Who are the greatest comic book villains of all time? Lex Luthor. The Joker. Magneto. The TSA?
According to reports circulating at Comic-Con, the TSA had banned comic books from checked bags leaving San Diego International Airport (SAN). Some Comic-Con participants reported seeing a notice at the airport that said comic books must be removed from checked luggage.
It turns out it wasn’t true. The TSA just tweeted a message that passengers are allowed to pack comic books in their luggage.
— TSA (@TSA) July 24, 2017
So why was the rumor circulating? The TSA may have been set up by an even greater villain.
United Airlines posted warnings at San Diego airport and from its official Twitter feed that comic books were not allowed in checked bags following Comic-Con. United even tweeted that the comic book ban applied to all airlines, though no other airlines appeared to confirm that.
The TSA denied those warnings, and a spokesperson for the agency told The Verge, “There is no problem with [people] taking comic books, which are not a security threat, in their checked baggage. The bottom line is, there’s no restriction. We’re working with United Airlines to figure out where this is coming from.”
The restriction on checking comic books applies to all airlines operating out of San Diego this weekend and is set by the TSA. ^MD
— United (@united) July 23, 2017
Why Screen Books?
This is not the first time reports have circulated that the TSA has trouble with books.
Earlier this year, travelers began reporting on Twitter that TSA agents were asking them to remove books from the carry-on bags when going through security. They were told books couldn’t be properly scanned by the X-ray machines or may look like bombs when placed near electronic cables. At the time, the TSA said books were generally permitted but could be subject to additional screening at the discretion of its agents.
We now know the agency was conducting a test. In a blog post, the TSA reported, “We were testing the removal of books at two airport locations and the testing ran its course. We’re no longer testing and have no intentions of instituting those procedures.”
So you are free to bring books and comic books aboard the plane. The good guys once again prevail, at least until the next issue.
Image by Dimka.aman licensed under Creative Commons.