Meetup with Jonathan

Eric Rorabaugh

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@JonathanH was coming through here yesterday for work so we made plans to meet. It was great to meet him and his colleague. Had a good meal, talked a little and he went home (hopefully) with a suitcase full of wood. The reason I say maybe...a suitcase full of wood going through airport security. Hopefully they didn't pull him out and do a body cavity search too 🤣

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JonathanH

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Hi Eric! Great to meet you as well. We really enjoyed the meal & conversation! Thank you for the wood and all the extras! Really appreciated!

Made it thru the airport, sorta. The "wood suitcase" weighed about 80 lbs. Repacked into the "clothes suitcase" down to 65. Then the airline shared a roll of tape so that I could tape two boards together to carry on and that got the weight down to the 50lb. limit for checked bags. $100 overweight charge avoided and happy to have found a workable solution. All well, right?

Nope! We had a TSA supervisor who declared these 2 hand-carried boards a blunt weapon and would not allow. Too heavy she said. I asked what the weight limit for wood is to not be considered a blunt weapon? She couldn't answer this. I've been searching as I wait for the plane and can find no answer. Apparently this young lady felt the need to make a statement this evening and exercise her almighty authority over a mere mortal. I had to leave 2 beautiful boards at the TSA area.

Searching the TSA rules, wood is allowed. I haven't been able to find a definition of what turns wood, or any object into a "blunt weapon" and at what weight is the tipping point that defines that change. I've carried wood thru multiple airports with bags opened and inspected by TSA agents. Always been passed right thru after a quick inspection of the wood.

Having been thru most of the major airports in the USA, some many times, it seems that the rules vary by airport and by agent. Consistency in security checks is a dreamy ideal that is far from today's reality. Defined rules that are applied consistently would be a good metric to strive to.

On the brighter side,.....she was happy to confiscate the boards and stopped short of the body cavity search, so all is well that ends well. :yipee:
 

JonathanH

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How big were the boards?
About 6" & 8" wide x 24" long. Well wrapped with tape. Bulky and not really swingable. :notme-11:

They happened to be the 2 nicest boards that Eric carefully selected. Sorry about that Eric. I'll put more thought into the transportation strategy if we ever do this again.
 

Mr. Peet

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About 6" & 8" wide x 24" long. Well wrapped with tape. Bulky and not really swingable. :notme-11:

They happened to be the 2 nicest boards that Eric carefully selected. Sorry about that Eric. I'll put more thought into the transportation strategy if we ever do this again.
Send the airline a bill for the confiscated items. I would have photographed the TSA agent and her name tag as well.
 

DLJeffs

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"... it seems that the rules vary by airport and by agent. Consistency in security checks is a dreamy ideal that is far from today's reality. Defined rules that are applied consistently would be a good metric to strive to."

That's been my experience ever since TSA was brought into being. It often depends on the particular agent you come into contact with. I was carrying a fly rod thru Frankfurt one time on my to South Africa and the agent said I couldn't take it. It was a 4 piece rod, not in a tube, so maybe 30 inches long. Time was short, I went to the Luftwansa desk and the lady says "Don't tell them I said this but just go to a different line." Sure enough, went back to a different line, making sure the agent I had earlier wasn't there, and passed right through. If they trust their rules to effectively prevent weapons being brought on board, I agree they should be applied consistently. On the other hand, if you're providing security, the absolute last thing you want to become is predictable. So I can sort of understand. The other thing not to do is get into a pissing match with the agent - that's one you'll never win and most likely make things much worse. Same goes for game wardens.
 
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JonathanH

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[The other thing not to do is get into a pissing match with the agent - that's one you'll never win and most likely make things much worse. Same goes for game wardens.
We were at that point. There is a fine line between getting your point across and not getting pulled to the side for "safety checks" and flagged for harassment by the TSA agents for the rest of your life. Traveling weekly for work that would be a major hindrance.
 
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