Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Slow Learner--Knives on Board

Just returned from a stressful trip to Ohio. Once I got there, I had a great time with family. Getting there was the problem. The first flight didn't and so we were asked to come back the next day to Portland airport. By the next day, all the parking lots were full and we had to park in the last remaining area- the airport terminal parking at $24 a day! Nothing like jacking up the trip expenses by paying triple rates to park and having to buy another night in a hotel.

Then, the real fun began. I was"'selected" for special security screening again. I say, again, because this happens to me almost every time I fly now. i have a habit of having multi-tools in my purse. Last time the TSA got my very expensive USB data drive Swiss Army Knife. I had heard on NPR that blades less than three inches were permitted...wrong. So, I lost that one last Christmas. I carry multi-tools because I am a musician and computer nut and need tools from time to time. This time, I had searched my purse and carry-on for banned items. As a knitter, I had many tools and several sets of knitting needles with me. Lo, and behold....there was a Swiss Army multi-tool so deep in my purse that even I could not find it. TSA did. So, the inquisition continued with me having to step into a glass chamber and just as I was setting my feet in the correct positions as directed, the machine went off jetting air in all directions at my body. I was caught off-guard and almost shrieked. I was so angry by then that I started crying. They examined all my arms and legs and the compression garments that I wear were a concern. Then my bag of gels was not the right size--I had grabbed a gallon size one at home and they have to be quart size Ziplocs. I wonder if Haliburton owns ZipLoc. Emerging from the security area, i was a mess.

Aside from wearing a bathrobe through airport security, you just have to keep up with the newest level of paranoia before you fly. So, I got busy doing some research and found a Leatherman Fuse that has no knife!!!!!!! It is on my birthday list! Here's a link to it!

Happy I feel any safer? Absolutely not. The rules are arbitrary and only provide the drama of security.


Soos said...

Hi, Sharon:

I like the tone of your blog. I was reading LIBREF and saw your comment.

I think security at the airports - and having to be there 2 hours ahead - is a big reason many don't or hate to fly.

My son just went back to Portland State for school; even he is paranoid he might INADVERTENTLY do something illegal.

Hope your next airport experience is better than the last one.

Aloha, Soos

Anonymous said...

You'll lose that new Leatherman to the TSA as well. The file and screwdrivers look enough like blades that TSA probably won't let them aboard. Just leave these things at home, or check your bag!

Las Vegas Librarian said...

Hi Sharon,

What a dreadful airport experience! For those wishing to read, ad nauseum, about the Transportation Security Administrations Permitted and Prohibited Items, they can do so at However, I see nothing about new Leathermans on the list.

Some of us have dreadful airport experiences for reasons other than our baggage, so to speak. I got so confused wending my way around the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas that I inadvertently went the wrong direction, thus setting off alarms and locking doors. The security officer told me I nearly shut down the airport and brought the feds down on my head. Fortunately, after I told him I was a librarian we quickly settled the mishap and he personally escorted me to my gate.