Terrorists Apparently Love Their Toast Buttered


Many a seasoned traveler will often stash a set of fork/spoon/knife cutlery in their bag so as to eat a little bit more like a grown adult if they find themself in a hotel room at 1AM after a reroute/unplanned adventure and all the restaurants are closed.

I do this. I would sometimes get flagged for an additional bag check. Every time, things would clear. I would be cleared because stamped right on the silverware was the name "Delta" and the airline's logo... since this was a set of airline cabin cutlery that was given to me on a flight. (Well, provided to me... i bet they may have wanted it back, oh well.)

Even so, I always also have with me a printout from the TSA's web site, confirming that knives are OK as long as they are butter knives that are either (a) plastic or (b) have round tips.

Well, on a recent trip the knife in the photo was flagged and everyone at the checkpoint... from TSO to LTSO to STSO to airport CSM/FSD (yeah, I escalated a bit) assured me that there was "no way" that this met the criteria. I even tweeted at the TSA asking what, praytell, this device was were it not a round-tipped butter knife. The response was that it was a "serrated blade" and thus too dangerous to have in the passenger cabin of a plane. Despite the fact that, you know, they hand this to you in the passenger cabin of the plane.

All parties expected me to surrender the knife. But I like it. I reminds me of a particularly great flight and conversation I had with someone over the meal. So, I decided to mail it home. I'm also a boy scout of preparedness since in my bag is always a pre-stamped flat rate envelope.

But the airport had no mail slot (outside security, that is) and everyone assured me I was not going to be successful. Undeterred, I walked down to the counter, and said to the Delta reps there, "I'd like to check a third bag, please!" (I get three bags for free, so whatever) and held up my envelope, smiling.

They didn't want to send something that small through the luggage system, so the folk at the counter kindly scrounged up a box. So, hilariously, my third checked bag was a beat-up, poorly-taped cardboard box that contained nothing more than a cardboard envelope with one small butter knife.

Satisfied, I went back through security, smiling at them, and proceeded to my gate. Tarah and I enjoyed our journey back to Seattle. I was again handed the same metal cutlery at 36,000' and could only laugh. Then we arrived home in Seattle and proceeded to bag claim...

We waited for baggage to arrive, but it was clear my "box" luggage wasn't there. The Delta luggage office tracked it to my previous connection city. It would be delivered the next day to my office via courier, of course.

And indeed, it was. I picked it up later that week.

So there you have it... the inanity and hilarity of the TSA. We all have our stories, and this is just one more in the list. I'm sad that Delta was put to some extra work and expense over something that was me just digging in my heels and not wanting to let the TSA drones deprive me of a small token that I like. Still, i'm glad I still have it.

And I plan to keep taking it with me on many future flights.