Baggage security

Date:         04 Jun 97 01:45:43 
From:         Pete Mellor <>
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On two recent trips I was carrying suspect items.

On trip one I had a souvenir paper knife in my hand-baggage.
It was made to look like a dagger, complete with metal sheath
(and it only cost 5 zlotys, about 1.50 quid!). It must have
presented a fairly startling profile on the X-ray scanner,
since the security guys made me get it out so they could check.
(Airport: Warsaw Okecie.)

On trip two I was carrying a can of zippo lighter fuel, a
prohibited item. It must have been qite clear on the scanner,
but got through. (Airport: Berlin Tegel.)

On every trip for many years I have carried a large Mauser
pocket knife in my bag. (The best knife I ever had: the Germans'
answer to the Swiss army knife.) The main blade length is
*just* within legal limits. I have been stopped at security
checks several times, but it has always got through.
Interestingly enough, on every occasion that it has been checked,
the security guys did this by holding the blade against their
plastic id. cards. On only one occasion, returning from Genova,
Italy, was I made to check the knife in as cargo baggage (being
supplied with a little envelope for the purpose).

Any comments?

Peter Mellor, Centre for Software Reliability, City University, Northampton
Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK. Tel: +44 (171) 477-8422, Fax: +44 (171) 477-8585