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Bringing my 5mW green laser on a plane a good idea?

Radim

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Thanks guys for this great info. Since we are just transfering in Zurich (we will not leave the terminal) there might be no security check. Whatever, good point about the tripod. We will see if we take them or not. What I've seen at one airport in EU they did not have problem with knitting needels as I've seen a lady with them when waiting for my plane in area beyond security check about a month ago. Noone took care she was knitting there. Strange.

I checked TSA for stuff permitted, just for curiosity - this is interesting:
 

Hap

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Haha, "May the force be with you" :D yeah, I doubt anyone is gonna care if you bring a fake light saber onboard :)

-Alex
 

Encap

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Thanks guys for this great info. Since we are just transfering in Zurich (we will not leave the terminal) there might be no security check. Whatever, good point about the tripod. We will see if we take them or not. What I've seen at one airport in EU they did not have problem with knitting needels as I've seen a lady with them when waiting for my plane in area beyond security check about a month ago. Noone took care she was knitting there. Strange.

I checked TSA for stuff permitted, just for curiosity - this is interesting:
Interesting find on the TSA sight--I guess the question comes up a lot for whatever reasons.

Haha, "May the force be with you" :D yeah, I doubt anyone is gonna care if you bring a fake light saber onboard :)

-Alex
Fake as opposed to what? What light sabers exist other than "fake" :crackup:

Parenthetically, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) got stopped in the airport for having a lightsaber. He had to explain that lightsaber technology did not actually exist, so he couldn’t harm anyone with his lightsaber.

Mr. Mayhew believes his live-tweeting of the event got his lightsaber (which he was using as a cane) released.


 
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Benm

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No reason to lie about it - if they ask what it is, just say it is a laser for presentations, surveying, astronomy pointing or wheaver the reason is you are taking it.

As for what airport security inspect: I have a friend that is a (underwater) photographer and travel blogger, and often carries a numer of lenses and such as carry on luggage as those things are expensive and not really suitable to be dropped a couple of meters from a cargo hold onto a luggage cart below.

For some reason they want to inspect her luggage all of the time, despite nothing illegal being in there, and it always 'passes' after inspection. I've always found this a bit odd, especially since she fits the safest profile possible (white, 30s, dutch passport, casual clothing, no tattoos or anything, just a bit tall though not that tall for a dutch person)
 

InfinitusEquitas

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It's pretty straightforward, on xray they can't tell what it is, you're getting stopped. I rarely see people past their 40's sitting at Xray machines, and have had the experience where if an older person gets called over, they OK my bag, if not I get to have it checked. If I take my electronics I pretty much expect to be stopped, but at least in the US I offset that by usually going through TSA Precheck.
 

Benm

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Oh, this can be bothersome, especially if there is both a technology gap and a bit of a language barrier. I spent about half an hour on domestic bagage inspection of this in indonesia. I speak a little bit of indonesian, they spoke even less english (flyting through papua, not a tourist thing generally).

Bag goes through the scanner, guy says cannot fly, 'you have lighter!'. As it is i had a lighter and cigarettes in my carry on bag, so i proceed to take them out, get them handed back to me since they are apparently no problem to take aboard, and they scan it again.

So they scan it again, and go 'you still have lighter'. I sort of try to explain in indonesian at that point that i do, but it's now in my pocket since they just handed it to me. Looked around the bag, found another lighter, took that out and pocketed it too, for another scan... 'still have lighter!'.

So we rummaged through the bag together to see if there perhaps is a third lighter somewhere in there, but cannot find it. I was getting fed up a bit, they were getting frustrated as well, but did not let me look at the xray image for some reason. Eventually i managed to ask them to indicate where in the bag this supposed lighter should be. They scan the bag upside down, sideways, etc to conclude it is in one of the smaller compartments of my carry on backpack, towards the front.

Fully puzzled at that point i put everything from that compartment in a tray, they scan the bag and the tray. The lighter is now in the tray, except for there is no lighter in the tray at all.

After exchaning confused looks and going over what was in the tray at that point, we finally figured it out: I had an electronic cigarette with me, which they apparently had never need before. As luck would have it, the heater coil in that looked very much like the coil on a -storm lighter- on xray.

For some reason unknown to me windproof/storm lighters are not allowed on domestic flights around there. Ordinary lighters are no problem so i could take those as i pleased.

After demonstrating how the electronic cigarette worked taking that along was fine with them too. As i walked out after that whole ordeal i noticed them saying something about westeners being crazy.

I made no further fuss about it as i had to get to a connecting flight (rapidly by then), but had they just shown me the first x-ray image i could have picked it out in 5 seconds.
 

Radim

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Update: No problem experienced with taking the laser level and laser distance meter in hand baggage. Nobody even wanted to see the device. We did not take the tripod. We are going back now and just proceeded security check.

Thanks for a good advice once again. ;)
 

Radim

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Alex, this what I mentioned above. ;) Now waiting for take off for Zurich (transfer there).


Revived!

I have similar question - can I take laser stuff (see below) on board?

  • Area is "EU" (Vienna to Luxembourg with change/transfer in Switzerland - Zurich and back the same - airline Swissair).
  • We will be having a laser level for measurment (with tripod) and laser distance meter. Both should be up to 5 mW some red diode lasers.
  • We will have cabin baggage only.
  • We will be two, so we can potentially put one laser per baggage not to attract too much attention on X-ray scanners if needed.
Does anyone here have recent experience taking some device like this?

So far I have never had problem with up to 5 mW green laser pointer, but this one is pen style and for presentation purposes. I never tried to take on board anything from my collection, but I travelled with scuba equipment and lighting and it was allways checked separately and often detailed explanation was needed.

I did not found any restriction on airports (yes, I check these signs there) and their webpages, nor on Swissair web regarding lasers, no information forbidding them (although everywhere is just non comprehensive list of items not permitted).

Thanks a lot for any relevant info. ;)
 

Hap

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Alex, this what I mentioned above. ;) Now waiting for take off for Zurich (transfer there).
Oh darn it. I read that just seemed to have skipped the Vienna-Luxembourg part, I apologize. Zurich is a nice ctiy, I've been there in winter time when I was transferring from Paris to San Francisco. I really like Swiss Air too! Comfy seats :pop:

-Alex
 

Radim

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No prob, Alex. It rolled out of last page already. I should have quoted it before. ;)
Yes, they have good seats and a lot of leg room. I usually take direct flight from Vienna to Luxembourg by Luxair, but it was three times more than usual price now and with Swiss it cost about a same with transfer. Still I noticed that by Luxair you are given newspaper (I take Financial Times), but with Swiss only in business class. So, the only difference. :D
 

Benm

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As far as if you can carry high powered lasers as luggage on planes there are a few considerations:

Firstly there is the safety concern. There is no realistic way to tell a 1 mW red pointer from a 200 mW one by looking at x-ray images. You can remove the batteries from it and carry them seperately as well, there is no problem carrying a few 18650 or 16340 cells as and luggage.

This would mean that it's perfectly fine to fly with the laser in your carry on bag as it would be for a flashlight or something similar.

The other concern would, in theory, be customs. Some countries prohibit you from importing powerful lasers. You'll go to the green/red lane system, probably opting for the green 'nothing to declare' one.

The do "random" checks on people passing through the green channel, but it is not laser pointers these guys are looking for. They're more interested in things like taking more than the allowed taxfree amount of cigarettes, liquor and such - and perhaps brand new boxed electronics that you should really have declared.

If you want to take a laser and have hold luggage i'd suggest putting in in there to avoid any problems with carry on luggage inspections. All hold luggage is inspected too by xray, but they are looking for big bombs there, not laser pointers.
 

Radim

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BTW: As I touched Zurich airport, I found the information below in inflight magazine. We even saw at the airport a bus with that guided tour on runway (!) and observation deck, unfortunatelly we had little time between flights to enjoy it. Maybe it could help to someone flying through Zurich with long waiting time for next plane to enjoy these awesome features. ;) I have not seen something like this before (just some observation decks I'm aware of, but this one seems much more advanced).





 

Hap

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That's pretty neat indeed! On the first page, that looks like the Int'l terminal. The one with the Cathay Pacific tail plane parked. :)

I hope they provide you with free earplugs as those taking-off jets can be very loud!

-Alex
 

Radim

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Alex, I think there is option for any passanger at the airport to visit it. I saw during taxi around this observation deck, there were large planes like 777 docked around, these are usually not needed for short distance flight around Europe. ;) And yes, it looks like there is Cathay Pacific tail captured. :) BTW also a very good airline - I travelled with it several times many years ago from London to Hong Kong - great service on board.
But I'm not sure about the earplugs - but you know - they are Swiss, so I suppose they will take care.
BTW their inflight magazine was great - interesting content inside.
 
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Benm

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Having some observation deck/area to watch the airplanes arrive and depart is not uncommon in european airports.

Amsterdam airport surely has one that is open to the public, you can have a beer while watching the airplanes move about. These places are open to the general public, you can sit there to watch a plane carrying your family or just spot planes in general, or just have an expensive beer no matter what.

I never go there because when i'm at the airport i'm flying. Amsterdam airport has an enclosed garden though, after security controls. Oddly this has been there for many years, but there is no way to access it, unlike the ones at for example singapore airports gardens.

I guess in sigapore the gardens double as smoking areas, whereas amsterdam airport has only enclosed smoking areas. Riga airport has something similar where you can go outdoors afer security, but that functions mostly as a smoking area since they don't have any enclosed ones otherwise there.
 




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