Monday, September 29, 2008

TSA Permitted & Prohibited Items

I'm flying to WI later this week (roller derby Eastern Regionals, baby!), and—having recently started a new knitting project—was wondering what happens when you try to bring knitting needles through airport security. Even though you could do much more damage with a ballpoint pen than with a blunt knitting needle, I would hate to underestimate TSA's overzealousness in "protecting public safety" in a post-9/11 world.

So I found this useful list of what's allowed and prohibited on airplanes. It even breaks things out into what's allowed in carry-ons vs. what's allowed in checked luggage. According to the list, knitting needles and crochet hooks are allowed on the plane; however, this follow-up article isn't exactly confidence-inspiring ("In case a Security Officer does not allow your knitting tools through security it is recommended that you carry a self addressed envelope so that you can mail your tools back to yourself as opposed to surrendering them at the security checkpoint").

[ Edited 11/24/2010: Just looked at the knitting/needle-crafting-specific article and it now says unequivocally that knitting needles and tools are allowed in all luggage! No more "we may or may not take them away from you." ]

I was surprised to learn that disposable razors and scissors < 4" long are allowed in carry-on luggage. Happily, the list confirms that throwing stars, cattle prods, hand grenades and tear gas are not.

I feel safer already.

[Edit: Maybe I just need one of these. "Nothing to see here, folks!" (Hat tip to Nish.)]

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