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TSA on 'Recombobulation'

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For decades it has been illegal for airline passengers to joke in front of security officials about threats such as hijackings. But that doesn’t mean humor is never called for, even among employees of the Transportation Security Administration.

For several years now the Milwaukee County airport has livened up its ambience with signs over three waiting areas reading, nonsensically, “Recombobulation Area.” The first was put up at a checkpoint in 2008 to be encountered by the tired and impatient flying public. It has been such a hit that two others were added and many passengers have photographed and tweeted about them, says airport spokeswoman Pat Rowe.

Asked whether the federal agency approved, a TSA spokeswoman said, “TSA takes the job of protecting travelers very seriously, but we also try to make the process as stress-free as possible. We get a lot of positive comments about the airport’s sign, and it’s nice to share a laugh or a smile with passengers when they see it.”

 

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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