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Carry on with plastic picnic knife and RS sewing kit sizzors?

We plan to shop the markets and picnic while in Europe this coming trip. I've noticed most of the picnic kits include a plastic knife with serrated edge. Anybody have experience with these in carryon?
Also, I have the RS emergency kit with sewing things that include a small pair of scissors. Same question about carryon with these.

Posted by
439 posts

You are not allowed to carry either of these on. I do think they started letting nail clippers on.

Posted by
8632 posts

I often keep the plastic knife and fork they give you with your meals on board for later use on the trip.

Posted by
77 posts

Okay the plastic knife and scissors don't go. Spoon and fork (I don't like Sporks) will have to do it. We can always borrow a knife from the hotel or pick up a substitute while there. BTW, even though I've been an avid backpacker in my younger days, we draw the line at sharing one spoon and fork. We each take our own.

Posted by
2765 posts

The best thing to do is not to ask on here but go to the source.

For flights in the USA that is the TSA site. (www.tsa.gov)

Here is what the TSA says about scissors

"In general, you are prohibited from traveling with sharp objects in your carry-on baggage; please pack these items in your checked baggage. Scissors with blades smaller than 4 inches, small needles carried for special medical needs, and other sharp objects that do not contain a blade may be placed in carry-on baggage."

So as long as the sewing kit scissors are smaller then 4" you are good to go with those

They generally don't allow knives

Now, outside the US you will need to do additional research.

Posted by
77 posts

That's true about going to the source. However, and it's a big however, the TSC often comes up with their own interpretations which seem counter to the written policy. I've had things not mentioned in the policy at all fail to pass and had to either check them or give them up. One particularly egregious example, I had a small travel guitar that had a small allen wrench - the L-shaped hexagonal version of a screwdriver - for adjusting the neck tension. They confiscated the allen wrench.

Posted by
518 posts

I can't imagine one of those white plastic disposable forks (the kind they set out free for the taking at fast food or to-go places) can be of much risk (at least not higher risk than some other things that they DO let you bring on board). You won't be doing any serious cutting, except for maybe soft meats or spreading jelly on your toast. Gosh, remember when planes still had smoking/non-smoking sections!?

Posted by
2252 posts

Stan: I like your idea of keeping the airline"s knife and fork!

Posted by
23464 posts

We have a picnic kit that has gone through dozens of security checks with absolute no problem. The kit has two plastic knifes, spoon, forks, roll-up cutting board, salt and pepper shakers, plastic handle wine opener. We also carry a small sewing kits with tiny scissors, - maybe an inch long. And again never questioned. I think you are fine. And if they take the plastic knife, no major lost. Think about - if they are passing out hundreds of plastic knifes on the plane, a plastic knife cannot be much of a threat.

Posted by
16894 posts

My plastic Rick Steves picnic set (an early version without corkscrew) has also been through airport security many times.

Posted by
7710 posts

I think you will find the TSA actually less of a problem in this regard than European Security. It all comes down to interpretation, the TSA actually lists items allowed and prohibited with some general guidance, in Europe, they list fewer items and rely more on interpretation of "Objects with a sharp point or sharp edge" As an example corkscrews were specifically allowed by the TSA, but typically prohibited by Europe. The TSA also more finely defined what scissors are OK, Europe, not so much.

All that said, unless you find the item is specifically allowed by both the TSA and Europe, then there is risk. Even then, you are at the mercy of the agent, if they chose to not allow your plastic fork, you really have no recourse, it's gone. In the end, certainly pay attention to what rules are published at: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/security/info_travellers_en.htm and https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/prohibited-items but be prepared to lose any item that comes close to the description at worst case.

Posted by
6372 posts

I once had a nail file taken in Paris, but they let me keep my manicure scissors, after some discussion. Go figure.

Posted by
34 posts

For Europe scissors with blades of more than 6 cm as measured from the fulcrum which is about 2 1/3 inches.

For USA metal scissors with pointed tips and a blade length greater than four inches measured from the fulcrum are not allowed.

Kathi

Posted by
2765 posts

If the TSA agent comes up with his or her own interpretation of the rules (AKA as the "I am on a power trip move" ) I smile nicely and say "please get me your supervisor". I continue to repeat this calmly and nicely until one of two things occurs

  1. They realize that I do know the rules and my rights and say "we will let you take it this time" (as if they are doing me some big favor LOL!) I then nicely say "Thank you" and stroll off.

  2. They bring a supervisor to me and I say "according to the published guidelines X is allowed" Never fails, I get to carry on X.

They will try to discourage you from the supervisor trick by claiming "it will take a while and you might miss your plane" My response is "I always allow plenty of time so I am not worried"

Now in Europe I just give things up because I don't really know their rules, but I don't take any games off the TSA. My taxes are paying for this theatre, they are going to play by their own rules!

Posted by
518 posts

Better yet, print out a copy of the lists directly from TSA's website the morning of your flight and show it to them :D....AND even better yet, on that same printout, highlight the specific item as being allowed (so they don't even have search for it on said printout). Their reaction should make for a great Youtube video.

Posted by
1081 posts

I have taken the Rick Steves sewing kit with me to Europe at least twice a year for the past 4 years and I have never had any TSA people ever ask me to remove it. I have never had any European security people ever ask me about it either. So, I think you can take the sewing kit in your carry-on luggage without any problems!

Posted by
7710 posts

Certainly arguing politely with the TSA agent may work, but from the TSA website: (Printed at the very top of the list of items)

The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.

I would step lightly, like it or not, taxpayer or not, whether they deserve the power they have, they make the decisions.

Posted by
270 posts

Plastic - even Lexan - knives are okay. So are scissors with round ends and less than 3" blades.

At the start of our trip, I watched as a metal butter spreader used to mix baby formula was taken from a mother with a toddler. Ludicrous.

The YVR airport has a thrift shop selling confiscated and lost items. It is the place to go for pointy objects and one cannot believe both the stuff which people try and take through security and the stuff which is confiscated. It is lunacy, indeed but which amazing bargains on Swiss Army knives, all manner of airline logoed metal knives - yes, people in the front of the plane, I know you tried to swipe them - and blender blades!