Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Mother May I?

In line with the next posting, someone reminded me that everyone's favorite traffic cops, the TSA, have an official list (PDF) of what is and isn't allowed on airplanes. So the next time one of their drones insists that your nail clippers are taboo (they aren't), you will have the ammunition (pardon the term) to fire back.

In the meantime, here is a bit of a parody on their Travel Tips for travelers:

Before the Airport
  • Do NOT pack or bring prohibited items to the airport. In fact, leave all your belongings at home. Arriving naked will make your check-in much faster.
    • Place valuables such as jewelry, cash, laptop computers, and cash in carry-on baggage only. It's easier for us to get to that way.
  • Avoid wearing shoes, clothing, jewelry, and accessories. We will just make you take them off.
  • Do not pack wrapped gifts and do not bring wrapped gifts to the checkpoint. Wrap on arrival or ship your gifts prior to your departure. TSA may have to unwrap packages for security reasons. Or because we just love opening presents.
  • Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. Otherwise we can't ensure it will be completely exposed by our X-Ray machines.
  • Declare firearms & ammunition to your airline and place it in your checked baggage. This tells the baggage handlers which pieces to lose.
  • If you wish to lock your baggage, use a TSA recognized lock. Otherwise you might actually prevent someone from opening your belongings.
  • Do not bring prohibited lighters and matches to the airport. Smoking your sneakers is discouraged.

At the Airport

Keep available your airline boarding pass and government-issued photo ID for each adult traveler until you exit the security checkpoint. This will help screen terrorists.

  • Place the following items IN your carry-on baggage prior to entering the screening checkpoint:
    • Mobile phones
    • Keys
    • Loose change
    • Money clips
    • PDA's
    • Lighters
    • Large amounts of jewelry
    • Metal hair decorations
    • Large belt buckles
    • False teeth, bridgework
    • Orthopedic appliances
    • Detonators
    • Timers
  • Take your laptop and video cameras with cassettes OUT of their cases But your GPS, boombox, iPod, two-way radio, and huge 48-Megapixel camera can be left in your case, since we just ignore them anyway.
  • Take OFF your outer coat, suit coat, jacket, or blazer. This makes it easier and faster to conduct any necessary groping.


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