Join 3,363 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


But Can I Bring My Spear Gun?
January 15, 2003 4:46 AM   Subscribe

What should I pack? According to the official list Toy Transformer Robots are OK (presumably real ones are not), but I'll have to put my throwing stars in my checked luggage.
posted by JoanArkham (31 comments total)

 
What I found most remarkable is that hand grenades warranted a mention on this list. I mean, plastic explosives have legitimate usages, but HAND GRENADES? Why not list rocket launchers and suitcase nukes as well?
posted by bunnytricks at 5:08 AM on January 15, 2003


Damn. No tools. I really wanted to bring a wrench and adjust the foot area on my seat. Bummer.
posted by shepd at 5:13 AM on January 15, 2003


I got scrutinised at the airport for a bottle opener I had left on my keyring and forgotten about. After a few minutes the guy decided that I was obviously no threat but warned me to pack it in my luggage next time. Oddly, nobody seemed concerned in the slightest about the chunky, pointy metal things with a few sharp edges that were attached to this keyring.......(my keys)
posted by saintsguy at 5:30 AM on January 15, 2003


My little family has had much success in recent years with a proven method of shipping our luggage via next-day service through a major carrier (i.e. Fedex, UPS, etc) to our destination, and packing only carry-on and overnight bags for the plane trip.

Sure, it can get pretty costly if you're packing for a 2 week trip, but the ease of travel, particularly when you have 3 kids (like myself) makes it an affordable tradeoff.
posted by thanotopsis at 5:33 AM on January 15, 2003


...bringing a prohibited item to a security checkpoint--even accidentally--is illegal.

Let's just hope this former boyscout doesn't forget his pocketknife in his pocket. Should I carry around my toten-chit to show them? It would be permitted in my checked baggage, if not stolen, but also of no use to me there. The whole point of owning it is to carry it in my pocket, so that it's there when I need it, not someplace else. I could do just as much damage to a flight once in the air with or without a pocket knife. Hell, I could do more damage with a laptop or a camcorder at the end of a strap, like a expensive electronic mace.

Road trip!
posted by BlueWolf at 5:49 AM on January 15, 2003


Thanks for the heads up, Joan.

Guess my throwing stars will have to stay at home this time. Damn.
posted by gramcracker at 5:59 AM on January 15, 2003


A few of my family members took their knitting with them when they flew three weeks ago, and despite the fact that knitting needles are on the OK list, they were made to check them. It turns out the airlines and/or airports can enforce stricter policies than the government, so watch out!
posted by Songdog at 6:12 AM on January 15, 2003


"Prohibited items...include...so-called dual-use items."

So no shotguns as a meat tenderizers?
posted by Dick Paris at 6:15 AM on January 15, 2003


No?

I wish people would kill with hatchets more often It's just such an under-utilized weapon... and fun to say. Although kubaton is an awfully close second (whatever the eff that is).

No strike-anywhere matches? I always carry some with me on a plane in my water-proof emergency whistle in case of an unexpected water "landing".
posted by Witty at 6:42 AM on January 15, 2003


also be sure not to practise any 'shoryuken' while on board :D shoryuken!
posted by kliuless at 6:47 AM on January 15, 2003


Cattle prods are a no-go, but the cattle themselves seem to be fair game.
posted by toothgnip at 6:51 AM on January 15, 2003


This is absurd. There are literally thousands of things that are potentially lethal. Hell, I'm sure you could use a thermos of scalding hot coffee to incapacitate a flight crew, but I don't see that on the list. Eventually someone with some intelligence will figure out that airlines should protect the crew with a bulletproof door that is never opened in flight. Why this wasn't standard procedure after the hijackings of the 70's is beyond me.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:11 AM on January 15, 2003


I assume the oddly specific things listed are there because someone tried to take them on a plane. A friend of mine once lived in an apartment that had a "no riding of ATVs or motorcycles in dwelling" rule. He figured someone must have done so at some point, because who would just put that in a lease for no reason?
posted by JoanArkham at 7:27 AM on January 15, 2003


This fun list informs me that I cannot bring my catapult in either the checked OR unchecked luggage. Pity. Also, whips cannot be be checked.. in case of whip detonation in the cargo hold?

The knitting needle issue seems to be a spot decision - sometimes they'll let me on with them, sometimes they won't. I usually ask when I check in. I note that although they won't let me have 6" wooden knitting needles, they'll still let me take pencils and pens on-board -- obviously I just need to learn to knit on pens.
posted by some chick at 7:37 AM on January 15, 2003


kubaton

kubotan

Kubla Khan
posted by Witty at 7:40 AM on January 15, 2003


well you could knock off all the passengers one by one until they open the door , huh ?
a duty free metal packet of lucky strikes can be used as a weapon.
a container of hot/boiling water with lots of sugar in it can also be used....will they stop serving tea and coffee now?
how do you stop an unpredictable person?
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:42 AM on January 15, 2003


You don't. But obviously this is a reference list in case anyone has a question. You know how it is these days... you have to spell everything out for people. If we didn't have to cover our asses so much, these kinds of things wouldn't pop up. It's like a warning lable on a plastic dry cleaning bag - This is not a toy! But if you don't remind someone, it'll come back to hauntcha.

I could choke the crap out of someone with a belt, a shoe string even. Hell, I COULD KILL A MAN WITH SILLY PUTTY (got that one from my time spent in 'Nam).
posted by Witty at 8:01 AM on January 15, 2003


No strike-anywhere matches? I always carry some with me on a plane in my water-proof emergency whistle in case of an unexpected water "landing".

Here's the real idiocy/hypocrisy of the list: you cannot have matches, but you can have lighters.

It also looks like the list has been updated recently. Last time I checked, knitting needles and corkscrews were prohibited. Cricket bats, however, are still forbidden.
posted by ahughey at 8:27 AM on January 15, 2003


well if you had a lot of it i suppose you could wire it up to drop on someones head from a palm tree...
or of course , dig a ditch , put the silly putty in , cover it with fronds etc and watch your hapless victim sink into it..

..its time for my medication.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:30 AM on January 15, 2003


Michael Moore did a great routine about this when I saw him on stage a couple months ago. He kept reaching into a suitcase and pulling out prohibited items such as weedwhackers, meat cleavers, hedge clippers, hand grenades, chainsaws, hockey sticks, dynamite, etc.

The first time I flew after 9/11, the ticket agent asked me if I had any sharp objects on me. I said "Like this one?" and pulled out my ballpoint pen. He said no, that didn't count. I could do a hell of a lot of damage with a pen (or coffee, or freakin' dental floss, fer cryin' out loud) if I were so inclined. Hear hear for toothless regulation that doesn't actually make us safer!
posted by Vidiot at 8:41 AM on January 15, 2003


dig a ditch , put the silly putty in , cover it with fronds etc and watch your hapless victim sink into it..

I think the flight attendants would stop you before you got too far with this one.
posted by Vidiot at 8:43 AM on January 15, 2003


My favorite: the section "SHARP OBJECTS" followed by a list of eleven or twelve straight "no"'s. Well, duh.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:57 AM on January 15, 2003


I think the flight attendants would stop you before you got too far with this one

STOP ME ?!?

DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM ??
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:13 AM on January 15, 2003


by the way, Rob at cockeyed.com has some amazing photos of bucketloads of confiscated stuff.
posted by Vidiot at 9:39 AM on January 15, 2003


On September 25, 2001, my wife and departed for Hawaii for our honeymoon. We had called the airline (Continental) and were informed by them that pencils, pens, etc, could not be taken on board at that time. As our plane was approaching Honolulu the flight attendants came around with a survey for us to complete. They did not provide writing implements, and when I requested one an astonished Continental flight attendant asked us "you boarded a twelve hour flight without a pen?" I believe she may also have asked us whether we were crazy.

One hand has absolutely no clue what the other is doing.
posted by Songdog at 9:40 AM on January 15, 2003


I always wonder about the forbidden items. I can understanding prohibiting hazardous materials, and I guess prohibiting weapons helps prevent random lunatics from wreaking havoc. But a really determined hijacker is more than dangerous enough with his bare hands. I doubt that additional prohibitions and searches increase security very much. Still, they do make me more comfortable for some reason.
posted by Songdog at 9:44 AM on January 15, 2003


What kind of a world do we live in where spear guns aren't allowed on airplanes?
posted by jpoulos at 11:18 AM on January 15, 2003


Guess my throwing stars will have to stay at home this time. Damn.

They fly, in checked luggage.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:40 PM on January 15, 2003


this throws a knife into my "wouldja like to see my carry-on axe or hatchet?" hitting on girls routine.
posted by Peter H at 12:46 PM on January 15, 2003


Part One: "What Does a 99-cent Bic Lighter Tell Us About the Bush War on Terrorism?"

After reading, I kept thinking; flic your bic...for war.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:19 PM on January 15, 2003


snip--you boarded a twelve hour flight without a pen?--/snip

Yeah, going 12 hours without using a pen is maddening!
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:31 PM on January 16, 2003


« Older The Jivaro are primarily known for their shrunken ...  |  The Supreme Court has ruled, s... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments