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Liquid Ban or Shoeless Security: Which is Worse?

It’s power trip day here at SmarterTravel, and boy, do I have a doozie for you. If given the choice, which annoying airline security measure would you get of: The liquid ban, or the shoes-off-at-security rule?

Neither of these obnoxious tediums require introduction, but nevertheless, here’s a little background on each:

The liquid ban, implemented in response to a failed bombing attempt in 2006, is just about the most frustrating thing to happen to packing since … well, maybe ever. People flying short distances now must procure tiny bottles of shampoo and other toiletries, which will forever clutter their medicine cabinets, or else have their oversized bottles seized and thrown in the trash before their very eyes. Of course, if there were any real suspicion about the potential explosive properties of that Old Spice aftershave, the TSA probably wouldn’t leave it sitting in a trash can in a crowded airport terminal. And don’t even think about bringing that cup of coffee through security!

The shoes-off rule, while less of an inconvenience, manages to be both absurd and humbling. It forces countless travelers of all stripes to shuffle through security barefoot or in socks, and then often deep into to the terminal in search of a place to put their shoes back on—a surreal sight to behold. Travelers must also make sure they wear “good” socks when they fly, so as to avoid an embarrassing holey sock episode. This rule is at its most dangerous when one is rushing to make a connection—as I was, recently, in Dublin—and travelers may be tempted to complete their desperate sprint sans footwear (I put my shoes back on).

So, which of these would you eliminate if you had the power? Share your pick, and your reasons for it, in the comments below. Thanks!

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