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Could the Next TSA Hassle Be… Paper Products?

May 03, 2017
3 min read
Federal Workers Man Security Posts at O'Hare
Could the Next TSA Hassle Be… Paper Products?
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If you thought getting through TSA security checkpoints was a pain before, it might get even more intrusive. A passenger going through security at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) recently was asked by security officers to remove all paper products from his bag. Everything from books to Post-It Notes, documents and more. Once the paper products were removed, the passenger had to put them in a separate bin to be scanned separately.

When the passenger inquired why he was being forced to remove the paper products from his carry-on bag, the agent told him that it was a pilot program that's being tested at MCI and will begin rolling out nationwide. KSHB Kansas City is reporting that other passengers traveling through MCI have also reported the paper-removal procedure at the airport. One person said that security dug through the suitcase for two 'blocks' of Post-It Notes at the bottom.

Security at MCI is contracted out to a third-party security service as part of the Screening Partnership Program. In cases such as this, the security companies follow TSA procedures and are under the same federal oversight as the TSA. The agency released the following statement about the new screening policy, neither confirming nor denying that it's a pilot program or if it's here to stay:

"Through the Screening Partnership Program, Akal Security is contracted to provide security at MCI. Like federalized airports, random and unpredictable screening measures may be used. As a result, passengers may be asked to remove certain items from their carry-on luggage during the security screening process."

This isn't the first time we've heard of this, but nonetheless it's still a shock. Earlier this year, there was a similar incident with author Roxanne Gay when she was forced to remove her books from her bag and put them in a bin. That incident came around the same time the TSA announced a new, more invasive, pat-down method for additional security screening measures.

The requirement to take paper products out of carry-on luggage is sure to be a shock for travelers — especially if the procedure will, in fact, begin a nationwide rollout. And, surely, the procedure would delay already-slow moving security lanes. So, we want to hear from you. What's the strangest thing an airport security officer has asked you to remove from your carry-on bag for additional screening?

Featured image by Getty Images