Home Airports Mourning The Loss Of A Travel-Related Superstar

Mourning The Loss Of A Travel-Related Superstar

by SharonKurheg

Joe and I just got back from a long weekend in New York City. We had had the plans for several months already and although heaven knows we were seasoned travelers when it came to flying to and from The Big Apple (we both grew up in the area and fly up anywhere from 1 to 3 times a year), I had a question about….something. I don’t remember what. So I did what I always had done in this kind of situation and checked to see if someone else has ever asked the same question on AskTSA on Twitter. I went to their Twitter presence and got this:

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 8.14.12 PM

Not a whole lot there.

I didn’t think much of it, because I had done the search during what would eventually become the longest government shutdown in our country’s history. So I figured, “OK, government agency, everything offline until things are back to normal again. No big deal.”

But as it turned out, that wasn’t the case. It was indeed a big deal.

The TSA Blog, which is the official online “voice” on the Transportation Security Administration, became an entity in 2008. It’s a mishmosh of a place for flyers to ask questions (i.e. can I bring a pizza onto the plane?) and for the TSA to throw out fun facts (i.e. how many weapons were discovered in carry-on bags during a specific week). The photos on the blog tended to be the most popular, so in 2013, they expanded to Instagram. To date, they have nearly 1 million followers.

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

Agent Neville Flynn would be extremely proud of our officers at the Miami International Airport (MIA). You see, Agent Flynn has HAD IT with snakes on planes, and our officers prevented a young Ball Python from flying the friendly skies this past Sunday. … A traveler on her way to the Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) in Barbados attempted to smuggle the snakelet inside of an external hard drive packed in her checked bag. If you think airplane seats can feel constricting, imagine how this little guy felt! Talk about bad memories! … While the python itself posed no danger to anyone on the aircraft, an organic item concealed inside electronics raises security concerns, which is why our officers took a closer look. … The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ( @USFWS ) was notified. They responded and took possession of the snake and cited the traveler. Both the traveler and the snake missed their flight. … Conversationally, this python had not gone full monty. It was wearing a nylon stocking. … #SnakesOnPlane #SnakesAlmostOnAPlane #MIA #BGI #Miami #Barbados

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

Can you bring bacon? Are you kidding? We encourage bacon. Feel free to pack bacon in your carry-on and checked bags. — This is a screenshot of a tweet sent to the @AskTSA account on Twitter. Have you ever wondered whether or not you can pack a certain item? Fret no more! Now you can simply snap a picture and tweet it to @AskTSA or send it via Facebook Messenger and our team will get back to you promptly with an answer. If you're a regular follower of this account, I'm sure you can think of many situations where it would have behooved somebody to send us a picture first. And that's not all. Contact us about any TSA related issue or question you might have. We can even help you with TSA Pre✓® issues. We look forward to answering your questions, 8am-10pm ET weekdays; 9am-7pm weekends/holidays. #AskTSA #TSATravelTips

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

 

 

 

 

The Webby award-winning Instagram feed eventually opened the door for the Twitter feed, where the same type of post were written…interesting or quirky info and a place to ask questions, all peppered with some wry humor, puns and a bunch of “dad jokes.” And with good reason – all 3 social media accounts were written by the same person – Curtis Robert Burns, widely known as “Blogger Bob.”

“Blogger Bob” started working as a Transportation Security Officer at the TSA in the Cincinnati Airport in 2002 and in 2008 he began the TSA’s official online presence, via blog format. Since then, the online media became a full time unto itself, which Bob handled from home.  Here’s one of his videos from 2017:

 

 

 

 

Anyway, while doing some research on the ‘net earlier today, I unhappily discovered that Blogger Bob unexpectedly passed away of a bacterial infection in mid-October. He was only 48 years old. Blogger Bob left behind a wife, two daughters and, as noted in the New York Times, “a government agency with no clear blueprint for replicating the jaunty social media presence Mr. Burns devised.”

 

 

In looking at the TSA’s social media accounts between October and now, it appears they have found a new voice that, although not exactly the same as “Blogger Bob’s,” is, at least, an homage to him and what he did at the TSA.

 

View this post on Instagram

Valentine's Day is a wonderful time to remind that special someone how you feel. A romantic card is a lovely thought, as are flowers and candy. Or perhaps jewelry is a more appropriate sign of your strong affection. … Alternatively, you could take a lesson from a passenger at Colorado Springs Airport (COS) and give your sweetheart a big ol' bag of martial arts weapons! This carry-on goody bag, presented to our TSA officers at the security checkpoint, included an ax, throwing star, double-edged dagger, and machete. Safe travels, you romantic fool! … Remember, martial arts weapons are prohibited from being carried through the security checkpoint and onto a flight. Save yourself the hassle of additional screening by placing them in your checked bags. … #travel #traveling #traveler #airport #traveltips #aviationlife #valentinesday #martialarts

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

I’m glad they’ve been able to find someone to pick up the baton, but Blogger Bob and his particular brand of infotainment will still be missed.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

2 comments

colleen February 20, 2019 - 12:08 pm

Nice post. thanks

Reply
Barbara March 2, 2019 - 5:10 pm

Aw. Poor Bob. I didnt know who he was and now I’m sorry I didn’t.

Reply

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