News | TSA

TSA Confiscates Woman's Cupcake as 'Security Risk': VIDEO


Some pre-holiday nonsense from the TSA. Vanilla Bourbon icing on a red velvet cupcake caused a security scare in Las Vegas:

Rebecca Hains told today that a Transportation Security Administration agent at Las Vegas- McCarran International Airport confiscated her cupcake, saying the frosting sitting atop the red velvet cake was gel-like enough to violate regulations...

...The TSA agent didn’t know what to do with the cupcake, so she called over her supervisor, Hains said.
“The TSA supervisor, Robert Epps, was using really bad logic – he said it counted as a gel-like substance because it was conforming to the shape of its container.”

“We also had a small pile of hummus sandwiches with creamy fillings, which made it through, but the cupcake with its frosting was apparently a terrorist threat…I just don’t know what world he was living in,” said Hains, speaking of the TSA officer.

Watch ABC News' report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. "Conforming to the shape of its container" would also describe the internal organs of the human body. So, by this logic, the TSA will ban humans from boarding planes, right?

    Posted by: james | Dec 26, 2011 10:50:49 AM

  2. it was "a cupcake in a jar"

    think a mason jar 2 cupcakes with tons of frosting in it between the layers of cake

    I'd wonder WTF was in a sealed mason jar with funky looking layers of stuff

    Oh and supposedly red velvet frosting so

    sealed mason jar, red layers, etc it isn't something everyone is used to seeing let alone on a plane

    TSA over reacted but everyone else is also over reacting in the other direction.

    The person should have known better and not had it

    Posted by: say what | Dec 26, 2011 10:56:40 AM

  3. Welcome to the United Police States of America. And all the stupidity that implies.

    Posted by: Bobby | Dec 26, 2011 11:21:27 AM

  4. The TSA hasn't stopped a single terrorist from boarding a plane. We know this because if it had, we would be subject to ceaseless "news" coverage about how effective its "security" policies are.

    No, the TSA is there to harass you and rob you. Stopping terrorists is up to the passengers.

    Posted by: Max | Dec 26, 2011 11:53:04 AM

  5. @say what: You have a valid point. The news stories I have read / seen on this have not made clear that it was a "cupcake in a jar." I'm still not clear it was since there has been no photo of the items.

    If it had been a traditional cupcake in a paper bag or plastic clamshell, it probably would not have attracted suspiciion.

    I heard on one report that the passenger offered to open it and eat part of it to show it was food. TSA might have allowed her to do that.

    While I think lots of TSA stuff is security theater, when I travel, I try to minimize the possibility of hassles at the airport.

    Posted by: james | Dec 26, 2011 11:59:59 AM

  6. Max says it best.

    @Say What: Spare me the "anything for security" nonsense. If that's the attitude you prefer, then please move to Russia or Saudi Arabia.

    Posted by: Dave in NYC | Dec 26, 2011 12:00:07 PM

  7. Somewhere terrorists are reading this story and thinking, "Cupcake frosting! Genius! Why didn't WE think of that! Thank you TSA!!"

    Posted by: Heather | Dec 26, 2011 12:29:10 PM

  8. That glass jar was likelier to be a potential weapon than the "shape conforming" frosting.

    I think the hummus sandwiches should have been recognized as a better tipoff. After all, we know WHO eats hummus. Maybe those were on wonder bread instead of some flat bread.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Dec 26, 2011 12:29:32 PM

  9. I saw the interview with the woman and saw a picture of the jar. It looked like layers of jelly in a mason jar. She should have known better. I say better safe than sorry.

    (And everybody will complain until one slips through on THEIR plane.)

    Posted by: Jeff | Dec 26, 2011 12:37:22 PM

  10. "Oh and supposedly red velvet frosting so"

    WTF is that even supposed to mean!?

    On a side note, I like how they made the anchor's pink purse lips look exactly like that cupcake gel. Artsy.

    Posted by: denizon | Dec 26, 2011 12:39:41 PM

  11. I had the TSA have me put snow globes for my emotional special needs child into our checked luggage, where guess what, they broke.... I really relate to James' use of the phrase "Security Theater". I am sure that the agent that stopped the cupcake threat got a raise and promotion....

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Dec 26, 2011 2:41:24 PM

  12. MAX

    the opposite can also be said...since no terrorist attacks on planes have occurred then TSA has done an excellent job


    I meant red velvet cake....

    a sealed mason jar with differing layers of color interspersed with red = not something one sees every day and on the street no biggy / wouldn't bat an eye ......BUT on a plane? come on now, use your brain. If one is not allowed to take on bottled water than common sense says a sealed mason jar is a no no

    She should have to reimburse TSA for the time they took to deal with her

    Dave in Ny how about democratic Israel instead. They have the toughest security checks for flying in the world. It works

    Posted by: say what | Dec 26, 2011 3:17:22 PM

  13. I am willing to cut the TSA some slack on this -- the reporting on this story has been very misleading. As noted repeatedly above, the "cupcake" in question looked to be a gel-like substance in a sealed glass jar. Baked goods are allowed on planes, but in this particular circumstance, the passenger should have known better.

    Posted by: D.B. | Dec 26, 2011 6:12:30 PM

  14. Terrorist plain and simple. That woman was a sleeper cell member from the get go. I feel 100% safer now. Could you imagine the damage done if that cupcake exploded. Think of the CHILDREN!

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Dec 26, 2011 6:48:30 PM

  15. Ok, so if TSA is so stupid, tell me why I cant post a simple comment...was it the "F' bomb I dropped?

    Posted by: Steven | Dec 27, 2011 12:04:24 AM

  16. Oooh, I guess it was either the 22 trackers (Ghostery)found on this site for EVERY CLICK or the "F" bomb...Yeah The TSA is the bad guy here...eye roll.

    Posted by: Steven | Dec 27, 2011 12:07:54 AM

  17. You've got to really watch that red-velvet frosting. A little milk and there's no telling what will happen. So where's the cupcake now? Was it eaten, er, tested?

    Posted by: Bill Michael | Dec 27, 2011 4:44:28 AM

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