Travelling with a baby is hard enough. But can you imagine going through airport security and having your baby's food taken away? That's exactly what happened to this Mom. Momlogic gets the shocking details.
Momlogic: What happened?
Arati: We were flying back from Chicago to Manchester, N.H. We were going through security and declared the baby formula and baby food, which I enclosed in two Ziploc bags. It went through the scanner without any problems, but the TSA officer thought I was bringing too much. He called his supervisor. She said since I was on a 2 1/2 hour flight and the weather was good, there was no reason for the amount of food and formula. She said it was excessive. Their report of how much I was carrying was exaggerated. They said I had 10 bottles of formula- actually, I had (2) 8-ounce bottles of formula, and (2) 2-ounce bottles. In addition, I had (5) 2-ounce packages of Gerber baby food.
The officer gave us the option to return to the check-in area, and place the extra food and formula in our luggage. If we took that option, we would have missed our flight. Instead, they just took the food. They decided, not us. They took one 8-ounce bottle, and a few of the Gerber food packages.
ML: Why did you decide to protest?
Arati: I felt it was unfair because according to TSA regulations, there is no limit to the amount of baby food you can take, unless it's unreasonable quantities. I felt it was reasonable because there are always delays, especially in winter weather. There are stories of planes being stranded or grounded on the tarmac because of weather or delays in general. They don't sell baby food in the airport. Our daughter was underweight when she was born, so we are very much on top of her food intake because she's finally gaining appropriate weight. What the TSA officers failed to understand is that each serving (or package) is not one meal. She will have carrots, prunes, and formula. So it may have looked like a lot of food, but it was about 2 meals- one she'd eat on the plane, and one in case we were delayed. If we were traveling with formula and no baby, I could understand, but it literally fit in two Ziploc bags.
ML: What are you hoping for now?
Arati: An apology would be nice, but my husband and I are frequent travelers and we don't want to go through this again, nor do we want anyone else to go through this. We feel TSA should reevaluate their policies and understand the demands of parents traveling, and situations traveling. They need to take into account there are delays, no access to baby food, and either relax their rules and train officers to understand about baby food packaged in jars, or the stores within the airport should sell formula and baby food, so we don't have to worry about not having enough.
TSA's goals are to keep us safe. I feel they're wasting their resources searching parents who have a baby and baby food with them. They were arguing with us for quite some time, and I wonder what's getting through the security lines during the time they're arguing with us and others about baby food? We have nothing against the officers and don't expect action, we just want the TSA to understand it's an area they need to pay attention to.