The EU bids adieu to the liquids ban

liquids_banPerhaps you are reading this on your smartphone as you push back from the gate. With the end of the FAA’s ban on the use of personal electronic devices at take-off and landing, such a scenario is now possible (though in the latest for the “death of print,” magazine sales at airport kiosks will probably fall further).

So what could be the next change in air travel: might it be the end of liquids ban? Japan has been using liquid screening since 2006; the LA Times reports that the EU will be lifting the liquid ban come January. Here’s a description of the machine that will permit travelers in Europe to carry on gels, creams and even snow globes:

The LS10 device looks like a slot machine. An airport screener places a bottle of liquid into an opening in the machine and then pulls down a large black lever, which starts the testing mechanism. The device can be used with see-through or opaque bottles, metal cans or ceramic containers.

The test takes two to five seconds per container.

The scanner equipment is made in a far-off land known as…Ohio. Even though the TSA has a comment in the story saying they won’t be lifting the liquids ban soon, it’s increasingly obvious that the technology to test liquids for explosives is available and what is lacking is simply a desire to remove the policy.

Although serving your own wine on planes is still technically forbidden, it would be a boon for wine enthusiasts to be able to bring a bottle or two on board again. It’s a lot easier if you’re bringing a hostess gift on a weekend trip or visiting a winery and just want to bring home a bottle or two, not a box worthy of checking as luggage (with associated fees, natch.)

What do you say: is the liquids ban security theater and the TSA should drop it?

Photo Credit: djbones

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7 Responses to “The EU bids adieu to the liquids ban”

  1. No other country has the security industry that the US does. I just went over to Europe via Iceland and there was NO security check there in the terminal. Even Amsterdam was just a light check. I felt no less secure.

  2. Of course the liquids ban is security theater — just like virtually everything else the TSA makes us go through!

  3. How easily one forgets 9/11, just because the EU approves liquids doesn’t mean squat. I would rather see us inconvenienced a little before I see family and friends killed in a mid air explosion. Or, is that theater as well David?

  4. On the one hand, it would be great to bring a bottle or two on a flight — special bottle from your own rack or even just visiting a different city where find that hard-to-find-bottle that no one carries where you live (especially when you live in MA where shipping from out of state is generally not possible). On the other, I hope that there is a separate line for people carrying liquids — 2-5 seconds per container, times a few containers per person (think shampoo, hair gel, water bottle, etc.) means getting to the airport 3 hours early or missing your flight.

  5. If they’d just give me a free pillow I would e happy.

  6. While I would love to be able to drink my own wine on a flight, and I know the liquid ban is based on specious reasoning, I still don’t think bringing glass bottles on a plane is a good idea. A broken wine bottle is a hell of a lot better weapon than a box cutter and we know what happened with them. Yes I know airlines have wine bottles on board but most are 1/4 or half bottles which would harder to use as weapons.

  7. The odds of being blown up on an airplane are vanishingly small. It would be marvelous if people could bring bottles into the cabin again. However, I have nothing to say about the TSA, as I would like very much to stay off the “no fly” list, which I understand people can end up on, as the attorneys say, “for any reason or for no reason.”


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