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Airline Confiscates Empty Cigar Lighters Packed in Checked Luggage
Cigar Aficionado ^ | May 27, 2003 | James Suckling

Posted on 06/08/2003 1:05:01 PM PDT by ml/nj

Something Special in the Air

I am sitting on American Airlines Flight 1844, to Chicago from Santa Ana, Calif., as I write this story, and I am trying to control my rage. A Screwdriver has helped take off the edge.

About 30 minutes ago, American Airlines agents took two empty S.T. Dupont X-tend lighters out of my checked-in bag, and said that they needed to be destroyed. They claimed they were "dangerous goods" that could endanger the lives of my fellow travelers -- apparently the equivalent of weapons of mass destruction in today's airline world.

I was actually at the gate waiting for the flight when my name was called over the loudspeaker. "Sir, they have found two cigarette lighters in your bag and they need to be destroyed," said a woman who was working the check-in desk, rather officiously.

"Those two lighters are worth about $300," I said. "You can't just destroy them."

"I suggest you go and speak to the American Airlines employee who checked you in, but I think that you might miss your flight," she said, not really bothered and obviously saying her comment in hopes that I would relent to losing my lighters.

She looked horrified when I hightailed it towards the check-in desk. It meant going through the security gauntlet again, which included taking off my belt, shoes, eyeglasses and IWC stainless steel watch -- thank God I left my flak jacket at home.

Ms. Karen Lawson, the American Airlines compliance officer at John Wayne Airport (what would the Duke do in this situation?) couldn't have been less helpful. It was as if she was speaking to bin Laden himself as she explained that such dangerous goods as my lighters should be immediately destroyed. But she would give me two hours to find someone to pick them up, if I wished. "I can't give you any more time," she said, "and I am doing you a favor giving you two hours."

I explained that my 95-year-old grandmother, whom I had been visiting in California, was not up to the task of retrieving my lighters from her wretched grasp. "Couldn't you just give me the lighters back?" I asked politely.

"I am unauthorized to do that, and I could be fined if I did so," she said. She looked very annoyed that I was still standing in front of her.

I changed my tactic. "I fly more than 60,000 miles a year with American Airlines and I only have two hours to find someone to get my lighters? Surely, you can help me somehow?"

She said, "That's all I can do for you."

There was no use continuing. I spun around and ran for the security check to make my way to Gate 8 for the flight to Chicago. But I was really upset. It wasn't the money lost. It was something more disturbing. I felt that American Airlines had taken something more from me. Those were my lighters, personal things that I valued. One of them had traveled around the world with me. They were like old friends.

I understood and welcomed the security measures in the airport, but it all seemed so arbitrary. I had checked in lighters (empty of butane) on American Airline flights from the Dominican Republic to Miami as well as Miami to Las Vegas with no problem, a fact I explained to Ms. Lawson. But she would have nothing to do with it. Perhaps she wanted the lighters herself?

In any case, I hope she -- or whoever else ended up with them -- enjoys my lighters. And I hope she enjoyed the opportunity of being some sort of mini-dictator. What she should have done is offered to mail the lighters to my office in New York. Or, she could have simply said that she was extremely sorry for the loss. But she didn't care, and attitude like that is why few will shed tears when another few thousand American Airlines employees are fired, or their company closes. But I wish her, and American, no bad will.

Maybe she didn't care because I was a smoker. I certainly didn't have any prejudice for her officious, unthinking demeanor.

We all know what it is like to be a cigar smoker in America, so we are used to being treated poorly. Don't check your lighter in your luggage. Don't smoke in public places. Don't buy Cuban cigars. Don't inflict secondhand smoke on others.

I just wish some people could say it all with a smile.


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: airlinesecurity
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To: Welsh Rabbit
Checked luggage yes, hand luggage no.
51 posted on 06/08/2003 2:16:05 PM PDT by KiaKaha
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To: OldEagle
OK, I'm confused. www.tsa.gov appears to say that lighters can be carried on.

Yes, but only one. It appears that it takes two to make a fusion device.

52 posted on 06/08/2003 2:17:17 PM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
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To: strela
The Cuban smokes aren't what they used to be, given drought, parasites, lack of good fertilizer and deteriorating manufacturing standards on Isla de Fidel. The best non-Cubans are just as good as Cubans, I believe.

I've tried many Opus X's, but can't say I enjoy them as much as the Don Carlos. Juan Sosa has told me he thinks the Don Carlos is the best cigar made, period. But it' all a matter of taste, which is what makes it such an interesting pursuit.

BTW, I like Jim Suckling. I think he's a good writer. I was a charter subscriber to CA, but let my subscription lapse a couple of years ago when it became more of a "lifestyle" magazine than a magazine about cigars.

53 posted on 06/08/2003 2:20:21 PM PDT by clintonh8r (You can have no better friend and no worse enemy than a US Marine.)
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To: clintonh8r
The best non-Cubans are just as good as Cubans, I believe.

I'd tend to agree - all of the Cubans I saw for sale were stored in the box; not a humidor in sight. I had no idea whether they would be as dry as dust when smoked. Forbidden fruit ...

54 posted on 06/08/2003 2:23:29 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: strela
Opus X and Don Carlos Robustos...great cigars! I just finished a Fuente Hemingway Classic. My favorite.
55 posted on 06/08/2003 2:25:43 PM PDT by I got the rope
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To: strela
If you buy from a reputable dealer in London or Geneva or Hong Kong or Canada they're probably OK. But the stuff they sell in the Caribbean...if it isn't couterfeit it's probably poorly maintained anyway.
56 posted on 06/08/2003 2:26:59 PM PDT by clintonh8r (You can have no better friend and no worse enemy than a US Marine.)
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To: I got the rope
I just finished a Fuente Hemingway Classic.

Doggonit, Freepers seem to have universal good taste!

57 posted on 06/08/2003 2:28:06 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: I got the rope
Believe it or not, the Doble Robusto is an order of magnitude better than even the Robusto!
58 posted on 06/08/2003 2:30:14 PM PDT by clintonh8r (You can have no better friend and no worse enemy than a US Marine.)
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To: ml/nj
This reminds me of a problem The Lovely Ann Coulter had a while back....silver earrings that looked like 45 caliber bullets were stolen from her by a thug at a "security" checkpoint.

I nearly had a .45 plug type cigar cutter taken from me at LAX - but I was able to shame the idiot at the checkpoint by pointing out the distinct differences between reality and appearance - but this was before 9/11, I could never get it through now.

The fact of the matter is, the rules are simply arbitrary and capricious, with no serious attempt at increasing security - but merely making the sheeple BELIEVE that security has been increased.

Finally - the arguments against this man that refer to the cost of the lighter (e.g. my cheap Bic works just fine) are simply classist and envious, and certainly not the viewpoint of a true conservative.
59 posted on 06/08/2003 2:31:53 PM PDT by GilesB
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To: GilesB
Finally - the arguments against this man that refer to the cost of the lighter (e.g. my cheap Bic works just fine) are simply classist and envious, and certainly not the viewpoint of a true conservative.

It is considered to be cowardly behavior here to discuss a poster's opinion or viewpoint without listing the poster in question in the reply line. And cowardice is most definitely NOT a conservative trait.

A "true conservative" is generally an intelligent person and recognizes reality. Anyone foolish enough to transport expensive items via a non-secure mode (such as checked baggage on an airline) without first checking with the carrier providing said transportation exhibits non-conservative traits as well. The author was the one who brought up the subject of the price of his expensive lighters, not me.

As for my cheap Bic, I don't drop a bill and a half on a freaking cigar lighter because I risk part of my disposable income to attempt to become wealthy to the point where I can afford things like $150 lighters without blinking an eye. If you're trying to make the point that anyone who uses a disposable lighter is a liberal, it is laughable at best.

60 posted on 06/08/2003 2:43:11 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: Political Junkie Too
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of bleating and whining I observe on this forum from the ill informed and down right ignorant. (This comment was not directed at you “Political Junkie Too” as you have taken the time to research your comment it’s just an observation on my part).

The simple fact of the matter is a pipe lighter where the flame can be locked on is a prohibited item “dangerous good” as classified by IATA.

These rules have nothing to do with September 11th they are all to do with the safety of the Aircraft, crew and passengers.

A prime example of lighter is your “Zippo” or similar whether fueled by liquid or gas the lighter itself is ok, spare fuel in either you carry-on or hold luggage is not.

If you are unsure if an item you have is prohibited read the back of your ticket or ask a representative of your airline. If you cannot be bothered to do this and get caught out you only have yourself to blame.
61 posted on 06/08/2003 2:43:53 PM PDT by KiaKaha
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To: KCmark
It's not a license to steal.

Au contraire, mon ami. But 'tis such. Hang out with some of these failed cop wannabes and listen to them brag about their "scores".

62 posted on 06/08/2003 2:46:55 PM PDT by woofer
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To: KiaKaha
The simple fact of the matter is a pipe lighter where the flame can be locked on is a prohibited item “dangerous good” as classified by IATA.

Fair enough. Then the man should have been given back his property and allowed to make alternative transportation arrangements for his property and/or himself.

63 posted on 06/08/2003 2:51:36 PM PDT by supercat (TAG--you're it!)
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To: clintonh8r
To be honest...I'm not sure if I had that one.
64 posted on 06/08/2003 3:04:30 PM PDT by I got the rope
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To: strela
Personally I don't consider my cigar lighter a "gas torch". It's a freaking lighter. It is quite simple to verify it is empty. What danger does it pose? Why could she not give it back to him? (But could give it to someone else? That's just weird). It does sound to me like it was appropriated, probably because it was silver or gold. I call this government supported airline induced theft.
65 posted on 06/08/2003 3:08:30 PM PDT by Jack Black
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To: Jack Black
BTW: I like AVO Dominae's and CAO Maduros.
66 posted on 06/08/2003 3:16:08 PM PDT by Jack Black
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To: ml/nj
This sort of thing never happens if you boycott the airlines' airport/POW camps.

Bankruptcy tends to clarify things for people.
67 posted on 06/08/2003 3:18:23 PM PDT by Reelect President Dubya (Drug prohibition laws help support terrorism.)
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To: Jack Black
Personally I don't consider my cigar lighter a "gas torch". It's a freaking lighter. It is quite simple to verify it is empty.

Again, American Airlines' posted rules make no distinction between an empty or full cigar lighter of the type that was confiscated. And again, the author of the piece bore the primary responsibility to make sure that his personal property could be transported under the rules laid down by American. This he arguably failed to do.

What danger does it pose?

Your lighter? Probably none. But are you willing to assign the same level of confidence to everybody else's lighter as well?

Why could she not give it back to him?

Their policy their rules. Don't like it? Then don't fly American (or likely any other airline from what I've seen, as they all seem to have similar policies).

It does sound to me like it was appropriated, probably because it was silver or gold.

Then color me amazed that my gold and silver cufflinks and studs, my gold pendant, my Seiko maritime watch, and my ring made it through TSA hell on my recent trip, because all did so without a hitch.

I call this government supported airline induced theft.

I call it failure to exercise due diligence on the part of the author of the piece.

68 posted on 06/08/2003 3:19:54 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: ml/nj
Pretty interesting considering that a freight forwarder could send this over the counter on AMERICAN Airlines or anyone else and send them with no problems.
69 posted on 06/08/2003 3:22:41 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: KCmark
"I've had to remind them of that twice now as they tried to take nice pens."

They tried to take your pens? What was their proffered justification for this?

Now I HAVE heard everything!
70 posted on 06/08/2003 3:39:09 PM PDT by Henrietta
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To: ml/nj
Besides everything else, I guess I wonder why the Airline wouldn't charge the guy ten bucks and mail his dangerous cargo wherever he wanted it mailed. Treating customers like that is a sure path to bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, treating customers like that is standard procedure, the Airline Attitude. No wonder everybody has stopped flying unless they absolutely, positively have to go somewhere they can't drive. No wonder that the major carriers are going broke. Good riddance - unless Congress makes us subsidize them.

71 posted on 06/08/2003 3:50:12 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: strela
But we were free once. I know we were, I can remember it.
72 posted on 06/08/2003 3:52:04 PM PDT by Rifleman
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To: Henrietta
They claimed they were too sharp. ?! I raised my voice a little, said, "You will have to take every pen from every passenger or we're gonna have a problem." They called a supervisor who said it was ok to give me my property back. You always take the chance of a bogus arrest I suppose, but I can't just stand there and let them steal.

My wife had her sharp tweezers taken. A cop started getting closer when she was questioning the security on their pilfering. I told her she should have filed a complaint with him (the cop) instead of being intimidated. The security finally agreed they should not have taken the tweezers, but as they were already in the 'security box', they couldn't get them back for her. What crap. But if you want to catch your flight, you just go along to get along.
73 posted on 06/08/2003 3:55:51 PM PDT by KCmark (I am NOT a partisan.)
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To: strela
I just don't see any cause for outrage here. The guy failed to follow the rules and paid for it. If he doesn't like it, let him do the due diligence next time or take the bus.

Let's face it - had he been carrying an empty 59-cent Bic instead of a empty $300 model, this would never have happened. Some little tin tyrant at the gate saw something she felt like helping herself to, and decided to pull a Silly Rule out of her butt to suit the occasion. Airlines have lots of Silly Rules, designed for instant use when an employee notices that a passenger is for some unaccountable reason having a nice day.

Why not give passengers the option of mailing the offending item home?

74 posted on 06/08/2003 4:00:12 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: strela
Don't like it? Then don't fly American (or likely any other airline from what I've seen, as they all seem to have similar policies).



BS! That argument was lost when our government sent them checks. Yes, I'm willing to take a chance on everyone else’s lighter. Freedom is becoming an illusion. We are too open a society. It is our strength and weakness. I am not willing to give that up in the name of security. I'm surprised by anyone who would.
75 posted on 06/08/2003 4:04:51 PM PDT by KCmark (I am NOT a partisan.)
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To: strela
As for my cheap Bic, I don't drop a bill and a half on a freaking cigar lighter because I risk part of my disposable income to attempt to become wealthy to the point where I can afford things like $150 lighters without blinking an eye. If you're trying to make the point that anyone who uses a disposable lighter is a liberal, it is laughable at best.

Of course using a cheap Bic lighter doesn't make you a liberal. It's using the victim's possession of an expensive lighter to make a cheesy class-warfare argument that makes you a liberal. As an example of this, go to Salon.com and look up Arianna Huffington's archived rants on SUV owners.

76 posted on 06/08/2003 4:10:05 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: ml/nj
"Couldn't you just give me the lighters back?" I asked politely.

"I am unauthorized to do that, and I could be fined if I did so,"

The implication of this exchanges is the AA employee is concerned about some government regulation or law.

That being the case, the rights of the passenger were violated in two ways:

Amendment IV

"...warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The AA employee had no warrant, fulfilling the requirements of the 4th amendment.

Amdnement V

"... nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."

It is for the public use that his property was taken.

If the AA employee was not acting as a deputized federal agent, but as a private citizen employed by AA, acting on AA's private property regulation, then she should be charged with theft.

77 posted on 06/08/2003 4:12:35 PM PDT by tahiti
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To: BlazingArizona
Let's face it - had he been carrying an empty 59-cent Bic instead of a empty $300 model, this would never have happened. Some little tin tyrant at the gate saw something she felt like helping herself to, and decided to pull a Silly Rule out of her butt to suit the occasion.

(Said "Silly Rule" being clearly posted beforehand on the company's web site and provided in their dead tree literature, well before the guy ever flew. Of course).

Then I'll ask you the same question I asked earlier in the thread, said question to which I still have failed to receive an answer. If petty theft is indeed American's company policy as seems to be the charge of many here, then why weren't my silver and gold cufflinks/watch/ring/pendant, etc. taken from me during my recent trip? A strong enough metal chain could certainly be used to strangle somebody, a watch could be the cleverly-concealed timer for the Semtex molded into my humble but comfortable SAS loafers, and my ring could contain a chip with records of Osama bin Ladin's last 5 high colonics.

Airlines have lots of Silly Rules, designed for instant use when an employee notices that a passenger is for some unaccountable reason having a nice day.

Hyperbole. On the other hand, my recent flights were smooth (if not giddily enjoyable) experiences. For example, I would pay extra - MUCH extra - to be able to take a flight that allowed smoking. Figure the odds.

Maybe a lot of the author's troubles can be pinned on the attitude he displayed - The Golden Rule and all that.

Why not give passengers the option of mailing the offending item home?

Ask American Airlines. I don't have the answer to that one. Better yet, if they have a policy you don't like, then fly with another airline. There is no Constitutional right to stuff yourself into a thin metal cigar with 200 other people and go zooming halfway across the country at accelerated speeds.

78 posted on 06/08/2003 4:35:18 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: KCmark
I carry a recent printout of the TSA "What Can I Bring?" list, and am prepared to say, "Well, gosh, there must be some confusion...your own website says I can bring it, see? Why don't you call your supervisor."

I'm not going to let them steal from me. Good for you for not letting them steal from you.
79 posted on 06/08/2003 4:36:49 PM PDT by Henrietta
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To: Rifleman
But we were free once. I know we were, I can remember it.

Free to carry potential explosives on aircraft filled with other people? Free to simply make up our own rules as we go, dreamily ignorant of other people's safety? No, I can't say that I ever recall living in that sort of country.

80 posted on 06/08/2003 4:38:40 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: ml/nj
I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly rest easier at night knowing that if the next Mohammed Atta has a stogie clenched in his teeth as he's crashing an airliner into a building, it won't be lit.
81 posted on 06/08/2003 4:43:02 PM PDT by Redcloak (All work and no FReep makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no FReep make s Jack a dul boy. Allwork an)
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To: Henrietta
Unfortunately, I have adjusted. I watch the shoes I wear, I don't carry those particular pens, ... It's all BS. They still come up with 'new' rules all the time though. They have even told me they are 'letting' me keep my bic lighters. If we all don't complain, it will get worse.
82 posted on 06/08/2003 4:44:07 PM PDT by KCmark (I am NOT a partisan.)
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To: KCmark
BS! That argument was lost when our government sent them checks.

So because the government subsidizes the building of interstate highways, there should be no speed limits or passing lanes, everybody should be allowed to get drunk as a lord or high as a kite and drive on them, etc? Nonsense.

Yes, I'm willing to take a chance on everyone else’s lighter.

I'm not. And neither, apparently, is American Airlines. So there we are.

Freedom is becoming an illusion.

We've almost 300 million people in this country today. While there are still wide-open spaces, there are simply too many of us to allow the same laissez-faire attitude that we had at the beginning of our "third rate agricultural experiment." Things will continue to change, I'm afraid, and not necessarily for the better.

We are too open a society. It is our strength and weakness.

I too hate it that we are at war and don't have the same sense of freedom that we had pre-9/11. The worst part is that for every bin Ladin that we destroy, more will most certainly pop up. Greed, envy, and hatred cannot be destroyed by military action any more than I can eliminate all the crabgrass from my lawn by pulling one leaf at a time.

I am not willing to give that up in the name of security. I'm surprised by anyone who would.

At least you didn't trot out the same tired old Ben Franklin quote that everybody else uses when somebody doesn't pander to anarchy. For that I thank you.

83 posted on 06/08/2003 4:46:49 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: strela
(And another thing: I just can't see paying $150 for a freaking lighter. But hey, if you really want a $300 pair of socks, this is America I guess ...)

If he can afford an IWC watch, which is worth more than your average automobile, a couple of Dupont lighters are pocket change. If he wants to spend it, fine by me!
84 posted on 06/08/2003 4:47:39 PM PDT by July 4th
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To: July 4th
If he wants to spend it, fine by me!

I don't disagree one little bit. Conspicuous consumption is still ... consumption. Just don't expect me to shed any tears for him when he feels (as he apparently did) that the rules are only for the Little People and loses his playpretties as a result.

85 posted on 06/08/2003 4:50:59 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: strela
(Said "Silly Rule" being clearly posted beforehand on the company's web site and provided in their dead tree literature, well before the guy ever flew. Of course).

Which until recently said "if you have a lighter, you can't carry it on. You have to check it." Suddently, the rule turns into "Instead of checking your lighter, you have to carry it. That is, unless our employee just feels like confiscating it that day."

Then I'll ask you the same question I asked earlier in the thread, said question to which I still have failed to receive an answer. If petty theft is indeed American's company policy as seems to be the charge of many here, then why weren't my silver and gold cufflinks/watch/ring/pendant, etc. taken from me during my recent trip?

What's company policy is not the theft, but applying rules in such a capricious manner that an employee can use them to steal -or merely to annoy, as they love so much - at his/her discretion. Obviously, your chain and pendant carried into the cabin is more of an actual threat to the flight than an empty lighter in checked baggage. So why the arbitrary difference in treatment of these items?

86 posted on 06/08/2003 4:54:04 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: strela
Me: I am not willing to give that up in the name of security. I'm surprised by anyone who would.

You: At least you didn't trot out the same tired old Ben Franklin quote that everybody else uses when somebody doesn't pander to anarchy. For that I thank you.
-------

I came pretty close though. ;-)

I also don't think the highway system is analogous. That is built by the public, for the public. Airlines are capitalistic enterprises and should adhere to the rules of 'if WE don't like it, THEY go out of business.'

And you say:
While there are still wide-open spaces, there are simply too many of us to allow the same laissez-faire attitude that we had at the beginning of our "third rate agricultural experiment." Things will continue to change, I'm afraid, and not necessarily for the better.

I wonder if you will feel the same way when they try to take our guns. All in the name of security, of course.
87 posted on 06/08/2003 4:57:36 PM PDT by KCmark (I am NOT a partisan.)
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To: BlazingArizona
Which until recently said "if you have a lighter, you can't carry it on. You have to check it." Suddently, the rule turns into "Instead of checking your lighter, you have to carry it.

Funny - I've been flying to various holes in the world since the late 70s and have NEVER had the presence of a disposable lighter or even an old Zippo that I used to carry questioned at any time. I carried them on my person, in my checked baggage, and in my carry-on bag, and have never had a problem. Heck, I hit the trifecta on my recent trip and had two in my carry-on bag, one in my pocket, and one in my checked bag. Nary a word was said to me. Go figure.

That is, unless our employee just feels like confiscating it that day."

If you want to play hyperbole, then go ahead and do so. I'm tired of the game myself.

88 posted on 06/08/2003 4:59:31 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: strela
Just don't expect me to shed any tears for him when he feels (as he apparently did) that the rules are only for the Little People and loses his playpretties as a result.
------
You're missing the point. Had it been a cheap lighter, it wouldn't have been a problem. Security is using the law, at their discretion, to steal. And it isn't making anybody safer. Welcome to big brother's world.
89 posted on 06/08/2003 5:02:28 PM PDT by KCmark (I am NOT a partisan.)
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To: KCmark
I wonder if you will feel the same way when they try to take our guns. All in the name of security, of course.

A false comparison. An airline openly posting and enforcing its rules does not equal jackbooted thugs kicking down my door and confiscating my firearms. Don't like the rules? Then don't fly.

As for the issue of the airlines receiving money from the government, haven't you heard of that "Crazy Larry" guy on the radio with his commercials? Why, he claims that the government will give you money for working on your invention, taking dance lessons, etc. Guess that means that I need to get that bar code tattoed on my forehead because I received $3.76 in a government check for my gerbil ranch in Montana ... ;)

90 posted on 06/08/2003 5:03:41 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: strela
Don't be denser than you have to. A couple of lighters are not potential explosives. And they were empty. And they could have been mailed to the passenger if the stupid functionaries were not focused on our obedience rather than actual flight safety.

Are you really claiming that perhaps an ounce of butane is more dangerous than, oh say the vodka in the couple of dozen little bottles in the galley or the fuel in the tanks or for that matter the methane in the intestines of the passengers?

Almost all of the "security measures" that have been implimented after 9/11 are frauds, government employee busywork. If they had been serious, the first things done would have been arming the pilots and armoring the cockpit doors. They did the second, the first is still undone.

I believe you when you claim to be unable to recall when this nation had a sane government and a free society. All that has been put down the memory hole and you have mastered the skill of double think.

Double plus good, comrade!
91 posted on 06/08/2003 5:09:24 PM PDT by Rifleman
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To: KCmark
You're missing the point. Had it been a cheap lighter, it wouldn't have been a problem.

And I think you're missing my point - the author essentially accused the airline droid of arbitrarily and capriciously confiscating his lighter. I say nay, that the droid was only following the publicly stated policies of his/her employer, said policies being available for the author's perusal as well.

It might be interesting to follow the paperwork trail and demand that the airline show where and how the lighters were destroyed, if indeed they were. If the author could do this and show that the droid was lying to him and pocketed the lighter him/herself, then I think he has a valid point. Otherwise, as they say on Perry Mason, "The burden of proof is on the accuser."

92 posted on 06/08/2003 5:09:31 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: Rifleman
Don't be denser than you have to.

** yawn **

Do go on.

A couple of lighters are not potential explosives.

What about a couple hundred? Or 10,000? So the author is some sort of special personage who has some soi-disant Constitutional right to violate the airline's posted rules? What about all the other poor schmucks on the plane - maybe some are lighter manufacturers. As I've taken great pains to explain in previous posts, laissez-faire is NOT the rule of the day when it comes to the safety of over 200 total strangers on an airliner.

And they were empty.

Again, irrelevant. The airline made no distinction between empty and full lighters in their written policy.

And they could have been mailed to the passenger if the stupid functionaries were not focused on our obedience rather than actual flight safety.

(broken record mode)

Then don't fly.

(broken record mode /OFF)

Are you really claiming that perhaps an ounce of butane is more dangerous than, oh say the vodka in the couple of dozen little bottles in the galley or the fuel in the tanks or for that matter the methane in the intestines of the passengers?

If the airlines required me to stand on my head and cluck like a chicken before boarding one of their aircraft, I'd stop flying anywhere tomorrow. You, and the author of the piece, have that same right.

(broken record mode)

Then don't fly.

(broken record mode /OFF)

I believe you when you claim to be unable to recall when this nation had a sane government and a free society. All that has been put down the memory hole and you have mastered the skill of double think.

I've mastered the skill of not wanting my aircraft to catch on fire from a couple thousand leaking butane lighters, a brick of Black Cat firecrackers, or "empty" oxygen canisters in the cargo hold (much like the "empty" ones that brought down that airliner in Florida a few years ago).

Double plus good, comrade!

Niiiice ... an Orwell reference AND calling me a commie as well. At least you blend your personal attacks in an entertaining way.

Well, I leave you and the others the field today. I'll take my Soma and eat my gubmint cheese now and catch another thread. See ya.

93 posted on 06/08/2003 5:20:13 PM PDT by strela (Just shoot me now, 'cause I've done it all.)
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To: strela
Ok, we can't agree on comparisons. How about this?

All these security laws are feelgood legislation. All they do is inconvenience us. We, the passengers, will never let another plane be highjacked at the end of something sharp. In all the stories of people trying to get into the cockpit since 9/11, I can remember only one where the airline employees took care of the situation. The passengers have stepped up and we will continue to do so. I personally always sit near the front with every intintion of giving my life if the situation arises. There are several of us who think this way.

IMHO, there should be a pack of bomb dogs in the bowels of every airport. No privacy intrusions, and the success rate is very high. And be realistic on confiscations. Machetes yes. Pen knives no.

Ok, I used the H word, and the B word in a post. I expect I will be hasseled the next time I fly.
94 posted on 06/08/2003 5:23:20 PM PDT by KCmark (I am NOT a partisan.)
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To: strela
We just aren't going to see eye to eye.

[T]he author essentially accused the airline droid of arbitrarily and capriciously confiscating his lighter. I say nay,...

If you have flown, you have seen this. This isn't an isolated story.

[T]hat the droid was only following the publicly stated policies of his/her employer, said policies being available for the author's perusal as well.

If those are the policies, then why did he get through so many other airports? And it is a large assumption to think this employee confiscated every item of this nature. They are selective. We've all seen it several times.

You want the paper trail? Try to get anything from an airline. If you have ever worked around people, then you know they exploit the system. I wouldn't trust their explanations of destruction anymore than I trust Saddam's. The system needs to be reworked with some common sense.
95 posted on 06/08/2003 5:49:46 PM PDT by KCmark (I am NOT a partisan.)
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To: tahiti
If the AA employee was not acting as a deputized federal agent, but as a private citizen employed by AA, acting on AA's private property regulation, then she should be charged with theft.

It should come as no surprise to you that I like your demonstrated ability to reason.

ML/NJ

96 posted on 06/08/2003 5:52:58 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Redcloak
I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly rest easier at night knowing that if the next Mohammed Atta has a stogie clenched in his teeth as he's crashing an airliner into a building, it won't be lit.

LOL! This is reassuring!

(Do the towelheads smoke?)

ML/NJ

97 posted on 06/08/2003 5:59:50 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: strela
BS! That argument was lost when our government sent them checks.

So because the government subsidizes the building of interstate highways, there should be no speed limits or passing lanes, everybody should be allowed to get drunk as a lord or high as a kite and drive on them, etc? Nonsense.

You really need to think before you type.

The argument was that the acceptor of funds loses some right to set his own standards. In this case American loses some right.

The argument about speed limits (which I diasgree with BTW) is that the Federal government CAN tell the States what speed limits to set, and what age to set as the minimum for alcohol consumption. That is, because the the States accept government highway funds the States must give up some of their Constutitional rights to control these things. You say "Nonsense," I assume meaning that the States should give up some rights. Why isn't American in the same position?

ML/NJ

98 posted on 06/08/2003 6:45:48 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj
Don't feel to bad last year they took my toenail clippers. But they let me check my wifes rifle (gift from father-in-law) with no problems. Go figure......
99 posted on 06/08/2003 6:51:46 PM PDT by Militiaman7
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To: strela; All
I just wanted to commend you on your factual arguments. You are one of the few here (imo, of course) making sense.

Now to all, as a rational, thinking citizen of the United States of America, I want to echo the few who have redirected everyone's attention to the "rules" section. AA has a rules section. AA has a rules section that you can read online, in pamphlet form, on the back of the tickets, in several languages. If you cannot see, and can read Braille, AA would gladly accommodate your need. If you cannot read, you can request that the "rules" be read to you. The FAA also has a "rules" section. Venture over to the Department of Homeland Security on the web, and a few simple clicks will bring you to the Transportation Security Administration, and their "rules."

While just browsing through the TSA website, I found it extremely easy to read. I've cut and pasted two items of interest:

"As of January 1, 2003, TSA began screening 100% of checked baggage at all 429 commercial airports across the United States. You will encounter one of the processes described below at the airport. Please be aware that you will not be able to access your bags after they are screened no matter which process you encounter."

"The prohibited and permitted items list is not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary. To ensure everyone's security, the screener may determine that an item not on this chart is prohibited."

The TSA provides a list of Permitted & Prohibited items for passengers to follow to make airline travel as safe as can be. Following the rules equates to following the law. Breaking the rules is breaking the law. Breaking the law, means that a person is doing something illegal. Ignorance of the law is still breaking the law.

From what was mentioned in the article, it appears to me that AA was the messenger, as AA does not inspect the checked baggage...the TSA does. Imo, this passenger's grievance should be addressed with the TSA.
100 posted on 06/08/2003 7:47:36 PM PDT by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL
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