(AUSTIN, Texas) — Stacks of magazines in some South By Southwest attendees’ bags are registering as suspicious objects at the airport in Austin and causing delays, leaving many to ask, how could this happen?
One man tweeted: “@skift delayed on ground in Austin bc official @sxsw magazine looks like explosives to @tsa machines. searching all bags by hand! #sxsw”
Another traveler wrote: “Delayed at #AUS. The #SXSW magazine we received at registration triggers the #TSA explosives scanner, requiring a physical check of bags.”
Jim Halbrook, a spokesman for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, told ABCNews.com that the security snafu wasn’t due to any particular magazine, but instead stacks of them.
“There are some of the attendees who have their swag bags and they have every magazine they’ve picked up in that one bag,” he said. “When it goes through checked bag screening , it’s showing up as an unidentifiable object because it’s so dense.”
Halbrook said he was unaware if it had impacted any flight departure times, but said it has slowed down luggage processing, since TSA agents have had to search the suspicious bags by hand.
According to Flight Aware, 21 flights were delayed at the airport Wednesday; however, it was unclear if any of those were attributed to the magazine security issue.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Matt McFarland, CNN
Terry Sater, WISN