Recent jewelry airline experiences

I’m getting ready to fly to Des Moines for an art festival and
wondered if anyone has a report about flying with jewelry. I don’t
have a lot. It comfortably fits in my backpack along with some
other carry on items, still I do have some of those dreaded pin
stems. Thanks,


Hi Larry, I’e been on 28 planes so far this year. Your experience
will depend on the day you travel and who is screening. You very well
may have a problem with the pin stems… I suggest you donB9t take
chances and leave them off the pieces (or ship the pins). Last
Saturday the screener working the x-ray machine exclaimed loudly
“Wow! there is a lot of jewelry in here!!! Does this other box have
loose gemstones in it?” I gave her a stern look and she quieted down.
You may be able to ask for a private screening or for someone to be
discreet. I wouldn’t do this days ahead of time. It is a
misconception that our bags are more secure with all the new safety
provisions. There are still thieves working for the airlines,
airports and security. Some airlines have lowered their weight limit
from 70 to 50 pounds per bag-a hassle for those of us hauling tools
around to teach. They changed the weight limit after I bought my
tickets and did not notify me of the new policy. One airline allowed
me heavier bags when I explained I wasn’t notified. The other airline
insisted I transfer some heavy stuff into my carry on bag. Up at the
x-ray machine I was called out of line and told that I couldn’t carry
on my Foredom Drill Press. I explained the change in weight limit and
that I had to have the press for my presentation the next day (the
reason for my travel). He called over his supervisor who said NO, I
couldn’t carry it on. When I asked why, he said “You might bludgeon
someone with it.” I replied “Do I look like I might bludgeon someone
today?” (truth be told I was getting closer to this by the minute!).
After much discussion he finally let me through, but told me not to
attempt to carry it on again. Here’s wishing you a successful show
and easy travel.

Kate Wolf in Portland,
Maine hosting dynamicworkshops by the bay.

Airport security has been trained in what to be looking for. Jewelry
is not one of the suspects, so feel free to carry on your items.
Should you get stopped for an exam of your bag, and you’re not
comfortable with showing your products in the general security area,
you can ask for a private screening. They will examine your carry on
bag in a private room. steve Burns

ask to have a private screening and arrive early to do this, you are
allowed by law and the FAA to have this, it may not be in a private
room, but it will be away from others that could see your luggage
and contents, you also do not have to tell them why right there and
then, they will understand when they see it. but make sure to have
plenty of time as they may not be able to do it right then and there
like normally, if you feel comfortable, you can have them x-ray it
and it should be fine, but be warned, it could damage some gem
material, pearls are known to be damaged and some stones. you also
have the option of shipping it to a place where you are going, like
your hotel, and then shipping it home, don’t put it under the plane,
lots of stuff gets lost and they are only liable for about $500-1000
for items under the plane. just be careful and aware of all you
options, you can call your air line and ask what they could help you
with also.

Aaron A Tracy

Larry: I recently had an interesting experience while traveling to
Europe with a gift I made for a friend’s wedding. They were a
spinoff of the German tradition of the wedding cup. Instead of
traditional goblets, I made a couple of high-tech looking cups that
fit together, making a cylinder, joined together by a band with an
etched description of their wedding date, etc.

While passing through the x-ray machine, the attendant looked kind
of funny at the screen and signaled to one of the security agents
near by. Immediately I found myself surrounded by a couple of burly
guards who took me and my bag to the side and searched my luggage
for the item in question.

Of course, I didn’t have a clue at the time on what the excitement
was all about, they finally took out the box with the cups (which
was wrapped as a present, which of course they unwrapped.) After
explaining to them that the cylinder was nothing more than a couple
of cups, not a bomb, they let me through without too much trouble.
Since I was carrying this on take on luggage (I didn’t want to run
the risk of losing his present) , I learned to explain at every
checkpoint what the item was.

The lesson? Don’t carry around something that might be interpreted
as a potential bomb…

Bryan Steagall

It’s much easier than that. When your bag is screened you may or
may not be asked for your bag to be opened. If it is to be opened
ask that it be done in private and they will. Also a second person
is required to be in the room when the bag is inspected. It’s part
of normal procedure these days; you don’t have to make special
arrangements. You’ll have more of a problem trying to get nail
clippers through. Kevin Kelly

Flying with jewelry: You can always call the security office at a
particular airport ahead of time to check on specific rules i.e.
weight, tools etc. If you anticipate that there may be issues with
what you’re carrying you can deal with them BEFORE you’re late,
anxious and crabby. When I get to airport screening areas as soon as
I get up towards the front of the line, I tell the person at the
front of the machines ( the one that tells you to put your stuff in a
basket and step throughout the detector) that I know they will want
to inspect my carry-on, that it will take some time and that I would
like to do it in privacy for my own security. Leave plenty of timed
plan on up to 1/2 hour now. If you take this approach you can be
calm and friendly. Tell the screened once you are in the room that
you are carrying jewelry; explain to them about it’s fragility, the
importance of how it is unpacked and recapped and prepare to stand
back. You will not be allowed to assist except maybe in the most
unobtrusive way. They will be amazingly thorough! It will be a
much more pleasant experience for you if you are calm and patient.
When they are through you may ask if there is a way for them to help
you avoid going through this again at the boarding area. They do
random(?) checks now before boarding. I admit to being very crabby
that , after all my careful planning and good behavior I had to go
through it again in a public area. This might have been prompted by
request to pre board due to a heavy and fragile carry on…my
mistake! Marianne Hunter

I had to laugh when I read “don’t carry anything that looks like a
potential bomb”. Airline security being what it is these days,
anything that isn’t obviously clothing or toiletry supplies could be
a cause for the security guards to do a bag check.

having been searched several times in the last couple of months, I
can tell you that corkscrews are not allowed, and you can bring a
maximum of two lighters on an airplane. Oh, and if your wallet
containing your ID is stolen while you are traveling, get to the
airport a little early so they can do a thorough bag search. They
will probably still let you on the plane; they just want to be very
very sure that you aren’t a terrorist pretending to be you.

being searched takes only about five minutes, but you may want to
allow a little extra time to re-pack everything if you have a lot of
small items that need to be wrapped up again. Yes, it’s
inconvenient, but better than having someone get on your plane with
a bomb.

– Leah