Skip the Snacks? New TSA Rules Will Make It Harder for Attendees

New TSA Rules, meetings
New TSA rules target everything from powder to power cords.

New TSA rules targeting powders, snacks and clutter will mean increasing scrutiny for your attendees.

New TSA rules mean tougher scrutiny for your attendees, and possibly more time at the X-ray machine. Here’s what to look out for.


Starting June 30, the TSA began limiting the amount of powders in carry-on bags of travelers entering the United States on international flights. The definition of “powders” includes everything from makeup to protein powders or meal replacements, even spices. Passengers are restricted to only 12 ounces per carry-on, or the equivalent of the contents of an average soda can. This policy was the result of a failed plot to blow up an Etihad plane in Australia using a device filled with explosive powder.


Travelers may now also be asked to separate items from carry-on bags that can obscure clear X-ray images, such as power cords for electronic devices. according to Washington’s Top News.


Travelers must place all personal electronics larger than a cell phone in bins, from tablets to e-readers to handheld game consoles. Just like with laptops, no items are allowed on top of or below the personal electronics to allow for clear screening.

Snack Bags

Passengers at airports across the country are reporting a rise in “snack checks”—TSA agents instructing them to remove their snacks from their carry-ons. Though it’s not policy, the practice of removing everything from salty snacks to homemade food items from carry-on luggage—or having to open the bags to show the contents—appears to be moving rapidly into the territory of de-facto protocol, according to a recent article in the Washington Post.


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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.