Friday, March 8, 2013

Blades On A Plane

You've heard that TSA is going to allow passengers to board planes even if they still possess a very, very small pocket knife. The type one would carry on their key chain, usually good for little more can scraping the dirt out your finger nails.
Now, the flight attendant union is all freaked out and concerned about everybody's safety being at risk... hey, can't please all, ya know... but at least potential skyjackers will have clean nails.

It reminds me of leaving for my hunting trip in November, 1999, or then abouts...
I had gathered up all my gear and clothes, packed my bags, ammo, guns, and secured everything with little padlocks.
As I was carrying  it all to the car, I noticed that my field knife was sitting on the table not having made it into the bags.
Too lazy to look for the right key to the right lock, I just grabbed it and stuffed it into my carry on bag, with intent to pack it properly when I unloaded at the airport.

As it happened, the knife did not cross my mind again until the next morning as I was prepping for a morning in the field.
Oh yeah, there it is...
Still in my carry on bag.
That I had carried on.

While I was removing my belt, and placing my keys in the little bowl to make it through security at LAX, my field knife just passed through the metal detector/x-ray machine in my carry on, unnoticed.
Not some folding lock-blade, that may have looked like a blob on the x-ray screen. A real knife, suitable for cutting and gutting, 5" plus blade, razor sharp and then some, full tang, in a sheath. The morons full on missed it!

Had  some laughs sharing this story with a few folks at the time, and then forgot about it until 9-11 happened.


Brian said...

My sense is that they're changing the policy back because they've figured out that 1) small knives are a pretty low security risk, really, and 2) they spend an awful lot of time looking for them.

Only an anecdote, but I got held up at SeaTac last year for nearly 15 minutes while they tried to figure out that the bottle opener on my keychain wasn't dangerous. By running my bag through the machine, again and again. Even when I asked them to please just open my bag and take a look at whatever they were worried about (which of course, they eventually did anyway.)

My guess is that it was just a solid enough piece of metal of a certain shape that they decided it might be a knife.

Of course, I always have my keys with me when I fly, so that's 1 trip through security out of more than 100 since 9/11.

R.A. Crankbait said...

One small step back toward making flying less tortuous. Judging by the negative reactions I'm seeing, though, it sounds as if we've truly become a nation of pants-wetters. Seriously, these little knives are not going to be much use in taking over a plane unless someone is really scared of getting an infection or something. These aren't made for combat, and while you can draw blood and maybe even find a jugular, in today's environment any yo-you trying to pull something with a pen-knife would be sat on within an inch of his life by the other passengers. (True, box cutter blades aren't much bigger, but their handles make them a noticeable threat - and besides, these are still banned) I'd draw the line at pool cues, hockey sticks and golf clubs, though. Not because they're especially dangerous, but because there's already too little room onboard.

Gino said...

try swinging a pool cue on an airplane. i suspect that a faint fart would be more deadly...

i still remember the flight that i took to ATL, 6 mos post OP, that assured me that I could make a flight to MN without an issue.

a full TWO cases of liquid formula food as a carry-on.

they were all: cant you check this to baggage?
I said: with the way you lose shit, No Way! (yes, i said 'shit')

Lose my bag, and i will die from lack of nutrition because i aint got four days for you to find and deliver it...
reaching under my shirt and producing a feeding tube...

'Well, maybe we could...'

(actually, i was keeping an additional two days' supply in my shoulder bag/('purse' as NW would chide me ;) )

twas cool seeing folks dump bottles of Evian water while i walked on board with 48 cans of liquid, and h20 to go with...

Jade said...

I have always fully expected to be delayed through security due to the amount of camera equipment I carry on. (Can't I check it? HELL NO, I'd buy a seat for my gear before I'd check it) My bags are dusted for explosives almost every time, and 25% of the time I get a visual inspection to boot. I don't mind, it's an unusual amount of gear and this has happened since well before 9/11. What cracked me up once was they thought there was a gun in my purse... I had a round coin purse filled to the brim with loose change, and my epi-pen just above it, and my key fob with a round, solid metal X-Files emblem... made a gun shape in the x-ray machine And of course, my purse was heavy because of all the change. The key fob read "X-Files" on one side, and "Trust No One" on the other. The TSA agent found that amusing.

Foxfier said...

I figured the Stewardess Union was just throwing a fit to get in the news and have a bit more leverage next time they negotiate a contract.

Not because they're actually dumb enough to think a pocketknife is risky.

I really, really hope this goes through-- even though I don't think I'll be flying for anything less than an emergency as long as those radiation machines are around. I'm already at high enough risk for skin cancer without getting a full body dose concentrated on my skin.

Brian said...

If the airlines don't want pocketknives on their planes, I don't think there is anything that stops them from having that policy, or enforcing it themselves.

At their (and therefore their passengers') expense, of course...