The TSA’s reputation as a nuisance hasn’t been unjustified. Anyone who’s stood in an insanely long line or seen their toiletries land in the trash can tell you as much, but the agency has been working hard to make amends by returning lost laptops and the like. All of that goodwill may have evaporated with one soul-crushing Instagram post, which shows an oversized teddy bear sitting next to a trash can. Doesn’t he look miserable?
The sad visual wasn’t enough, apparently. TSA decided to make an example of this bear and posted an inaccurate backstory (fake news!) of how the creature was brought to screening as an attempted carry-on item and “abandoned by its owners.” Obviously, this poor stuffed animal cannot fit into an overhead compartment, so the TSA wagged its finger and admonished people for not contacting airlines about “overly large items.” They added, “If you see this wayward bear strolling the streets of LA, please feel free to feed him.”
Well, this wasn’t the real story, so the TSA was forced to update the post and admit that the passenger had purchased a separate ticket for the bear. The agency added, “The airline and TSA decided the bear was too large” (even though the bear is the same size as the dude who hogged your armrest last week). Although the airline offered to refund the ticket price, the agency claims that the traveler “opted not to check the bear and left it behind.”
People are, um, not happy at all.
What a social media disaster. One cutesy Instagram post publicized a not-so-flattering move on the TSA’s behalf. They rejected a freaking teddy bear with its own ticket. *head desk*