SXSW Swag Bags Are Causing Airport Security Delays In Austin

As if the check-in lines aren't bad enough, the Austin American Statesman is reporting that swag bags received by South By South West (SXSW) attendees are causing security slow-ups at Austin Bergstrom International Airport as people head home from the festival.

Austin airport officials are recommending that festival patrons pack their bulky promotional gifts in their carry-on bags, because the scanners for checked luggage are having trouble screening through some of the material.

TSA Spokeswoman Carrie Harmon said:

"If an item in a bag is unable to be clearly viewed as part of the screening process, or if an item alarms, additional screening may be needed before the bag is cleared."

This is a bit disconcerting, for the fact that scanners can't "see" everything in a bag. Additional (visual screenings and bag searches by hand) screenings are being required, which is causing delays in getting the luggage cleared and sent on to the airlines to be loaded under the plane.

On Twitter, some have reported that the official SXSW magazine is what is causing the problems.

TSA officials added that swag bags caused problems last year as well, but not to the same extent as this year. They were unable to specifically cite what exact items are causing the problems.

Top image: AP file photo