Re: What you can take on the plane

G wrote:
>Anyone wondering what harmonicas and bits of your rig are okay and not okay to
>take on the plane :- here is the TSA website which spells it out for you.

I traveled to SPAH2002 in Columbus via US domestic airlines (time is money, 
$200 is a small price to pay for what would be a two day road trip each way).  
Some of you may remember my inquiries to Doug Tate and this list regarding 
whether to check or carry on my harps.  

I took a lot of harps (~60, if I remember correctly) but no mics, effects or 
other gear, and I carried it all on, rather than risk loss as checked bagage.  
That feeling is amplified now that they are inspecting checked bagage, meaning 
that any checked bags, if locked, might be forced open.  My experiences varied 
a lot, but none were uncomfortable.  I allowed myself plenty of time to clear 
security checkpoints, which sometimes resulted in my sitting around a lot in 
airports, when no one checked me.  Nothing about my carry on bagage ever seemed 
to arouse suspicion, though I was once singled out for a pre-boarding hand 
check and once singled out for a more thorough than average screening (in which 
they did NOT inspect my hand luggage, although they did check my shoes).  I 
felt sorry for the guy who chose to hand search my harp cases, as he had to 
open ever zipper pouch and every harmonica box.  As he inspected my gear we 
chatted about music, about why one guy would need so many harmonicas (I have 
plenty of practice with this one from talking to my wife).  I found that 
treating these folks personably and professionally gets you through with fewer 
hassles than a belligerent attitude.

In the end I didn't have any real problems, and only minimal delays, and 
everyone I dealt with was fair and professional.  Your mileage may vary.

- -tim

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