Airport security told J.K Rowling to throw out “Harry Potter” manuscript


Illustrating how ridiculous airport security has become in the wake of several terrorist threats, J.K Rowling was initially told to throw out her only manuscript of the last book in the “Harry Potter” series before boarding a London-bound plane. Instead of admitting it was mistake, an official from the TSA decided to lie and act like it never happened:

The 41-year-old author had participated in an Aug. 1 book reading for charity with fellow writers Stephen King and John Irving. Security was drastically tightened after Aug. 10 when British police said they had intercepted a plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners.

“The heightened security restrictions on the airlines made the journey back from New York interesting, as I refused to be parted from the manuscript of book seven.

“A large part of it is handwritten and there was no copy of anything I had done while in the U.S.”

Eventually, she added, “They let me take it on, thankfully, bound up in elastic bands.”

America’s Transportation Security Administration has “never implemented a ban on carryon luggage for flights originating in the United States,”
TSA spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said. “A manuscript would certainly be allowed to be carried on.”

Rowling said she would have sailed back to London before parting with the last book in the “Harry Potter” series.

Sure, a priceless manuscript would be allowed to be carried on – only if the passenger was sufficiently famous and persistent and kiss-ass enough to convince airport staff to relax their arbitrary rules. If J.K. Rowling can’t bring on a manuscript, I guess that means I’m stuck reading the Skymall catalog the next time I’m forced to take a trans-Atlantic flight.

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8 Responses to “Airport security told J.K Rowling to throw out “Harry Potter” manuscript”

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  1. marines all the way says:

    Can anybody else say SHIP AHOY!!! I’m sailing over the atlantic from now on. Unless theres another Titanic in the makin then I’ll just sit where I am.

  2. Celebitchy says:

    I hear you. I have to fly at least twice a year and it’s a pain in the ass. The last time I did it was before the London scare, and it was still really stressful.

  3. marines all the way says:

    This is just too much these day I mean come on, when are we going to draw the line? At least play movies on a big screen and have speakers instead of head sets and longer leg room, why is it just first class huh? Think about the kids people, its hassiling enough and now we cannt even take laptops or dvd players or Ipod on board, your making a parents lifemiserable in those hours!

  4. Jude says:

    I’m curious about what the excuse was for them to try to confiscate the manuscript–I can’t think of any particular reason a stack of freaking paper or notebooks would pose any imaginable threat. Does anyone know?

    Sounds more like some screener recognized her and tried a very sneaky way of getting their hands on the unpublished, highly anticipated manuscript…

  5. Celebitchy says:

    Jude, you are giving them way too much credit. They are overworked and power-hungry and will just make up rules as they go along to hassle people.

    Marines, I agree. Unless you are loaded you are freaking screwed with no leg space and a terrible flying experience. I also bring a laptop, DVD, and books and toys for my son. What am I going to do now? I’ll have to like get small weird rolled-up comics or something. I think you can bring a laptop on now, though. I would be really scared to pack mine as luggage.

  6. pinkdog says:

    How ridiculous. They’re just scarying people and trying to justify all this mess the world is in and make us think we are safe and protected by going through those ridiculous and time consuming airport checkups.

  7. Shazzer says:

    Actually, I suspect she ran afoul of the *specific airline’s* limits for carry-on luggage, not a TSA regulation. You know how long her books tend to be…a handwritten manuscript would have been HUGE and heavy.

  8. Fleegle says:

    I just flew back to the US from Amsterdam and it was interesting. They held one of my checked bags for a day and stole my sports icepack for my back. There is a huge difference in the way the US is doing checks, as opposed to Europe.