Check everything

april-fool-illusBeing April Fools Day, I feel compelled to share this article posted yesterday on; The Top Ten Most Ridiculous Items Taken Away By The TSA.

As vagabonders traveling the world, packing for a trip is often an exercise in figuring out what does and doesn’t count as a potential terrorist item, and even then we can still find ourselves “April Fooled” in the security line.  The TSA does of course publish a list of permitted and prohibited items, but anything not on the list is open to interpretation by the screeners. I was surprised to find the list has shrunk since I last checked.  This list at has a more complete set that matches what I remember, notably that  ‘Toy Transformer Robots‘ and ‘Knitting and Crochet Needles‘ are both acceptable in carry-on luggage. I find both of these indicative of the nonsensical nature of the TSA guidelines – that toy robots need to be specified at all, and the implied assumption that knitting needles (or 4-inch scissors or 7-inch screwdrivers) couldn’t be used in as dangerous a manner as a box-cutter. And what happens to your grandfather’s swiss army knife that you’d forgotten about?  You might be able to reclaim it on eBay according to this article from CNN last September.

Between the TSA making it seem easiest just to check everything and the growing trend among airlines to charge for even one checked bag, one feels the sting of a practical joke any time of year, not just on April 1st.

Posted by | Comments (3)  | April 1, 2010
Category: Air Travel

3 Responses to “Check everything”

  1. Andrea Says:

    My beloved swiss army knife that has been all over Europe with me… I had to leave that behind at the control gate last October in Toronto airport. Sad to see my trusty friend leave me. It was in my pocket, where it always is (it is a pocket knife, don’t you know?)…

    Yes, I think we need to start traveling with a sign attached to our foreheads: I’m flying soon, please take all my possessions from me before I have to pay an arm and a leg…

  2. Bob Beatie Says:

    Nice to know I can bring a Tranformer along with my 4 ounces of personal lube 🙂

  3. Meggan Starek Says:

    Fantastic message,I do believe you could have undeniably put together a web site I have to read up on on a weekly basis. Thanks a lot.