December 24, 2011 in Nation/World

Traveler says TSA officer really takes the cake

Associated Press
 

PEABODY, Mass. – A woman returning home from Las Vegas says an airport security officer confiscated her frosted cupcake because he thought the icing on it could be a security risk.

Rebecca Hains said a Transportation Security Administration agent at McCarran International Airport there took her cupcake Wednesday, telling her its frosting was enough like a gel to violate TSA restrictions on allowing liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives. She said the agent told her the frosting was conforming to the jar it was inside.

“I just thought this was terrible logic,” Hains said Friday.

Hains, who lives in Peabody, just north of Boston, said the agent didn’t seem concerned that the cupcake could actually be explosive, just that it fit some definition of what was prohibited. She said he even offered to let her eat it – away from the airport security area.

Hains, a 35-year-old communications professor at Salem State University, said she told the agent she had passed through security at Boston’s Logan International Airport earlier in the week with two cupcakes packaged in jars, gifts from a student. But she said the agent told her that just meant TSA in Boston didn’t do its job.

The TSA, which is entrusted with protecting the nation’s transportation system, was reviewing the situation, agency spokesman Nico Melendez said. Passengers are allowed to take cakes and cupcakes through checkpoints, he said.

Hains ultimately surrendered the cupcake. But, “It’s not really about the cupcake; I can get another cupcake,” she said. “It’s about an encroachment on civil liberties.”

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