On her flight from New York's La Guardia to Minneapolis Monday morning, flight attendant Rene Foss noticed little change in the number of carry-ons. Which is a bad thing, from her perspective. "The carry-on baggage issue, aside from anything that happened last week, is so problematic. Any reduction in carry-on luggage is great. And I think my colleagues would agree."
Foss, author of Around the World in a Bad Mood, was clutching a Starbucks coffee and a carry-on with her makeup and toiletries stowed inside as she prepared to board a flight to Portland, Ore. Flight crews are exempt from the new TSA restrictions. "If you're on a five-day trip, you can't keep throwing out toothpaste at every stop. I think the TSA took pity on us," Foss says.
"It's not a 'right' to fly and carry whatever you like," notes David Gregory, a Dallas-based travel coordinator and former airline employee, in one of nearly 200 posts in response to a recent item on USA TODAY.com's Today in the Sky blog about the threat to the carry-on culture.
"Just think how wonderfully blissful it would be not to have a single carry-on aboard a plane," Gregory adds.
"I say ban all carry-on luggage. It's about time! And if you are so important that you cannot be away from your computer for a day, do us all a favor and stay at your office."
Contributing: Jayne Clark, Barbara DeLollis, Dan Reed and Kitty Bean Yancey What is allowed and what isn't
Rules on what is permitted on and banned from U.S. flights have been revised by the Transportation Security Administration:
Personal items permitted
Baby formula and breast milk if a baby is traveling
Solid lipsticks and Chapsticks
Prescription medicines with a name that matches the
Up to 8 oz. of liquid or gel low-
blood sugar treatment
Up to 4 oz. of non-prescription
liquid medications, including cough syrup, eye drops, contact lens solutions and nasal spray
Laptop computers, cell phones, pagers, handheld devices and cameras.
Personal items banned
All creams and lotions, including sunscreens, first-aids creams such as Neosporin, moisturizers, hand lotions.
Baby teethers with gel or liquid
Bubble bath, including gel or
liquid-filled bath balls or bath oils and moisturizers
Children's toys with gel inside
Gel cap pills
Gel shoe inserts
Hair styling gels
Hair sprays of all kinds
Hair straighteners or detanglers
Lip gels, glosses or liquids,
Makeup remover or face cleanser
Nail polish and removers
Perfumes or colognes
Food and drinks banned
Gel-based sports supplements
Yogurts or gel-like substances
The new policies aren't always clear or consistent.
The following outlines carry-on items banned and permitted in U.S. airliners under security rules effective Tuesday.
The TSA allows small bottles and tubes of liquids to be carried aboard airplanes only if they are enclosed in a quart-size, zip-top plastic bag.
The agency also announced some immediate changes to the security-screening process.