I'm a pretty seasoned traveler and have been through many security checkpoints. I am also deathly afraid of the TSA. I have a recurring nightmare the TSA agents will find a 3.5 oz container of liquid in my bags and send me to Guantanamo Bay Prison. Every time I pack, I empty all items out of my backpack and make sure all pointy objects are left at home where they belong.
This last trip was no different. Before I left, I checked all nooks and crannies in my backpack. Finding nothing, I headed to the airport with bags in tow. After removing my belt, shoes, keys, 2 laptops and other assorted bits, I walk through the metal detector. No Problem.
As I wait for my baggage to clear the X-Ray, my nightmares become real. "Sir, you can not carry this Knife on board!" said the TSA agent...
He held my Gerber Multi-Tool in his hand, which apart from a bottle opener and needle nosed pliers, also has a 2" knife blade. I must have hooked the sheath to the outside of my backpack at some point and didn't even notice. "Oooohhhhhhffffff", I said, having nothing more intelligent to say before the imminent firing squad. I looked at the TSA agent knowing I was in big trouble.
Fortunately, this must have happened before. The friendly TSA agent calmly gave me my options and we chose to walk to the unsecured area of the airport to the cleverly located mailing facility used to mail prohibited items back home. $9.99 later, I was Gerber tool free and back in the security line. I was at my gate with plenty of time to spare.
This blog post is dedicated to those men and women who keep us safe in the friendly skies, and who also are patient with the (occasionally forgetful) flying public.