Steaming mad at airport cup policy

Posted: Monday, December 01, 2003

On Oct. 31, 2003, I left for Montana on a family trip. It was quite early in the morning and so I decided I'd get a Chai tea to wake myself up. Just before our plane was boarding we headed for security. The security guard told me I couldn't go through because the cup containing my tea was plastic, so I would either have to stand there and drink all of it or go back downstairs to put it in a paper cup. Mind you, more than half my tea was still in the cup and I really didn't want to drink all of it right then and there. I decided to go downstairs and have my tea put in a paper cup at Cup O' Joe's where I purchased the tea. When I got there, there was a very long line at both counters, so I had to wait for at least 10 minutes. When I finally reached the counter, I had the tea put in a paper cup. I had to race back upstairs and go through the security line again, which had grown quite a bit since I had left. I made way to my gate as the last passengers were boarding.

I am doing a school project for Advanced Literature, and had to decide on a subject that aggravates me and try to do something about it. I chose my bothersome experience at the airport because I don't think it's very convenient that in order to enjoy a beverage you have to drink it very quickly and not enjoy it, drink it in front of security, or race back downstairs to get a paper cup in order to get through security. If I'm not mistaken, it is not common knowledge that passengers are not allowed to bring plastic cups through security. Admiral James Loy, head of the TSA, stated that only paper or foam cups or factory sealed containers can go through security during his speech on Sept. 10, 2002. This should be common knowledge to all passengers.

I wrote to the airport manager, airport business manager and the coffee vendor to ask that all vendors use paper cups for drinks. This will stop delays at security, let passengers enjoy their drinks much more and, since paper cups are biodegradable, will even be better for the environment. I hope they consider my idea and follow through.

Alison Hadley


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