The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) defended its practice of testing beverages bought in the airport, at the gate, as a long-standing practice that even applies to TSA employees.
“In a nutshell, liquid screening at gates is random and it isn’t happening at every airport every day. So other than possibly taking a few moments of your time before boarding your flight, it’s business as usual,” TSA blogger Bob Burns wrote today in response to passenger frustration about the TSA testing their drinks at the gate.
Here’s how the test works, per Burns:
The test involves a test strip and a dropper containing a nontoxic solution. In case you’re wondering, our officers don’t place the test strips in your beverages/liquids. They simply have the passenger remove the cap/lid and they hold the strip over the opening of the container. Procedures call for moving the test strip to the side and applying the solution from the dropper to test the strip. If the test results are positive TSA will conduct additional testing to make a final assessment.
The TSA even screens its own employees. “Not a big deal really,” Burns said. “Heck, even I have been pulled aside for random gate screening.”