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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Airline security questions... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
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So I am going to do a gig on Saturday and I have to fly. First flying gig for me, so ive never had to worry about security. It is a fly in, fly out deal, so I am going to just bring my carry on to reduce hassle. Have any of you had issues with getting props on? I cant do fire at this particular gig, so torches and fuel arnt an issue, but I was going to do human blockhead (nail, and probably a small hammer) a lighter, some flashpaper and some mousetraps. Some other magic props, but those shouldnt be an issue. If they confiscate them it wont be a big deal, but I wanted to know what to expect. What have you smuggled through airport security?
Todd Robbins
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I always put them in checked luggage and have never had a problem. The flashpaper might be a problem, but I'll PM about what I would suggest. I wouldn't try to carry on any of that stuff.
Harley Newman
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Pack it and check it. Some of their equipment will detect the flash paper. It might be a problem.
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Harley Newman
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It sometimes helps to put two things in the suitcase, that are seen immediately on opening: a piece of publicity, and a list of the props. Put a header on the list that says "Theatrical Props".
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Kameron Messmer
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Thanks guys! Good advice. Wish me luck!
Rotten
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I just put an 8X10 on top.

I know a magician that puts a paper in his cases that says something along the lines of "I am a magician. You will find electronics and odd props. Please handle them carefully so as to not damage."

I have learned you can't carry on a bullwhip even though it is not listed on the prohibited list and my belt and buckle are more dangerous. I was able to convince them once but they warned me to not try again.

Just check it.
Chance
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Here are 4 of my favorite airline tricks (not already mentioned)...

1. I always get my travel agent to add extra notes onto the bottom of my ticket stubs and other agency travel docs specifying the exact type, size, and weight of my checked items. The notes also state that I am compliant with all weight and size regulations, and that the cost of my ticket covers any possible incovenience while enroute.

This tip has saved my butt more than once.

2. If you take the time to seal up your bags with shrink wrap and duct tape really well, and make it look like a pro did it, it's a virtual certainty your bags will be left alone.

3. If you can't do tip #2, then right at check-in you can request that an airline supervisor be called over to personally inspect your bags. They might take you aside, and they might call over a security agent to assist. But your bags will get a special sticker that will allow it to pass unharmed from then on.

4. Most airlines make a free baggage allowance for aids such as wheel chairs and trollys. I've got a heavy-duty folding trolly that weighs about 12lbs. I wrap it separately (see #2), and I will often include other weird items like a tennis racquet or a strait jacket. I get them to mark it as a freebie at check-in, and there's 20lbs I never have to pay for.
Freak Prodigy
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Quote:
On 2012-04-14 11:03, Chance wrote:

2. If you take the time to seal up your bags with shrink wrap and duct tape really well, and make it look like a pro did it, it's a virtual certainty your bags will be left alone.




To me that sounds like a total red flag for something fishy going on.
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Chance
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Quote:
On 2012-04-14 17:03, Freak Prodigy wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-04-14 11:03, Chance wrote:

2. If you take the time to seal up your bags with shrink wrap and duct tape really well, and make it look like a pro did it, it's a virtual certainty your bags will be left alone.




To me that sounds like a total red flag for something fishy going on.


Maybe, but it works. Notice I said to make it look nice. Just wrapping something mummy style doesn't count. People with very nice luggage often pay to have their stuff shrink wrapped. They pay something like $5 or $10 per bag at an airport kiosk for the service. These bags are basically off-limits unless they trigger a real alert. So either get the service yourself if it's available, or try to mimic it as closely as possible. Just make sure that you're not packing anything that could trigger a sensor.
thegreatnippulini
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Anything with duct tape is considered "suspicious". Make sure it's not ticking either!

A real easy peasy way to make sure you can work when you arrive is to FedEx your props prior to your flight. If you time it right, you will arrive at the same time your props do. FedEx provides very good delivery and if you word it properly you should have whomever hired you to pay for it.
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erikkloeker
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Never had them question my checked baggage even while carrying Machetes, Axes, Torches, Swords, and Liquor. Had my bags double checked at the airport in Miami (to check for excess alcohol/cigarettes because I was coming back from an international flight and I just told the guy to be careful because their were sharp objects that could poke him, he didn't question any of the stuff. Carry on is a totally different ball game, you are allowed to have lighters on the plane again as long as it is a regular bic, I have carried on a megaphone without it raising any red flags, you can probably get away with a nail for blockhead, the hammer would be questionable... a small hammer would have a better chance of getting through than a normal carpenter one. Mousetraps might get through, keep them in the original packaging, flash paper is very questionable... if the explosive detectors smell them then you may be in for an extensive search. My suggestions would be to check the stuff or pick it up once you get there.
Michael K
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A few years ago I was able to get my one nail through airport screening. However they said if I had a hammer I would have trouble. Didn't think to start the Mile-high blockhead club!
Martin_Ling
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With the new classifications Flash Paper is considered an explosive. Technically, even to use it in a venue you need/be a licensed shooter or at least obtain a local permit which might possibly involve a fire marshal demo.

Here is some useful information:
http://www.theatrefx.com/pyroregs.pdf
thegreatnippulini
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I wear very sharp 00 gauge nails in my ears. They are hand forged, double twist style and sell for $100 a pair. I fabricated a set of stainless rivets to wear during airport screening, I keep the nails in my luggage so I can wear them when I get to my destination. The nails (and other metal objects) get found during x-ray exams and I end up having to take them out and show the people that it is simply jewelry (that doubles as a pry tool, a pick, shim, etc.)
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Kameron Messmer
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THAT Nipp, is GENIUS!
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