Don't bash bottle rule

August 10, 2008|By Los Angeles Times

Can we carry our own sealed bottled water through airport security checkpoints yet? I really resent having to pay $3 for water at the airport. How can we get this policy changed?

This does seem ridiculous. But if you recall the coverage of the trials of the men accused of plotting to blow up trans-Atlantic flights, you might ask why would anyone want to risk national security for a bottle of Evian.

Bottom line: You can't take even a sealed water bottle through airport security. Don't even think about it. But you don't have to pay $3 for a bottle of water. More on that in a minute.

Let's first recall why liquids were banned. In August 2006, British authorities arrested eight men whom they suspected of being part of a plot to detonate bombs they smuggled on board in drink containers. With the original liquid removed, they would have filled the bottle with substances that included Tang breakfast drink and food coloring and detonated it with the help of the flash from a disposable camera and something called hexamethylene triperoxide diamine.

Three of the men admitted in court that they wanted to cause explosions, but they said that their act was a scare tactic.

It worked. Fliers were scared. Many of them were willing to forfeit the water bottle after reading that one of the alleged plotters said in a taped diatribe that he wanted to kill people to take "revenge for the acts of the USA, the British and the Jews in the Muslim lands."

Here's an idea to avoid overpaying: Take an empty water bottle through security and fill it in the restroom in the "sterile area."

There's no need to write your congressional representative asking to have this policy reversed. Better safe than becoming a supernova at 35,000 feet.

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