Recently United Airlines has been in the news for their poor customer service. Now their poor customer service has targeted those coming back from San Diego Comic-Con.
On Sunday, July 23, tweeter Adi Chappero posted a picture of a sign from United Airlines at San Diego International Airport: “Comic-Con attendees: Please remove all books from checked bags.” United Airlines responded: “The restriction on checking comic books applies to all airlines operating out of San Diego this weekend and is set by the TSA. ^MD”
Twitterer SpoolofLies confirmed with United, who replied, “Very sorry for the inconvenience. The restriction on checking comic books applies to all airlines operating out of San Diego this weekend and is set by the TSA. While you won’t be able to check the comic books they will be allowed on your carry-on bag or personal item. ^AH.”
However, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), this is not true. The TSA tweets, “There are no TSA restrictions on checking comic books or any other types of books.”
So in actuality, there are no restrictions, despite United’s sign and two official tweets. I feel like I’ve been gaslighted by an entire airline.
Ars Technica queried the TSA, who responded via spokesperson Lori Dankers: “I don’t know how United went ahead and stated a TSA policy incorrectly…. I can say that TSA has advised in the past that if people bring several of the same type of item, it can alarm the checked baggage screening, but there is no prohibition on bringing things that are not a security threat. In this case, comic books are not a security threat and we encourage travelers to bring them if they so choose.”
Ars Technica also queried United. Erin Benson, United spokesperson said, “While TSA is recommending that customers keep their comic books in their carry-on bags, there are no restrictions on packing them in checked luggage… We misunderstood TSA’s instructions and regret any inconvenience this may have caused our customers.”
Will United suffer repercussions from the TSA for publicly lying to its customers? Even if it does, it's still the least of United's problems.
We send our hopes that San Diego Comic-Con attendees returned home with their books and sanity intact.