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TSA's Annual Holiday Travel Tips Hit the Web, Delightful as Always

November 23, 2011 at 3:05 PM | by | ()

TSA has expressed itself pretty darned proud about how passenger complaints reached an all-time low last month. Apparently "consumer complaints about the TSA were down 59% from a May 2004 peak," which—depending on how you interpret the numbers—is evidence either that TSA agents are doing a better job or that people are so numb they've stopped protesting.

In either case the holidays are coming up, and with them will arrive the annual stories about TSA opening presents and confiscating cakes. Ruining Christmas tends to generate more complaints rather than less, so let's not bust out the party hats and noisemakers quite yet.

As always happens this time of year, the airline security agency's TSA.gov blog is proving to be a fount of Grinchy admonition. Last week they blogged a press release headlined "TSA Provides Updates to Travelers on Security Procedures for the Holiday Travel Season," a title that helps explain why the only people who read that blog are travel journalists looking for easy material.

At the top of the post was a list of all the steps they've taking to make travel easier—we compiled our own short rundown of those measures last week, and then underneath was where the holiday cheer began.

Under a section helpfully titled "Holiday Travel Tips," TSA reminded everybody that the holidays mean no wrapped gifts, no snow globes, and no food items that count as liquids or gels. The New York Times did a followup on the vexing "liquids or gels" question, calling up TSA for a clarification and discovering that cakes and pies were good but jams and gravies were bad. So now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

In other news, this stuff exists in actual reality. Americans now have to get told in advance not to bring any of grandma's tasty homemade jam into the security line, lest grandma's tasty homemade jam end up in the airport trash can. Otherwise the terrorists might get the opening they need, apparently.

[Photo: Jaunted]

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