If you were flying out of San Diego this past week for the San Diego Comic-Con, you were undoubtedly inconvenienced by a new “rule” that was put in place by United. The airline, claiming that the rule was mandated by the TSA, was banning comic books from being placed in checked bags and had to be taken on with their carryon luggage. A claim that the TSA denies. Yeah, it gets weirder.
— Adi Chappo (@adichappo) July 23, 2017
The Consumerist reported that United had placed a notice that “Comic-Con attendees: Remove all books from checked bags.” As you would expect, it was shared quickly. However, in the tweet below, you can see that the airline stated that taking regular books was “A-OK.” Obviously, this was a restriction aimed at Comic-Con attendees.
— Amy, stuck @airport (@spooloflies) July 23, 2017
A short time later, TSA categorically denied that mandate. “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.”
Good afternoon. Pls note there are no TSA restrictions on checking comic books or any other types of books. https://t.co/Nu00IvcZSc
— TSA (@TSA) July 24, 2017
As of this posting, United has not commented on the mix-up. However, The Verge speculates that the mix up could have come from a blog post from 2016 that dealt with Comic-Con attendees. In the list of its “suggestions” for packing: “putting brochures, comic books, and magazines in carry-on bags instead of checked luggage, because large stacks of them could trigger bag searches that slowed down security.”
United has had a tough year with all the negative press they have created themselves this year. Although, keep in mind the words “they created” and they have themselves to blame for much of the bad press they have received. It would seem that United is shooting for that “most hated airline of the year” award.