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TSA Frisked Me for Chocolate Milk

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Did TSA screeners think my family was on holiday vacation/suicide mission?


Momlogic's Momstrosity: I let a stranger put their hands all over my body for a drink. Not an alcoholic beverage -- that might've been worth it. Nope -- I did it for milk. And it wasn't even for me. I did it for my 3-year-old. So let me rephrase that: I let a stranger put their hands all over my body for my daughter.

Oh, yeah, that's not too creepy. 

It was my first time flying over the holidays with a child. I had no idea I couldn't have even one juice-box-sized, sealed chocolate milk. If it had been a 3 oz., it would've been OK, but mine was a  juice-box-whopping 8! I now realize these rules have been in place for a while -- but these days, I don't fly much.

Our trip was days after that Nigerian bomber allegedly sauntered onto a plane wearing exploding underwear. When it was discovered I intended to transport contraband, I was given an option by the bleary-eyed TSA worker -- either I get frisked or they confiscate the moo milk. WTF? I calculated in my head how I would deal with losing my liquid bargaining chip.

As any parent knows, chocolate milk is a powerful weapon. I don't know about its ability to bring down a plane, but it can get toys picked up, TVs turned off, and can buy blissful moments of silence (that is, until the straw plunges into the depths of the box).

At first I said no.

Then I looked at my daughter. Already weary of waiting in line and taking off her shoes -- all in the name of uncovering bombs. But now she was a mini-walking time bomb -- ready at any moment for a meltdown. I had to get her out of there before the bomb-sniffing dogs came in and hauled her away. 

I had no choice. I submitted.  

What were they looking for to go with that potentially lethal chocolate milk? The straw? Or did the screener believe that my family and I were on a holiday vacation/suicide mission?

Look, my kid was one of the lucky ones. She got that chocolate milk. Josh Pitney wasn't so lucky. His Christmas Play-Doh was taken away on his flight returning from Granny's house. Play-Doh, it turns out, is NOT on the TSA forbidden carry-on list. However, because plastic explosives can be camouflaged to look like Play-Doh, a TSA spokeswoman said screeners are told to use their own discretion. (Or maybe the screener, also a parent, knew that Play-Doh is a pain in the ass to clean up and was doing everybody a favor?)

Come on, people. Isn't it time we stop wasting everybody's time taking away toys and food from children and connect the dots?! (A great game BTW for kids to play on planes!) It can't be THAT hard, can it? Compare and contrast these scenarios: 


  • Family plans trip to visit grandparents.
  • E-mails circulate about impending visit.
  • Frazzled family checks in -- a zillion bags in tow.


  • Nigerian man is reported by dad that he's connected with terrorists.
  • Intelligence uncovers evidence that a terrorist attack is being planned by Nigerian.
  • Nigerian man buys tickets with cash and has no baggage (not even chocolate milk!).
Who is more likely to blow up a plane?

next: 23-Year-Old Former Foster Child Finally Gets Adopted
27 comments so far | Post a comment now
hj February 5, 2010, 6:38 AM

We just returned from st lucia and leaving to return to the usa on jet blue to JFK ( out of a group of 9) the first 2 patted down were my 10yr old son and my 6 yr old niece. They called my son over and he had no idea what they where doing and they did let me go with him but he’s traveled a lot and never been touched before so it was strange. Our carry on luggage was searched entering through security and again 100 feet away all passengers carry on bags re-searched before boarding. I was a little confused. It is a small airport and all duty free items were only sold after your passport or license numbers were recorded and signed for ( I rebought the hot sauce I forgot to put in suitcase, my fault I respect the liquid rule) I do not agree with the article above about the milk, I am surprised they let her keep it. I do check the rules before going. I was surprised by the kids being singled out 1st. they did check us all after the kids. I just found myself feeling like the focus was off…

hj February 5, 2010, 6:43 AM

By the way Jet Blue itself was great. No complaints and I have had plenty of crummy flights including 2 canceled connecting flights last year(coming and going) by United in O’Hare that made the same party of 9 wait 12 hours in the airport twice…my kids can travel with patience :)

Jack Straw September 22, 2010, 12:17 PM

I feel sorry for the way your children are going to grow up if you really think that they have a problem with chocolate milk. TSA doesn’t care about chocolate milk, what they care about is explosive liquids and other contraband that could be hidden in a chocolate milk carton. the 3oz rule i suppose is based on the assumption that there are few if any substances that 3oz of which can cause substantial damage. any of these also have to fit loosely in a clear, quart sized ziploc bag. people use children to smuggle drugs and even weapons, so don’t assume you’re special just because you have a kid.

I. Haight February 21, 2011, 7:44 PM

This is my favorite site of all time! -I. Haight

Carley May 21, 2011, 6:33 PM

This forum needed shainkg up and youÂ’ve just done that. Great post!

Kalin May 22, 2011, 12:49 PM

Glad I’ve finally found somtheing I agree with!

Reflexion May 24, 2011, 7:14 AM

An awesome post indeed!

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