Massachusetts resident Rebecca Hains reportedly packed a cupcake in a jar in her carry-on bag while boarding a plane from Las Vegas. TSA officials confiscated the cupcake, which is a jar filled with icing, considering it a gel under TSA travel policies.
According to the official TSA blog, icing falls under the category of gel, which historically can be used by travelers to evade detection of explosives using plastic, liquid or gel, resulting in a limit policy. Hains' cupcake was not only a red flag for TSA officials but actually had exceeded the gel limitations.
I wanted to make it clear that this wasn't your everyday, run-of-the-mill cupcake, Bob Burns of the TSA Blog Team wrote in a post entitled Cupcakegate, noting that travelers are allowed to take traditional cakes, pies and cupcakes through security.
Burns said the jar contained a thick layer of icing. He also added that historically, several bomb plots were carried out in the past involving gels, and while this cupcake jar seemed innocent enough, the TSA had to uphold its gel policy.
Terrorists have moved to novel explosives disguised as common, everyday items, he wrote. Our officers are regularly briefed and trained by TSA explosives specialists on how just about any common appliance, toy or doohickey can be turned into a dangerous explosive. When you think about it, do you think an explosive would be concealed in an ominous item that would draw attention, or something as simple as a cute cupcake jar?
However, Hains said that the policy is terrible logic and even claimed she made it through security at Boston's Logan International Airport with two of the cupcake jars with no problems.