The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 March 2008

The Colgatekeepers

The letter killeth, and the spirit doesn't help too damn much either:

A few weeks ago I was traveling and was at the airport really early. I had forgotten to remove the toothpaste from my stuff, and I was flagged for extra screening because they saw it on X-ray (I remember the good old days when they were X-raying for guns and stuff rather than toothpaste, but I digress).

The screener pulled it out and said — sorry, this is more than three ounces. So, as an engineer with no sense of self-preservation, I asked, "Weight or volume?" The screener asked what I meant. I said that an "ounce" is a unit of both weight and volume, which did he mean? (The TSA site is no help, it just says ounces). He said "volume." Still being stupid, I said "but the 3.5oz on that toothpaste is weight — you can tell by the 'net Wt.'' in front of it and the number in grams behind it. He looked at it for a minute, and then gives me an answer right out of Spinal Tap: "But it's over 3 ounces" [but this one goes to 11].


I am told by an airline exec that the policy was originally volume, but after many complaints, the government realized that an ounce was also a unit of weight and they have informally changed the policy to "3 ounces weight or volume" but they never really communicated this change fully because it's too, you know, embarrassing that they operated so long not knowing the difference.

Well, I certainly feel safer. Don't you?

Posted at 10:05 AM to Dyssynergy

I never could wrap my mind around the weight/volume thing myself. I have a kind of stupid streak sometimes.

Posted by: miriam at 9:46 PM on 17 March 2008
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