Subject: [Tweeters] Re: air traveling with binos
Date: Nov 6 22:52:35 2011
From: John Puschock - g_g_allin at

I always travel with binos, a scope, a DSLR with a 400mm lens and usually a 50mm lens all in one daypack, along with a few other things, and I'm always surprised when it does NOT get inspected, which is almost 100% of the time. (Tripod goes in checked luggage and the computer is usually, but not always, in a separate bag but that's irrelevant since it has to come out in security anyway.) Actually, I'm much less surprised now because in the past 10 years, I think it's been inspected maybe once or twice on an X-ray operator's request.

I've actually had some fun reactions from security when they see what I have in my carry-on. The airport on Adak Island, Alaska didn't get X-ray machines until just a few years ago (everything was hand-inspected before that), and right after they did, there were two operators at the machine. At first they were confused by my bag, but then one of them looked up, saw me, and said, "Oh, it's the birders." It's a very small town. But my favorite was when I flew to Tucson for a long weekend and didn't check any luggage. _Everything_ was in my daypack. On the way home, the security guy looked at the image on the screen, paused, and then said a drawn out "Nice."

By the way, keep books as low as you can in a bag, i.e., close to the belt of the X-ray machine. For example, if I have a book in my daypack, I'll put it in the front pocket and then make sure that's the side of the pack touching the belt.

I've probably now jinxed myself and will be strip searched the next five times I fly.

John Puschock
Matthews Beach, Seattle
g_g_allin at