TSA demands to search man who's already flown


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My brother-in-law had something similar happen on his way back to Seattle from some town in the south (I forget exactly which one). On his layover in Denver the gate agents decided that the empty rice cooker he was carrying on (work-related) was suspicious and needed to be re-screened.

That wouldn’t have been a huge deal, except that since this was just a layover it was late, and the security checkpoints were all closed for the night. The airline agents delayed the flight about 45 minutes trying to figure out how to sufficiently examine an empty rice cooker.

This was not too long after the whole Boston bombing thing but pretty much any idiot should be able to tell the difference between a pressure cooker and a rice cooker at a glance. Plus he was happy to open it and show them that it was empty. Of course that wasn’t good enough for Security Theatre

Totally ridiculous. Sadly he did not take any video.


Their operating theory is that he keistered the boarding pass and they shall retrieve it .


The TSA guy doing all the talking there seems like a reasonable guy. Unfortunately, the agency he works for is a confused douche bag.


Just like they now require that you be able to turn on your laptop, he should have just offered to make some rice - that would only take about 20 minutes in a typical rice cooker. Plus, bonus not having to pay extra on the plane to eat one of their overpriced meals!


This is why my airline seat needs a 120v outlet!



“Uh … hello?”

“Are you SMITH, JAMES D?”

“Yes, that’s me. Who are you?”



“Yes sir, we need to search you.”

“I’m sorry? What did you just say?”

“Routine security screening, sir. Please remove your shoes and belt.”

“But … but this is my house.”

“This won’t take a moment, sir.”

“Wait, wait, wait. What are you doing at my front door? Do you know that it’s ten o’clock at night?”

“Our records show that you were not properly screened. We’re here to carry out the security screening.”

“I don’t understand. Not screened? When?”

“You are SMITH, JAMES D.?”

“Yes, I already told you I am. But …”

“And on May 5th, 2012, you flew from Detroit to Seattle with Delta, yes?”

“I think so … I can’t really remember that far back.”

“Take it from me, sir, you did. Unfortunately, one of our trainees failed to notice the SSSS designation on your boarding pass, and you were allowed to board without undergoing the required enhanced pat-down and luggage search.”

“But that was two years ago! The flight landed safely!”

“If you say so, sir. We don’t have any record of that. However, we do have records showing that you didn’t complete the required security procedures.”

“Have you gone insane?”

“This house, sir – are all the items in it yours?”

“Of course they are … well, except for things that belong to my wife and my children.”

"Make a note of that, Bob: subject admits to receiving items from a third party. OK, sir, what I want you to do is to bring the items out of your house, one by one, and we’ll scan them. Don’t put anything back in the house until we tell you that you can.’

“You’ll scan … what in the name of God is that thing doing on my lawn?”

“That’s our mobile Rapiscan unit. Don’t worry, sir, it’s perfectly safe, and won’t even harm film under 800ASA. Now, if I could just trouble you to plug this in …”


Oh, those days are not too far off.

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*turns on sprinkler system *


Altogether too polite though. Those days will probably start with a SWAT team, shoot your dog, detain your children - then search you.

I wish I was being sarcastic.


I’m fascinated to know what the outcome was and if he was contacted by the police after the fact, or if he’s now on some kind of TSA list


To get a 4S, he was already on ‘some kind of TSA list’. DPD did nothing. TSA’s call was about as important to them as when yous older sister threatens to call the police because you won’t give her your cookie.

After years of reading BB and never commenting, I finally have to cave and make an account just to ask… what on earth does your brother-in-law do that makes a empty rice cooker work-related and requires carrying it on a plane?


Without any of the usual sarcasm reserved for new commenters, I bid you welcome to BoingBoing! I do hope we see more from you. I’m pretty sure most other people would have overlooked that!


Haha. He was working with one of those companies that does product demos at places like Costco and Walmart. They were demoing these hot-pack things that you heat up and they retain heat a long time for you to place on your back or neck or whatever for stress/pain relief. They used the rice cookers to warm up the packs.


Is that legit? I get that all the time. My wife has gotten it a couple times, too.

Bizarrely, the “after flight security screening” is required of every international traveler who ends up at CVG. A week ago, coming back from France, I went through the insane routine there… which is (after Customs):

wait for checked baggage at typical carousel.
carry bags 20 feet
recheck bags
go through full security screening, including disposing of any liquids (I had to throw out bottles of fruit juice I bought in the terminal boarding area of Charles De Gaulle.)
walk a mile through the terminal to another baggage carousel
wait a second time for the rechecked bags
finally escape that shitty airport to catch the long term parking van

That after-flight security screening was more thorough than those before flight - they insisted on xraying my fucking wallet and wiping my hands for explosives, while not batting an eye at my pelican case with 40 pounds of electronics, camera gear, and rows of batteries strapped to a grid-it which looked like a bomb on the xray even to me.

As far as I can tell, there’s no rhyme or reason to get the 4S pass. I’ve gotten it every time I’ve flown since the mid-90’s.

Sucks to have a foreign sounding name, even if you are a white guy…

I used to travel a lot for work, flying in and out of Waco (shithole, but that’s another story). I’d be randomly searched every 9/10 flights. One time, I wanted to see who was being selected for searches…
There were 36 people on my flight 6 colored (luckily, I’m Chinese and not brown hued). 5 colored people were search, including an Indian couple, then they searched 2 white people. Those poor bastards probably had a weird name or something.

I assure you, “Nygard” is in no way “foreign” sounding for a Minnesota surname.