Thursday, June 11, 2009

Knitting at 30,000 feet

So, we ordered the tickets and the DH and I are off to Indiana later in July to see his mother. Now begins the worry, fret, and research about knitting on the plane. What can I take on? What is verboten? What does it say I can take on the plane on the TSA website but might actually be confiscated at the airport because the gods only know une dame d'un certain age with knitting implements fits every profile of a terrorist, right? Besides making sure that I only have 4 oz of liquid or less, all tidy in a ziplock baggie (because only terrorists carry large amounts of shampoo and neglect to put it in a ziplock baggie, I guess), can I take my knitting without having it taken away from me? If it came to turning around and driving back home or handing over a half-finished Malabrigo sock, which would I choose? Um... how much time do I have to think that over?

According to TSA:

Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage. However, there is a possibility that the needles can be perceived as a possible weapon by one of our Security Officers. Our Security Officers have the authority to determine if an item could be used as a weapon and may not allow said item to pass through security. We recommend the following when bringing knitting needles on an airplane:

  • Circular knitting needles are recommended to be less than 31 inches in total length
  • We recommend that the needles be made of bamboo or plastic (Not Metal)
  • Scissors must have blunt points
  • 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 check point.

I actually did get metal straight needles through security when we flew out two years ago, though they raised eyebrows considerably when they showed up on X-ray. I don't think I'll try that again. I'll stick with circulars, which I have carried on a plane before, not only because they're less scary when they show up on X-ray, but because a small project on circulars can fit in a pocket. I always pull them out enough that the inspectors can see them when I put everything in those gray trays at Security.

I guess I should take the self-addressed mailer, too, which means I'll have to weigh my knitting and pre-stamp the envelope because I don't recall seeing post offices in any airports I've been in. I don't recall any mail drops, either, so I don't know what it is you're supposed to do with your pre-addressed package if it comes to that.

As if that wasn't enough to fret about, how about those new TSA scanners that do an electronic strip search? Great... if they have to pull you aside, you get a choice of the scanner or a TSA employee patting you down. Electronic strip-search or a real-life groping.

Yeah, I want my booty out there for everyone to see:

Here's an idea, airline officials. Why don't you just go the whole way? Check all baggage, issue sedatives and jammies, and stack all of your passengers in bunks to sleep away the entire flight. No worries then about crazed passengers, and just think of all the money you'd save on free drinks!


Katie said...

Seen The Fifth Element recently? ;P

Anonymous said...

t over the last few years with knitting and never ever had a problem with it. Even small scissors - no problem at all.

I do agree that security is just ridiculous now and way over the top. I mean, when they ask me to take off my flip flops to walk through security I just don't see the point.

WorstedKnitt said...

I love it how they've actually spelled out what kind of knitting needles are allowed! How funny and cool is that :)


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