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#246269 - 05/24/12 02:35 PM Blast match + airport security = sadness
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2921
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Sadness: I lost my blast match to airport security on the weekend, and I don't understand why.

It was allowed in my carry-on at a big airport but flagged at a regional airport. They claimed a new protocol has just been issued by CATSA.

Personally, I don't see how a blast match is more dangerous than a Bic lighter (which is allowed in carry-on). Perhaps I'm missing something?

I got it second-hand (unused) for $5, so it's not a big deal. (Except that I didn't get to play with it.)

To be clear, I'm not beating up on the airport security folks, even though I'm grumpy and I think they were wrong. They were very polite and suggested multiple alternatives to giving up the item. (Also, I did that thankless job for a summer 20+ years ago; believe me, some air travellers are total jerks.)

Anyway, heads-up.

#246270 - 05/24/12 04:29 PM Re: Blast match + airport security = sadness [Re: dougwalkabout]
ViamFec Offline

Registered: 04/07/12
Posts: 14
Loc: USA
Interesting - I've been told on many occasions that firesteels have been passed through TSA naked body scanners, TSA gropings, and questions.

They have been cleared by the public servants at FBI (I know, because I did the work on that).

This is the danger of the power they have given themselves over us - scope creep. Over time they slowly gain more power over what you are "allowed"


#246276 - 05/24/12 09:30 PM Re: Blast match + airport security = sadness [Re: ViamFec]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2221
Loc: Colorado
The TSA appears to be headed by <SNIPPED by Blast>

I understand your anger, but this isn't the place for such a rant.
-Blast, hatchet man

Edited by Blast (05/25/12 04:35 AM)
Edit Reason: excessive rantiness and racism

#246279 - 05/24/12 11:40 PM Re: Blast match + airport security = sadness [Re: dougwalkabout]
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Thanks for the heads up. I keep an Exotac firesteel on my keychain. I'll make sure its stays home when I travel. Its absurd that lighters are acceptable but not a blastmatch?

Oh, and if you embarrass easily, don't request the patdown. whistle

#246281 - 05/25/12 01:10 AM Re: Blast match + airport security = sadness [Re: dougwalkabout]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2137
Loc: NE Wisconsin
I don't even bring my little Boy Scout Hotspark ferro rod - and especially not its striker. Just not worth raising the issue. For me that stuff is best checked in my luggage to avoid any issues.

It would be nice if we didn't have these issues, but when I travel I want things at security checkpoints to be as simple and uncomplicated as possible.

#246286 - 05/25/12 01:02 PM Re: Blast match + airport security = sadness [Re: dougwalkabout]
gonewiththewind Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
I have carried the Blast match and a Sparkie several times in the last few months and no questions at all, even with a hand search.

#246288 - 05/25/12 03:43 PM Re: Blast match + airport security = sadness [Re: dougwalkabout]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
You can always ask to speak to a supervisor and have them show you the regulations. Even go so far as to have them show you how it's dangerous.

The few times I've dealt w/ TSA they've been relatively professional. Latest 'oops' was when I brought my pocket knife through the screening - I'd been going crazy trying to find it and throw it into my checked bag. Well, they found it for me. Walked me back out in to the ticket counter area so I could mail it to myself. Of course, I had to re-screen, but it wasn't any sort of Gestapo-type of experience.

#246291 - 05/25/12 04:25 PM Re: Blast match + airport security = sadness [Re: dougwalkabout]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2921
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I could have made more of a fuss, or mailed it, but it wasn't worth it for a $5 item. (I also violated my general carry-on rule -- don't pack anything you're not willing to part with.)

The more I think of it, the more it seems like human error. It might be that the separate striker used for other ferro rods is the issue, and they simply misunderstood the directive.

BTW, this happened on the Canadian side of the line (CATSA, not TSA). However, I thought it would be of general interest since our reg's are more-or-less harmonized with the U.S.

#246299 - 05/25/12 07:28 PM Re: Blast match + airport security = sadness [Re: dougwalkabout]
frediver Offline

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 213
Loc: N.Cal.
Anytime something is confiscated and you are in doubt of the regulation why not just demand a receipt, time, date, etc.
When you get home check the regs, if TSA was Wrong
send a copy of the receipt and demand recourse/reimbursement?

#246300 - 05/25/12 09:12 PM Re: Blast match + airport security = sadness [Re: dougwalkabout]
Andy Offline

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 378
Loc: SE PA
Many times it's just the way an individual officer inteperets the fules. Just recently I had my ResQMe tool confiscated by a member of the US Capitol Police (USCP). I had carried that on my keychain for five years and been in and out of Senate office buildings and the Capitol dozens of times without a second glance by the USCP folks. This one didn't like it. I didn't have time to search out a post office to mail it back to myself. I did have to do that a few weeks later when I forgot to take my knife out of my pocket. Luckily I had time to find a PO and mail it back.

I'm taking some maesure of revenge on the TSA as I just purchased at a TSA auction a lot of 10 pounds of mini SAKs. Looking for buyers...
In a crisis one does not rise to one's level of expectations but rather falls to one's level of training.

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