Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Safety Razors and Disposable Razors

I've seen a lot of confusion out there on what types of razors are OK to take with you in your carry-on baggage. This post is just a quick and basic attempt to clear up any confusion. Let me just start by saying that electric razors are OK, but straight razors are a no-go.

These two photos below show a safety razor and the removable blade that they use. They're making a come back thanks to the close shave they provide and the extremely affordable price of the replacement blades. It basically unscrews and you can insert a razor blade. Because these razor blades are so easy to take out, safety razors are not permitted in your carry-on luggage with the blade. The blades must be stored in your checked luggage.

Shaving razor, brush, and mug.
Photo Courtesy of Charlie Esser @ Flickr 
Razor Blade
Photo Courtesy of Scottfeldstein @ Flickr
Disposable Shaving Razor
Photo Courtesy of Cisc1970 @ Flickr
This is a disposable razor. They come in two types. The kind that is completely disposable (handle and all), or the kind where you replace them with cartridges. These are permissible in carry-on luggage with the blade and replacement cartridges.

This gentleman is shaving with a disposable razor. Good to go!
Photo Courtesy of Dotbenjamin @ Flickr



This gentleman is shaving with a disposable razor. Good to go!

This gentleman is shaving with a safety razor. No-go! (OK without blade)
Photo Courtesy of Noob @ Flickr











This gentleman is shaving with a safety razor. No-go! (OK without blade)

This gentleman is shaving with a Samurai sword. No-go! (Swords must be checked with luggage)
Photo Courtesy of Emoneytg @ Flickr










This gentleman is shaving with a Samurai sword. No-go! (Swords must be checked with luggage)











Thanks!

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team


110 comments:

TSO Tom said...

Yes we are seeing a growing number of "safety razors" at the checkpoint. Thanks for this topic.

Civil War Soldier said...

Ok, first off, I love the pic with the guy shaving with a samuri sword. Priceless.

Ok, on to what is serious....

People, I'm probably one of the first people to try to take everything for my trip through security rather than have to wait at a baggage claim. Keep your life simple and just either take the cheapo, yellow handle throw away razor or put it in your baggage get it when you arrive. A lot of the better hotels have virtually all of the items from the no-no list available at them or they can be gotten when you arrive from the grocery store. Do us all a favor, keep your nice rolling duffle bags cleaned out so you can get through security faster rather than clogging things up.

While I'm not a fan of all the checkpoints I have to go through, they are here so play it smart. The faster we get through them, the less my nerves have to fray.

Anonymous said...

Hrm. No Knife? No problem. Security is a joke. Just buy a disposable razor, a wooden pencil, and some bandages at the "gripes" store in the "sterile area". Bum a business card off some suit. Use your heel. Use your brain. Security of things will always be circumvented by intent of mind.

Bubba said...

Please tell me how you could take an airplane down with a razor blade now that cockpits are reinforced and passengers know to fight back.

Also give us an answer on that article published in the top scientific journal Nature about the SPOT program.

Anonymous said...

You could kill a person with your fist. The point you are missing is TSA is trying to educate travelers to help them avoid problems at the airport.

Good on them. It is nice to see the government helping people.

Anonymous said...

I think the confusion arises more out of the shifting rules at different checkpoints. On a recent trip I was told to put my shoes on the belt at one airport, put them in a bin at another airport. Hold my boarding pass out at one, put it away at another. Take off my belt here, leave it on there.

These inconsistencies do nothing to trip up the bad guys. They make travel more stressful, more confusing, take more time.

Set some rules, make them clear, and stick to them. Enough with being cutesy.

Anonymous said...

How about updating your website to be explicit about this and remove any confusion? It currently says the following are prohibited in carry-on:

"Razor-Type Blades - such as box cutters, utility knives, razor blades not in a cartridge, but excluding safety razors."

Why intentionally confuse people with a double negative ('prohibited' + 'excluding')
Why don't you simply re-word it to say "safety razors without the blade are allowed in carry-on" ?

Blogger Bob said...

Anon Said: How about updating your website to be explicit about this and remove any confusion?

-----------------------

Good idea Anon. I just fired off a couple of e-mails and am looking into changing the verbiage and maybe even adding a link to some photos for clarification.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

TSO Tom said...

Anonymous said...
I think the confusion arises more out of the shifting rules at different checkpoints. On a recent trip I was told to put my shoes on the belt at one airport, put them in a bin at another airport. Hold my boarding pass out at one, put it away at another. Take off my belt here, leave it on there.

These inconsistencies do nothing to trip up the bad guys. They make travel more stressful, more confusing, take more time.

Set some rules, make them clear, and stick to them. Enough with being cutesy.

August 18, 2010 8:43 AM
***********************************
Anon, I agree with you, here is the deal on some of these issues:
Shoes: While we prefer them flat on the belt, they can be put into a bin if they are not cluttered with other items. The object is for us to be able to have a clear view of the shoes.
***********************************
Belt: Most belts do not have to come off at the metal detector, however, if you have a WWE championship belt you would need to remove it to avoid setting the metal detector off.
***********************************
Boarding pass: This is the most difficult to answer because it really does depend on the airport/checkpoint. Most checkpoints have stopped checking boarding passes at the walk through, however, some checkpoints still do it. So all you need to do is ask the TDC person.

Ayn R. Key said...

1.5 inch razor-blade no way, 3 inch scissors fine? Maybe people think the tiny razors are ok because the scissors are ok. I think the problem is TSA inconsistency.

TSO Tom said...

Ayn R. Key said...
1.5 inch razor-blade no way, 3 inch scissors fine? Maybe people think the tiny razors are ok because the scissors are ok. I think the problem is TSA inconsistency.
***********************************
Ayn, I won't go into why some inconsistency is necessary, but I agree with you on the scissor rule. It should have been left alone, because you can kill someone with a pair of scissors as easily as you can with a razor blade. However, I believe the rule on scissors changed because TSA mangement felt it was more of inconvenience than a threat. And razor blades are arguably much sharper than scissors, although there are ways to kill someone with a common pen, or a knitting needle for instance, point is if everything that could do harm to someone was banned, you would not be able to take anything on board the plane. I don't know about you, but I prefer the way it is to the way it could be.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

You agreed with "Anon" and said "Belt: Most belts do not have to come off..." At DCA last week, I went through one security area with my belt, then due to a canceled flight, went through another security area 30 minutes later and was "forced" to take of my belt that time. You have a really serious training issue to resolve. My blood pressure was up enough (due to airline issues). Then to have the 2nd TSA checkpoint guy YELLING "EVERYTHING ON THE BELT. EMPTY YOUR POCKETS. NO PENS. NO BELTS. NO PAPER. EVERYTHING ON THE BELT. EVERYTHING ON THE BELT.

Sheesh. This guy was terrible. If I didn't have to run for my plane, I would have stopped to complain. It was that bad.

Please, please, please. Provide better training, and much better supervision!

Anonymous said...

Is that a "disposable" sword? ;-)

Mike E said...

But it's still ok to bring a pair of 12" metal spikes on the plane!

Blogger Bob said...

Anon - The guidance has been changed. Thanks!

http://tinyurl.com/lpu8n

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Blogger Bob said...

Anon - That was Tom, not me.

All - Let's stay on subject here. We're veering away from the subject at hand. Please feel free to use the Off Topic post to continue your discussion.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or are the pictures and text not lining up?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of razor blades.....

"That same screener started emptying her wallet. "He was taking out the receipts and looking at them," she said....
She says she asked what he was looking for and he replied, "Razor blades."

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/daniel_rubin/20100818_Daniel_Rubin__An_infuriating_search_at_Philadelphia_International_Airport.html?page=1&c=y


So is it SOP for TSO to use the excuse of looking for razor blades to examine receipts and personal checks?

TSO Tom said...

Anonymous said...
Bob,

You agreed with "Anon" and said "Belt: Most belts do not have to come off..." At DCA last week, I went through one security area with my belt, then due to a canceled flight, went through another security area 30 minutes later and was "forced" to take of my belt that time. You have a really serious training issue to resolve. My blood pressure was up enough (due to airline issues). Then to have the 2nd TSA checkpoint guy YELLING "EVERYTHING ON THE BELT. EMPTY YOUR POCKETS. NO PENS. NO BELTS. NO PAPER. EVERYTHING ON THE BELT. EVERYTHING ON THE BELT.

Sheesh. This guy was terrible. If I didn't have to run for my plane, I would have stopped to complain. It was that bad.

Please, please, please. Provide better training, and much better supervision!

August 18, 2010 12:58 PM
***********************************
Anon, I don't which airport or checkpoint you went through, but perhaps the TSO in question finds it easier to have passengers remove everything prior to entering the Walk through, or perhaps it was a checkpoint with Full Body Imager, in which all items might be required to be removed prior to entering the machine. Like I said I don't know particulars of the airport you are referring to, but it is a question you might want to bring to the local management of that airport...again, it is not SOP to require that everything be removed prior to walking through the metal detector.

Anonymous said...

This couldn't be more timely! My husband is traveling TOMORROW and wasn't planning on checking any luggage. I guess he didn't find helpful info on tsa.gov or the site of the airline he's flying. This really cleared it up for us. Thanks!

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...
“This couldn't be more timely! My husband is traveling TOMORROW and wasn't planning on checking any luggage. I guess he didn't find helpful info on tsa.gov or the site of the airline he's flying. This really cleared it up for us. Thanks!”

I am glad the blog post has helped you. Happy travels :-)

Tim
TSA Blog Team

mbattery said...

Anonymous said...
“This couldn't be more timely! My husband is traveling TOMORROW and wasn't planning on checking any luggage. I guess he didn't find helpful info on tsa.gov or the site of the airline he's flying. This really cleared it up for us. Thanks!”
Will wonders never cease! One individual + husband thanks the TSA for clearing things up. I am always so amazed at the number of people who complain. (I say so too!) Gee, I didn't have to take off my belt at one airport but I did have to take it off on the way back! If these are the only curves that get thrown at you, I want your life.
It is so refreshing to see one positive comment. Thank you to that one positive person.

Anonymous said...

"This couldn't be more timely! My husband is traveling TOMORROW and wasn't planning on checking any luggage. I guess he didn't find helpful info on tsa.gov or the site of the airline he's flying. This really cleared it up for us. Thanks!"

Let us know how much disappeared from his checked luggage. :-)

Anonymous said...

TSO Tom said ....
"perhaps the TSO in question finds it easier to have passengers remove everything prior to entering the Walk through"

I don't care what's easier for him. I'm not here to make his job easier. The TSA comes up with some rules and I'll follow them because I have to, but I am not going to follow any rule a TSO decides to make up to make his or her life easier.

Anonymous said...

This post, like others, is useful if TSA folks don't change or make up rules.

Bob, TSO Tom... about TSA making rules up as they go.

Several airports now have 'barkers' ordering all PAX to remove their belts. "No, exceptions!" Regardless of how they are to be scanned.

This has been reported at FlyerTalk. I experienced it at an airport not yet mentioned on FT last week.

So if TSA can just make rules up as they go along how can we have any confidence that even empty safety razors will be allowed?

Anonymous said...

So, "razor blades" are the new excuse to humiliate citizens?

Not the country I grew up in.

Anonymous said...

"Not the country I grew up in."

"9/11 changed everything."

Anonymous said...

"9/11 changed everything."

Last I checked, the Constitution didn't expire that day.

Ponder Stibbons said...

Speaking of blades, are blade coffee grinders allowed in carry-on luggage?

Anonymous said...

Bob, why have you posted on this topic rather than the latest abuse in Philly, the Nature article eviscerating the BDO program for the rank nonsense that it is, or TSA's newfound belt fetish?

Anonymous said...

i believe that scissors are allowed again because the flite crew unions voted to allow them again.

Anonymous said...

"9/11 changed everything."

Yes, the government became the terrorists under the guise of security.

Jimmy Haley said...

The issue to me is not the verbiage that was on the TSA website (although it is much clearer now - yes, my blade was just taken).

This issue to me is also not the inconsistencies with the TSA policies. True, you can kill someone with a razor blade just as easily as 4 inch scissors.

The issue to me is the fact that we have abandoned common sense when applied to airline travel. We can no longer carry liquids through the checkpoint (even if I drink from it as proof it is not dangerous). We can no longer visit our loved ones as they depart at the gate. We can no longer wear our shoes through the checkpoint. Add to that a good shave with an exquisite razor.

Someone needs to stop this insanity. There is safety and careful measures which must be recognized, and then there is the mutated form of "safety" to which the TSA now adheres.

When does the madness stop? When does the inconvenience end? This is a classic case of group think gone very, very wrong and affecting millions of people each year.

I don't feel safer when I travel, TSA. I don't feel protected as I'm approaching the gate. All I feel is absolute and total frustration. And also a desire to find any...other...way...to...travel.

Hypebolic? Perhaps. But thank you, TSA, for showing us how to completely ruin an entire industry, by continuing to be a complete thorn in the heel of commuters nationwide.

Anonymous said...

You said:
Boarding pass: This is the most difficult to answer because it really does depend on the airport/checkpoint. Most checkpoints have stopped checking boarding passes at the walk through, however, some checkpoints still do it. So all you need to do is ask the TDC person.
----
This is a rule that should be consistent. Pick one and stick to it. The local airport should have NO control over it. I'm not going to ask any person at the checkpoint anything. The second you question them they threaten to retaliate. Either more searches or you won't be allowed to fly. This happens at EVERY airport from ORD to BOS to LGA to RDU to STL to DFW to LAX. Every airport I have flown through.

Fliers are frustrated, especially those of us who fly on a regular basis. The barkers and rudeness are bad enough. The rules make things worse (they're not enforced consistently). Then we come here and say that we observe these things over and over and over and over again and your response is "it's an isolated incident," or "it shouldn't happen that way."

It's time for a top down approach to stop this nonsense. The majority of the screeners (I'll say 3/5) are not professional, are not polite, are drunk with power and lord it over passengers or yell at us. For every screener with any sense of customer service, I can point to a coworker at the same checkpoint who makes flying miserable.

I'm tired of complaining and nothing is done. I'm tired of the lines and chaos you've created. Fix it. How?

1) Enforce consistent, transparent rules
2) mandate customer service training
3) do some mystery shopping. Send your management out as a normal flier and see what happens. Be honest about it and look at it from the public's perspective. bring in an outsider to do it and listen to them. I think you'll be shocked!

GSOLTSO said...

Just a reminder to please stay on topic, we are getting away from the main subject of this discussion. Please feel free to use the the Off Topic thread to continue discussions of other subjects. Thank you!

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

So, what about the Philly incident when, while "looking for a razor blade" in a woman's purse after it had been X-rayed and finding $8000 in checks instead was somehow grounds to accuse her of infidelity?

Do you condone delving into people's personal lives, making false accusations based on erroneous assumptions, and relaying those suspicions as factual to a spouse? How does this relate to aviation safety?

What are you people thinking? Are those BDO and TSO personnel going to get a bit of retraining?

Anonymous said...

anon:
"I'm not going to ask any person at the checkpoint anything."
abolsoutly reasonable, continue to complain without asking anyone anything. maybe if we travelers asked questions then alot of what is bothering us would be resolved in a quick manner, instead of acting like a child and pouting.

Anonymous said...

anon:
"I don't care what's easier for him. I'm not here to make his job easier. The TSA comes up with some rules and I'll follow them because I have to, but I am not going to follow any rule a TSO decides to make up to make his or her life easier."
perhaps the screener is trying to make your time in the checkpoint easier too. its amazing the amount of times i have to wait as a "seasoned" traveler tells the screener i travel with this belt all the time and then he alarms and holds up the line. stop being stubborn and interact with the tsa people and they will make it easier for you and everyone else. most of these people have been doing their jobs for quite awhile and know their jobs dont let one or two bad apples ruin your image of the good people that know their jobs.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
"9/11 changed everything."

Last I checked, the Constitution didn't expire that day.

August 19, 2010 9:10 PM
..................
Didn't expire but TSA does not honor the Constitution.

TSA Checkpoints are Constitution free zones, just ask them!

Anonymous said...

RB said

Didn't expire but TSA does not honor the Constitution.

TSA Checkpoints are Constitution free zones, just ask them!
-----------------------------------
Ther goes RB spreading hate again.

Show me where the supreme court has ruled that the TSA checkpoints violate the constitution. You said on another thread Friends, this is not the America I spent a career in the military defending. It more resembles governments like the old USSR and Red China, certainly not free societies.

I call on all patriots to disengage association from TSA

Then capped it off in a response to someone else that all patriots should hold their government accountable.

The problem is that you aren't doing what you preach. All you're doing is spreading hate based on your opinion of the facts. Just about on every thread you call over 40,000 people you have never met child molestors and perverts all based on your opinion of a piece of equipment that you admit you've never seen the actual image that the machine produces. You call every TSO theives because of a few bad apples, everytime someone says something bad about TSA you jump on the band wagon without the facts. Is this what you call holding your government accountable. I call it persecution with out facts and that will never help the people who really do want a change. In my opinion you are part of the problem. Notice I said in my opinion. Not based on facts but just an opinion. You may want to try that every once in a while

Anonymous said...

TSA really thinks an itty-bitty razor blade will be enough to hijack or destroy an aircraft?

Umm, okay. Is TSA afraid of kittens too, since they have claws?

RB said...

Another spineless Anon said....

Ther goes RB spreading hate again.

Show me where the supreme court has ruled that the TSA checkpoints violate the constitution. You said on another thread Friends, this is not the America I spent a career in the military defending. It more resembles governments like the old USSR and Red China, certainly not free societies.

I call on all patriots to disengage association from TSA

Then capped it off in a response to someone else that all patriots should hold their government accountable.

The problem is that you aren't doing what you preach. All you're doing is spreading hate based on your opinion of the facts. Just about on every thread you call over 40,000 people you have never met child molestors and perverts all based on your opinion of a piece of equipment that you admit you've never seen the actual image that the machine produces. You call every TSO theives because of a few bad apples, everytime someone says something bad about TSA you jump on the band wagon without the facts. Is this what you call holding your government accountable. I call it persecution with out facts and that will never help the people who really do want a change. In my opinion you are part of the problem. Notice I said in my opinion. Not based on facts but just an opinion. You may want to try that every once in a while

August 24, 2010 10:22 PM
..................................
If you don't care for what I'm saying then just skip over my post Anon.

Lets see, TSA employee steals lap tops from lost and found. Just another bad apple, eh.

TSA screens children with WBI Strip Search Machines or uses the enhanced Pat Down to feel 'em up. And I take it your ok with this sexual abuse of children, eh Anon?

Oh and how about that screener in Miami who clubbed a fellow screener after having disparaging remarks made about his penis as reveal by the Strip Search Machine.

Then there is the drugs dealers, kiddie porn perverts, gun runners, rapist, the guy who stole a commercial $65K camera and the list goes on and on and on.

I don't have to make up bad things about TSA, you guys do it for me, day in and day out.

Anonymous said...

rb said
"Then there is the drugs dealers, kiddie porn perverts, gun runners, rapist, the guy who stole a commercial $65K camera and the list goes on and on and on."

so lets consider every tsa agent all of these. look at law enforcement officers and even your elected govt positons and see how they stack up. rb you are entitled your opinion and just like your advice to anon im sure that people skip over your posts because you have yet to send out a positive message or give out a clear and reasonable solution to all that you complain about. id like to see you offer some suggestions on how to fix the problems you see everytime you post, perhaps then it would help make this a place when the tsa can get some real ideas instead of asking "what you going to do about this....."

RB said...

Anonymous said...
rb said
"Then there is the drugs dealers, kiddie porn perverts, gun runners, rapist, the guy who stole a commercial $65K camera and the list goes on and on and on."

so lets consider every tsa agent all of these. look at law enforcement officers and even your elected govt positons and see how they stack up. rb you are entitled your opinion and just like your advice to anon im sure that people skip over your posts because you have yet to send out a positive message or give out a clear and reasonable solution to all that you complain about. id like to see you offer some suggestions on how to fix the problems you see everytime you post, perhaps then it would help make this a place when the tsa can get some real ideas instead of asking "what you going to do about this....."

August 27, 2010 11:58 AM
...............
I do have a fix for the TSA problem.

Disband it!

Let the airlines and airports take care of the security for their property.

Government has no business providing security to private business.

Robert Johnson said...

Anon, people like RB, me, Tomas, Trollkiller, and many others have been here since the beginning in 2008 and have posted many productive and constructive solutions to TSA's problems. TSA has to be interested in feedback from the public and at the very least, be willing to investigate viable options. What do you want us to do? Keep repeating the same solutions we've been talking about for nearly 3 years in every post? Then people would complain about us repeating the ideas over and over again. We can't win.

Beating on these drums repeatedly is the only thing that seems left to do on here. TSA assumes silence is acceptance of their measures. And that's not the case - more and more people are getting fed up with TSA. TSA doesn't do anything without being shamed into it by the media, courts, or Congress.

TSA has to acknowledge it has issues and is working to fix them with REAL solutions. Not half baked ideas that aren't tested or properly vetted for effectiveness, cost and risk. All we get is half baked solutions, and each solution is worse than the problem it's trying to solve. So yes, we're pretty much reduced to asking TSA "what are you going to do about it" because it's not interested in dialogue. It's not interested in solutions proposed by the public. Many of us on here work "in the business" but that doesn't matter.

It's institutional arrogance and it's REALLY getting old.

Robert

TSO Tom said...

Hold on guys, RB is right. Alot of what RB says is correct, TSA employees (some TSA employees) have stolen items, some TSA employees have been found to be perverts, child molesters and so forth, and SOME TSA employees have also been known to indulge in workplace violence. But RB, in all fairness, not ALL TSA employees were involved in these incidents, and should not be condemned as a result. RB, you know as well as anyone that you and I have had words in this forum, and I have no problem putting my name out there, and you apparently have had no problem calling me out when you feel it necessary. With that said, we can agree to disagree on many things, but we together, maybe we can find some solutions to the issues that you and others raise on this blog. Instead of attacking full on, why not try to offer some suggestions for improvement? We know you don't like the WBI machines, and I haven't worked on them yet so I don't know what they're like....the fact is, Congress approved them, and the courts have not ruled them illegal, so TSA will likely continue using them. This is an issue that may not be resolved to your liking, but perhaps you can offer solutions in other areas that TSA management may take into consideration? Does everything have to be a full blown attack on TSA employees?

Anonymous said...

Does everything have to be a full blown attack on TSA employees?

again the tsa people are doing the jobs that they hired on to. alot of things have changed with these people to. so if a tsa person refused to do what they are suppose to do then they will be fired. what happens next? throw them to the curb and thats it?

Anonymous said...

The best defense for airline travel are us the flying public....TSA has ridicoulus rules....read the TSA.gov prohibitted list......no wonder their officers are screwed up.....you can bring tools under 7 inches,,,,but you can not bring a swiss army knive with a 1 inch blade!! This is madness...I have pens that are sharper then any swiss army knife......

Now i have seen some officer use this black magic box to test liquids before disposing them... if the come up negative.. why cant I take my liquid.. doesnt a negative mean its not explosive?

TSA what a waste of tax payers money..

Hey I wonder if they are hiring I'd like to get some more details.

RB said...

TSO Tom said...
Hold on guys, RB is right. Alot of what RB says is correct, TSA employees (some TSA employees) have stolen items, some TSA employees have been found to be perverts, child molesters and so forth, and SOME TSA employees have also been known to indulge in workplace violence. But RB, in all fairness, not ALL TSA employees were involved in these incidents, and should not be condemned as a result. RB, you know as well as anyone that you and I have had words in this forum, and I have no problem putting my name out there, and you apparently have had no problem calling me out when you feel it necessary. With that said, we can agree to disagree on many things, but we together, maybe we can find some solutions to the issues that you and others raise on this blog. Instead of attacking full on, why not try to offer some suggestions for improvement? We know you don't like the WBI machines, and I haven't worked on them yet so I don't know what they're like....the fact is, Congress approved them, and the courts have not ruled them illegal, so TSA will likely continue using them. This is an issue that may not be resolved to your liking, but perhaps you can offer solutions in other areas that TSA management may take into consideration? Does everything have to be a full blown attack on TSA employees?

August 27, 2010 3:13 PM
....................
TSO Tom, you tell me how to distinguish the TSA Thieves, Rapist, Pedophiles and all the other bad actors from the lawful TSA employees. Why won't TSA take aggressive steps to clean out its ranks?

WBI Strip Search as primary screening is wrong, especially for children.

Enhanced Pat Down (Sexual Assault) is wrong and doubly so for children.

Requiring people to comply with procedures that they can have no knowledge of and in turn will not know if procedures being applied or correct or not is wrong.

Dressing TSA employees up in fake cop uniforms is wrong.

TSA is WRONG for America!

Anonymous said...

TSA employees (some TSA employees) have stolen items, some TSA employees have been found to be perverts, child molesters and so forth, and SOME TSA employees have also been known to indulge in workplace violence. But RB, in all fairness, not ALL TSA employees were involved in these incidents, and should not be condemned as a result.

If "some" TSA employees have stolen items then the TSA hiring policies/procedures are inadequate. That means it's not just the TSA employees who stole somethings, but the idiots who hired then.
If "some" TSA employees are pervert/molesters/violent, it's not just them, it's the ones who hired them. And the ones who make the stupid policies, and he ones who stand by and let their fellow "officer" steal/molest/etc.

ALL those people are guilty.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Does everything have to be a full blown attack on TSA employees?

again the tsa people are doing the jobs that they hired on to. alot of things have changed with these people to. so if a tsa person refused to do what they are suppose to do then they will be fired. what happens next? throw them to the curb and thats it?

August 27, 2010 7:26 PM
.............
If these TSA employees you speak of had any personal honor they would walk away from this disgusting mess called TSA.

Anonymous said...

rb said:
"If these TSA employees you speak of had any personal honor they would walk away from this disgusting mess called TSA."
are you going to support these tsa screener and their families? the unemployment rates in this country are extremely high so just go ahead and quit your job, because rb says its the right thing to do. living by principles doesnt pay the bills. rb what is your suggestion to the in your word "honorable" screener that quits and needs to support his/her family?

TSO Tom said...

RB said in part:
TSO Tom, you tell me how to distinguish the TSA Thieves, Rapist, Pedophiles and all the other bad actors from the lawful TSA employees. Why won't TSA take aggressive steps to clean out its ranks?
***********************************
RB, I agree with you, these individuals NEED to go, as they make me look bad because I work alongside them. The problem is that some individuals are so good at not getting caught that it becomes difficult....that doesn't mean that I haven't seen people be called to the line on things they've done, and those people were GONE the same day that it became apparent what they were doing. As for how to tell who is who, I can't tell you how to do that....you either take everyone at face value or you don't....that's a personal thing on your level, and you've already apparently formed your opinion of TSA employees in general, so how or why should I try to pursuade you otherwise?

Anonymous said...

I find drug dealing, prostitution, and burger flipping to be much more honorable ways of supporting a family than working for TSA.

Sally Caruso said...

Anonymous said...
I find drug dealing, prostitution, and burger flipping to be much more honorable ways of supporting a family than working for TSA
!!!!!!!!!
while those professions listed above are more profitable...what other goverment agency would give uneducated, reformed criminals, and those fired by the airlines and faa decent legal wages....TSA...TSA does not provide security,,,only nepotism.. they recycle their friends at the administrative level

George said...

@TSO Tom: The problem is that some individuals are so good at not getting caught that it becomes difficult

The problem is that the secrecy and lack of accountability at the TSA allows the "bad apples" to continue rotting the barrel. Either nobody is calling them on their transgressions, or else their bosses are choosing not to do anything about it. Maybe they're particularly good at whatever secret criteria are used to assess performance. Either way, the fact that these people continue to occupy positions with access to passengers and property can only indicate that the TSA does tolerate unprofessional and possibly even criminal TSOs, notwithstanding whatever the SOP might say. Since the SOP is secret, how can any passenger know when a TSO is violating the rules?

As for how to tell who is who, I can't tell you how to do that....you either take everyone at face value or you don't....that's a personal thing on your level, and you've already apparently formed your opinion of TSA employees in general, so how or why should I try to pursuade you otherwise?

That's an inherent problem with an agency whose mission necessarily requires its employees to hassle the public. It's even more of a problem when the rules and procedures that direct the hassles are secret, inconsistently applied, and widely regarded as pointless. While I'm willing to agree that the majority of TSOs are professional, courteous, and conscientious, all it takes is one or two who aren't (or whose favorite phrase is "Do you want to fly today?") to instill a negative opinion of TSA employees that is very difficult to undo. And even further encounters with "good" TSOs are likely to be burdened with an expectation based on the bad encounters. After all, the TSA proudly touts its "unpredictability." When you don't know what you're going to get when it's time to be screened, you could well expect the worst after you've experienced a few stinkers. And even the good TSOs still are obligated to follow the secret rules and inflict hassles widely regarded as pointless.

Your bosses should at least recognize that allowing the "bad apples" to continue tarnishing the reputation of their agency only creates unnecessary difficulty for the good majority. But apparently they're either incapable of recognizing that, or they just don't care. Either way, it's difficult to have much trust in the TSA.

TSO Tom said...

George said in part....
Your bosses should at least recognize that allowing the "bad apples" to continue tarnishing the reputation of their agency only creates unnecessary difficulty for the good majority. But apparently they're either incapable of recognizing that, or they just don't care. Either way, it's difficult to have much trust in the TSA.
***********************************
George, I find it hard to disagree with anything you've said, accept for the "secret rules" part....the SOP and "how" we do things may not be made public but the rules are pretty simple:
1. Take your shoes off (unless you have a medical condition which makes it difficult to do so)
2. Take off jackets, coats and other outerware garments.
3. Have you liquids (3.4 ounces or less) in your quart sized clear plastic bag, make it so we can see it.
4. Take your laptops and your CPAP (breathing) machines out of the bag and x-ray them separately.

So the rules are pretty simple, and it's universal across the nation. Other things may not be so apparent, or may be unpredictable, it's the nature of our job, agree or disagree, it is necessary.

TO TSA management: Can we please publish a leaflet for the public so they know what our rules are? No need to discuss SSI or SOP....just the rules and why they are what they are. I've asked this multiple times on this blog, but no results yet. Trust me, it will make my job much easier at the walk through metal detector, and it will give the passengers what they've been asking for. Can we do this?

Sally Caruso said...

TSO TOM, i think the reason those bad apples keep working is that no one cares to document the wrong doings...those in charge are lazy and probably shouldn't be in the position they hold..no one monitors managers..perhaps an internal affairs would weed out all the bad seeds...watch all the upper managers scurry to shred paper trails that led to their demise....ha

Anonymous said...

"the SOP and "how" we do things may not be made public but the rules are pretty simple"

If they are so simple why are so many of you (TSA) unwilling to adhere to them?

Bad training? Ignorance? Egos?

Anonymous said...

Sally, it would appear that my original response to you was delete-o-metered, but I agree with you one hundred percent, the crap does indeed roll downhill.

Danielle said...

Thanks for this post. It definitely cleared up the confusion that remains on the TSA website, since I didn't know what qualified as a "safety razor" and what was "disposable". I see that the wording has already been changed once in the past month, but I think it would be even better to read:

Razor-Type Blades - such as box cutters, utility knives, and safety razor blades (disposable razors and disposable cartridges are permitted)

That would clear up confusion about Mach-type razors (which I don't think of as "disposable" though the cartridges are). Anyway, I'm glad I found this post. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for clearing this up. I wondered whether or not I could take my Merkur HD Safety Razor, such as the one linked, with me on an airplane. Looks like it's gonna have be a disposable Bic!

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you for clarifying, especially the pictures. I appreciate the intense work TSA members have put into safety. The TSA is certainly not perfect and is often annoying, but I think it's at least a theoretically positive use of tax money. Thanks, Blogger Bob!

Natasha said...

Thank you for this post! I'm a college student flying alone for the first time and won't be checking baggage because of the cost. Knowing that I can take a disposable razor with me is quite important.

As to the other comments on this thread, I've mostly encountered professional, polite TSA employees when traveling with my parents. Those who were curt were typically dealing with very long lines and can be excused their frustration. While I might not agree with some TSA policies, the people you see at checkpoints have nothing to do with how policies are developed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, TSA Blogger, for this exceptionally helpful post. This is THE only place I found my question definitely answered and now I can carry on for my trip with confidence. As far as the Samurai sword, well, it's nice to see a sense of humor is still allowed in some part of .gov

Anonymous said...

What??? The Samurai sword as a 'no-go'. Humor????? Don't you know you work for the Federal Government? and 'no-go'? How can you not use the technical term for disallowed items? We American Humans must be talked to in Governmental approved techno-babel or we will get confused.
However I do know that my disposable razor will not be seized.
thanks

Daryl Cobranchi said...

So I cannot take a DE razor with me unless I'm willing to risk losing it along with everything else in checked baggage? No thanks. I'll continue to avoid flying, as I have done since the groping policy was enacted.

Anonymous said...

Very clear. Thanks Bob.

Tonight, I contacted the general TSA comment part of the site to clarify that disposable razors are OK for carry on.

I've asked for the TSA webmaster to create a separate row for Disposable Razors and to put 2 Yes's in the columns.

Chef Christine said...

Thank you this has been very helpful. :)

Anonymous said...

I had a disposable vibrating razor that was removed from my checked bag. I know it was because I remember packing it. That to me was not a big deal. The thing that struck me as odd was that who ever opened my bag decided to put a block of wood in my bag. What type of procedure would call for that? Were they doing it just to mess with me?

Daryl Cobranchi said...

What about a Schick injector type razor? Without having the injector (i.e., extra blades), it is essentially impossible to remove the blade. So it would seem that there'd be little difference between an injector type razor and a cartridge.

Anonymous said...

I was looking to see if I would have to get deodorant at my destination and came upon the razor question. Then I fell into the web of reading all the comments.

Looks to me like there are Americans out there who forgot EVERY group (TSA, all religions, Nurses, Docs, Teachers, Mechanics.....) who have "bad apples" and have gotten in trouble for violating the rules. However, each of these institutions are still utilized daily by the rest of us. Some spouses cheat, does that mean marriage should be abolished for everyone?

If you are unhappy with the TSA, then don't fly-drive. And you will still get pulled over for speeding even when there is no one else on the road. Or . Individual airport security didn't stop 9/11. Therefore, something had to be done to prevent such a tragedy again (for the US). The TSA is what the gov't decided on, and so far it's working.

Thank you to the Bloggers who let me know how to follow the rules, and weather I can shave and smell good when I get to where I'm going.

Anonymous said...

But I get such a close shave with a Gillette disposable samurai sword.

Christine said...

Much appreciated...I found this topic very confusing in the manual I was reading.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, this helped!

Nate said...

Thanks! Glad to know I won't have to use my mom's shaving razor when I go visit her in TN tomorrow! yuck! :)

Anonymous said...

What do you mean I can't shave with a samurai sword????

Anonymous said...

Addressing the subject of "safety razors" perhaps you might be good enough to amplify the advice on safety razors by indicating various types, e.g. Gillette Mach series, Gillette Sensor and Wilkinson Quattro, that are allowed because some sources appear to be under the confused belief that shavers like this are not allowed?

Anonymous said...

I wish i could like this on Facebook! I found this very helpful!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could like this on Facebook! This was helpful!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a thorough, thoughtful, and useful post.

Although it doesn't say so explicitly, this post assumes (presumably in line with TSA's established definitions) that "safety razor" and "disposable razor" are mutually exclusive, that is, that no disposable razors are also safety razors and that no safety razors are also disposable razors. I'm not sure that this understanding/definition of these terms is the most natural one or the most widely recognized one.

My guess is that a) most of us would consider a disposable razor to be a specific type of safety razor and b) many of us would be uncertain whether a razor qualifies as "disposable" if i) its head (the part containing the blade[s]) consists of a disposable prefabricated cartridge but ii) the body of the razor (its handle and any clasp, hinge, and/or other mechanism connecting the handle to the head) are intended for long-term reuse and thus have a product life several (perhaps even dozens of) times the length of a cartridge's product life.

In my opinion, each/any of the following expressions of the rule would be a better way to articulate it:

a: Brief and practical expression of rule) IF the razor head is disposable, THEN the razor and its head MAY be brought on board in carry-on luggage; otherwise (ELSE), the razor head MAY NOT be brought in carry-on luggage.

b1: Answer that is longer but more detailed and more clearly reflective of the principles underlying the rule) Razors that use one or more blades detachable from the razor's head MAY NOT be packed in carry-on luggage. Razors that use only a blade or blades integrated into and not removable from the razor's head, i.e., disposable razors and razors with disposable heads, MAY be packed in carry-on luggage.

b2: "Computerese"/logical parsings of b1's detail- and principle-specific expression; b1a and b1b are logically equivalent)
b1a) "IF a razor contains any blade that can be removed from that razor's head, THEN that razor MAY NOT be brought into the passenger cabin; ELSE that razor MAY be brought into the passenger cabin."
b1b) "IF for every blade in a given razor, that blade is inextricably integrated into that razor's head, THEN that razor MAY be brought into the passenger cabin; ELSE that razor MAY NOT be brought into the passenger cabin."

Any passenger without a significant mental impairment will be able to understand this rule and correctly apply it to his/her own belongings (or, in the event that any ambiguity does remain, at least have the good sense to ask a TSA official for clarification).

Furthermore, my guess is that passengers would be grateful for a) the specificity of the rule, b) the courtesy of a principled explanation, and c) the respect for their intelligence that TSA would show by articulating this rule in terms of the reasoning behind it.

Anonymous said...

Please read the prohibited items list in the checkpoint SOP.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I thought all forms of razors had to be checked. I'm glad I looked it up online first. I'm only going to travel with a carry-on this trip so I wasn't going to bring my razors with me. Good to know I can have a close shave after all!

Anonymous said...

I continue to be concerned that CD disks are allowed on aircraft. Break one in half and you have a far more dangerous weapon than a razor blade. The TSA can't ban CD's as a practical mater but continues to make remarks about "sharp pointy things" they have seized. The chain of security is only as strong as the weakest link.

GiGi said...

So glad to see some humor interjected in to an otherwise serious subject. I am a Human Resource professional and I must admit that without a laugh I would be insane. Thank you for uplifting my day.

Smitten said...

Can I please point out how HARD I LAUGHED at the samurai sword picture/commentary. I cannot believe nobody else has commented on how entertaining and unexpected that was. Thank you for the blog and the laugh :) Loved it!

Anonymous said...

Sexism! Trying to keep us men stubbly and rugged by disallowing the best shaving equipment known to mankind.

I smell a deeply rooted conspiracy!

Anonymous said...

Sexism! Trying to keep us men stubbly and rugged by disallowing the best shaving equipment known to mankind.

I smell a deeply rooted conspiracy!

Anonymous said...

I only fly when there is no alternative. As usual, the governments response to such events is overblown and ill conceived. Whether it is Enron or al-Qaeda, the congressional answer adds to the destruction.

Anonymous said...

Oh have mercy-- I just checked this blog post to see if I could pack a razor in my carry on for my flight tomorrow, and I ran into a full-on war! Mayhaps there is a more effective forum for these grievances to be aired than in the "comments" section of a blog....

Thanks for the post! I now know that I am free to pack my razor. I appreciate the humor in the explanation.

Anonymous said...

JUST CARRY PENCILS.

Anonymous said...

I've read that in WW II US POW's in German Stalags could use double edge safety razors. I've even read that in the final months of the war they were allowed to purchase them from local merchants. If the Germans allowed them in the hands of trained soldiers, why can't we travel with them in unchecked baggage? The biggest problem that they had with them was their use in building crystal radios.

Anonymous said...

Just checking about safety razors for an upcoming trip without checked luggage...thanks for the info. Last trip went through 3 US airports....have to say the TSA agents were good humoured and helpful. Security is what it is there's no point getting frustrated. Do I care if I have to take my belt of in one place and not another...no, what difference does it make.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
This rule seems to be from a bygone (yet recent) era when airlines automatically included checked luggage with your ticket. With airlines now charging for any checked (and carry on luggage in some cases), and short trips calling for nothing more than a carry-on bag, what is a safety-razor shaver to do? It would be nice if the box of razors could be "checked" for free by the airline, held by the crew, or stored in a locked TSA case and unlocked on landing if it was so serious. But this all seems too much to begin with considering small knives and clubs have already been approved (albeit delayed) for carry-on. How is a safety razor less dangerous than a pocket knife or golf club?

Can't the safety concerns of airline workers and convenience of carry-on only citizens be easily resolved by allowing one box of safety razors to be 'checked' for free by the airline? Are there any plans to update or modify this policy? I'd just buy razors at the destination, but that's often neither practical, easy, or possible. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh have mercy-- I just checked this blog post to see if I could pack a razor in my carry on for my flight tomorrow, and I ran into a full-on war! Mayhaps there is a more effective forum for these grievances to be aired than in the "comments" section of a blog....

I like that "oh have mercy"! 3 years later and the rules haven't changed much. Just switch to disposable razors for the trip and shave more often. I'm glad I get to take a razor at all!

Anonymous said...

At least I know the TSA employees aren't using the personal hygiene items they stole/confiscated from my shaving kit. Sleep better knowing this Fortune 500 consultant won't use his 1" double shaving razor to hijack an airplane. (Believe me, TSA people really think this and the irony of comments like these are totally lost on them. Guessing that's why they work for the TSA!)

Anonymous said...

Can somebody confirm that I can bring this razor on a plane so long as it doesn't have a blade in it?

Anonymous said...

Hi! I think razors are completely harmful, other than that PRICELESS samurai sword! Yee-haw!

Anonymous said...

Seriously? Have any of you ever held a double edge safety razor blade? In your fingers? It's hard enough to prevent cutting yourself, it would be easier to strangle someone with dental floss than to cause any real damage with a DE blade. They're paper thin, flimsy, they break if you bend them, and they'll take skin off like melted butter if you handle them improperly.

A single edge blade is fairly ridgid, that could do some damage, but what would a person do? Melt their toothbrush into a prison shiv and jam the blade they just accidentally broke in half into the melted tip and then go flailing away? Ridiculous. There's more hazard to human health in my shoe laces.

Dizzman said...

i just stumbled across this and am quite amazed at the vitriol. and always at how many people have issues. i fly over 100k/year. so i spend lots of time in security lines 9although hats off on the TSA pre... LOVE THAT!) and i have had an issue Exactly once. LEAVING... detroit a few years ago i had a leatherman micro taken away. blade length less than 1.5". i only had it since sometimes i would get my bag and it was zip tied closed after an inspection.

when i go through security i think to myself, "these TSA folks deal with (in some cases) tens of thousands of people a day. And most of them would give sheep a bad name. so i will assume the rules change." my belt and all metal ALWAYS comes out/off. my shoes off. my boarding pass and license in hand, and i am as friendly to them as i am to a cop that pulls me over.

i have had zero issues. it always seems like those that have issues are the ones saying the constitution is being trampled but cant state what part.

look, you want to fly, there are rules. yes they are annoying, yes there is some inconsistency from airport to airport, but attempting to fight for my rights does nothing other than slow things down.

and i have never once felt like my rights were being trampled.

Anonymous said...

Please , please continue to work with the castrati in congress to allow us to carry our pocket knives. I know I can always put it in a checked bag, and that was fine until the carriers started charging for each pice checked....

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I can't bring a safety razor blade, but then why is the airline able to give me a large glass beverage? Oh, and a metal knife with my meal? I think what drives passengers nuts is the lack of intellectual consistency with TSA policies. If I can't bring safety razor blades, then airlines should be able to have glass orboard.

Anonymous said...

It was said earlier,that you can kill someone with a DE razor....you go ahead and grab one with your bare hands and let me know how that goes for you versus stabbing them to death with scissors or a METAL SPIKE. The policy is ridiculous. The TS has been proven to be ineffective a NUMBER of times...get rid of this ridiculous policy that forces me to ship all my proper shaving equipment ahead of time if I'm not checking a bag.

Anonymous said...

what about electronice hair clippers? Can i carry those on the plane?

Anonymous said...

Wow. The issue is the TSA's ridiculous banned item list. Not trying to educate the people. Educating them on what?
Should they ban fist next?

Anonymous said...

It's 2014 and it's still the same lol

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me if it is allowed to bring an epilator in my carry-on luggage?

Anonymous said...

This article educated me about razors in my carry-on. That's why I read it.

Bjorn said...

I was a bit puzzled why safety razors would not be allowed. It is not easy to find blades once at the destination. When I travel now without checked luggage I just bring the shaving soap, brush and a BIC disposable. 70% of the luxury feel of wet shaving is using hot lather from soap rather than the aerosol can garbage.

Here's some musings: I suspect most of the TSA rules are to deter wannabe terrorists from trying anything. Especially, the dimwitted ones. Against a genius terrorist there really is no defense. A genius can wreak havoc with a penny, a hairball and a bit of wax. Allowing DE razor blades will give the dumb terrorist ideas, because they're so sharp. Allowing knitting needles or ballpoint pens or even #2 lead pencils is OK because that won't give the dimwitted terrorist any ideas....

Regarding belt on or off, I always take it off well in advance. No need to wait for barkers to tell you what to do. A lot of these rules are to make the checkpoint go faster. If a belt makes the metal detector go off, that means another person needing to be scanned holding up the line. So to the lady who bitch and moaned about the belt rules, would she prefer to get to the gate in time and not miss her flight, or is it more important or that all checkpoints have the same rules? Different airports have different equipment, and also different countries have different rules.

Mayra Palacios said...

I was confused about whether I could take a disposable razor or not on my carry on. Thanks for clearing that up! :)