Airport Security: Gellin’ Like a Felon

Gel shoe inserts are not permitted on airplanes, so save yourself the hassle and put your inserts in your checked baggage -- that's right, inserts are not even allowed in your carry-on. Shoes constructed with gel heels are allowed but like all other shoes, must be removed and screened.

I stumbled upon an AOL article titled “What Not to Wear: How to Speed Through Airport Security.” As a fairly experienced traveler, nothing was new to me except this:

Gel Shoe Inserts: Gel shoe inserts are not permitted, so save yourself the hassle and put your inserts in your checked baggage — that’s right, inserts are not even allowed in your carry-on. Shoes constructed with gel heels are allowed but like all other shoes, must be removed and screened.

Now, as it happens, I don’t wear gel insoles, although I do wear over-the-counter leather orthodics in my dress shoes.  But, seriously, we’re not allowed to wear insoles now?!  Or even carry them in our carry-on luggage?

I’m sure this is somehow Richard Reid related.  But it’s not immediately clear why inserts in checked baggage are less dangerous than those on board the aircraft.  I suppose the latter could be ignited via a lighter or other crude flame-producing device.  But those aren’t allowed on board, either.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Terrorism
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. John Burgess says:

    Actually, the ban on lighters and matches was raised last year, if not earlier. That’s for both domestic and international flights.

  2. Linda says:

    Yeah, okay… No shoe inserts. I’m sure the little old lady or man, who needs them will be just thrilled to hear that. Maybe we should just all show up naked, and be done with it? It would certainly cut down on the list of items not allowed…

  3. Trumwill says:

    John, for a while, even after the ban was lifted, TSA agents ignored it. I got in doo-doo twice after it was lifted for trying to carry a lighter on board. Doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore, though. I guess they got the memo.

  4. John Burgess says:

    Lord save us from the low-level bureaucrat who can’t read, or perhaps even find, those memos.

  5. anjin-san says:

    All Fox News has to do is run a few outraged stories an commentaries and the Greek chorus kicks in. Must be nice to have that kind of power. Must kinda blow for the folks that are that easy to manipulate.
    Just read an opinion piece on foxnews.com about how TSA security screenings are a sign of Obma’s contempt for individual autonomy and how it is a “dry run for a “dry run for totalitarianism”. Not a peep about how Homeland Security and the TSA were created on Bush’s watch or about the crony capitalism involving a member of Bush’s crew that appears to be involved in the government purchase of the scanners.
     
    Really, how does it feel to be one of the sheep?