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Old Apr 29, 10, 8:46 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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TSA approved sandwiches and other basic questions

You all are a treasure trove and I'm so glad I found you. I'm new to international travel, and when I travel in North America, it's usually by car. In short, I know almost nothing about airports and air travel these days.

So...the TSA says food is allowed in our personal item, and suggests sandwiches. But what sort of sandwiches? The ones we usually make (cream cheese and cucumber, peanut butter and jelly, hummus and wheat bread) all contain, well, gel-like substances (don't they?) Okay - so if it's just peanut butter, no jelly, is it okay? Or do we have to eat bologna? Is cream cheese a gel like substance? Is cheddar cheese okay?

My husband wants to know about avocados - any thoughts? Surely they're not a gel...are they?

Now - if some of you believe I should be discouraged from this plan of action (taking sandwiches), please tell me so. But, after a delayed international flight and the worst, most skimpy food possible in-flight last year (with the entire planning dashing to make connections), we ended up going for about 16 hours with very few calories (I can eat a granola bar and live, but the DH wants a sandwich! Since he schlepps everything everywhere, I'd like him to have one).

And, while asking n00b questions, I'll just throw in another one.

Can I put my contact lens supply in a separate bag from the 3-1-1 bag? They do contain a liquid, but the TSA says that OTC and RX liquids that are over the limit are allowed (with no attention to quantity) as long as they are separately declared. I just really dislike having them near the other things in my 3-1-1 bag, like mouthwash. If anything spills, getting anything on the outside of the contact lens packaging (which I might not notice, especially since I have poor eyesight to begin with), it will be transferred to the contact lens.

Am I just asking for it? Will I hold up the entire airport from its operations?
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Old Apr 29, 10, 8:56 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvsParis View Post
You all are a treasure trove and I'm so glad I found you. I'm new to international travel, and when I travel in North America, it's usually by car. In short, I know almost nothing about airports and air travel these days.

So...the TSA says food is allowed in our personal item, and suggests sandwiches. But what sort of sandwiches? The ones we usually make (cream cheese and cucumber, peanut butter and jelly, hummus and wheat bread) all contain, well, gel-like substances (don't they?) Okay - so if it's just peanut butter, no jelly, is it okay? Or do we have to eat bologna? Is cream cheese a gel like substance? Is cheddar cheese okay?

My husband wants to know about avocados - any thoughts? Surely they're not a gel...are they?

Now - if some of you believe I should be discouraged from this plan of action (taking sandwiches), please tell me so. But, after a delayed international flight and the worst, most skimpy food possible in-flight last year (with the entire planning dashing to make connections), we ended up going for about 16 hours with very few calories (I can eat a granola bar and live, but the DH wants a sandwich! Since he schlepps everything everywhere, I'd like him to have one).

And, while asking n00b questions, I'll just throw in another one.

Can I put my contact lens supply in a separate bag from the 3-1-1 bag? They do contain a liquid, but the TSA says that OTC and RX liquids that are over the limit are allowed (with no attention to quantity) as long as they are separately declared. I just really dislike having them near the other things in my 3-1-1 bag, like mouthwash. If anything spills, getting anything on the outside of the contact lens packaging (which I might not notice, especially since I have poor eyesight to begin with), it will be transferred to the contact lens.

Am I just asking for it? Will I hold up the entire airport from its operations?
How sad is it that these are legitimate questions?

All of the sandwiches you listed would be just fine, even fruit with a high moisture content like oranges are fine.

I would do my best to get your contact lens solution in a size that fits the 3-1-1 rule. I would agree that it should be fine as an OTC, but there are reports of some travelers who lost (I mean had to voluntarily surrender) there contact solution. Can I suggest that if you and your husband are traveling together your 3-1-1 bag could hold the contact stuff, and your husbands could hold the other items you don't want to intermix.

Good luck, safe travels.

Last edited by MKEbound; Apr 29, 10 at 9:05 pm.
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Old Apr 29, 10, 9:18 pm   #3
 
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Good point about his and her 3-1-1 bags. And - he can buy his shaving cream after we get through the checkpoint.

It's the lenses themselves (which are disposable - so no solution is needed), each is a prescription piece of eyewear. I believe they are more like a crutch than a liquid, but what do I know.

And thanks for your fast reply - made my day (after reading over on TripAdvisor about a frequent traveler who finally got banged to show the actual credit card he'd purchased under, but had meantime received a replacement card from his bank, as the old one had expired - moment of panic there - mine is still good).

Now, we're going to be happy with our sandwiches, at least!
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Old Apr 29, 10, 9:41 pm   #4
 
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We just flew back from LAS-LAX and the brathusband had 2 sandwiches that he put together himself in the air with packets of mayo that he had in his carryon. We didn't have any problems.
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Old Apr 30, 10, 9:28 am   #5
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I actually saw they swipe the outside of an orange and test it Sunday. I couldn't believe it, but they did let it through. All your stuff will be fine, I've brought back tons of food and never had a problem, sometimes they ask if I can open the container for them, but as long as it's not a liquid or a gel like a tub of sour cream or dip, it goes right through.


For the contacts, if at all possible just put the bag and put that bag in the other bag to keep them separate.

As to the credit card, the receipt from the airline would have said something like:

The name on your ticket must match the name on your government-issued photo ID presented at time of check-in. You may also be asked during check-in to present the credit card used for purchase.

The red by the way is red on my confirmation to make it pretty hard to miss. I have not been asked for it in years though.
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Old Apr 30, 10, 9:54 am   #6
 
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According to the TSA, liquids pastes and gels are very dangerous, but bread renders them innocuous. Thus, peanut butter or jam in a jar is not allowed, but on a sandwich it is OK.
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Old Apr 30, 10, 9:58 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by BubbaLoop View Post
According to the TSA, liquids pastes and gels are very dangerous, but bread renders them innocuous. Thus, peanut butter or jam in a jar is not allowed, but on a sandwich it is OK.
I think Blogger Bob pushed that through because if I remember correctly he is a PB&J fan.
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Old Apr 30, 10, 10:10 am   #8
 
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One solution for the contacts that works perfectly. Copy the prescription for the contacts, place them together in a separate 3-1-1 bag and fly away. With a prescription I carry aerosols and also otherwise prohibited eye products. Nobody ever hassles me about this although a few have looked at the prescriptions.

Enjoy the sandwiches. Just package them well.
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Old Apr 30, 10, 12:02 pm   #9
 
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Nobody ever hassles me about this although a few have looked at the prescriptions.
If TSA looked at my prescriptions, I'd file a complaint against the TSO. That is confidential medical information, and they have no right to have any access to it.
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Old Apr 30, 10, 3:48 pm   #10
 
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I do intend to document whether or not my RX's are looked at (I am taking copies; each of us is also getting a letter from our physician stating specifically what conditions we have; my doctor's wife went through a bit of airport hassle at LAX recently, relative to a health problem, that has us all a little on edge).

If I am indeed asked to disclose the nature of my medical problems, I will document as best I can that this happened, ask for the names of the personnel involved, their supervisor, etc. And since I write at least a dozen complaint letters to some entity per week (my hobby), I will complain.

We had no problems in that regard last year, so are hopeful it will go smoothly this year as well - one never knows.
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Old Apr 30, 10, 5:33 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by BubbaLoop View Post
According to the TSA, liquids pastes and gels are very dangerous, but bread renders them innocuous. Thus, peanut butter or jam in a jar is not allowed, but on a sandwich it is OK.
The same mysterious effect applies to pie crust. Pie crust can somehow take any amount of liquidy gel-like filling, and inert the threat it poses to aviation security.

http://blog.tsa.gov/2008/11/easy-as-pie.html
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Old Apr 30, 10, 6:52 pm   #12
 
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Oh goody. Then I can make empanadas instead. I was really worried about having a pie-like sandwich - but turns out, those are okay too! Yum.
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Old May 1, 10, 4:48 pm   #13
 
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Hilarity has ensued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvsParis View Post
Good point about his and her 3-1-1 bags. And - he can buy his shaving cream after we get through the checkpoint.

It's the lenses themselves (which are disposable - so no solution is needed), each is a prescription piece of eyewear. I believe they are more like a crutch than a liquid, but what do I know.
My shaving gel from L'Occitane also comes in a travel size, so I take that.

As for contact lenses, they are absolutely medical. Indeed, contact solution is as well, as the things have to be clean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clrankin View Post
If TSA looked at my prescriptions, I'd file a complaint against the TSO. That is confidential medical information, and they have no right to have any access to it.
Not only a complaint, but a lawsuit.
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