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flying with sharp objects

Feb 28, 1999
My wife and I travel a lot. What are the FAA regulations regarding carrying blades? A coworker recently had a dinky little pocket knive temporarily confiscated. He was wanded and patted down as if he was in the joint. After taking it up with a supervisor the knife was returned but not without hassle. Can something say the size of a BM 705 be carried on legally or does it have to be checked? Where can the regulations be had?


The FAA says 4 inches, with a not menacing clause. However the problem is that airport security is not run by the FAA. The airline that has the largest amount of space at the airport is responsible for contracting private security and they can set their own rules. Some have complained that when they asked to see the rules they where told they were secret (I question this, as I don't see how something that could get you arrested can be secret). So you have the possiblity of less than well trained people basicly making the rules up as they go.

As to the FAA regs you can look on the FAA website.


[This message has been edited by Jason Kitta (edited 31 March 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Jason Kitta (edited 31 March 1999).]
I was recently sent back to the ticket counter to check my AFCK mini (not the big one)(I've carried this AFCK mini knife openly through airport security a hundred times) at the Airport in Kansas City, MO. The agent agreed that it was less than four inches, but said the combo blade as menacing. This is the first time this has happened in years, literally at least a hundred passes through airport security. It's useless to argue. The agent has the final say. If he thinks its menacing, then it is.

I dated a woman for a while who was a law enforcement agent (plain cloths). We went to the airport to pick up a mutual friend. The lady locked her pistol and other gear in the trunk before we went in. We passed uneventfully through the security check. We reached the gate and found the flight delayed an hour. "So," I said, "Let's go sit in the bar and have a drink while we wait."

"Go ahead," she said, "But I have some other business to take care of." She opened her purse and I looked in and she had forgotten to take a large Glock out of her purse, which had passed unnoticed through the x-ray check. There was also some handcuffs, etc. It should have really looked interresting on x-ray.

She summoned some manager person and I suspect that someone lost their job over that.

Anyway, I have a friend who carries a large folder (over four inches). His trick to get through security is to take a stack (say ten or fifteen) one dollar bills and fold them over. Then, fold a nice C-note (better yet two fixed so that you can see 'em both) over that. Slide that wad into the pocket clip, and drop it in the change tray along with your Rolex (or at least a nice fake). He says the guards gingerly take the tray between one finger and their thumb, keep their other hand well away, and carefully and quickly hand it back him. Apparently, they are responsible for anything that disappears out of that change tray, so they won't even touch a big wad of cash lest it come of a bit short.

My advice is first, no combo edges. Second, bury the knife in your carry-on. I'm told that putting it in your shaving kit works well. Apparently the guards are usually reluctant to go rummaging through a stranger's toiletries.


Oh, one more interresting airport security tale: Because my right foot has some problems, I wear special shoes with steel shanks and metal heel cups. So, I always take my shoes off at the security point and put them through the x-ray machine while I walk through the metal detector. Recently, as I approached the check point here at PDX, and started to take my shoes off, the guard said, "You don't have to take your shoes off." I explained my situation and he said, "A lot of people have steel shanks or steel toes or metal eyelets or buckles on their shoes, so our new detectors don't detect for about a foot above the floor.

He was right. I can now walk right through PDX's detectors without taking off my rather metal shoes. On the other hand, I do have to take off my watch, belt, and even my simple cross neckless. I've seen women taking off little stud earings and people being wanded for the rivits on their jeans. But my shoes go right through as long as I short of shuffle.

How convient. Next time, ankle holster!

Seriously, though, you might get away with slipping your folder into your shoe. However, if they find it, it's going to be hard to explain.

[This message has been edited by Gollnick (edited 31 March 1999).]
Just from Boston to LAX and back with no problem carrying the Native - no serrations. Checked the Pinnacle though in my luggage... I also carried a SAS envelope in case I got any grief and had to send my knife back home.

Jack -- There have been a couple of similar threads since Jan that contain a number of other tips & member experiences. You might want to try some keyword searches.

For my part, I've flown for years & never had a problem with a Tekna Hidden Edge. Recently I've flown with a Spyderco Cricket, fully-serrated, as a money clip without any problems.