/ What can't you take on a plane?

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Andy Say - on 08 Jun 2017
At the last NW area BMC meeting there was discussion about climbing stuff that had not been allowed in cabin bags. I know of one person who couldn't bring a rope back from Spain ( I've been dumb enough to leave a gas cylinder in a hold bag but that's different).
What have YOU been told you can't take on in hand luggage?
1
Dave Garnett - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

I've heard snakes are frowned on.

I was forced to book a slackline as extra baggage at huge expense (Ryanair) on a flight back from Carcassonne, after taking it out without any comment. To be fair to Ryanair, this was down to a stroppy French security guy who pointed out that it could be used to beat someone unconscious and then tie them up.
bedspring on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Dave Garnett:

But they could have bought a bottle of Gin, beat them unconcious with that, tipped the Gin over them and set them on fire, then smashed the bottle and slashed their throat. Hmm, now lets think a moment why you can take Gin on a Plane but not a Slack line. Go on its a starter for 10.
1
IPPurewater on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

Metal work, rope, slings and even had a plastic whistle confiscated once ! Only the pilot is allowed to have a whistle !
marsbar - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

I forgot to remove the scissors from my first aid kit to my checked baggage.
bedspring on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

Oh and to answer your question. This is my favourite hill food, in the Universe https://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=252757041 I facebooked Heathrow and security said I could definietely take it. I printed this out and subsequently have flown from Haethrow and Manchester several times carrying it. At Liverpool it was confiscated.

The default is, if confused, refuse. We need an A4 sheet of pictures of climbing gear that the BMC have confirmed with IATA, to show to poorly trained security at Airports.
1
richlan - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to bedspring:

Butter will get confiscated, cheese will not, go figure......
yorkshireman - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

It's pretty crazy and random and I guess depends on who you get at security.

We came back from South Africa yesterday and transferred in Frankfurt. As we were going through security in the Schengen sector to get our onward flight to Lyon they pulled my wife's bag aside as the explosive residue check flagged something. Obviously we didn't have bombs so it was a false positive, but they found a Swiss army knife in there that we'd forgotten about and had passed through JoBurg checks with unchallenged.

They still let us carry on with it though which seems pretty crazy especially when you're not allowed to take through a litre of mineral water - but I guess they use their discretion. Something similar happened at Geneva security years back and we were allowed to continue there too.
planetmarshall on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

https://www.instagram.com/tsa/

My favourites have to be the mock explosive charges, the harpoon gun, and the scythe.
Dave Garnett - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to yorkshireman:

> It's pretty crazy and random and I guess depends on who you get at security.We came back from South Africa yesterday

We flew back from South Africa and my son had a pool toy in his hand luggage. It consisted of a bomb-shaped projectile about 20cm long, clear plastic containing motion-detecting electronics that caused lights to flash when moved.

It took the security guy about 5 seconds to figure out what it was, throw it around his colleagues laughing and give it back to us with a smile...

Ciro - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to richlan:

I had some soft cheese refused by a very apologetic French girl, on the grounds that her superiors would insist it was in fact a liquid.
plyometrics - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

Great link!
Ciro - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

You're not allowed to carry a small CO2 cannister if it's for inflating a bicycle tire after repairing a puncture at your holiday destination.

The same CO2 cannister is allowed if it's for inflating some sort of safety device you might use at your holiday destination.
Trangia on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to marsbar:

> I forgot to remove the scissors from my first aid kit to my checked baggage.

First aid kit scissors are a favorite for confiscation, get plastic ones or ones with rounded, not pointed, ends.
ads.ukclimbing.com
marsbar - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Trangia:

I think the new replacement ones do have rounded ends. I knew they weren't allowed I just forgot to move them.
Ciro - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

Hiking poles may be refused on the grounds that they are sharp pointy dangerous things, unless you need them to help you walk, at which point they become benign.
Neil Williams - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to bedspring:

> Oh and to answer your question. This is my favourite hill food, in the Universe https://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=252757041 I facebooked Heathrow and security said I could definietely take it. I printed this out and subsequently have flown from Haethrow and Manchester several times carrying it. At Liverpool it was confiscated.The default is, if confused, refuse.

As that contains liquid, Liverpool were right and Heathrow were wrong, FWIW. This is Government-imposed and not a discretionary matter.
Neil Williams - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Ciro:

> Hiking poles may be refused on the grounds that they are sharp pointy dangerous things, unless you need them to help you walk, at which point they become benign.

I've always assumed they would be refused whatever, but a non-sharp walking stick allowed if needed for walking to the plane.
Ciro - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Neil Williams:

Gentleman in front of me in the queue a while back was stopped while carrying them on his rucksack. The chap asked a superior to come down and adjudicate... the boss extended them, handed them back to the gentleman in question and said "you need these to help you walk, don't you?" with a wink.

YMMV. I imagine if said gentleman was a young bearded muslim instead of a middle aged white guy, the conversation might have gone differently.

So I guess if you want to make a quick weekender with your poles, travelling light, it's besat to approach security with a pronounced limp and white skin.
summo on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:
Our 9 year old had a meccano spanner taken off him at New year that he had mistakenly left in his travel bag. Apparently banned in case people try to take the plane apart.
Post edited at 13:34
planetmarshall on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to plyometrics:

> Great link!

I like to post it whenever this subject comes up, because it's worth seeing what some people try to take onto a plane, and maybe getting some perspective on what airport security have to put up with. Maybe then their rules might not seem so draconian.
Neil Williams - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Ciro:

> So I guess if you want to make a quick weekender with your poles, travelling light, it's besat to approach security with a pronounced limp and white skin.

Though perhaps not if booked in an exit row seat.
Doug on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to richlan:

> Butter will get confiscated, cheese will not, go figure......

Last time I flew to the UK I had my bag opened & checked as well as X rayed because of some cheese (apparently looks like plastic explosive to the scanner) and was told it was OK as it was a hard cheese (was Comté from the Jura) but that a soft cheese such as Camembert or Brie would have been confiscated.

Andy Say - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Ciro:

Walking poles are specifically 'banned' according to the list on gov.uk
Andy Say - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

So we've got a rope, a slackline, one person with miscellaneous climbing kit and a load of cheese smugglers.
It keeps cropping up in threads, though. Could it be a problem that is more perceived than real?
Andy Say - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Trangia:

Apparently if the blades are less than 5 cm. they are OK anyway.
FactorXXX - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

B.A. Baracus
Stuart en Écosse - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:
I carried a Swiss army knife and a Laguoile knife (11cm blade) onto an Edinburgh-Paris flight with no trouble whatsoever, though the security guy did advise that I should really put them in the hold luggage for the return flight. Then about a week later some Saudi idiots crashed planes into tall buildings in the US. I haven't tried it since.

Less flippantly, in 2004 (I think) a group of us flew to Venice from Glasgow. One of us had a rope and rack in his hand luggage, no problem. On the way back, he was told to put it in the hold, at significant expense and last-minute running around.
Post edited at 22:19
ads.ukclimbing.com
abseil on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

AK-47
Bazooka
bouldery bits - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

I once took like 8 lighters on a plane as carry on but had my golf ball confiscated - Romanian airport security priorities seem strange.
George Fisher - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

Security found a pair of Secateurs in the bottom of our pushchair. We had been looking for them for 6 months. We can only assume or son had put them in there.
Ridge - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

Despite the xrays, bomb dogs and officious security at San Francisco I managed to fly to Heathrow with locking knife in my hand luggage. (Mrs Ridge had decided to re-pack to cut down the weight of the hold baggage). How they laughed at Heathrow...

Most surreal was at Split in Croatia 18 years ago. We all lined up to go through the metal detectors and Croation security. Then we picked up our pile of weapons and ammunition from the table at the side to board a Czech airforce plane. One lad was found with a large bunch of keys on him though, which could have been dangerous.
Pilo - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

They will let you through with anything on long flights if you play the super friendly game right.
Why are you green and purple? What are these liquids? Alcohol and paint. Never mind. Ketamine and nail clippers, Drugs? Long look of sorrow and indignation. It's my emergency medical kit!
Never mind. Daru bai. Bahut acha hai, Just get on the plane and shut up. Nothing sir.
olddirtydoggy - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

I was stopped for a hose for my platypus on a flight to Tenerife. They made me throw it away.
Ciro - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

> Walking poles are specifically 'banned' according to the list on gov.uk

They're banned under sporting goods, but under personal items "Walking stick/cane, walking aid" is allowed, so it's at the security staff's discretion which to apply.

Neil Williams - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to Ciro:

To me the difference between the two is fairly clear - not least the spiky bit on the end of a mountain walking pole which is what poses some of the threat.
Ciro - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to Neil Williams:

Yes, but we all know the restrictions have very little to do with an actual threat. If it did, shoelaces, belts and b3 boots would all be at least as dangerous as your walking pole (never mind that I assume you can also still buy a large glass bottle in duty free), and the whole binary liquid explosive nonsense would never have been entertained.
Fuchs on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to yorkshireman:

I've taken a Swiss army knife through Edinburgh and Stansted, without any issue. The blade is exactly 6 cm, so I assume manufacturers keep it like that in order to fit the 'no blades over 6 cm' rule (which applies in the US and UK, and probably more countries).
gethin_allen on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

I was stopped from taking a 4 mm allen key on a plane. I was going snowboarding and needed it to adjust my bindings.
A friend was stopped from taking a keyring with a whistle and compass on it, their reason why was that the whistle could be used to alert others on board to start a hijacking. My friend reminded the security guard that there was a whistle attached to the life jacket under every seat.
Andy Prickett - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

The GUV.UK hand luggage restrictions list covers a number of sports activities but not climbing. This means that security staff have to use their own judgement on what to allow and what not to allow on a flight. Given the number of climbers affected this must be a priority for the BMC.
I have recently taken a rope and harness in my hand baggage being prepared to argue that they pose no more risk than a sports parachute, which is included on the list.
A few years ago we tried to get a full rack through hand luggage as we had used up our full hold allowance. It was rejected because of a ring spanner. It all went in the hold at no extra cost fortunately.
paul mitchell - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Cromlech boulders
GrahamD - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Prickett:

> Given the number of climbers affected this must be a priority for the BMC.

Most climbers aren't affected because most are sensible enough to put climbing kit where it should be rather than wind their necks out prior to their holiday. The BMC need to concentrate on looking after places like Alderly
Toerag - on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

I've been through with quickdraws and krabs, yet my mate behind me had to put his in the hold.
Lion Bakes on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

I've had rope, slugs, carabiners refused.

L Ryanfuego - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

It depends on airlines company. Most of regulations which they have are the same but overall all of them have some specific rules.
David Barlow - on 15 Jun 2017
A friend had a jar of Nutella rejected at Geneva airport. I sent her a picture of a huge jar of Nutella available air-side in a shop while she was unpacking her bag...
Neil Williams - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to David Barlow:

> A friend had a jar of Nutella rejected at Geneva airport. I sent her a picture of a huge jar of Nutella available air-side in a shop while she was unpacking her bag...

It isn't of course Nutella that's dangerous, it's binary explosives disguised as Nutella.
Neil Williams - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to Ryanfuego:

It doesn't depend on the airline - they can have rules but they can whistle if they think they can enforce them unless they put their own checks in the boarding area (as El Al used to at Luton, don't know if they still do).

It depends on the airport security provision, which is under the control variously of the airport and Government, not the airline.
Richard Alderton - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

I once had a jar of Branston Pickle confiscated at a Test Match 'in case you use it as a projectile'. The rest of the picnic, including the rather large kitchen knife I'd been using to slice the cheese, survived.
Howard J - on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

This comes up time and again. It should be clear by now that it's not up to the airline but security at the airport. There are some things which are clearly banned, with other things it depends on the local policy and the experience and attitude of the individual security officer. They have wide discretion and anything they consider might be dangerous is a no-no. They take a dim view of any sporting equipment, it's not just climbers that are picked on. What may have been accepted on the flight out may be refused on the way home. Hand luggage is meant to be for things you'll need on the flight itself.

Most of us who travel regularly have stories of odd things being picked out while other things are let through. I once (accidently) took a foot-long kukhri knife onto a flight. I flew home from Nairobi and people were getting on the plane with Masai spears and bows and arrows, but this was in the 70s when things were more relaxed.

I can't see why anyone would deliberately try to get climbing gear into hand luggage. If it's to avoid paying a charge for hold luggage it seems a false economy, when there's every chance you may have to pay a much higher penalty to put it in the hold if security turn you away. The usual allowance of 20kg or 22kg should be plenty, but if not then reduce weight by putting clothes and other innocuous items in hand luggage rather than risk your climbing gear.
bedspring on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to Howard J:



> I can't see why anyone would deliberately try to get climbing gear into hand luggage. If it's to avoid paying a charge for hold luggage it seems a false economy, when there's every chance you may have to pay a much higher penalty to put it in the hold if security turn you away. The usual allowance of 20kg or 22kg should be plenty, but if not then reduce weight by putting clothes and other innocuous items in hand luggage rather than risk your climbing gear.

If its a safety issue, either you can or you cannot take a rope and krabs into the cabin, this should not be at the whim of the person on duty.
I believe if the BMC spoke to IATA or whoever and had a discusion and it was accepted these things are safe, the BMC could inconjunction with IATA produce a print out with pictures ro show at security, if there is an issue. Obviously this would not cover other airports such as in Spain and France, but the BMC could contact their national climbing bodies to do the same.
This would be a good and worthwile task for our national representative body.
On the other hand if it is deemed these items are a danger, I for one would like to know why security quite happily lets so many people get on carrying these items when we are at a Severe Threat level.
ClayClay - on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

I once took a Stihl petrol driven rock drill on a KLM flight to Portland with written permission from KLM. On the return flight it was refused, so my mate Tim had to wait behind with the drill and send it via DHL the next morning, where it went via air back to the UK. Not hand luggage, but even with clearance and permission in writing, the local staff can always overrule and make a right nuisance.

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