“What kind of pie is that?” the TSA agent demanded

The Transportation Security Administration doesn’t like pie in the sky. We kinda suspected that after the low-rated government agency issued new guidelines on food items that could be brought onboard. Now comes a firsthand report of TSA silliness that, if nothing else, will make you laugh out loud.

It comes by way of Jessica Bruder, a writer for the Portland Oregonian who flew to Illinois over the Thanksgiving holiday and almost had her apple pie confiscated by a federal screener.

After putting her dish through the conveyor belt, the interrogation began:

“Are you the pie lady?” the agent demanded.

Standing there in orange polka-dot socks, jeans inching down my hips, I nodded soberly. He indicated we’d have more to talk about on the far side of the metal detector.

When my pie emerged, the questions began.

“What kind of pie is that?” He squinted at the pan.

“Apple. With some raspberries.”

“Does it have lumps?”

I glanced at the crust, which was black in places and looked like a topographical rendering of the Himalayas. (To think I was trying to impress my boyfriend’s parents in Illinois with this thing.)

Why is the TSA down on holiday pies? Turns out it some pies are, indeed, “dangerous,” according to her agent.

He told me he was keeping watch for pies with cream and custard fillings. Anything that could be construed as a “gel.” He’d already turned away a pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin pie filling, he confided, “has the same consistency as certain plastic explosives.”

Have the terrorists begun baking combustible pies? I doubt it.

Related story:   Are booking fees about to go buh-bye?

Rather, I think the agency is putting on a show for travelers who fly only once or twice a year. The message: the $4.7 billion of taxpayer money is being well spent to protect you.

From exploding pies.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

%d bloggers like this:
Get smart. Sign up for the newsletter.