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Airport Security Issues

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  • Airport Security Issues

    Are there any items that would make it a hassle getting through airport security? (yeah yeah...I'm talking about common stuff[not nukes, male tampons, hand grenades, crotchless-pink-bunny-suits, or any of the sort you smartasses :)]) Can I expect to be hassled for bringing certain items as carry on? (such as wi-fi gear [various antennas, gps, etc.]) I pack light, and can fit all of my gear in a big duffel bag(which qualifies for carry on). Now I'm considering taking a backpack for minimal hassle. Has anyone had bad experiences, or found themselves giving lengthy explanations as to their intentions?

  • #2
    I couldn't speak to many truly difficult items, though I can say that I brought a flask full of Jim Beam onto the plane which they found while searching my bags. Thankfully, the guy only smirked and told me "of course, you know you can't drink this on the plane" and I responded "I wouldn't think of it, sir."

    The reason they searched my bags, however, is that I'd switched my flight day-of. This shows up on their magic computer screens as having made the reservation that day. This gets you an "S" on your boarding pass, which stands for "Security Risk." This means that there's pretty much nothing they don't do to you short of putting on the rubber gloves. They X-rayed all of my luggage (included stowed) and then searched my person at the gate. Though oddly, they didn't make me start my laptop up to prove it wasn't a brick of plastique or something.

    So if you're thinking of extending your stay, be sure and plan a little bit ahead.


    • #3
      It probably will depend on what airport you fly from... I work at a regional airport (yet cause we have US Customs, we are an international airport) for one of the airlines. I deal with the TSA regularly, and most dont hassle people much... They usually want laptops, PDA's and cell phones turned on. Thats about the most hassle about electronics that i see.

      But, with routers, and other gear, I honestly dont know. I doubt they would make a big fuss about it (they might want a quick explanation. At my home airport, most times they wont even ask for a laptop to be turned on after it has gone through the xray machine. A few times if they think they see something suspicious, they have.

      The best way to handle security? Be patient... Yes i know it is a hard thing to do, but be patient... Also, BE EARLY... There is nothing i hate more than dealing with a passenger that is running late... pure stupidity (yes, there are some good excuses, but not many). Be at larger airports at least 2 hours prior to departure...Be at the departure gate at least 45 minutes prior to departure...(the rules for my employer state that we have the right to deny boarding to any passenger that is not present at the departure gate 15minutes prior to departure...just a tidbit)

      1. Be patient
      2. Make sure everything is accessable for security (if necessary)
      (checked bags should not be locked, if they need to look in it, they will break the lock...)
      3. Be early for your flight, this will make being patient easier..
      4. Whatever you do, dont go yelling "bomb, bomb, bomb...Bomb, bomb, B-Bomb..."

      ----MORE INFO-----
      At the airport i work at (and all airports should be), ALL items, even checked luggage is run through an x-ray machine... If you have film (and probably magnetic disks), it CANNOT be checked, because the x-ray is stronger in that machine, it must be carried on..
      As for "selectee" status, most boarding cards have an S or SS or something on it. There are criteria, like changing departure date, etc. that will make you a selectee... (wanna more, ask me at defcon...)

      Last edited by DocChaos; July 22, 2003, 10:40.


      • #4
        And if you are carrying CF or SmartMedia cards, you are bets off getting them x-rayed as opposed to wearing them through the metal detetor.


        • #5
          I made this off on the Netstumbler forums -


          $5 to the first person who can provide a pic of themselves on a flight with a pringles can antenna (must show collector, not just the outside of the can) that they managed to get past security and onto the plane.

          $10 if you manage to get something like a Vagi onboard for the pic.

          This is just for fun, don't blame me if you get yourself arrested. I would'nt encourage trying this unless you like people with rubber gloves standing behind you in security.
          Never drink anything larger than your head!


          • #6
            I carry on my wireless gear all the time, including a cheapie Pacwireless mobile antenna. I keep everything in a small bag with all the other laptop gear like cat5/modem coord/dc power supply/gps cables/gps. I've x-rayed it and it just looks like a jumble of cables, nothing stands out particularly. However, I do send my homebrew 12 dbi collinear through checked luggage because of its size and appearance, which is a long pvc pipe with endcaps.


            • #7
              You can probably bring a can of Pringles on and assemble it right on the plane. I hope no one is sitting next to you, and leave your shoes on.


              • #8
                Just some friendly advice: if you plan on rectally smuggling Aspirina make sure to take it out of the foil wrapper before inserting it into the condom.
                45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
                45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
                [ redacted ]


                • #9
                  last year we had a bitch of a time getting out of vegas thanks to security at the airport.

                  it didn't help that we all had bought SGI granite keyboards in the dealer room at defcon and the magnetically shielded keyboards looked real suspicious on the x-ray.
                  "Those who would willingly trade essential liberty for temporary security are deserving of neither." --Benjamin Franklin


                  • #10
                    That's odd... I had a sparcstation in my checked luggage last year, as well as a few optical drives, and I didn't have a problem at all.
                    the fresh princess of 1338

                    What did I do to make you think I give a shit?


                    • #11
                      i travel with a shit load of electronic gear every time i fly. i have yet to be hastled when i went through security. have yur laptop out, or packed easily accessible cuz they will want to x-ray it OUT OF any case. if its at the bottom of a bag, it will be a small hastle. the only time i ever had a problem, they saw a lot of electronics and sent me over to the explosive chemicals detection machine. a painless 2 minute process where they rub a piece of cloth on the bag and put it in a machine to see if any suspicious chemicals are present. i was so intrigued by the machine (and asking questions) that it didnt feel like a hastle at all. ive never been asked to turn anything on, explain what something is, or been detained at all. i wouldnt worry much about it. you could bring a cray through security easier than a pair of thick heeled boots....
                      the fresh prince of 1337

                      To learn how to hack; submit your request


                      • #12
                        Just don't take an omelet pan in carry-on.
                        Don't hurt me daddy!


                        • #13
                          One day I'll carry a firearm through TSA security and when they say I can't do that I'll point to Kelvin and say, "You let HIM through!"


                          • #14
                            I carried a bundle of electronic gear onboard last year..
                            the list goes..
                            Digital Camera, 3 sets AA batteries, charger, laptop, 2 memory cards, usb memory stick, laptop charger, external cdrom and floppy, network cable, 4 port hub, blank cdrs, floppies, wireless card, memory card reader, cellphone all in a backpack and a camera bag.

                            I went thru security no problem, my bag however didnt fit thru the xray machine, the operator was offended when I offered to make it fit.. he instead backed the convayor belt up, and rammed my laptop 3 times into the machine until it forcefully went thru at approx 10mph..

                            This was in San Antonio. Las Vegas on the return didnt care about anything. However they require your laptop be removed from its case.

                            2 other people were stopped in San Antonio, which apparently flags your ticket.. and they were stopped once again in Vegas when they returned.. Why? I have no idea, maybe it was the purple hair and elvis glasses that did it..


                            • #15
                              This is why I love living in Vegas. No flying to Defcon. For business I tried flying a barcode printer once... they didn't like that at all.
                              "The only thing that I am reasonably sure of is that anybody who's got an ideology has stopped thinking." -- Arthur Miller