Thursday, August 17, 2006

I'm on my way!

I am heading out on my first trip since the terrorist scare last week and, of course, I have to fly through London Heathrow Airport where the current scare is centered and where the strictest security rules were in place, but have since been relaxed some.

For those who aren't aware, the US has issued New Security Procedures which ban any form of liquid or gel from flights. While I haven't found any official statement to this effect, I have seen reports that in some airports this also applied to their gel insoles, so I guess I won't be gellin' on my way to Europe.

The UK initially elminated pretty much all carry-on baggage (including laptops) but has since relaxed their Security Procedures to allow one carry-on, but it is substantially smaller than what I have been able to carry through previously (my old Samsonite 22 inch bag doesn't cut it any longer).

The combination of the two restrictions has led me to check bags rather than carry them on the plane -- something I usually avoid if at all possible.

So far, so good. I have made it through the security lines here at Washington Dulles Airport (the lines weren't long at all at 3pm).

I did have a small problem... I have a prescription ointment that I needed to bring with me and it had the perscription label attached (which was good as they usually have the label on the outside of the box, which most people throw away and just keep the tube). In any case the tube was 45gm (weight measurement) and the TSA employee wanted to know how many ounces it was.

While the conversion factor is about 28 grams to the ounce, that's the weight ounce (as in 16 ounces to the pound) and not the fluid ounce (as in 16 ounces to the pint) and I'm pretty sure that they were looking for fluid ounces, so I couldn't give her a good answer. Besides, I thought the volume limits were for non-prescription medications.

In any case, they checked the name on the prescription and my ID and let me through with it.

Now I wait at the airport for my flight to London... then a connection to Ireland (that should be an interesting experience -- the connection in london).

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