Heathrow security insists that ice is a liquid


#21

Not really, you can’t just do random chem lab experiments in the middle of the airport and have no one question you. It’s a lengthy process and it involves freezing. You’d also have to be there before the flight you wanted was scheduled. Which would involve trying to use a boarding pass suspiciously early. That being said, yes, it’s absolutely possible to construct something dangerous in the post-screening area. That’s why it’s called security theater.

Realistically, we’re simply fortunate that terrorists haven’t figured out that bombing security screening logjams would actually be much more effective. We’re so focused on airplanes as a security risk that we fail to take into consideration how easy it is to buy a gun and go hog-wild in any populated space. That’s why the most recent attacks have all been recruiting center shootings.


#22

Board the plane with a hundred 3-oz containers. Or a hundred butane lighters.


#23

The liquid limit isn’t just in the size of the containers, it’s also the total amount of liquid that you can bring through (at least, it used to be the case that this was true… I’ve long stopped bothering to read the security signs)


#24

I was stopped from taking (less than 100ml) of (still in a sealed package) juice concentrate onto a flight recently. I’m assuming that this isn’t actually one of the rules, and the little Hitler was just exercising some authority?


#25

Unless the container was 88 ml, the screener did his/her job. Sorry, terr’ist.


#26

Was one of these: http://img.tesco.com/Groceries/pi/556/0000050412556/IDShot_540x540.jpg

66ml.


#27

Infosec Taylor Swift would probably reply “Jet fuel can’t melt steel planes”…

The security thug was wrong about the ice, but with the ice around it, there’s no way for him to tell if the Cola-Like-Product can had actual frozen Diet Coke in it, or non-frozen Diet Coke, or something else entirely, like explosives or Cocaine. So banning it was the right decision.

What the can most likely contained was compressed gas and a slurry of solids and liquids, and would fizz all over the plane if opened in that condition. Plus it’s unlikely you could have that chunk of ice melting away in your carry-on bag without getting nearby people’s stuff wet.


#28

I always thought that was a fig leaf for “We realized that a fairly trivial quantity of gasoline ignited on a couple of seat cushions could asphyxiate everyone on a plane; but if word of that gets around we have even bigger problems, so we need to limit liquids of all kinds with this ridiculous binary explosive boogeyman.”


#29

Not the TSA, it was at Heathrow. In my experience the security personnel on this side of the pond are a little less rule bound than many I have encountered in the US and they would see that of course a frozen liquid is still a liquid in potentia. Not all TSA emplyees are bad of course; I have been through security many times on both sides of the pond and encountered good, sensible, professional people, but the US does still seem to have the edge when it comes to the few who seem to think that making passengers miserable is part of the job.


#30

They will confiscate all of your nickels soon, because they are just the molten ball of nickel in solid form.


#31

Since ice is a no-go, perhaps transporting your soda in a large sealed bag in vapor form would be acceptable.

Unless, of course, they also do not recognize gases.


#32

A sock filled with a handful of coins can be a decent weapon.


#33

WHAT?!?!?!? The EXACT opposite is true! They have to go off of the current state any matter is in, that is the ONLY sane way to go. If they start banning anything that has a potential liquid state then be prepared to board the plane naked with no possessions.

EXACTLY!!!

That is about the point we are at…the rules are as stupid as they are ineffective.


#34

I am frequently surprised that this has not come to pass.


#35

Oh, come now. I don’t believe that the stuff they’re banning is actually dangerous, but if we were to agree with their premise that (say) a bottle of liquid hand lotion posed a security risk then you couldn’t possibly argue that the same bottle of hand lotion would cease to pose a risk by temporarily freezing it.


#36

Really? I doubt this. Not offhand or trivially, you may be right. I’m working off an assumption that fabric and cushioning material for planes have to be flame retardant. I know that planes all have fire extinguishers and an alternative oxygen supply. It would be messy, sure, but so would a lot of things no one attempts to control for.


#37

Oh, so that’s why I had to X-ray my laptop separately now. :-\


#39

They’re not banning anything that has a potential liquid state. They’re banning things that are liquid at room temperature, which his can of pop would be within a small time period after him going through security. I think the banning of liquids is ridiculous, full stop, but it would indeed be even more ridiculous if you could simply freeze any liquid temporarily to sneak it through security.


#40

I can verify that in the US, it’s legal to bring frozen water (in bottles) through security. I read about this “hack” some time ago and since then I’ve seen it done many times.

It’s stupid, but then the rule is stupid in the first place.

–jono


#41

What that boils down to is that everything is a potential liquid.