Old 05-12-2013, 01:59 PM #1
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Default Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

Presumably without the batteries installed...But, I can't say that I know of any regulations that would keep me from having them in a carry on bag.

Does anyone know anything about this? I really want to show off to the in-laws. That Actuary cousin is such a smug SOB!

As always, thank you in advance.

SBA


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Old 05-12-2013, 03:09 PM #2
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

As a carry on I wouldn't try it, as cheked in luggage you shouldn't have any problems. Easyest way is to call the airway and ask. Many times differen companies have different policy.
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:11 PM #3
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

I would think checking them would be a non-issue, but where you might get some flack is with TSA in a carry-on. I've traveled quite a bit with presentation laser pointers in my laptop bag and no one things twice about it, but it you rock some awesome looking hosts in quantity through the security checkpoint, be prepared for the guy who just confiscated someones toenail clippers to ask you about them... lol. I've not been able to find anything on airline rules and regs that prohibit or offer guidelines, so my supposition is you can do it. I too am curious to hear people's personal experience with this because I'll inevitably be in the same boat soon enough...
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:15 PM #4
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

Thanks Kap. I'll look more into it with the TSA. BTW, where in TX are ya?
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:29 PM #5
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

I'm in the Houston metro... just updated my profile to reflect that since you asking made me realize I forgot to add it. Thanks.

Good luck on your search for clarification and let us know what you find out!

cheers!

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Thanks Kap. I'll look more into it with the TSA. BTW, where in TX are ya?
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:36 PM #6
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

Kap, we have a couple of members down your way. You should really get to know Hakzaw and Wannaburnstuff. They're both great guys.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:20 PM #7
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

I travel with lasers all the time, nationally & internationally. I've never been 'double-checked' or raised any suspicion going through airport security, here's what I do.

-I've smuggled before & know a few mules - NO
-I watch a lot of 'locked up abroad' - YES but...

I use a laptop bag as my carry on which have several compartments that are perfect for taking a laser apart & storing them with small flashlights, pens, ect. I take off the focus lens, tailcap and anything else that's easy to put back together and store them in separate places in the laptop bag. I take the batteries & pack them securely in my toiletry bag with the checked luggage, the rest on the carry on.

Never have any security passes suspicious of anything I've had in either my carry on nor my checked luggage. I believe it's all about presentation & it's nearly impossible to tell if someone is carrying something taken apart & scattered like this in your carry on. Throw some AA batteries in there along with a few cheap pen-flashlights. Even under the worst of circumstances where you were to be caught or questioned for traveling like this, you or your attorney can argue that the batteries were stored separate in checked luggage so there's no way you'd be able to put it together & kill people on an airliner.

I've done this almost a dozen times now in the past 2 yrs & I'm yet to experience any holdups while going through the TSA, this process doesn't even make me the slightest bit nervous. Just my .02, good luck!

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Old 05-12-2013, 05:25 PM #8
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

Thanks for the brilliant advice, Dan! One question though; If you're removing the lenses, how do you keep dust from getting in your diode module?
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:48 PM #9
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

I've taken 1.2W blues in my carry-on.
It is the batteries that tend to attract attention, so I only take one, and I put in a clear insulated container in the little dish where you dump your change and keys. I also dial the focus to wide as possible in case they power it up. (Its a monochromatic light for specialized macrophotography).

My carry on tends to get hand inspected about 50% of the time because of stuff like bringing cheese home (cheese I guess looks like C-4 on an x-ray.), or having a bag of quarters (looks like some kind of frag IED I guess, especially if it is next to the cheese.)

Here is an article about a guy that had the cops called on him for having a laser pointer and A LOT of other strange stuff. End result - cops make him dump some of his batteries (the D Cells seem to freak out TSA...). TSA told the guy lasers where prohibited, but the cops where not interested, and TSA gave up.

http://www.natch.net/stuff/TSA/

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Old 05-12-2013, 07:03 PM #10
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
Thanks for the brilliant advice, Dan! One question though; If you're removing the lenses, how do you keep dust from getting in your diode module?
...by not having a filthy laptop bag with lint in every pocket(?)

I haven't done anything to protect the open module but I haven't had dust issues either. I guess you could put the laserheads (if they're separable from the hosts) or hosts w/ diodes in sandwich bags inside the laptop compartments, no harm done there. Or run a piece of scotch tape over the top to cover the surface without leaving any unremovable glue when taking it off...


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Old 05-12-2013, 07:47 PM #11
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

Clearly Dan, you've never seen the inside of my laptop bag!
I work in a vacuum shop...there's dust EVERYWHERE!
I like the idea of severely defocusing the beam. But, I think this is what I'm going to do (after thoroughly reading the TSA website):
We're only taking carry ons. I'll carry the lasers (defucused) in my bag, and put my batteries in my SO's bag. I hope the 26650s don't make TSA nervous!

Once I do review the TSA policies, personally, I'll post my findings here.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:39 PM #12
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

There are no specific prohibitions on traveling with a laser, where TSA and FAA are concerned.

If anything they are more concerned about batteries at present.

For the most part, if you do get to be unlucky enough to be questioned, the worst that is likely to happen, is you will be presented with the option to either toss the laser in the trash, or mail it back to yourself.

If you're even more unlucky, you may be forced to "voluntarily" surrender it, and may or may not miss your flight. A common practice in this situation is to pressure you to leave the questionable item behind, by giving you the option at the last second, so if you want to argue with them, you miss your flight.

Basically where security is concerned, just go out of the way to make everything appear as harmless as it actually is.

You specifically definitely don't want to for example take that MSSSW host you have coming.... on an xray it will look like a pipe bomb.

Stick to just having 1-2 lasers, that you would not go crazy over losing.

Also since you know where, and when you are traveling... just mail it yourself. A priority package will get here in 2-3 days max.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danefex View Post
I use a laptop bag as my carry on which have several compartments that are perfect for taking a laser apart & storing them with small flashlights, pens, ect. I take off the focus lens, tailcap and anything else that's easy to put back together and store them in separate places in the laptop bag. I take the batteries & pack them securely in my toiletry bag with the checked luggage, the rest on the carry on.

Never have any security passes suspicious of anything I've had in either my carry on nor my checked luggage. I believe it's all about presentation & it's nearly impossible to tell if someone is carrying something taken apart & scattered like this in your carry on. Throw some AA batteries in there along with a few cheap pen-flashlights. Even under the worst of circumstances where you were to be caught or questioned for traveling like this, you or your attorney can argue that the batteries were stored separate in checked luggage so there's no way you'd be able to put it together & kill people on an airliner.

I've done this almost a dozen times now in the past 2 yrs & I'm yet to experience any holdups while going through the TSA, this process doesn't even make me the slightest bit nervous. Just my .02, good luck!
+Rep - Excellent advice.

I take the same exact approach, except I do keep the batteries in the carry on, and some of the laser components with a flashlight & toiletries.

Keeping the more expensive parts with me, and the cheaper in the checked luggage, but never with parts in either set of luggage to put together the complete laser.

Without the lens... the laser is nothing more than a bright flashlight.

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Old 05-14-2013, 12:02 PM #13
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

Yeah...it just figures that the one i WANT to take to show off is the one that looks like a pipe-bomb. Maybe if I removed the batteries, they could be convinced it was a light-saber replica...
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:53 PM #14
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

High End Special effects prop Go mad Geek on TSA "What?!!! Didn't you see the movie?" A Darth Vader helmet may help too



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Old 05-14-2013, 06:58 PM #15
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

TSA is staffed with idiots. That's actually something that former TSA employees will tell you.

They do not have a sense of humor, and they may well have not heard of star wars.

You can forget about " Common Sense " where anything TSA and in general government related is concerned.

Please also remember, this is the same agency that's been on a crusade against nail clippers, and any liquids over a few ounces. The same agency that routinely fails independent testing, and is there to offer up the appearance of security only.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:58 PM #16
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Default Re: Flying to NYC soon...can I take my lasers?

True. The TSA system is not very good. Many years ago security experts cited Israel's security model as a good example to follow. Israeli procedures include multiple points where behavior can be observed before the airport is even entered. The security staff are trained to look for unusual behavior before any electronic methods are even employed.

TSA alternatives: Israeli airport screening methods suggested for U.S. by some | cleveland.com

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