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I left a water bottle in my bag at SJC once. The TSA agent pulled me aside after I went through the scanner and pointed to it on the X-Ray to ask me what it was. I said something like "oh, oops, looks like I forgot my water bottle in there" and she asked me to take it out of the bag. She took a quick look at it and then just let me on the plane without making me dump it out or even opening the bottle.

I guess that means they at least looked at the X-Ray; it seems like a lot of the time they don't even bother to do that.

Meanwhile, up at SFO, I had a few sips in a fancy water bottle. They wouldn't let me drink or dump the water. They escorted me, past like three bathrooms/water fountains, back to the other where I drank it while back in line.

Yep, that happened to me in a DC airport. American service is horrible.

By contrast, when I was trying to board my plane in Tokyo to return to the US, I again forgot to empty my water bottle, and was already through the line. The woman just asked if she could dump it, and she did: they had special containers there for the express purpose of dumping people's disallowed liquids. Of course, American security can't be bothered to implement a common-sense measure like this.

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