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TSA Now Confiscating Air

Apparently even harmless photo equipment is not immune to TSA's overreach. On a recent trip through Newark, a photographer had his Giottos Rocket Blower taken by the TSA because they didn't like the way it looks. Rocket Blowers are a small rubber bulb with a plastic tip, which are a popular piece of photo gear used to remove dust particles from camera sensors and lenses. You squeeze it and air comes out the tip. Apparently some at TSA think it looks like a bomb. Next thing you know,… ( More...

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Toby Sharp 9
....I got some hot air they can confiscate......
And this is why everyone thinks TSA is both a waste of resources and time. There was no attempt to apply common sense here. It goes through X-ray and shows empty, ya pick it up and squeeze it and air comes out. Hmmmm, must be dangerous eh? LOL!
preacher1 5
Sad part is that most "DANGEROUS" stuff they confiscate goes in the trashcan, in the screening area, right in front of the pax. If it was too dangerous to fly, it ought to go somewhere. Call the bomb squad and shut down the airport!!
sparkie624 2
don't give them the idea... Some of them can read, and may be watching here.
Seriously? Great. What's next, confiscating my dust clothes too?!?
meeverett 4
I'm concerned about my battery charger since it has wires like a bomb...
Understandable. My 600/1200 is about a foot long and made out of metal. Maybe thatll get taken cause it "looks like a pipe". Wonder if itd be possible to "confiscate" tsa's employment as they all "look incompetent".
gftt 3
The quality of people or lack therof employed by the TSA is
flat out embarrassing. They remind me of a bunch of Meter Maids.
The TSA is a complete waste of time and taxpayers money.
Steve Jasper 1
Why do you want to insult the meter maids?
Steve Jasper 3
Maybe he needed it for his camera kit.
sparkie624 2
TSA - Totally Stupid Agency.... You would think they they would know what air looks like... After they are full of Hot Air.
Paul Claxon 2
I have a couple of these very dangerous looking things in my camera bag. Glad you heads up or I might have been arrested, jailed, maybe hung by the neck. lol
Its not under pressure at all. Its a plastic tube with a rubber base on it. You squeeze the base to shot a small amount of air out the tube in order to remove dust/ particles from camera lens etc
What do they do with seized air Thrustt asks? The same thing they do with all air, they take up space in it at a starting salary of $14 an hour and much more in certain airports - all at tax payer expense.

At least if they are confiscating air they will have less time to wand Grandma, force women to drink their own breast milk, touch little kids and get off on naked body scanners
What do they do with the seized air???
meeverett 1
Probably redistribute it to their PR department for next year's "top 10 catches" article.
David Brooks 1
There was a cartoon done many years ago. It depicted various view of air travel. Views how passengers, pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, airports and security see things. Jumping to the last, the security people wanted everyone getting on board a plane to be naked. No luggage or carry on. Just a lot of naked people!
meeverett 1
That's spot on and while I don't think this idea will go over well with flight attendants, TSA, or airports, it would be much cheaper if the airlines just hired anesthesiologists in place of security and flight attendants. Each person lines up and is put under for the duration of the flight. The airline can just treat everything and everyone like cargo. More efficient for the airlines and more 'secure.' Airports will hate it because it will remove alot of that good money people blow in the terminal.
jetbud 1
Most all TSA agents call it " Daddy "
JD345 1
It's a deformed turkey baster. This isn't exactly surprising given the TSA's track record, but... it's a deformed turkey baster for pete's sake...
iflyfsx 1
These geniuses are one of the last line of defense against "terrorists," right?
Sstuff to answer your question, let me ask my magic 8 ball...... The results: "highly unlikely"
pilot0987 -8
The contents are still under-pressure. Stop being overly sensitive about a 5 dollar can of air.
meeverett 8
Apparently it isn't clear that I'm referring to a RUBBER BULB. There are NO 'contents under-pressure' to speak of. It is a rubber bulb; you squeeze it air comes out.

Also, I wouldn't classify my position as 'overly sensitive' either. Then again, I'm not the one defending an agency that will remove cupcakes and rubber bulbs but is happy to allow any old laptop on board an aircraft. I guess no one at TSA has ever seen a Li-Ion battery short out and burn.
Ur Mom 1
You are right Matt, this is another prime example of the mindless adherence to "The SOP" that is cultivated in all TSA employees. I was a screener for nearly 4.5 years and have to say that this item is VERY common and in-of-itself shouldn't necessitate a bag check. I don't suppose to second guess a situation I'm unfamiliar with, but I will say this: Occasionally, an item that is seen regularly will look different than is expected and be a cause for a bag check. It is possible that something about this particular "Rocket Blower" simply didn't sit right with the TSO involved. In all likelihood, this was an incident of being over cautious. The biggest problem with stories like this is that we only get to hear half of it. I feel this writers pain though because I too have been hassled while flying and once had a permitted corkscrew taken because the individual involved was convinced it had a hidden blade in it. I take solace in knowing that the overwhelming majority of TSO's do their jobs to the best of their ability utilizing the training and instruction they receive and that they truly have the safety of the traveling public in mind. As a side note, the rules regarding the transport of Li-Ion batteries and HAZ-MAT in general are set by the FAA. If you look around a ticket counter you should see some signage related to that. I'm not saying it makes sense, but thems' the rules! HURRAY BUREAUCRACY !
richard weiss 2
As much as I hate to admit it, Ur, you are correct. Most agents do the best they can. Unfortunately, a small minority of them are giving the TSA a very bad name. What is your suggestion to the problem? Why can't the bottom feeders be fired and people with a normal amount of common sense be hired? With union protection coming, the losers will soon run the program.
Troy Raiteri 1
Small minority? More like a LARGE minority....let me tell ya you turn on a camera in front of them and take pics at a almost completed parking garage that is being built they'll let you know in 1 minute.
sstuff 2
“ . . . I take solace in knowing that the overwhelming majority of TSO's do their jobs to the best of their ability utilizing the training and instruction they receive . . . .”

It seems a simple five-second demonstration could have convinced even the most “less able” TSO of the bulb’s purpose. All the training and instruction in the world cannot teach a common-sense approach to a given situation. I wonder if an IQ test is part of the TSA’s application process.
meeverett 1
I will agree that a great many TSA employees are just doing a job the best they can and adhering to SOP and I guess that's part of my problem, in 2 years working at an airport I never learned to enter the reality distortion field that seems to surround so many in airport-land. You know, just go along with status-quo and not raise a stink. Unfortunately, I'm the guy that sees the problems, which I can't really discuss in good conscience. RE: HAZ-MAT, I understand, but I will say this, the TSA does already prohibit taking a lot of items that the FAA will happily let me carry in my own aircraft.
I understand your pain Matt. I am familiar with the Rocket Blower. It should have been allow on the plane, if it wasn't modified. It's completely harmless. However, the cupcakes that everyone made a stink about where not ordinary cupcakes. These cupcakes were in a jar (larger than 3.4 oz) and the jars were filled with jelly.
richard weiss 1
do some research, you'll discover the truth.
Jetwashphotos 0
"The world is not full of smart people"


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