Airport Security Tip

October 19, 2009

Humor, Rants, Tips

Since I was a teenager, possibly even younger since I was in Cub Scouts, I have carried a pocket knife.  Something unthinkable for kids today.  Did you see the recent story about theEagleScout Eagle Scout that was kicked out of school for having a pocket knife (Weapon!  Zero Tolerance you know!) at school?  In a box…  In a locked car… In the parking lot…  If you want to read the AP story, it is here.  But this is to be a “Tip” not a “Rant” and once again, I’ve digressed.

Anyway, my knife is one of the small multi-purpose ones.  It’s so dull it can hardly be called a knife, but it is ocassionally useful on site visits and around the house.  I know better than to take it to the airport, but in the rush of getting ready last week, I transferred it from pants pocket to pants pocket as I always do when dressing and didn’t give it a second thought.  That is until I was emptying my pockets in the security line at the airport.

This was at South Bend Airport and fortunately I was early for my flight.  There was no one else in the line with me and the TSA personnel were sympathetic, but said there was nothing they could do.  They suggested I take it out and put it in my checked bag… I wasn’t checking a bag.  They suggested that I take it out to my car…  I was dropped off at the airport, i.e. no car.  They suggested I call someone…  It had been 20 minutes since I was dropped off and there was no one close I could call.

As I’m standing there in my stocking feet, my computer, computer case, shoes and coat already down the conveyor belt, a possible solution came to me.  I retrieved all my  things and got out of line.  (Fortunately there was only one person behind me and he seemed to be more amused than upset.)  I went back out of the security check area and went over to the car rental counters.  I picked the one with no one waiting, Hertz, and asked the attendant, “Do you have a Lost & Found box?”  lostandfoundShe was very helpful and said yes as she started to walk and get it when I explained, “I didn’t lose anything.  (yet)  I want to put something in it!”  I explained that even if I ended up not being able to claim it from their lost & found, there was at least a chance that I could get it back.  With TSA, it was going to be a 100% certainty that it was gone.  She was extremely nice, let me put a note on it and put in in the lost & found for me.  On my return trip, I retrieved it.

Okay, this may not be a great tip and it may have limited applications, but I thought it was worth passing along.  It would never work in one of the larger airports at the point that I discovered my error, but it worked for me this time!

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