• Home
  • About
  • Guest Post

    Old flames

    This is probably on-line at the embassy website, but I don’t feel like looking it up. Anyway, this is for your own good, so BE WARNED!

    Lighters Prohibited At Airport And On Planes
    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that all lighters will be prohibited from sterile areas of airports and onboard aircraft beginning April 14, 2005. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires that “butane” lighters be added to TSA’s Prohibited Items List.

    After carefully evaluating the security threat, Congressional intent and operational considerations, TSA determined that passengers should be prohibited from carrying all lighters on their person or in carry-on luggage in the sterile areas of airports or onboard an airplane. The policy will be fully enforced beginning April 14, 2005. All lighters will be banned from sterile areas beyond security checkpoints at airports. This includes, for example, butane, absorbed-fuel (Zippo-type), electric/battery-powered and novelty lighters. [That’s for you Epsilon-minus semi-morons who can’t figure out that “all lighters” includes all lighters.–SRK]

    The Department of Transportation classifies lighters as hazardous materials and prohibits them from being stowed in checked baggage. TSA will dispose of lighters brought to checkpoints. Passengers at some airports may be able to ship them via a private company for a fee, but TSA strongly urges passengers to thoroughly inspect their carry-on and checked baggage for these items before going to the airport.

    See http://www.tsa.gov for additional information.

    Thanks. I feel much safer. Especially since some of our security checkers can’t seem to detect anything smaller than a turret gun without help, particularly if it’s in a “cluttered” bag. Man, sometimes I seriously think we’re doomed.

    3 Responses to “Old flames”

    1. Alice says:

      Hmmm… ohh…kaaayy… so when I get to Houston and there’s a 3 hour stopover and I go outside the airport to smoke, I now have to find two sticks lying around and rub them together for a flame, yes?

      If lighters are going to be banned on planes, they could have made a fortune selling them at airports. Missed business opportunity. Someone else might make a fortune standing outside airports in the “You are actually grudgingly allowed to light up here, 500 yards away from the door,” zone, charging a dollar per use of their lighter.

      Or perhaps they forgot to ban matches as well?

    2. Toren says:

      The best pipe lighters I’ve ever used are these 80 yen disposables I buy by the box at the local Jusco. I had one in my carryon a year or so back and got chewed out by the girlie at the security check. “You can’t take this through,” she said. “But I can buy these lighters in the shops on the other side of the check,” I pointed out. At that point she reverted to a operational mode all who have lived in Japan will know well: faced with a decision that requires resolution of two opposing sets of data, they “run the program.” Communication ceases.

      Anyway, I gave her the lighter and bought a whole box of them once I got through the checkpoint.

      Guess now I’ll have to mail them back….

    3. Sean Kinsell says:


      “Or perhaps they forgot to ban matches as well?”

      Careful, there. That could be construed as a libelous allegation of negligence. Not a good idea when you’re dealing with folks who are armed with three years’ worth of confiscated nail scissors.

      Anyway, what’s more likely is that the fact-finding committee has not yet determined whether matches should be officially classified as inflammable objects (and thus potential terrorist weapons). It wouldn’t do for them to rush these things, after all. There are lives at stake.


      I’ve wondered about that a lot, too. They were talking about banning glass bottles, which is fine–but you can break a bottle of duty-free liquor at the neck as easily as you can one you brought from home. Never mind the fact that they don’t find the stuff half the time.

      I hope you at least returned to the checkpoint and waved one of your new lighters at the girl with a broad smile.

    Leave a Reply