The TSA App and Flying Pie

The Transportation Security Administration included about 900 items fliers could or couldn't carry onto their flights or put in checked baggage when it first launched its My TSA app in July 2010, agency official Neil Bonner said Wednesday.

That list grew to more than 3,000 items as people used a feedback link on the app to ask about things that didn't make the list, Bonner said during a webinar hosted by Government Executive Media Group, which includes Nextgov.

Bonner was touting user feedback functions on government mobile apps, which he said can drastically change designers' notions about what's useful and what's not when apps are re-launched.

MyTSA's "Can I Bring?" section has an autofill function that gives users a quick sense of the universe of travel options.

For the record: cats are okay to check or carry on but will be subject to non-X-ray screening. Cattle prods, on the other hand, are listed under "martial arts and self-defense weapons," prohibited from carry on. You also should properly sheath or wrap such items to avoid injuring baggage handlers, the app advises.

Tubas and other musical instruments are okay for carry on, but you should allow at least an extra half hour for screening. Tubeless insulin pumps can be carried on too, but you should notify a flight attendant that you have diabetes.

Pie's fine to carry on, provided it's a "solid food," not a "liquid or gel." That could make summertime travel a little sticky. Pickaxe? That's a "check only."

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