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AdvancedMicroDisapointment

TSA questioning Tech

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Posted · Original PosterOP

If you are like me it always seems that TSA wants to stop you when trying to fly. Wondering what kinds of tech stuff they have stopped you guys for. For me it will either be the excess of cables in my bag, once it was my wire strippers (those they took away which sucked because I needed them for school) recently they have stopped me for my ifixit kit a lot because the X-ray machine apparently can't see through the screwdriver case. Naturally I just started opening that up to prevent getting stopped, but now they always end up checking the Jimmy pry tool because they think its a knife. Last time I flew they were like, "what's this for?" (asking about the jimmy pry tool, I told them it was part of that kit and its for electronics repair. They were like, "Yeah but why do you need it for that, what does it specifically do??" I told them it was for prying things open and its super dull then proceeded to run it across my arm and push it against my hand very hard to show it is in fact not a knife and it is very dull. They then reluctantly let me keep it. Anyway what kind of issues have any of you had with trying to fly with a lot of tech? In a few weeks I will be attempting to fly with my node 202 build for the first time so that should be fun to have them question me about it, but I guess we will have to see


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9 minutes ago, AdvancedMicroDisapointment said:

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Not TSA, but in 90's I got stopped in the Phillipines and the agent asked me if I have a gun in my bag. My first reaction was "Surely, it's your job to tell me whether I have a gun in my bag or not". Of course, I did not have a gun in my bag, but it was a foldable umbrella.

 

More recently there was a lot of confusion in Germany surrounding my PeakDesign Capture Clip (It's a holder for cameras and is a chunk of metal). But other than this I haven't really had any issues with PCs/Laptops.

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On a more related note, I did travel with my Ncase M1 custom loop PC, drained and dry without liquid to be safe. I was a tad bit worried they'd ask me to turn it on, but was prepared to do a dry boot (pump was unplugged) if asked. This was from Sweden to the UK.

 

I always wondered about how finicky people get with AIOs, but the vast consensus on the internet seem to indicate they are fine?

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I fly multiple times a month with zero issues. And I carry a laptop backpack with my laptop, 3 tablets, spare cell phone, 50 18650 lithium batteries, 2 flashlights, enough charging and connecting cables to cover about 15 people, my ifixit pro kit, a jbl Bluetooth speaker, my Rand McNally bluetooth headset, 2 different gaming mice, and a second carry on which is my 19 inch Gaems portable gaming monitor with my PS4 and controllers.

 

I've never been stopped and I get through security in about 5 minutes. TSA precheck and TSA Clear registered. 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Zusafek said:

I fly multiple times a month with zero issues. And I carry a laptop backpack with my laptop, 3 tablets, spare cell phone, 50 18650 lithium batteries, 2 flashlights, enough charging and connecting cables to cover about 15 people, my ifixit pro kit, a jbl Bluetooth speaker, my Rand McNally bluetooth headset, 2 different gaming mice, and a second carry on which is my 19 inch Gaems portable gaming monitor with my PS4 and controllers.

 

I've never been stopped and I get through security in about 5 minutes. TSA precheck and TSA Clear registered. 

I need to get pre-check, make my life a lot easier. It also seems like what airport you are at makes a big difference. Flying out of Chicago I rarely have trouble, but Orlando seems way more on edge, they took my wire strippers because, and I quote, "Sorry these are too long." They only opened about 1/2 inch and had maybe 8 or so notches for different wire gauges with a very blunt end, only sharp part was the part that actually was for stripping and you couldn't even fit a finger in there if you wanted


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31 minutes ago, AdvancedMicroDisapointment said:

I need to get pre-check, make my life a lot easier. It also seems like what airport you are at makes a big difference. Flying out of Chicago I rarely have trouble, but Orlando seems way more on edge, they took my wire strippers because, and I quote, "Sorry these are too long." They only opened about 1/2 inch and had maybe 8 or so notches for different wire gauges with a very blunt end, only sharp part was the part that actually was for stripping and you couldn't even fit a finger in there if you wanted

I live in Orlando and this doesn't surprise me.  Florida has some very tough restrictions because the pilots from the 911 incident actually received their pilots training at a University in Florida.  The reaction was to up their game on virtually everything security related.  Even our DL is tied into the Federal Data base and one of the few in the United States directly tied into the E-Verify system which is used by employers to check employment eligibility.  Most other state's DLs just require you to put in the number, FL's actually are verified.

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1 hour ago, AdvancedMicroDisapointment said:

 Naturally I just started opening that up to prevent getting stopped, but now they always end up checking the Jimmy pry tool because they think its a knife.

 

The TSA has a lot of barking-up-the-wrong-tree stuff, that it's all more theatre than anything else.

 

I don't like to fly. I take the train. They check nothing on the train, even when crossing international borders. At worst, the luggage goes through the x-ray machine. There are a lot of things that look weird on x-ray machines.

 

1. Screw drivers, looks like small knives

2. Coils of cables/wires, look like bombs

3. Batteries, look like cartoon explosives, particularly larger cell sizes like C and D

4. Laptops, Hand Held Consoles, Mobile phones, empty voids in the shell can look suspicious. A lot of current generation laptops have empty voids in the machine where the mechanical hard drive or a larger battery can fit.

 

The TSA should only be concerned with explosives, which means they should be using dogs, or taking swabs of suspect items. There's also some chemicals/products that shouldn't fly because they're affected by air pressure or combustibility, like products with >70% alcohol . So that's anything that contains a fuel/ignition source bigger than a lighter.

 

It is completely irrelevant if you take a knife, box cutter, or something that "could be used as a blade" on a plane, because that blade is not going to take the plane down itself. The rules about sharps is largely to prevent the person searching the bag from getting their hands ripped open, which is why even customs and border staff ask the same question before they search your bags. Yes, it's very stupid to take a blade on the plane, but some minor re-designs of most blades designed as utility blades and not weapons could minimize that. For example, putting a blade guard on the knife, putting a "lock out" hole in the base of the blade so that the blade can not be moved while this pin is inserted or a zip-tie is placed through it. Folding knives could likewise have a small "pin" guard to keep the blades from being unfolded that could likewise be zip-tied closed to take through TSA checkpoint or thrown into checked luggage. 

 

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The TSA is one reason I will not fly. They have an appalling history of brutally harrassing transgenders. The other reason is the constantly changing rules and rate games the airlines keep playing. I vote with my feet and wallet.


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To many bottles of tequila coming back from Mexico, but they let me keep them anyhow :)


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When I was a lot younger, I got stopped for having my Gameboy, my DSlite, and my DSI along with all the games I had and charging cables for each. It was in a big bag almost the size of a typical lunchbox (for an adult that is). They tore everything out and inspected and question me on each piece. Took almost 10 fuckin minutes just to inspect it all! Putting it all away again was even worse. Thankfully we're smart and get to the airport like, four hours before our flight is even due in.

 

Now that I'm a growdup I have TSA precheck. But my ass has a steel-core gun belt so I still have to take it off :/

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Just now, Mira Yurizaki said:

I had a checked-in bag with a prop katana that got inspected by TSA.

 

Nothing came of it.

*Casually goes through with bullet necklaces*


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In the very early 2000's on a plane with my brother to our family's place across the country. He brought those old Beyblade toys in a plastic toolbox. He had a bunch of them and all the parts where setup for display purposes with each part having a row and holder to keey it all safe. When they put his carry on through the xray they called over a bunch of people and they put us in a room where they pulled the stuff out with bomb gear on seeing what it was while we where questioned. After about 30mins they opened the case with powder stuff on it to test if it was a bomb. In our room some guy walked in laughing saying it was a bunch of kids toys with metal rings. The image on the Xray looked like a bunch of metal workings and was funny to look back at. I wish they would have let me keep the picture from the xray as it did look VERY SUSPICIOUS to have a bunch of metal rings setup with weird looking plastics and tools.

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I just flew a few days ago. I had a thick *ss laptop, a bulky charger, two old camcorders (one takes two AA batteries), and an iphone. No problems whatsoever.


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I know someone that brought home a shell from fiji. He thought it was pretty. Got it through airport security with no problems. At home he found out it had live crab inside it.

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Oh, the stories I could tell you guys about my misadventures with the TSA from my days as a frequent traveler. There are basically three ways to handle them, and you'll know where it's headed within a few seconds of them first laying eyes on you:

  1. Be friendly, laugh, joke. These guys are people too, and they hate their job even more than you hate yours, so a smile and a laugh will go a long way. I once had a nice laughing fit with a screener who had to do a swab of my stuff and my shoes. The swab tested positive, so I just lifted up my shoes and said, "I live right next to a horse farm," then showed him the soles. It took him about three seconds to start cracking up, swab the underside of the shoes to make sure that's where the hit was from, then send me on my way. 80% of the time, just being friendly gets you out of whatever situation you're in.
  2. Put them in their place. If they are completely in the wrong and refuse to back down, pick a fight and stay on them no matter what. Demand their three-striper and the FSD (I think that's the right acronym). Insist upon police involvement if they even think about confiscating. The cops won't stop it, but sometimes just presenting that level of hassle will get the screener to back off. 5% of the time.
  3. If they deserve it and putting them in their place isn't an option, completely fuck with them, wasting as much of their time and providing as much entertainment to your fellow passengers as possible. Back in...2014, I think?...I managed to waste 33 minutes of TSA time at the Newark airport. Yes, I was watching the clock. All I did was play totally ignorant and stupid about the millimeter wave scanner then ask for a pat-down after wasting 5 minutes on the scanner. There were only 5 screeners at the checkpoint and 0 of them were men. I won't carry on forever about "33 Minutes" because trust me, I could. I have farted on screeners doing a pat-down, told screeners that were rubbing my arm not to touch my junk, acted drunk and acted stoned. For a brief while, they were doing a thing where they made you keep your boarding pass out, then took it from you before you went through the metal detector and asked you to state your name again. My name, of course, was always Spartacus, and that was always good for 3-4 minutes of enjoyment. I take pride in the number of times I was asked, "Sir, do you want to fly today?". For most people, that's a moment of terror. For me, it's a punch line.

    ...well, was. I like precheck.

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5 hours ago, Tristerin said:

bottles of tequila

that can be a weapon

even shoe laces can be a weapon, one fella got a 3rd strike in california for having shoe laces in his cell.

 

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1 minute ago, amdorintel said:

one fella got a 3rd strike in california for having shoe laces in his cell.

A) it's Shitafornia, no surprises there.

B) hey it's probably his kink

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1 hour ago, TempestCatto said:

A) it's Shitafornia, no surprises there.

B) hey it's probably his kink

well no, its just the penal system fucking over the minority/poor ppl, like crack cocaine vs powder cocaine sentencing lengths.

 

the tsa is worse because they are minimum wage workers with no passion for their job, they are just in it for a paycheck.

at 17k-24k salary its living in the poor house status

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I always get searched. literally always.

 

Ive been in those damn bladerunner looking xray machines soo many times in knoxville and vegas that they could probably tell you my name if you showed them a picture of my insides lol.

 

I fly with the bare essentials now. Last trip i didnt even take a carry on. had my wallet, cell phone, power bank, my meds, and my smokes. everything in my pockets. makes things go by soo much faster.

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12 hours ago, For Science! said:

Not TSA, but in 90's I got stopped in the Phillipines and the agent asked me if I have a gun in my bag. My first reaction was "Surely, it's your job to tell me whether I have a gun in my bag or not". Of course, I did not have a gun in my bag, but it was a foldable umbrella.

 

More recently there was a lot of confusion in Germany surrounding my PeakDesign Capture Clip (It's a holder for cameras and is a chunk of metal). But other than this I haven't really had any issues with PCs/Laptops.

"Do you have a gun in your bag?" lmao what kind of question is that? If you did, they'd probably know at that point like you said. In which case, why are they asking? I dunno, maybe I'm stupid for assuming though.

 

I agree though, I haven't had major issues with laptops, phones and so on.  

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I mean I can tell you that I somehow managed to get a large car jumper / battery bank through without them even questioning it. It's not that I'm surprised it got through. I'm surprised that they didn't ask or mention it or look at it, considering the way it looks in its case. Even I have to admit it looks a little sketchy and I'd want to check if I were them. Anyway, laptops, phones and so on have never been a major issue though. 

 

I fly about once a year on average and generally haven't had an issue, but it sounds like a lot of nonsense you guys have had to go through over nothing. 

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