Common household cleaner shuts down airport terminal

I’m not sure whether this was a case of paranoia, or some really bad fumes, but General Mitchell airport in Milwaukee was briefly shut down yesterday when several TSA agents complained about shortness of breath and “feeling disoriented” after smelling a foul odor coming from a passengers bag.

The terminal was evacuated and rows of ambulances and fire trucks were rushed to the airport.

As it turns out, the “foul odor” was nothing more then the stench from “Goof-Off”, a common household cleaning product containing Xylene which happened to be soaked in some rags inside the bag.

Three of the TSA agents were in such bad shape that they had to be transported to a local hospital. All I can imagine is that they must have really freaked out, thinking they had just inhaled something really nasty. Still, I’m not entirely sure it is wise to be traveling with Xylene soaked rags, so let that be a lesson to anyone who was planning to try this during their upcoming summer trip.

Welcome to Milwaukee airport, you are now free to recombobulate!

Who said the airport checkpoint was a bad place to hang out? Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport has turned the area past their security checkpoint into a recombobulation area.

The sign is the brainchild of airport director Barry Bateman, who thought it would be a fun way to take the stress out of travel. I’ve got to hand it to him, it really is one of the first bits of humor I’ve seen added to the checkpoint area.

Being able to have a chuckle and a place to sit down and unwind after having your bottle of water confiscated in the name of national security is a great idea. Many airports have added seats after the TSA checkpoint, but I’m usually doing everything I can to get away from that area as soon as I can.

(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online, via