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TSA offers a little forgiveness
March 13, 2013 - Rob Weaver
There we were, my wife and I, standing outside our car in a long-term parking lot at Port Columbus Airport. I distinctly can remember running through a mental checklist while waiting for the shuttle to take us to the terminal.
Deciding I needed to take a car key but not my house keys, I reached into my pocket for the key chain. That’s when I found it: My Gerber Curve mini multi tool.
It had a slotted screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, a nail file and a bottle opener. It also had a small blade I use for opening envelopes. Thus, if left in my pocket, it would have been found by — and probably surrendered to — a Transportation Security Administration officer.
The TSA has received some criticism lately for planning to permit passengers to carry small pocket knives and some sporting goods aboard aircraft. I don’t think the administration wants to encourage people to bring the items aboard. I do think TSA officers don’t like seeing people part with keepsakes or treasured knives, like my lil’ Gerber.
Don’t take my word for it. A blog posted on the TSA website reads, “Our officers would really rather not have you lose the trusty pocket knife your grandfather gave you. They would really prefer you didn’t have to surrender the knife you used to cut your wedding cake.”
The blogger then states passengers have options other than surrendering an item to TSA available to them: 1) Take the item to the ticket counter and check it in your baggage or a box provided by the airport. 2) Many airports have a US Postal Service or other shipping services area where boxes, stamps and envelopes can be bought so you can ship your items home. 3) If there is somebody seeing you off, you can hand the prohibited item to them. 4) If your car is parked outside, you can take the item to your car.
By the way, razor blades and box cutters will remain prohibited in carry-on luggage and on your person.
The changes are to take effect April 25. Before taking off for a backpacking trip in May, I intend to visit TSA.gov for more information on which items I can carry onto the plane, and which ones (such as isobutane fuel canisters and tent poles) I should stow in checked bags.
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