Please Ma’am, it’s just my organic yogurt …

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I understand that “Liquids must all be clearly visible in a plastic bag” but as I understand it, and tell me if you think I’m wrong, something I eat with a spoon is a solid, and something I drink is a liquid – and though there is a drinking kind of yogurt, that is not what I take for my airplane snack – so why do the security screeners at the airport insist on throwing away my eat-with-a-spoon yogurt?


It’s that wretched shoe bomber’s fault!

I like eating yogurt on the plane, and as the airport stores only sell the artificially colored, chemically enhanced distant cousin to the real thing,  I always include yogurt with my picnic every time I fly, and sometimes I’m allowed to take it on the plane, but more often I’m not, and when the airport screeners pick up my travel bag and ask,”Whose bag is this?” and I admit the crime of owning a container of yogurt and hearing the “You can’t take this yogurt on the plane!” I remind myself that one day I’ll find this funny.

Last time they wanted to take my yogurt I got *m*a*d*. I know one can’t get angry at the airport – people have been jailed just for raising their voices in the airport – so I said in a very calm voice, “Forgive me, I’m very sorry, though I’m not hungry, I can’t bear the thought of throwing away food, so I’ll eat it now,”

and the Transportation Security Administration person in her official uniform who was checking my bags said, “Very good Ma’am, if you want to eat the yogurt, you must go back outside to eat it, and when you’ve eaten it all then you can come back and take off your shoes and wait in the line for us to search your property again.”

“What? You’ve got to be kidding? I’ve waited in this line for three-quarters of an hour and you want me to go back outside?” [Perhaps she’s forgotten with all this business with our shoes, and yogurt, that I’m here because I have a plane to catch?] and smiling sweetly I turned to her and said, “Thank you if it’s all the same to you, I’ll just stand on the side here, and eat my yogurt.”

“Oh no, you can’t eat anything over here Ma’am,” she said straightening the shirt of her uniform, and standing up straight to try look taller than me and show me she was in charge.

“It’s just a little container of yogurt,” I said,  “I’ll eat it fast. See here’s my spoon.”

“You are not allowed to eat anything here Ma’am,” she glared at me, “Do you want me to call the supervisor?”

Good grief, did she really expect me to stand in that forty-five minute line again?

I had to obey the official TSA authority.

When I watched her throw my tasty Organic mixed berry yogurt that-you-eat-with-a-spoon in the trash I wanted to take a photo of it lying there, but I knew if I took out a camera, I most probably would not have not taken my seat on the plane,  and my non-arrival would disappoint my very own Mother who was eagerly waiting for me, so I took a deep breath, counted to five, asked for forgiveness for the wasted food, and walked on.

As I tried to explain the story to my Mom who hasn’t flown in over a decade, and couldn’t believe that we really take off our shoes, and other indignities, air travel ain’t what it used to be


About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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20 Responses to Please Ma’am, it’s just my organic yogurt …

  1. At least you tried to do the right thing — Americans waste 40% of their food … literally throwing it away! … so I’m proud of you for at least trying to prevent that. Jeeeeeezzzzz!

    • dearrosie says:

      I knew we wasted a lot of food but had no idea the numbers were as high as 40%. Good grief!

      I’d like the TSA to explain to me why they forbid yogurt which “one eats with a spoon” on our airplanes.

  2. shoreacres says:

    This is precisely why I will not fly again until they stop this foolishness.

    I understand that things might be different if I had to fly for business reasons, but I don’t. And there are quite a number of interesting places filled with very nice people and a few surprises that I can get to on my own without having to subject myself to poor treatment.

    I never imagined that the phrase from my youth – “tune in, turn on and drop out” – would get redefined in such a truly unhappy way. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll tune in to some more positive vibes, turn on some great music, and drop out of every governmentally-mandated line, program, bureaucratic tangle and general mess that I can.

    My goodness. And it wasn’t even my yogurt!

    • dearrosie says:

      Thanks for writing Shoreacres, I’m so glad someone else understands my frustration, and btw I didn’t even mention the humiliations of the full body scan!
      I wonder whether more of us are trying the train these days because we can take our yogurt with us, keep on our shoes and not have to be exposed to x-rays.

  3. Elizabeth Radl says:

    Ahhh airport officials and the power that they have!! Ughhh I would have felt the same way. I feel horrible about wasting food and I think most of the things those officials have to say are ridiculous. Anyway, why do they only catch your yogurt occasionally when it goes through? If it is so important that it not go through then maybe they should be a bit more strict with their protocol. I once traveled through JFK with a giant pair of scissors that I had completely forgotten I had packed, only to practically shut down the airport in Budapest!! Go America!! ugh

    • dearrosie says:

      oh my world Elizabeth. I can’t imagine how you got through JFK airport with a scissors! Very funny that the screeners in Budapest discovered it.
      Have you had your yogurt taken away at the airport?

  4. Dinah says:

    It’s called “terrorism.” This is how “the other side” wins, all over the world, day in and day out, by generating so much anger and frustration, making us just like them: angry and frustrated.

    • dearrosie says:

      The other side has won haven’t they? Remember the good old days when we could keep our shoes on and take bottles of water and duty free wine and as much yoghurt as we felt like carrying and go right to the gate to meet a plane? It wasn’t so long ago – only a decade!

  5. dearrosie says:

    Thank you Reggie
    – for taking the time to find this post
    – for clicking the like button!

    • Reggie says:

      LOL. Well, when I read your comment on the biltong post that your YOGHURT had been confiscated before a flight, I just *had* to read this post. I also like my yoghurt as chemical-and-additive-free and organic as possible, so I would’ve flipped my lid if anyone had insisted on confiscating it and then denying me the right to EAT it right then and there! SHEESH! Now THAT is a ridiculous rule!

      I also remember the good old days of flying (mind you, I was very, very young then) when you could literally welcome arriving passengers on the tarmac, and when your family could take you right up to the steps to the plane to hand you over to the friendly stewardess… sorry, flight attendant.

      Sigh, those really were the good old days. Meals on the plane were sooo much tastier and more wholesome than now, I definitely remember that! And you could eat with proper knife and fork and spoon, and nobody cared if you brought your own water or juice onto the plane, and you didn’t have to vacuum-pack your toothpaste tube and a bottle of your favourite shampoo or risk it being ‘stolen-confiscated’ by airline officials. And you got snuggly blankets and proper fluffy pillows if it was a night flight.

      You know, I wonder what would happen if an airline actually did ‘wind back the clock’ 30-40 years to those days, just in terms of customer service, and treat their customers like welcome friends whom they were genuinely pleased to transport safely from one place to another, instead of treating them with suspicion and an attitude of ‘If you don’t like our rules or our dreadful food or our lack of service or the tiny seats or the lack of leg-room, then f-off, ‘cos we don’t want your custom anyway’? Can you imagine the pilot or the co-pilot walking through the plane at cruising altitude, stopping to chat with you, or to answer your questions, or to reassure nervous first-time passengers, or to take your little one “who wants to be a pilot” to the cabin to show them around?

      Aaah…. a sigh of longing…

    • dearrosie says:

      According to an article in today’s Los Angeles Times, airlines have made almost $3.4 BILLION for baggage fees. [In the United States we have to pay extra to check a bag – $25- $35 each, as long as its not overweight!]
      The journalist, Catherine Hamm, said if you long for the good old days of flying and want to be treated like a princess on an airplane – you can – for a fee. For example, a ticket on a flight from L.A. to London on Virgin Atlantic in August, will cost you $13,807. For that you will get nice meals, a bed that folds flat, drinks, a TV, no luggage fees and “probably” some respect.

      • Reggie says:

        You have to pay to check in your luggage??? SERIOUSLY???

        US$ 13,807 for a ticket??? At today’s exchange rate that is ZAR 95,000!!!!

        Reeling… stumbling down passage… need a strong cup of tea…. with rusks…. gasp….

  6. Cindy Loo says:

    They took away my jar of peanut butter at the Nanaimo airport. I asked for it back and then took off the lid and stuck in my fingers and ate a scoop right there. Mildly satisfying.

    • dearrosie says:

      Why on earth would they confiscate peanut butter? I thought they were only concerned with liquids. LOL thinking of an airport employee drinking peanut butter with a straw.

  7. Jessica says:

    Just came across your blog while searching “can I bring yogurt on a plane”. I have a daughter who is almost 5 but can only eat pureed foods and I’m trying to figure out what in the world I can bring for her during our travel day. Seems like she’s stuck with baby food. Thanks for your post!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Jessica,
      I appreciate that you introduced yourself. Thank you.
      I didn’t know that one is permitted to take baby food on the plane. Do they check whether the bottles are still sealed? I wonder whether they’d allow you to take a “children’s” yoghurt on the plane?

  8. Wonderful post my friend. Have a great weekend.

  9. Ogetoverhere says:

    What?!? I brought yogurt aboard my flight–actually TWO cups of Greek yogurt.The TSA agent at JFK didn’t bat an eye. How odd

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