Kokua Line: Follow longtime TSA rule to fly with favorite omiyage
Question: Why did the TSA put jams and jellies on the no-fly list? I think they had some for sale in the Hilo airport in small bottles, but I had bought a big bottle at the Hilo Farmers Market.
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Question: Why did the TSA put jams and jellies on the no-fly list? I think they had some for sale in the Hilo airport in small bottles, but I had bought a big bottle at the Hilo Farmers Market. If you buy a lot of small bottles at the airport, wouldn’t that constitute enough to make 12 ounces of jam? TSA confiscated my big bottle of jam. Why would they confiscate that?
Answer: To clarify, jams and jellies are not on the no-fly list. You can transport as much of them as you want in your checked luggage, but quantities are limited in your carry-on bag — which is why your big bottle was flagged at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at the Hilo airport.
Jam (and jelly) falls under the TSA’s “3-1-1 liquids rule,” which requires that each liquid or gel in your carry-on bag be stored in a 3.4-ounce (100-ml) or smaller container and that all the liquid or gel containers fit into one quart-size plastic bag.
This rule took effect after a terror plot was thwarted in Britain in 2006. Terrorists had planned to bring liquid explosives onto planes in separate containers and combine the ingredients on board to blow up the plane.
After that thwarted plot, the TSA initially banned all liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes from carry-on luggage, but later revised the rule to allow small quantities. The size of the containers was key, according to a 2007 New York Times article that quoted Kip Hawley, then the TSA director.
“With certain explosives you need to have a certain critical diameter in order to achieve an explosion that will cause a certain amount of damage,” he said, explaining that the number of 3-ounce containers that fit in a single quart-size bag lack the critical diameter.
There are exceptions to the rule, such as for liquid medicine, baby formula, baby food and breast milk. And we’ve heard from other passengers who say 3-1-1 enforcement seems inconsistent these days. But at 12 ounces, your jar of jam was nearly four times the allowed container size, and sure to be noticed. The small jars for sale at the airport likely were 3.4 ounces or less each.
If it makes you feel any better, your question is a timely one, reminding travelers to check what kind of goodies they can carry on the plane as the holiday travel season revs up. Readers can check online at 808ne.ws/tsalist; there’s a whole section devoted to food.
Also, the Hilo Farmers Market has a website (hilo farmersmarket.com) with an online store. Perhaps you can replace your lost jam by placing an order there.
Q: Can you still get a gold star after Oct. 1, 2020?
A: Yes. That date doesn’t represent the last day a person can obtain a federally compliant driver’s license or state ID, but the first day that the TSA is expected to enforce the federal REAL ID law at U.S. airports.
Passengers who want to use their driver’s license or state ID to pass through the TSA security line will need a gold star by that date, or they can use another form of acceptable identification, such as a U.S. passport.
I remember! Today is Veterans Day. Yesterday was the birthday of the Marine Corps. When we become old, how often have we run across a person on the street and know that their face looks familiar but cannot recall their name? But there are some names I will never forget. I can even remember their faces, very vaguely, after 70 years. Korea, 1950-1955. Ohana, the Hawaiian word for family, brotherhood, no matter who or where you come from, “You watch my back, I’ll watch yours.” I honor my company commander, first sergeant, platoon leader, platoon sergeant and all the men in the platoon. God bless them all! — P.H.
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