The only thing consistent about the TSA is their inconsistency.
Toothpaste? I have (had) a 5.2 ounce tube of toothpaste with approximately 1 oz remaining – made it through 8 screenings, was confiscated last week.
Bags? I have a small purse-sized bag that clips under the wheelchair. Twice in the last couple of months I forgot to unclip it and put it through the X-ray with my other bags. No one noticed, despite the fact that I was frisked, swabbed, and the TSO ran her hand under the wheelchair.
Gels not in the plastic baggie? 100% success rate in leaving my tiny tube of Blistex in my wheelchair bag, even though it’s X-rayed.
Shoes? Let’s see – shoes must come off, shoes may stay on, you must take off your own shoes, we will take off your shoes for you.
Frisking? I’ve had everything from a sort of waving of the hands vaguely over my body to a search so thorough that she palpated under my armpits and asked me if I was getting sick.
My current favorite exchange, from Thursday:
TSO, standing over me with the swabbing wand prior to the search: “Are you comfortable with the procedure?”
Me: “I’m familiar with the procedure.”