Holy cow...

From: Doc Shipley <doc_at_mdrconsult.com>
Date: Sun Aug 8 12:05:36 2004

Joe R. wrote:
> At 12:40 PM 8/6/04 -0700, you wrote:
>>On Fri, 6 Aug 2004, Vassilis Prevelakis wrote:
>>>Well last year I travelled (from the US) to Europe with a suitcase full
>>>of de-commissioned computers (incl. a Sun Ultra 1 which filled most of
>>>the suitcase) and spare parts (about 5-8 year old stuff). Since I
>>>couldn't care less about eproms or other media, I just let it go
>>>through the normal checked luggage check. The suitcase was not locked
>>>(as per guidelines) and I know they opened it (not in my presence, so I
>>>don't really know how much time they spent looking though it), but
>>>nobody said anything to me about it, and the suitcase went through
>>>without any problems.
>>Sending a computer through checked baggage doesn't even elicit an errant
>>>If you are packing clothing with the equipment (as padding or to save
>>>carrying a second suitcase) I would advise you to pack them in
>>>transparent plastic bags, so that the checkers can go through them
>>>without spilling them all over the floor. Also avoid small unpacked
>>>items that can fall off the suitcase during the visual inspection
>>You know when your bag was checked because the TSA puts a form in your bag
>>saying they did.
> I beg to differ. I sat in Kansas City airport two years ago and spent
> abut 3 or 4 hours with the security people and watched as they opened
> numerous bags and I didn't see them put a sticker on ANY of them. Even when
> flying and reclaiming baggage I've never seen one of those stickers.
> OK I may as well tell this story too. I was in KC and went scrounging
> with Gary Hildebrand and found a black Bell and Howell Apple II. I had
> called the airline and changed my departure two days ahead of time. But
> they failed to schedule the new departure so when I got to the airport
> UNSCHEDULED the red flags went up and I was tagged to be inspected
> everywhere that I went. Luckily I arrived at the airport about 6 hours
> early. I had to take EVERYTHING and go down to security and let them
> inspect it (hence the LONG wait). I/they didn't have a problem with
> anything but the Apple II and were going to send me to the maintenance area
> and have them disassemble and inspect the Apple. Sheeshh! I said "Hey wait
> a minute it opens right up" and showed them how to open the top so they
> could look inside it. After that they were happy (until I got to the next
> checkpoint!) I asked why they didn't just X=ray the Apple II and he said
> that they were afraid that it might conceal plastic knives or something
> that wouldn't show up on X-ray. I don't know why it would have mattered
> since I was putting the computer in checked baggage but no one ever said
> that logic or brains were required at TSA.
> Important Lesson: NEVER show up at an airport with a confirmed
> reservation! If you do, you're guaranteed to get the full treatment!

   Or with reservations made in the last 24 hours, or with a return
flight in less than 72 hours but you're checking baggage, or, or, or....

   I travel a lot, mostly within the lower 48, and I almost always end
up coming home with a new toy or two. In the last two years, every time
I've gotten on a plane at least one ofmy checked items has been
searched. I've also lost several small items, the most costly being a
small folder with *all* the receipts for a 2-week expense report. The
most recent was the spare battery pack for my Sony camera.

   Anything that doesn't look like laptop or camera accessories I put in
checked baggage. It makes life easier. :)

   One oddity - printed overhead transparencies look like plastic
explosive under the fleuroscope. My company's [very sensible] policy is
that I carry on everything I need for the first day of class, including
presentation materials. Whenever that includes transparencies I'm 100%
guaranteed to sit for the explosives swab test.

Received on Sun Aug 08 2004 - 12:05:36 BST

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