One in four travelers smuggle liquids through TSA checkpoints

tsa liquidsA new survey from Skyscanner suggests that as many as one in four travelers smuggle liquids past security – both accidentally and on purpose.

Of the 1,000 poll respondents, 42% agree that current rulings are too restrictive and one in five complaining that airports tend to enforce rules differently. Only 2% believed the legislation did not go far enough.

About 4% of respondents admitted that they have purposely smuggled liquids through security – and got away with it.

We’ve certainly noticed airport security becoming more lax with the 3-1-1 rulings, particularly when the creams and liquids are within travel-sized containers in carry-on or gate checked luggage. Still, it probably isn’t a good idea to try to smuggle in liquids that are in flagrant disregard of the rules. Anything that makes travel more difficult for you and your fellow patrons likely isn’t a great idea.

Liquids soon to be allowed back on planes

It looks like beer runs to Istanbul may be back on the table again, as the feds are reconsidering the ban on liquids greater than 3oz. According to the folks with the Associated Free Press, bigwigs at the International Civil Aviation Organization meeting in Montreal have been hinting that new technology in the baggage scanning world will soon be able to detect malicious liquids at security checkpoints. The technology could be widespread and integrated into airports by 2012.

This means that cases of wine from Argentina, packs of beer from Minneapolis and, well, large bottles of toothpaste and contact lens solution may soon once more be allowed to fly with their owners in the cabins of passengers jets. Of course this also means that that battle for overhead bins may begin once more, with desperate passengers trying to cram a weeks worth of luggage into an microscopic rollaboard. Still, the benefits will still outweigh the costs.

What will truly be interesting to see is how the airlines react to reduced to income from checked baggage fees. It wouldn’t surprise us at Gadling Labs if they either secretly try to block the ease on liquids restrictions or incorporate some hardcore checked baggage policies in the future.

[flickr image via bark]