Monday, April 5, 2010

How I carried the Swiss knife in cabin bag (unknowingly)?

How I carried the Swiss knife in cabin bag (unknowingly)?

It was Air France return flight to Mumbai AF 218. Departure time 10.50 hours, I was already late in dropping the baggage in. Police checking was bit tough & lengthy. Many passengers going to Africa were crying due to same “delay” reason. I was only late guy in queue who was supposed to be boarded at 10.10 am, time was 10.30am & I was still in Police cabin bag checkup. They were going in same lazy way at Paris airport.

Immigration aitport checkout stamping hardly took any time as my record was pretty clean. I asked a security guy to promote myself to go ahead as it was too late for me. French security guy told me straight way,”sir, its same for everybody, you have to wait!” Oops!

At Paris Airport bag checkup:

I was carrying a 2 bags, 1 bag has all cloths. Another had laptop & some art books to read on the way back. I really hate AF; I had really bad experience with AF, which you can read in my earlier blog. Coming back to cabin bag checkup, the bag which had Swiss knife!

Security guy said asked me to re pass the laptop bag. Security sensor has given him some indication that there is something fishy but he has still confused. I was still asking him to finish it fast as I had to catch the flight as soon as, it was just 15 min to take off!!! He rechecked my laptop bag, but couldn’t figured out what wrong. I had worn my belt & shoes, was ready to catch my flight. But, police man asked me to stay back to clear laptop bag.

I was opening all zips of laptop bag, policeman shouted, “Don’t touch your bag sir. Please stay away from bag. We need to check it”. I was bit confused, what’s wrong? I was still shouting I ‘ll miss my flight. C’mon ask someone to check my bag. I don’t anything wrong. I‘m just carrying some books & electronic stuff, nothing more! Pls make it quick.

Lady on next desk came to check my bag manually. I helped her to show the stuff. There was a towel, laptop charger & painting books. It was all packed up at last moment. I was still confused what’s wrong with my bag. I was carrying some eye drop medicines which I showed to police lady. She finally agreed & said “it’s alright!” They talked something in French & asked me to go. I run & catch my flight at gate C87; some guy was announcing my name & seat number L24. I ran on plan entrance & was on my seat just before 10 minutes before the take off. Cabin crew guy was happy to see me & said, “Mr. Tipale, you are welcome. We are happy to see you hear, whatever reason you are late, I don’t want to know.” I was muttering,” pardon, pardon!”

At Mumbai Airport bag checkup:

I had nice flight back to Mumbai. There is law by which your baggage came out from any Airport. It’s LIFO-Last in First out! First check-in remains the last. So, I got my bag at #1. I was happy to see my Blue colored Polo Star bag. I was first in custom checking queue. Custom guy was looking for liquor bottles in bag. I had nothing much catchy for him. He found something doubtful in same laptop bag,

he asked me,”wapas daal uss bag ko, kuch to bhi layer jaisa hai” (put that bag again, something like layers are there on laptop.)

I said,”okey, let’s check it again sir”

I pushed my bag to check again.

He wasn’t happy much. Shouted,”yaar, tera laptop nikal ke wapas daal. Thada clear ho jayega.” (Friend, remove your laptop & push the bag again.)

I just remove my laptop & pushed bag to recheck. People from back started shouting,”ab laptop bhi nikalana hai kya edhar.” I replied,”Nahi bhai, it’s for me only”

This time he was satisfied. He still wanted to see “thing which was looking like layers”. I just pulled out my art books to shown him. He understood. He asked me to go by saying,”Thik hai yaar, koi problem nahi. Ja sakate ho.” & I moved on.

At my home in Mumbai:

After coming to my place, I was searching for my key chain, which has all my keys (my flat, my room, office drawers, some more locks). After a day I found the key chain with Swiss knife was in my cabin baggage-Laptop bag’s side pockets. I was shocked!!!

At my Mind:

OMG, I carried a well known weapon in cabin. It helped me understood, “how gang of 4-5 terrorist can easily plan a complete hijacking of the flight?” No some seems to recognize the part of gun or knife if carried separately in large cabin bags.

Anyways I was in no mood to hijack AF flight. I just don’t hate them so much although they delayed my luggage by 3 days in Paris! I love them for providing only direct flight from Mumbai to Paris & back. Thanks for all. I wish they could add more security checks at airport. This is too easy for any terrorist to break airport security. Even they are working on things to work out with bio-weapons. It’s really scary but would be challenging to fight!

Here is picture of it:


  1. Hello there just stumbled upon ur blog after googling swiss army knife airport :) thought I'd share a story thats all.

    I recently went on a flight (Toronto Canada to Miami USA) and security took my small swiss keychain (The one that had mini scissors, knife, nail blade, clipper and toothpick (small like yours but with less attachment blades). Those things are awesome! Anyway, what a disappointment too because I've gone through security many times when traveling and it never detects. I think I made a bad move because I admitted I had one. Right when I was emptying my pockets into the bucket, the lady askes me "is that a swiss army knife?" I said "yeah sorta". and then she told me to give it to her. I complained about 30 seconds about how small the damn thing is and realize to just let it go after no luck. It was 10 years old as well, but was a gift from a relative. Plus, not to be racist or anything but it was a black girl security chick and she was giving me this thuggish attitude in response (I understand its their job, but I thought there were better ways on dealing with the situation). So I was a little annoyed and wanted to just punch her in the face. I even carry onboard a 3-4 inch nail filier blade which is semi sharp (not metal) in my backpack and it checks through fine.

    There was a post where a lot of people were right about if people trying to hijack a plane or something with it could be totally useless! That dude holding it would be attacked with fists and kicks before stabbing or something. I'll tell ya, these little things may actually benefit some people. I think of it in a way as a survival tool.

    Anyway, there's my rant...just had to get it out and share :)
    oh and just went out and bought myself a new one!

    Take care and glad you made your flight on time with the hassle of security checks! Nice little story.

  2. Thanks Darebear !

    You have nice story with bitter end. Usually, airport security dont understand it. If they think Guy is really mad & looks like terrorist of something, they may arrest.

    Yes. Its really handy & useful tool.

  3. I when on a flight, and had a hammer in my bag by mistake... Well it didn't go like yours went, they saw it on the xray and took it.

  4. Oh!!! Really what a fabulous blog post! and i like every images and thank you for this army knife

  5. My friend Charles,
    Thank you. i was just lucky to get through it :)
    May not be the same case for other ;)

    there are always loopholes, just need to be smart enough to detect them.


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