Good news for flight-bound sippy cups. It seems the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule is going to be slowly phased out through 2009.
Sophisticated X-ray machines are being installed in 900 major airports that can detect the difference between, say, your toddler’s apple juice and potentially explosive liquids it could also detect whether the bras I packed are Maternity Bras. You might actually be able to tote junior’s favorite beverage with you on the plane again by the end of the year!
No more zip-top bags. No more doll-sized containers. No more logjams at security checkpoints as hand luggage is scrutinized for contraband quantities of Pedialyte. No more being forced to check bags if you’re carting baby shampoo and waterproof sunscreen (how convenient that some airlines introduced checked baggage fees shortly after this no-cabin-liquid mandate came into effect).
My kids like to wet their whistles at take-off as the sipping and swallowing helps prevent ear discomfort. It’s not always easy to tell a thirsty three-year-old to wait until the in-flight service begins. Yes, I know, you can always buy drinks at the post-security airport shops to take on the plane, but it will be nice to be able to bring my daughter’s preferred soy milk on an airplane again (not an easy thing to find at the post-security airport shops).
Of course, safety and security is a top concern for us all, so learning the 411 on 3-1-1 has been a small price to pay for our collective well being. It smacked in the face of common sense at times (remember the mom that had to sample her own breast milk?), but it’s a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.
Flying with small children is always a bit of a logistical challenge, what’s a few more packing restrictions? Just be grateful there hasn’t been a cabin ban on crayons or battery-operated toys.
I’m so glad this is finally changing, as I’m not convinced the original rules were doing much for safety in the first place, but were certainly creating a hardship on travelers. Hooray for change!