Sometimes, horror-related or not, a story is just too good not to share.
With the Chicago Comic Con still a few weeks off, the GCN staff has been glued to our screens watching all the going’s on at the mother-of-all cons, the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC for you cool kids) which wrapped up last Sunday.
Like any comic con, when you get this many people with this much…uh…passion together in one place, there are bound to be shenanigans. However the big surprise this year didn’t come to us courtesy of an over-enthusiastic cosplayer after too many adult beverages mixed with Red Bull, but instead from what has become a consistent player on the stage of WTF…the airline industry.
After gaining infamy from their “aggressive” removal of a passenger from a flight earlier this year, United Airlines prevented passengers leaving the SDCC via San Diego International, from carrying comic books in their checked baggage.
No, I’m not kidding.
According to The Verge, passengers were shocked to find a notice posted by UA informing them that they couldn’t keep their SDCC spoils in their checked luggage.
“The restriction on checking comic books applies to all airlines operating out of San Diego this weekend and is set by the TSA,” a spokesperson for the airline tweeted in response. Then, the TSA then tweeted their own response, immediately debunking United’s claim:
“They are incorrect. There is no problem with [people] taking comic books, which are not a security threat, in their checked baggage,” TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers told The Verge. “The bottom line is, there’s no restriction. We’re working with United Airlines to figure out where this is coming from.”
The Verge offers as decent an explanation as any, pointing to a TSA blog post regarding last year’s SDCC. The post gave travel tips for con-goers and advised that comic books, magazines and brochures should be packed in carry-on bags for prudence more than safety. “Packing these items in checked bags often causes alarms leading to bag searches which can cause a significant slowdown in the screening process leading to delays and bags possibly missing their flights,” the post reads.
As The Verge also notes, United’s later statement seems to point to this misinterpretation. “While TSA is recommending that customers keep their comic books in their carry-on bags, there are no restrictions on packing them in checked luggage,” a spokesperson said. “We misunderstood TSA’s instructions and regret any inconvenience this may have caused our customers.”
Left hand, meet right hand.
In any case, if you’re coming to Chicago’s con next month be warned. That whole “aggressive passenger removal” thing happened at O’Hare, so leave your dangerous-rabble-rousing-comic-books at home.
You know who you are.
Have a question or comment? Do you work for United and care to offer your own take? Post it here or drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.