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What is the *ONE* "unusual" item you always travel with?

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  • Frank II
    replied
    The reason no gels, liquids or pastes are allowed is simple--they can be tampered with. Like the jar of peanut butter. While it may look like it's never been opened, that doesn't mean the contents haven't been tampered with.

    I'll give you an example....take a sealed jar of peanut butter. Get a very small thumb tack. Poke a hole in the lid. It will hardly be noticeable. Nothing will spill out. Now, if you're a terrorist, you could have access to some type of biological agent like, say, smallpox. Put it in a syringe and inject it into the peanut butter. Once on the plane, you break out the crackers and become the favorite passenger in your area because you're sharing the peanut butter and crackers. And all those people are getting infected. And to make matters worse, they are all probably flying to different parts of the country, if not the world, and spreading the illness. That's how epidemics are started.

    All food confiscated by TSA, Customs, U.S. Dept of Agriculture is destroyed. None of their agents would chance taking it home or eating it.

    Another red flag is why someone would get so upset about losing a small jar of peanut butter? They understand people getting upset over items of real value but to become emotionally upset over peanut butter?

    Some of the rules TSA has make sense. And some, like automatically sending you for groping after alerting the metal detector, don't. Well, actually it does...it lets you know they have the power and you don't. Not necessarily in regard to the individual agents but the agency itself. It wants to put fear into people so they submit.

    Take away peanut butter, well, they're following the rules. They didn't make them so I can't really argue. However, if they mock or belittle me, I'm filing a written complaint. That they don't have the right to do.

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  • Lani
    replied
    Originally posted by marbenais View Post
    I honestly didn't think that anything edible AND clearly unopened would be a problem. All they had to do was tell me I couldn't take it, let me give it to someone (or take it themselves! I would've given it to the agent to take home, gladly!), and then run my bag through the machine again right away, instead of what they did.
    Indeed.

    Like their current policy--if you trigger the metal detector, you're automatically flagged for a manual inspection. That's just stupid. Someone may have forgotten to remove their belt. Give the passenger the benefit of the doubt and treat them like human beings, instead of automatically pulling them over because OMG THEY MUST BE A TERRORIST.

    The irony is that the shoe bomber, underwear bomber, and water bottle explosive bomber were all unsuccessful in their attempt, but those three parties were successful in inconveniencing millions of travelers everyday. Some might argue that that means they won.

    Leave a comment:


  • Frank II
    replied
    It's so simple....no liquids, no gels, no pastes. If it's not a solid, and it's not a prescription, don't bring it in your carry-on.

    A jar of peanut butter could be opened, something put in it, covered over with peanut butter, and then resealed. (There are machines that do this.) A piece of C-4 explosive, small enough to fit in jar of peanut butter, if exploded on a flying plane, could bring it down.

    Or, you could have tampered with it another way. A tiny pinhole in the metal lid, would be enough of an opening to inject something into the peanut butter via a syringe. You want to kill people so you inject the peanut butter knowing it will be taken from you but you hope you can pass it to someone else thus spreading whatever it is you've injected. Try it. A normal thumbtack will make a very small hole in most metal jar lids. Or you could inject something clear and flammable. They allow the jar on. You take it to the toilet while cruising, open it, light it, and you have a molotov cocktail. Not a good thing at 35,000 feet.

    That's why currently, there are no liquids, gels or pastes allowed on board. There are new detection machines being developed that can detect explosive so we should, eventually, see these restrictions removed.

    It is, however, inexcusable to mock you or belittle you. If it was me, I would have called a supervisor over and filed a complaint.

    Leave a comment:


  • marbenais
    replied
    Yes, Lani, I agree. I've had wonderful experiences with TSA agents who were patient, helpful, and kind, but I think someone carrying sealed food shouldn't be screamed at for taking something which didn't appear on any of their big signs. So much of their literature is about toiletries and weapons and flammable items, I honestly didn't think that anything edible AND clearly unopened would be a problem. All they had to do was tell me I couldn't take it, let me give it to someone (or take it themselves! I would've given it to the agent to take home, gladly!), and then run my bag through the machine again right away, instead of what they did. Ugh. It's been so long since I've flown (almost two years, I think) since we are so not up for dealing with flying with a dog (yes, it will happen eventually, just not now) so we drive.

    I do have many books on my Kindle application on my iPhone now! I'm hoping to get a basic Kindle sometime soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lani
    replied
    Originally posted by marbenais View Post
    The worst TSA experience I have ever had...and they mocked me...
    I think that's one of the reasons I'm generally not a fan of the TSA. This is not a blanket statement about all of their officers, but I think there are enough of them who signed up because they wanted to play hero wanna-be cop and they just want to bully people. Plus, the philosophy from at the very top is that they don't empower the officers, so you wind up with jack-booted automatons wanting to feel up little children and force old ladies to remove their diapers in the name of security.

    Originally posted by marbenais View Post
    I used to always take all of Amy Tan's novels (well, however many had been published at that point) with me and reread them on vacations.
    It's a lot easier to do now if you load them up all on your Kindle/iPad/Nook/e-reader of your choice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lani
    replied
    Originally posted by WhiteStar View Post
    Which is why I have Flash!
    SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • marbenais
    replied
    Originally posted by Lani View Post
    I've heard that some people have had their hummus confiscated!
    The worst TSA experience I have ever had (and I've had some doozies, traveling to and from the UK during one of the hoof & mouth times) was with my small, sealed, just-bought jar of peanut butter. They made a huge public scene and yelled about how I was holding up the entire airport (keep in mind this was at BWI, where there are many security checkpoints for each terminal) and insisted on unpacking the stuff sacks within my Smart Alec and then sending me to the back of the line with my belongings falling out of my arms. They threw out the peanut butter, even though I pleaded with them to let me go give it to someone, anyone, so it didn't go to waste. I was crying by that point, from humiliation, and they mocked me, even though I easily looked like I was sixteen at most (I've always looked at least a decade younger than my actual age -- I know this will be nice when I'm older!).

    So, now, I am paranoid about carrying ANYTHING remotely less than solid unless it's in the small quantities in the 3-1-1 bag.

    I can't think of an unusual item I take with me when I travel . . . I used to always take all of Amy Tan's novels (well, however many had been published at that point) with me and reread them on vacations. Now most of my spare packing space holds various "long-lasting" treats for Rosalind (keep in mind she shreds toys -- not just treats -- meant for dogs three times her size in a matter of minutes, so finding these treats isn't easy) and many extra towels and blankets for her.

    Leave a comment:


  • WhiteStar
    replied
    Originally posted by Lani View Post
    ... because I carrying a plush around in public is um... yeah.
    Which is why I have Flash!

    Click image for larger version

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    Leave a comment:


  • Badger
    replied
    Originally posted by Lani View Post
    I can appreciate that. I *LOVE* Stitch (from Disney's animated Lilo & Stitch from several years back; it reminds me of Hawaii, my former home), and I've been known as "that woman who carries a plush backpack" when I've gone to Disneyland with my friends.... but it's the ONLY place I carry Stitch around in, because I carrying a plush around in public is um... yeah.
    My dad is from Eleele, which is near Hanapepe. The last time we were there, we noted that Hanapepe has started marketing itself as "Stitch-town" or something to that effect because I guess the movie was set there. My iPhone lock screen is an uglydog, so I've always got one with me anyway. When we're in Italy he becomes "Cane Brutto," which we figure is an approximate translation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lani
    replied
    Originally posted by Badger View Post
    Yes, but usually in the hotel. It's weird to see grown up adult people with stuffed animals in public. The tower was a one-time deal.
    I can appreciate that. I *LOVE* Stitch (from Disney's animated Lilo & Stitch from several years back; it reminds me of Hawaii, my former home), and I've been known as "that woman who carries a plush backpack" when I've gone to Disneyland with my friends.... but it's the ONLY place I carry Stitch around in, because I carrying a plush around in public is um... yeah.

    Leave a comment:


  • KmK
    replied
    I have a little tiny owl...perhaps 3/4 inches wide and 1 1/4 inches tall...that travels with me and is by my bed wherever I am...it makes what ever room "my space." It came from Mexico and was given to me by a wise and wonderful friend, now deceased. This is my travel version of a picture that has hung on every bedroom wall I have ever had...in my whole life (and there've been over a dozen of them). It was a picture my mother had hanging in her dorm room in college! When I was born, the wall needed something and so she hung it. Hanging that picture is a sign of being home. The owl brings that sense too in a much more portable way!

    Leave a comment:


  • Badger
    replied
    Originally posted by Lani View Post
    Do you take pictures with/of them in your travels, like Flat Stanley?
    Yes, but usually in the hotel. It's weird to see grown up adult people with stuffed animals in public. The tower was a one-time deal.

    I sometimes pack a Justin's almond butter packet and a mini bottle of scotch in my 311 bag. That way I can have a snack and a drink on the plane, ha ha.

    Leave a comment:


  • Frank II
    replied
    Originally posted by Lani View Post
    So I was reading the "3D clear organizer cube" thread and Frank II mentioned that he packs a telescoping backscratcher. Not something most people would think to carry, but one of those "I wish I had one" type things.
    While I do admit to taking the telescoping backscratcher with me on trips--let's face it, when you get an itch it can drive you crazy--it is not the most unusual item I take with me when traveling. The most unusual item I travel with is........me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lani
    replied
    Originally posted by Kinsale View Post
    I keep a mini bottle of vodka in my 3D clear organizer. Just in case, lol.
    OK I just HAVE to ask, since you phrased it that way: "Just in case of what?"

    (giggles)

    Leave a comment:


  • JLE
    replied
    Originally posted by Kinsale View Post
    I keep a mini bottle of vodka in my 3D clear organizer. Just in case, lol.
    That is a great idea! I have sometimes thought of taking a tiny bottle of Bombay Sapphire. Get a can of tonic from the FA and voila - G&T!

    Leave a comment:

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