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Small Screwdriver For Concertinas Allowed On Us Flights?


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Through the years I remember having one or two small screwdrivers confiscated at security checks in airports. I think those airports were probably in Europe or Asia. From what I could find on the internet, screwdrivers smaller than 7 inches are allowed in the US. Did anyone have issue with such a small screwdriver when flying in the US? I am flying to the US on Wednesday with ONLY a carry on luggage, plus my concertina, so I'd hate to lose my screwdriver!

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In a pinch, I suppose you could just order a screwdriver from the flight attendant. :D

 

Anyway... I don't think I've ever taken tools like that in my carry-on, so I can't help you on the "personal experience" front.

 

But you're correct that the "official" rule is that screwdrivers that are 7 inches or shorter are allowed. However, since the TSA employees may or may not be familiar with the rule, I would recommend printing out documentation and keeping it with you. If they try to disallow it, you can politely and respectfully show the print-out to them.

 

Here's a section of the TSA's own website that mentions it: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items#7

 

And here's a link to a pdf of the TSA-published brochure on the matter: http://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/assets/prohibiteditems_brochure.pdf

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Some months ago, having checked in, I realised, that I had packed a 6" vernier gauge in my hand baggage by mistake. I had the choice either to tell them about it, and have it confiscated, or just try and see what would happen. Putting my bag through the x ray machine, nobody said anything and I was able to take my vernier, with it's sharp internal measuring points, on the plane. Two years ago my wife found one of my long screwdrivers in her hand baggage on arrival - again it had gone through the machine without comment. Either non-cutting tools are deemed ok (or perhaps no more dangerous than duty-free bottles!) or the x-ray machines are not as good as we think they are!

Adrian

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I wouldn't take chances. Over the years I had to dispose of Allen wrenches, nail files and even sewing needles. Other times I got away with things I certainly wouldn't like to have certain suspiciously looking co travellers carrying on board. I guess security personell have some room for play by ear (pun intended), so if one has had a bad day or there had been an incident shortly before, there may be more stringent application rules than at other times.

 

And no, I wouldn't try to insist on written rules. I once tried that and was politely informed that I always have the option to back off the flight... I contemplated raising a complaint, but then I thought "hey, I feel much more comfortable with those folks checking as diligently with everybody as with someone waving through a machine gun." So I happily threw away the screwdriver or whatever it was.

Edited by Ruediger R. Asche
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Some months ago, having checked in, I realised, that I had packed a 6" vernier gauge in my hand baggage by mistake. I had the choice either to tell them about it, and have it confiscated, or just try and see what would happen. Putting my bag through the x ray machine, nobody said anything and I was able to take my vernier, with it's sharp internal measuring points, on the plane. Two years ago my wife found one of my long screwdrivers in her hand baggage on arrival - again it had gone through the machine without comment. Either non-cutting tools are deemed ok (or perhaps no more dangerous than duty-free bottles!) or the x-ray machines are not as good as we think they are!

 

I think a much more likely explanation is that sometimes the checkers are careless, tired, or otherwise inattentive. I've had things go through (that I had carelessly forgotten where I had put them) which definitely shouldn't have, including once a half full bottle of Coke. That should have been hard to miss!

 

Then there was that one trip from Copenhagen to Glasgow and back, changing airlines in Stansted going both ways, where my small concertina tool kit (more than just a screwdriver, but always kept tucked in the same little corner, and so out of my thoughts) was unremarked by outbound security in both Copenhagen and Stansted and also in Glasgow on the return, but returning through Stansted it was noticed and I was told that I couldn't take it on board. I was very lucky, because the guard was friendly, suggested I could post it home, allowed me to go out into the commercial area to buy an envelope and stamps, and then personally conveyed it to a post box for me. Believe me, I'm not going to count on being so lucky in the future.

 

I think the biggest mistake you can make is to assume that you and your luggage will receive the same treatment every time. I wouldn't be surprised at different results from the same agent at different times, much less from different agents, much much less from agents in different airports, even in the same country.

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I brought 2 small Weha screwdrivers back through Cologne- Bonn airport last month without the slightest problem. However the half a kilo of Delice de Bourgogne soft cheese was very definitely a major problem . That is until I split the packet with my Daughter. Problem solved. There is nothing in this World that has a contorted mind like that of the man on the X - Ray machine

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Thanks guys, I definitely won't risk losing my screwdriver. At one point I'll buy a few of these mini screwdrivers that cost around $5, so losing one wouldn't matter much. I'll be in Vegas for a couple of days, so maybe I won't need a screwdriver...

 

"My Dipper concertina on 17 red please"

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I'll be in Vegas for a couple of days...

 

"My Dipper concertina on 17 red please"

 

If you won, you might "break the bank" - unless they've got a safe-full of Dipper Anglos... :unsure:

 

And try to explain 36 concertinas to the man on the X-Ray machine! :huh:

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