This is a recap of a funny story that happened to our family a few years ago. Back in 2019, my son tried to smuggle a knife through airport security. This is definitely one of those stories that’s “funny ha ha” now but at the time added a ton of stress to an already stressful day.
In 2019, our family of 8 had a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando. Since my dad is retired military, he was able to buy a special kind of military ticket to Universal Studios that was around $220 / person but was good for 4 days for all of the calendar year 2019. So we went for 2 days at the park in January 2019 and then were set to return to Orlando in November 2019.
Our flight left CVG around 6 p.m., so we arrived to the airport around 4:30 or so. We had hoped to get a bit of a snack dinner at The Club CVG before our flight but as you will see, that was not meant to be.
Split up at security
For some reason, not all 8 of us had TSA Pre on our boarding passes, even though we all have Global Entry and should have had PreCheck. I’m not quite sure what happened. I even went to the Frontier check-in desk to try and make sure our Global Entry numbers were in the system and have them reprint our boarding passes. The guy at the check-in counter was noticeably annoyed with me but went through the motions. When they came out still with no TSA Pre, we decided to split up at security. I took one of my daughters with me through the “regular” line while the rest of the family went through the Pre-Check line.
When I got through security, I met up with the rest of my family and my wife immediately alerted me to a problem. Apparently one of my sons had forgotten that he had his Scout multitool in his backpack (pictured below for reference)
As a side note, apparently this must run in the family as my dad tells me the story of when he went through airport security with a giant Leatherman knife in his bag. When confronted by the TSA agent, my dad replied “Man I’ve been looking ALL OVER for that thing!” :-D.
Finding a place to mail it back
My son was grateful that it was not the Swiss Army Knife that he had made himself on our trip to the Swiss Army Knife headquarters in Brunnen, Switzerland, but he still did not want to lose it. The TSA agent said that if we wanted, we could mail it back to ourselves. He led me back out of security, and then pointed (vaguely, as it turned out) towards where we could mail it. He said when I was done that I could just find him directly so as to not have to go through security again.
So I make my way over to where he had indicated, only to find a single blue USPS dropoff box, by itself. I checked the hallway it was in, only to find nothing. So I’m thinking “Well what in the heck am I supposed to do with this?!?!”. I have no box, no labels, no stamps – not even a pen to write my address on! I don’t know what the TSA agent was thinking other than “what do I need to do… to make this man go away…”
There’s literally nobody else over here, so I make my way back to the ticket counters, and the first lady I see is at the Delta counter. Thankfully there are no customers there, so I just go up to her and ask her if there is a mail center or anywhere I can mail this back to myself. She says – “oh we can ship it to you – just give me your boarding pass.”
Her friendly demeanor vanished when I told her that actually I wasn’t flying Delta. She said there was nothing she could do for me, and sent me over to Frontier. So I hustle over to the Frontier counter, where I get the same surly guy that I made re-print all of our boarding passes. Ah sweet karmic irony… He said the cutoff time for checking bags on our flight had passed, but suggested that we could leave it with baggage claim downstairs.
So I make my way down the escalator to the baggage claim area and find the Frontier baggage claim office. At CVG at the time, Frontier had a contract baggage office shared with Allegiant and Air Canada.
I went up to the lady manning the baggage counter and explained to her the situation. She said that they couldn’t hold anything like that. She asked me “Who told you that we could hold this?” I told her that the Frontier check-in agent had said so. Finally I waited her out and she agreed to take it. She took my name and returning flight information, and I ran back through security. Made it for my flight without a problem but we did have to miss out on our sweet sweet dinner at The Club 🙂
Getting the knife on our way back
On our way home, we stopped back at the baggage desk and…. nobody was there. I passed the time commiserating with another lady whose suitcase had been completely destroyed (also by Frontier). We had to wait for probably 30 minutes before the same lady showed up. Once she did, she remembered me and brought out the knife, and we were on our way.
I know that *I* at least learned the lesson not to try to smuggle knives through security. Whether my son also learned that lesson? Still up for debate…
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