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Travel Advice/Travel Tips -  New Focus on Flying with Insulated Beverage Containers

On December 24, 2010 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released the following information concerning the potential inspection of insulated beverage containers carried by some air travelers.

Public Notice

"Passengers may observe additional security measures related to insulated beverage containers. TSA is carefully monitoring information related to terrorist tactics and working with our international partners to share information and security best practices.

The possible tactics terrorists might use include the concealment of explosives inside insulated beverage containers, so in the coming days, passengers flying within and to the U.S. may notice additional security measures related to insulated beverage containers. While such items are not being banned from travel, TSA Officers have been trained to detect a variety of threats including the concealment of explosives in common items.

TSA will continue to deploy risk-based security measures and work with our international, federal, state, local and private sector partners to protect the traveling public.

As always, the safety and security of the American people is our highest priority and we ask the public to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to their local authorities. 

The following Frequently Asked Questions were provided by TSA."

FAQ

Q. Why is TSA issuing this notice now?
A. TSA is carefully monitoring information related to terrorist tactics and working with our international partners to share information and security best practices. The possible tactics terrorists might use include the concealment of explosives inside insulated beverage containers.

Q. If there is no specific threat, why is TSA issuing a notice?
A. TSA is carefully monitoring information related to possible methods of attack. We will continue to deploy risk-based security measures and work with our international, federal, state, local and private sector partners to protect the traveling public.

Q. Are thermoses/insulated beverage containers now prohibited in carry-on or checked baggage?
A. At this time, insulated beverage containers are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage. TSA liquid policy still applies at the checkpoint.

Q. If thermoses/insulated beverage containers pose a threat, why aren't they prohibited?
A. TSA makes risk-based decisions and our officers have been trained to detect a variety of threats including the concealment of explosives in common items. We have also shared this information with our stakeholders and foreign partners.

Q. If liquids are already prohibited, why are these measures being put in place?
A. These measures apply to empty, insulated beverage containers at the checkpoint. 3-1-1 rules for liquids remain in effect.

Q. What changes can the traveling public expect?
A. Passengers traveling with insulated beverage containers can expect to see additional screening of these items using procedures currently in place, including X-ray screening, physical inspection and the use of explosives trace detection technology.

Q. Is TSA implementing new security measures related to this notice?
A. TSA is continuing to deploy risk-based security measures based on the latest intelligence to protect the traveling public. Passengers traveling with insulated beverage containers can expect to see additional screening of these items using procedures currently in place, including X-ray screening, physical inspection and the use of explosives trace detection technology.

Q. What happens if an insulated beverage container alarms while being screened?
A. As is currently the case, any item that alarms while undergoing X-ray screening will receive additional screening, to include the use of explosives trace detection technology. If TSA Officers are unable to resolve a alarm, the item will not be permitted on board the plane.

Q. How long will this measure remain in place?
A. This measure is designed to be sustainable. TSA will continuously review this measure to ensure the highest levels of security.

Q. Do these new measures apply to all personal liquid containers?
A. The notice is based on intelligence and specific to insulated beverage containers.

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