Why The TSA Once Confiscated A Cupcake

In 2012, Rebecca Hains flew out of Boston's Logan Airport and was passing through Las Vegas International Airport when a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent stopped her. They had noticed she was carrying a red velvet cupcake kept in a mason jar that violated TSA regulations.

"At Las Vegas International Airport, TSA supervisor [REDACTED] is keeping travelers safe from the terror of delicious cupcakes-in-a-jar," Hains wrote in a blog. "I learned this firsthand earlier today, when I put myself and my fellow travelers at risk by attempting to travel with one." When she asked what the problem was, the agent informed her that because the icing conforms to a container, it was essentially a liquid. Moreover, the liquid covered cupcake wasn't in a sealed bag and was clearly larger than 3 ounces.

The 3-1-1 liquids rule that the cupcake disregarded says that you may bring 3.4-ounce containers with you in your carry-on if they fit in a quart-sized resealable bag. If not, and as in the case of Hains' cupcake, they are supposed to be packed in checked luggage.

The TSA responded to the cupcake owner's dilemma

As one might imagine, the internet had a field day with the story of the TSA protecting the United States of America from cupcake-based insurgency. So, the TSA rose to defend the agent against the "Cupcakegate" controversy in a blog post of their own (per Los Angeles Times).

"I wanted to make it clear that this wasn't your everyday, run-of-the-mill cupcake," TSA blogger Bob Burns wrote. "If you're not familiar with it, we have a policy directly related to the UK liquid bomb plot of 2006 called 3-1-1 that limits the amount of liquids, gels and aerosols you can bring in your carry-on luggage. Icing falls under the 'gel' category."

"As you can see from the picture, unlike a thin layer of icing that resides on the top of most cupcakes, this cupcake had a thick layer of icing inside a jar," he added.

So, as you prepare for your next trip, remember to pack your cupcake, or cupcakes, in your checked luggage, if you absolutely must take them to your chosen destination.