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Re: Taking inflatable PFDs on airplanes?
The latest TSA guideslines, posted on their web site, now OFFICIALLY state that PFDs with not more than two gas bottles CAN BE TAKEN ON BOARD WITH YOUR CARRYON or sent as checked baggage.
It used to be optional and left to the discretion of the TSA agent at the airport, and the airline. And in theory the agent can still refuse you the right to carry anything on board. But the express statement that they CAN be carried aboard marks an official change form the TSA.
I would suggest going to their web site, look at the list of "Mother May I?" stuff, and take a printed copy with you along with the PFD. Also unscrew the gas bottle, in case the dummy at security tries to pull the string to see what happens.
After one of them pointed my flashlight at his own face and then tried to turn it on, I reminded him that if that he was lucky it really was a flashlight since it had just gone off in his face. I think he pee'd his pants a little when he figured that out.
Hey, for what they get paid? Ignoring the 500 agents they fire for mainly criminal behavior every year, at that salary you ain't gonna hire Q. They're still working on not hiring outright thieves.
But the change in position is official. At last.
And now, you are also allowed to carry an empty butane or other lighter onboard. It must be a lighter, not a torch and not a concentrated flame like a pipe lighter, and it must be empty. You should have heard the "I don't know, is this a lighter or a torch?" discussion I heard between another one of them and his supervisor. Next thing you know, they'll be allowing peanut butter and cheese again. (It's so confusing, did I pack the peanut butter? Or the C4? Can I really blow up a plane with a wedge of Gouda cheese?)
Last edited by hellosailor; 01-05-2013 at 12:29 AM.