Regarding TSA-compliant "tools" on SAA

Old Mar 18, 16, 9:19 am
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Regarding TSA-compliant "tools" on SAA

For the past few years I have carried a Leatherman Style PS pocket tool, because that model was specifically designed to be compliant with TSA regulations (no blade). When passing through security I get questions about it, but so far it has not been a problem when flying in Europe, North America, or the Middle East. I did have one confiscated by security on a domestic flight in China, but they specifically prohibit pliers, so I could have predicted that.

When traveling recently on SAA I had no problem taking the Style PS through security in Munich, Johannesburg, Victoria Falls, and Nelspruit, so it seemed that the vaguely worded prohibition against having "tools" onboard would not be a problem. Alas, a security officer on my penultimate flight segment (in Cape Town) did not share his colleagues' understanding regarding what was acceptable, and his supervisor backed him up. They had no problem with the Gerber Shard that I was carrying, as they considered it to be a bottle opener (despite the fact that it has 6 additional functions), but the Style PS was too much for them.

Had this happened on my first flight segment it might not have bothered me quite as much, but the fact that it passed through security 4 times and was rejected on the 5th does not inspire confidence. I realize that TSA rules are meaningless outside of the US, and I suppose that I should not be to awfully surprised or disappointed by unclear rules or inconsistent enforcement, but it did put a damper on my mood. My hope is that others can learn from this and avoid similar situations.
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Old Mar 18, 16, 11:54 am
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I chuckle.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/afric...-nice-try.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/afric...gulations.html

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Perhaps you've flown frequently in South Africa (on any carrier). In which case, I withdraw my comment above.

JohanRebel probably has a thought or two, as well.
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Old Mar 19, 16, 8:10 am
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Originally Posted by Daner View Post
the fact that it passed through security 4 times and was rejected on the 5th does not inspire confidence.
The surprising fact is that it did not pass through the 5th time. When I went through JNB security last week the agent manning the checkpoint was examining her nails while chatting to a colleague. She did not even glance at the screen once as my bags went through.

Terminal A departures security and immigrations at JNB are currently closed for renovations, by the way. At busy times, the situation at security in Terminal B varies between disastrous and catastrophic.

Johan
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Old Mar 19, 16, 11:04 am
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This was my first trip to SA, and like I mentioned, I was not particularly surprised by the fact that there was inconsistency of enforcement. On balance, I really shouldn't have been bothered by the loss, considering that my carry-on backpack (which was both oversize and overweight, but which takes up less overhead bin space than some of my legal bags) made it through every checkpoint without a problem.

Originally Posted by jsnydcsa View Post
I chuckle.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/afric...-nice-try.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/afric...gulations.html

-------------
Perhaps you've flown frequently in South Africa (on any carrier). In which case, I withdraw my comment above.

JohanRebel probably has a thought or two, as well.
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Old Mar 21, 16, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by Daner View Post
inconsistency of enforcement
is a Human Right in South Africa. Happy Human Rights Day.

Enough joking. Sorry.

Last edited by jsnydcsa; Mar 22, 16 at 9:34 am
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Old Mar 21, 16, 3:23 pm
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No worries! I was otherwise amazed by the variety and contrasts that we encountered throughout SA, both natural and societal. A bit mind-boggling for those of us who are more accustomed to Northern European conformity. Hopefully helped us to expand our comfort zones and our understanding of the world.

Originally Posted by jsnydcsa View Post
is a Human Right in South Africa. Happy Human Rights Day.

Enough joking. Sorry.
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Old Mar 27, 16, 3:31 am
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I'm always on the conservative side when packing my carry on. When in doubt, check it in. If I have the option to check my bag in for free, I always only carry valuables and what I need on the plane, and check the rest in.

Ps. I find domestc SAA flights to be very refreshing. Liquids/ Water is allowed on domestic flights for security. Free food, free wine. No need to buy on board. Super fast service. No luggage fees. Feels like the 90s again.
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