to encounter at 30,000 feet.

Now, the TSA itself has weighed in on the viral video, sharing a close-up of the man’s alligator clip-laden masterpiece. Believe it or not, he’s not packing any prohibited items, which explains how he got past those awful Analogic scanners. However, the way he’s utilizing his gear might cross into a gray area when it comes to FAA regulations.

According to the official word from the FAA, “Dry batteries are only permitted to be carried by passengers on aircraft when protected against damage and short circuit.” And here’s the kicker – a person who knowingly or recklessly violates hazardous materials regulations could be slapped with fines up to a whopping $96K for each violation and face up to five years behind bars. Youch.

So, the advice from the authorities is crystal clear – stick to the standard inflight snacks like pretzels and Biscoff cookies. Leave the impromptu shrimp scampi experiments to the professionals, and don’t try this at home (or, in this case, inflight).