Delta/JFK THREW OUT Skates

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by dbny, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    Not sure where this should go, but it really only affects skaters, so I'm putting it here. Moderators, please move or repost on anther forum for a wider audience, as you see fit.

    An adult skater I know showed up with new skates today and told me why. She was flying from NY to FL, and thought she could carry her skates on. The line for the security checkpoint was 2 hrs long, and when she got to the front, they said the blades were sharp and she couldn't carry them on. They then took the skates and threw them out right before her eyes! Luckily, they were not expensive skates/blades, but even so! Since many of us fly with skates, I thought I should remind us all that the TSA is capricious, and you risk your skates if you try to carry them on.
  2. Sierra

    Sierra New Member

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    :eek: WHAT?? How is that legal?!
  3. coskater

    coskater New Member

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    Denver Airport clearly states no skates! Pack them in your checked luggage and arrive at the airport in a timely manner...how hard is that?:eek:
  4. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    But not all airports say that. That said, I have only carried on skates if I knew I had time to go check them if necessary.

    I am very sad for this skater, but are you sure she wasn't given the opportunity to save her skates by going back and checking them, but she made the decision not to because she would have missed her flight?
  5. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    It's great that they are clear about it. The problem is that many airports/airlines are not, and so people get tempted to carry them on.
  6. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    They aren't clear? The ban on skates in carryons has been in place for several years AFAIK, and it's a TSA ban, not a ban by some airports/airlines and not others.
  7. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    The way this works is that she had the following choices:

    - Go back and check her bag, then go through security again (which may have caused her to miss her flight), or

    - Go back and mail her skates to herself, then go through security again (which may have caused her to miss her flight), or

    - Go through security without those skates, in which case yes, they would have been thrown away.

    But this was her choice. She chose to continue through security.


    I used to carry on my skates before 9/11. Now, I check them.
    genevieve and (deleted member) like this.
  8. aster

    aster Member

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    No it's not. The TSA, as a national policy, allows skates in carry-on luggage (the ban was over-turned a few years ago). The problem is that, like with all TSA policy, the final decisions are left up to individual airports and agents.
  9. steve skater

    steve skater Member

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    In the dozen or so times flying with skates out of NYC airports, I have never had a problem bringing my skates on a carry-on. The only issue I have had was out of Newark, when a screener called over her supervisor, who then pulled me aside, made me take all my stuff out of my suitcase (ugh), took some residue swabs, and then visually inspected my skates (I do have 12" blades, so they must have really popped out on the X-ray!).

    LaGuardia seems the most easygoing. I just took my skates onboard 2 weekends ago with nary a problem. I even asked the screener, and he flat out said that they were allowed.
    As always, YMMV. ;)
  10. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I looked on the TSA website and it seemed to indicate that skates can only go in checked luggage.
  11. Bunny Hop

    Bunny Hop Accept no substitutes

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    It's probably worthwhile to point out here that outside the USA, you will almost certainly have to check your skates, as many other countries specifically include ice skates in the list of items not allowed in cabin baggage.

    For example, see the UK Regulations here (scroll down to section on sporting equipment). You can assume the rest of Europe is the same.
    Similarly, the Australian regulations also specifically mention ice skates as being prohibited.

    If you pack your skates well, preferably in a hard suitcase, and padded by lots of clothing, they should be fine. And as someone has already said, if your bags are well labelled and you arrive at the airport in plenty of time for your flight (and you have allowed plenty of time for any connecting flights, where applicable), there really is minimal risk of your bags being lost or even delayed. In many years of travelling internationally I've yet to lose any luggage. The worst that has happened is that a couple of times it's arrived home a few hours after me!
  12. aster

    aster Member

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    Sports Equipment

    Prohibited Items

    Skates aren't listed on either.

    What I said comes directly from a phone call to the TSA (a few years ago) about the policy, which granted is a little vague on the website and has caused a few issues at times. I have flown with my skates in carry-on many times, in many different airports, and only had problems once (at an airport where I had previously taken them through security). I always put them in my hard guards (which I do when I check them, too) and leave enough time to check the bag and go through security again if there is a problem.
  13. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    I took two pairs onboard last May from JFK without a problem. I put the guards on and used twist-ties to secure them in place.

    There is no ban on skates at JFK, but it's not a major skating mecca like Colorado.
  14. Jenna

    Jenna Well-Known Member

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    This is outrageous. They should have, at the very least, agreed to mail them to her. I would file a law suit.
  15. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    I guess I'll add this to my long list of reasons not to fly Delta out of JFK - they make the experience as difficult and miserable as possible; I regret it every time!!!

    That said, I don't understand why she didn't just backtrack and check the skates with her luggage??
  16. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    She could have asked to gate-check the skates, that's what the people with golf clubs and tennis rackets usually do.

    Why did plan to take the skates on board in the first place?
    She was going on vacation and was checking bags anyway, why not stick them in a save yourself the trouble of carrying them around?
  17. JadeDixon

    JadeDixon New Member

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    Thanks for reminding me, again, of why I don't compete if I can't drive to the competition...
  18. Stormy

    Stormy Well-Known Member

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    I've been flying with my skates, pre and post 9/11 for over 10 years. I've been asked to check them ONCE, and that was in Atlanta (a place I've gotten them through several times before). No other airport has had any issues. Sometimes the TSA asks to see them but most times they go right through. I actually got asked to look at them more times before 9/11 in Boston than after it. They ARE allowed in carry on luggage, but it's a YMMV with the TSA person you get.

    Once I was flying with my old synchro team to Nationals from BOS to Grand Rapids through Detroit. I kinda made a stink since they made us check all our skates. Lo and behold, a teammate's skates were lost and she never got them back. Had to skate in someone else's skates at Nationals. *told them so*
  19. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I always check my skates and I've never lost them; in fact, I think I can count on one hand the people I know whose checked skates didn't arrive with them - and then they got the skates within a day of landing. Considering the hundreds of competitors I know that fly to and from competitions, I think the odds of losing checked skates are pretty slim.

    Besides, I only like to carry-on the stuff I'm going to need during the flight and in between if I'm chenging planes somewhere - books, glasses, snacks, etc. I'm going to need my skates on the plane so carrying them - and taking up space with them in the cabin - isn't necessary, IMO
  20. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    People with golf clubs and tennis rackets are generally noticeable though- it would be impossible to get golf clubs, and tough to get a tennis racket into a standard size carry on, so they gate check because they can't carry on. Skates, however, can slip unnoticed into a regular bag, and this particular TSA agent was worried about them being used as a weapon. If that was the intention (and I'm sure it was not, here) then even though you say you'll declare them to the airline, it doesn't mean you actually will.


    As for the person saying TSA should mail them back- they don't with anything else they confiscate, why would they with these. People who travel with very expensive knitting needles usually travel with stamped mailers, so that they can get out of line, mail their needles (which ARE allowed, but also left to the whim of the TSA agent) back to themselves, but usually have to go back through the line again.Although- I've heard they have warehouses of unclaimed confiscated items, so the "threw them away" is new to me....
  21. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    Quite true - at many of the airports I go through, the TSA have trash cans right there, in some airports with lids on them so you can't see in, at others open, and that's where they put stuff that travellers try to bring through, when the traveller themself decides not to bother to go back and check that bag, or to go back and mail the items to themselves. I would not be shocked if some airports kept some of those items to be auctioned off later, but they have no way of storing them for specific passengers, and they are not in the business of keeping track of the items, and mailing them to you later.

    This "mailing of items to yourself" is so popular that in a lot of airports, at least one of the shops outside security carries boxes and postage that you can buy to do this.
  22. tangerine_dream

    tangerine_dream New Member

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    This story sounds like it wasn't really told objectively. Did they seriously rip the skates from her hands and toss them in the garbage, or did they give her the choice to simply NOT board the flight? I mean, it sounds to me like she chose to get on. Personally, I think it's rather common sense NOT to bring skates on the flight. I've flown with skates many times and no matter how paranoid I might be about lost luggage, I am not going to try to bring them on with me. Sure, people have tried and succeeded, but at any time the TSA has a right to deny you and why bother going through that hassle?

    Also, I realize the line for security check was long, but if your friend had arrived earlier then she would have had the time to go back to the airlines counter and check her skates, rather than have them get thrown away. Honestly, that would have been the smart thing to do, that or not get on the flight and try to reschedule for the next one out. The standard rescheduling fee is somewhere around 100 bucks which is cheaper than a new pair of skates.

    In other words, it seems like she willingly let the TSA throw away her skates so she could board because she was not willing to reschedule, and not prepared early enough for the chance of rejection to go back and check her bag. Her fault entirely, in my opinion. One shouldn't EXPECT to get on board with skates.

    The way the title made it sound, I thought the airlines did something outrageous, but that isn't the case. The only outrageous thing about this story is that your friend didn't even consider the possibility of getting rejected at check point.
  23. tangerine_dream

    tangerine_dream New Member

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    Americans really need to stop suing people for their own oversights. This was her fault. No one forced her to get on the plane.
  24. Auntie

    Auntie New Member

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  25. 2sk8

    2sk8 Active Member

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    Just want to emphasize this is a TSA decision, not Delta - and I am no fan of TSA because...

    We used to leave enough time to try to carry the skates on,then go check them if the "capricious" TSA person said no (it was usually not a problem, BTW, but a real pain when it was a "No"), but finally concluded it was not worth the hassle. We check them in a bag with about ten ID tags/papers with local/cell contact numbers inside & out. It has worked well.

    As to TSA, no counting on logic there: I am always surprised as I watch passengers carry on ski boots. If they are concerend about weapons, it would bwe far easier to clock someone in the head with one of those ski boots than to accurately wield a figure skating blade - JMHO.
  26. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    I actually assumed you couldn't bring them on board, because we're always hearing stories of airlines losing competitors' skates; and I figured why would a competitor ever check skates if they could just bring them on board instead?
  27. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Most of those cases are international though.

    One of my coaches who is a recent former international competitor told me he always carried his skates on planes in the US, and would check them with the foreign airline once he was no longer in the United States. (So I guess at customs?)
  28. Jenna

    Jenna Well-Known Member

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    It is not her fault. I'm sure she would have agreed to pay shipping and handing fees if security had assented to mailing them to her. Are you suggesting she should have missed her flight in an attempt to check the skates? That's completely ridiculous.

    You're correct in stating that people in general, not just Americans, do have a tendency to file meaningless law suits. However, this is one time where a suit is justified.
  29. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    The TSA will not offer to mail them for her. This is her responsibility. She can step out and mail them to herself, she can step out and check the bag, or she can go forward without the skates. The TSA is not the postal service. They will not mail them to her.

    If she sues based on the fact that the TSA didn't offer to mail these to her, the suit will be found to be without grounds, and it will be dismissed. The TSA has no legal responsibility to mail every water bottle, bottle of shampoo, bowie knife, nail file, box cutter, baseball bat, pool cue, gel shoe insert, snow globe, pocket knife, etc... the TSA confiscates hundreds of thousands of items every year (per TSA data). That they could offer to mail the items to people is not practical.
  30. Jenna

    Jenna Well-Known Member

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    Well, I know that this situation taken from "technical" and "lawful" standpoint isn't exactly convincing, but none of the items on the laundry you mentioned aren't quite as expensive as skates. You could show me every law and technicality in the book, I still don't think throwing out someone's personal belongings is proper. Sorry.
  31. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Security cannot agree to mail everyone's thing to them, it's not an option. You can mail things to YOURSELF, if you are prepared for the situation.

    For me, a plane ticket costs more than my skates, so I'd let the skates go. I might even ask if I could just unscrew the blades and throw them away... boots aren't dangerous. I keep a small screwdriver in my skate bag. I know elite skaters for whom their skates are much more valueable, in which case they probably would have gotten out of line to check the skates and hoped they could get back in time for the flight.

    If the line was really a 2-hour wait, she shouldn't have chanced it, but even still, she could have gone back and checked the skates, and done her best to get back through in time for her flight. Generally- if you let the people in front of you know you have a flight already boarding, they let you through. A 2-hour wait is quite atrocious, and many people probably did miss their flights, as I believe airlines tell you to get to the airport 1 hour ahead of time.

    The thing is, even things that are on the permitted are left to the whim of TSA agents, and the TSA website says that. Skates are a gray area already, since they are in neither list. If the TSA policy makes it "clear" that you can't know what to expect, why would you attempt to get through with something most people are shocked is ever allowed. Skates have a sharp blade on them. When left to an individual decision, most individuals will decide it is dangerous, regardless if it has a guard on it. Guards are pretty easy to remove!
  32. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    The TSA has a complain form available.

    From http://blog.tsa.gov/2009/09/what-happens-to-your-prohibited-items.html
    If she was not given the option to properly take care of her item, she should complain here: https://contact.tsa.dhs.gov/talktotsa/talktotsa.aspx
  33. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

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    Aster is absolutely right. On international flights, ice skates still need to be in checked luggage, but within the United States, TSA *DOES* allow ice skates in carry-on luggage (this has been true for several years now).

    I carry my skates on board once or twice a year from LAX, which is one of the higher security airports. To avoid surprises, I always print out the two TSA webpages Aster posted links to, including the list of prohibited items and the sporting goods page showing a photo of an ice skate among other ALLOWED carry-on items (this picture has really helped me at the airport!). I go to the airport a little early and take the skates and the TSA website print-outs to the TSA supervisor on duty before checking my luggage (the TSA supervisor is near the check-in counters, not past the security checkpoint, so it's very convenient). I have the TSA supervisor stamp or sign my TSA print-out next to the picture of the ice skate, then I bring the papers and skates with me through security in my carry-on luggage. I never have a problem.

    Regardless of the official TSA rule, the decision is still ultimately up to the TSA supervisor on duty, so give yourself plenty of time and have a backup plan for checking your skates, just in case you don't get approval.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
    Nan and (deleted member) like this.
  34. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    My skates were not that expensive, but blades and boots combined were $800 and I would miss my flight and go 12 hours on standby in LAX again if it was between that and throwing my skates away. I'm not paid at work that much!

    I flew AirTran and when I missed my flight (which was totally my fault), they didn't charge me to reschedule. I did have to go 12 hours on standby in LAX and nearly lose my mind in the process. :p
  35. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    First of all, skates are not against TSA rules. Second, the TSA would have to arrest me (and I'd gladly go to jail, then file a lawsuit) if they threw away my $1000 skates. They would have to pry them from my cold dead hands before they ever saw a garbage can.

    I agree that it's her responsibility to either check them or mail them, but if she was not allowed the option of getting out of line to do so, then that is WRONG!!!!
  36. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    Nobody's saying she "wasn't allowed" to get out of the line to deal with the skates. From the information given, she ALLOWED the TSA to toss the skates rahter than face the incovenience of her other options and possibly risk missing her flight. The TSA people don't care whether passengers make or miss their flights; they're just doing their jobs of inspecting baggage.

    I had a pair of emboidery scissors confiscated once (I forgot they were in the needlwork kit I'd stuffed in at the last minute to have something to do between connections and they showed up on the x-ray).. The TSA person gave me the option of putting them in my checked bag, but since I'd already checked it and it had vanished into the netherregions of the airport, I allowed the TSA to toss the scissors. If they'd been something valuable like my great-grandmother's gold-plated antique stork-head scissors, I might have considered other options like mail but as it was, they went into the bin and I bought a new pair at my destination. No big deal.
  37. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    Are you now asking the TSA agent to know the price of the various items they check, and to make a judgment re: which are worth saving and which should be tossed? Are you saying that a TSA agent should know the difference between a $15 pair of skates from Toys R Us, and a $1000 custom Harlick? Or that they should go on the person's say-so?

    What about items that have little monetary value, but large sentimental value?

    Should the TSA add staff so they can handle the storage, processing and mailing of hundreds of packages at each airport? What about items that require special handling, or cannot be mailed? What if something is damaged or lost in this process - who is responsible?

    In other words, you say that throwing out personal belongings is improper - so what are their realistic alternatives?
  38. Bev Johnston

    Bev Johnston New Member

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    Whoa!!! Don't tempt the fates!! :lol:

    Before the TSA ban on carrying skates on board in 2001, I had a pair that I would check and then *hope and pray* that the airline would lose my luggage. I hated those things, but they were fairly new and I couldn't justify buying new skates when I hadn't had them very long.

    Now I always check my skates just to avoid the potential hassles, and hope and pray that the airline DOESN'T lose my luggage.
  39. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    I absolutely agree with you. I think it's plain simple common sense.

    You are not allowed to bring knives onto a plane. You are not allowed to bring anything sharp onto a plane. So why does anyone think a 10-inch piece of sharpened metal with a nasty-looking toepick should be allowed on the plane?!

    I went domestic Canberra to Melbourne and back again a few days ago, and I didn't even think about it; the skates went straight in the checked luggage. Was I nervous they would get lost? Hell yes. I was terrified. But I didn't even bother checking the regs to see if they were allowed in hand luggage. It just made sense to me that they wouldn't allow them in the cabin.

    No sympathy for this situation tbh.
  40. Stormy

    Stormy Well-Known Member

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    But skates ARE allowed. Skate blades and knives aren't the same thing. If you look here, skates are not on the banned list and are even show in the photo of allowed items- http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1038.shtm

    Granted, if you get a surly TSA agent who doesn't know the rules, you're probably SOL. I am traveling from Boston to Salt Lake City by way of Baltimore on Monday and you bet my skates are coming in my carry on.