If you have been doing any airline traveling lately, you may be getting as confused as I am regarding what you can and what you cannot carry on board. And to further sully the matter, what's okay and what isn't seems to change daily.

Now, the federal government has issued a more complete list that they believe will help clarify the status of particular items. According to Rebecca Trexler, a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration, "These were the things people had asked questions about so we tried to be more specific."

Okay, seems quite reasonable but let's take a closer look at this list. By now you realize that this column today has nothing to do with financial planning. That's okay. This is something that's been in my craw for a while so I might as well air it.

Guess what? Baseball bats, cattle prods, hammers, hockey sticks, pool cues, screwdrivers, and stun guns are all verboten. No kidding, Harvey!

But what is now allowed are eyelash curlers, nail clippers with nail files attached, razors (but only the disposable ones), syringes, and even umbrellas and walking canes.

Back up a minute, will ya! Syringes? Needles? Syringes? So, I asked the transportation people about that. Aha! they say. That only applies to syringes filled with medication and a professionally printed label identifying the medication or the manufacturer's name. Yeah, you got that right. It's LaLa time.

How about pets I queried? I have six cats and a ceramic pug. Only with the airline's permission. Don't ask me to explain. I have no idea what that means. I gather it's okay to bring a kitten aboard but leave the water buffalo at home in the backyard.

Oh, I did mention umbrellas didn't I? Allowed. Even with that sharp point? Yet golf clubs are prohibited, as are bull whips and martial arts devices, whatever those are. Is Jackie Chan allowed?

So, what happens if you get caught with a prohibited item such as trying to bring this big power saw on board? Trexler advises that if you have something that is confiscated, say goodbye to it. "The passenger has to make arrangements. Take it back to the car, arrange to have it mailed back to them, or give it to friend." By the way, who is "them?"

Uh, can we talk about that water buffalo again?

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