One of the most interesting by-products of the failed attempt on Christmas Day to destroy a Delta Air Lines Airbus A330 is learning about rules issued and reneged by TSA through Twitter.
On 27 December TSA published vague guidance on its website, cautioning passengers that additional security measures were in place, but never specified the exact nature of the changes.
Interestingly enough, I learned that the requirement for passengers to stay in their seats for the last hour of flight was lifted through a retweet of a WestJet tweet saying the ban was no longer in place.
Immediately after I saw the Tweet I rang TSA, who declined to confirm the ban was lifted.
An interesting side story has developed after two well-known travel bloggers posted a copy of TSA's directive on their websites. They have now been served subpoenas by TSA special agents. My colleague Mary Kirby has a complete rundown of the story on her Runway Girl blog.
No one is arguing TSA hasn't been crazed the last few days, but is attempting to track down how the directive was leaked really the best of use of resources when some airlines themselves published portions of the document? Just yesterday President Obama said that members of the US intelligence community were warned weeks ago about the suspect that reportedly tried to use explosives to destroy the aircraft, and acknowledged that raises serious concerns.
Let's hope the administration is committed to forging smart change in intelligence gathering and security enforcement.