It Was Bound to Happen.
I know, I know. I've left you with expectations of sewing projects and pattern information. But I have to get one nasty bit out of the way and wallow a while before I do. After many, many, many trips on airplanes with knitting projects. It's happened. I left Mexico down a pair of Sigs (Let's please take a moment of silence for the fallen). I suppose I let my guard down after the whole Heathrow needle smuggling success. Frankly, I was caught completely by surprise. And, after waiting in line to have my bag searched behind a woman who clearly has never flown and is unable to read (two, gallon sized bags of liquids in your carry-on? TWO. Gallon Sized. Really?), the look I shot the woman who relayed the devastating blow probably only further convinced her I was not to be permitted to fly with sharp objects. 1,2,3....3,2,1....I'm not mad at anyone... Except I was; freaking steamed, actually.
Let's take a look, shall we, at Cozumel's restricted items list. You'll note the vagueness. Surely, I'm not going to try to argue or convince you that knitting needles can't be classified as "Sharp or Pointed Instruments". It's a catch-all, an item left to the discretion of the attendant. I mean, HELLO, the item immediately following "sharp instruments" is "blunt instruments". Could you be any less descriptive? I could package most anything into one of those categories.
I had zero leverage. After a several minute stare down, I had to choose. Check the bag or toss the needles. I weighed the cost of replacement vs. luggage fees, and I did what I had to do.
Now... you might be feeling sorry for this poor woman, who was only doing her job and looking out for safety, etc... Let me tell you what she DID let me travel with. To start. Scissors. Really sharp, exacto brand scissors, to be precise. One of the only items specifically printed on the Prohibited Items list*. Oh, and, wait for it... the second set of Signature needles that were hanging out at the bottom of my bag on my back-up project. Seriously.
So, it could have been worse. I could be down two sets of circulars. I could have had to fly without anything to knit (THANK HEAVEN FOR BACK-UP PROJECTS!). I probably should have been forced to leave my scissors behind. Yada, yada. None of these optimistic, glass half-full thoughts make me any less upset about the loss. In the future, I will resort back to my 007/Mission Impossible mannerisms. And, I heed you, travelers beware!!! .
* These scissors 100% comply with the TSA prohibited items list in effect at O'Hare.
I have had the exact same thing happen to me when flying out of Cancun. I was trying to explain that the pens I was carrying had sharper tips than my knitting needles. I was really taken aback for having the needles confiscated. I, too, felt like I was a seasoned traveller and was very surprised and upset. I didn't have a back up project, but they were Knit Picks needles, so I didn't lose out too much in the end. I'm so sorry this happened to your Sigs!!!! :( I'm soo sorry. I wish I could have warned you earlier.
What a tragedy! I've never had a problem leaving the US with scissors and the like, but I have had items taken when flying back to the US, in international airports.
3/6/2013 03:13:51 am
Fudgy Ducks! a pair of sigs?!? how much was bag check? sweet fancy Moses! so sorry. :( THANKS for the warning.
3/6/2013 03:49:39 am
I was going to take my knitting needles on my flight, may revise that plan! I cannot believe it!
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