And play doh probably would have entertained Josh and Nathan for much of their flight home from a post-Christmas trip to New Orleans last week, but a TSA screener decided not to allow the play doh through security. The screener allowed them to keep the plastic mat and tools for molding the play doh, but took the 20 cans of clay out of the box.
"I had the kids and my husband was there with all our bags," recalled Christy. "Josh and I were sitting, getting our shoes on and, my husband kinda motioned to us and said, 'They took our play doh.' And the man from TSA was taking every can out one at a time and putting it on a table, and Josh saw it and he started fussing."
Christy and her husband decided not to protest. "Quite honestly I just wanted to get out of there. I thought the less time we could spend right there, maybe we could solve it with a candy cane or you know a piece of candy from inside the terminal, so I just tried to move us as quickly along as possible with a very traumatized child in tow."
"I tried to explain that those were the rules, but it turns out its not prohibited on the TSA's website, so apparently those aren't the rules."
A TSA spokeswoman Carry Harmon confirms play doh is not a prohibited item. It is allowed on board. However, because plastic explosives can be cammouflaged to look like play doh, screeners are told to use their own discretion. And in this case, the screeners discretion meant Josh lost one of his favorite Christmas gifts from his grandma. Christy says it was a gift her mother bought early on the morning of Black Friday.
Christy says she'll pack play doh in their checked bags from now on. The TSA says that is a good idea for all parents.