New TSA requirement for travelers with in-cabin pets: Hands swabbed
Getting ready for another flight tomorrow morning, I realized that I forgot to tell you about a new TSA requirement I encountered on this trip: After I passed through the metal detectors at Seattle and at LaGuardia (though not at Baltimore), I was asked to wait until a TSA agent could break free and take me (holding Chloe) over to a counter where both of my hands were wiped with a swab — the same kind of swab they use on your suitcase sometimes, looking for traces of explosives.
The first TSA agent I asked about the new requirement nimbly avoided answering me, but the second said it was in response to a concern that bad ‘uns may — there’s no better way to put this — place explosives in their “pet.” As my husband pointed out, when he saw me gagging, the kind of people that contemplate mass murder are not likely to be nice about the means they use, but still. Gagging.
The new step will add a couple of minutes to your trip through security. Keep an eye on your belongings, and make sure that they accompany you to the place where your hands are swabbed.