Thursday, October 6, 2011

A TSA Experiment

Next week I’m going to try an experiment with the TSA at the Indianapolis International Airport. I travel frequently and as you know from reading this blog, I’ve had many unique experiences with the TSA.

I’m traveling to Washington, D.C. for 3 events. First, I’m attending a Tweetup at the White House for the arrival ceremony for the President of South Korea. South Korea is the most wired and connected country in the world. I’m looking forward to learning about how other cultures connect via Social Media. Attending the arrival ceremony on the South Lawn will also be cool.

Second, and my dad will be joining me at this part of the day, we are meeting with Senator Coat’s office from Indiana for a tour of the Capitol and gallery access to watch both the House and the Senate in action.

Finally, our day ends with a NASA Tweetup event at NASA Headquarters with the crew of STS-135, the final shuttle mission. I saw STS-135 launch and am looking forward to meeting the crew.

One of the biggest hassles with traveling is taking my pocketknife with me, especially as I rarely check a bag. I feel lost without my Leatherman Micra. I’ve even had to mail it to myself a few times but for the last 15 years I’ve been able to hold on to the same one. The Micra can’t travel on planes because it has a small knife blade.

Leatherman Style PS

The good folks at Leatherman make a TSA approved device, the Style PS. My dad, who you can follow on Twitter @4faraday found this and suggested I get one since I fly frequently. 

When we found out we were going to DC together he suggested I buy one. If I can get it through the TSA then he will buy one. If it is confiscated then he will buy me another one. Deal and game on.

So, next week I will be taking this device through the TSA checkpoints at IND and then again at DCA on the way home. According to the online reviews, folks are able to get this device through as it is fully compliant with TSA requirements – to see how my luck works out be sure to subscribe to this blog.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to just put it in my bag and see if it is flagged and examined or if I’m going to put it in a bin on its own to see if the TSA is familiar with it. As a backup, I do plan to have the website printed out to show them should any issues arise. Part of me hopes I don’t have to use the print out, part of me does. Stay tuned.