Taking Heels Through Security

TSA’s policy on shoes confuses me a little bit.  The information on the website says:

Shoes: Please remove shoes before entering the screening technology and put them directly on the belt to go through the X-ray machine instead of in a bin with other items.

I’ve had many over zealous TSA agents insist on inconsistent rules with my shoes.  But the one part they have in common is that my shoes should either be placed straight in a bin or flat on the belt.

The reasoning?  TSA says:

It is safe, easy, and gives officers a better look.

But let’s think about this for a second.  My shoes are supposedly potentially dangerous, so I should make it as easy for the TSA to scan them as possible.  Okay–let’s say I buy into this.

But what about my carry-on?

When we flew to Pensacola, I had three pairs of heels stuffed into my suitcase.  And yet, the TSA agent made sure I placed my shoes directly on the belt so they could get a better look.

What makes the shoes on my feet more inherently dangerous than the three pairs in my bag?  And what’s there to stop me from switching shoes after security?

Rather than the shoes being inherently dangerous, I think the shoe policy is inherently silly.  But it doesn’t look like change is coming any time soon.



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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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