Tony D, BVDs and the TSA

March 31, 2010 at 10:15 am 6 comments

by Tony

Last week I was heading home after speaking at the CASMA 2010 Spring Conference in Montreal, Canada (more on that later). As the co-founder and CBO (Chief Bowling Officer) of Carrying On, I always travel with a bag that is small enough to fit in the overhead bin. I’ve owned this bad boy for 5+ years. It has flown more than 1 million miles with me, and I have never checked it in (I have a bigger bag that I use when I will be checking a bag).  On top of that, I tested it for size in one of those bin devices at the check-in counter that morning, and carried it on when I traveled to Canada two days earlier.   I also carried it on during my flights to and from London a month ago, but today, for some unknown reason, my government deemed it too big to carry on.

TSA informed me that this policy has been in effect since the underwear bomber incident in December. It has made travel more of a pain for anyone traveling from Canada to the US, and as the Associated Press points out, we’re all going to feel double the pain when travel picks up this spring and summer.  I’m sure it has also caused more stress for the airlines that are now likely checking way more bags.

While it’s well known that Mike D packs some explosives in his BVD’s, can anyone tell me how a two inch reduction in the size of a bag will make us more secure?  Or why does this policy seems to have been applied only when exiting Canada?

If I recall correctly, the underwear bomber was heading to Detroit, and he didn’t make his way through Canada.   Maybe he had pancakes and smelled of maple syrup that morning or was wearing a Toronto Blue Jays cap, but the reaction seems totally inappropriate.

I plan to contact my congressman to provide my signature, candid feedback. The whole security situation is bad and it’s only getting worse. I’m sure I’ll get the obligatory form letter response about how I can’t fully comprehend all the actions that are necessary to keep me safe. I will also suggest to him that I may deliberately attempt to alter my travel plans for the next year to fly less.  By doing so, I will hamper the business of the airline, hotel, car rental, restaurant and multitude of other suppliers I support during the course of the trip. This will ultimately reduce the taxes I pay to my government for the safety and security they provide. It will be one man’s protest against a system that has gone overboard and become a severe encumbrance to the industry at large.

Obviously it was not a great travel day. Once I made it through the TSA screening process and came to grips with the whole situation, my day got worse, when I was informed that they no longer have a Tim Horton’s in the airport. Now that’s just not right.

And one last thing, don’t forget to register for our April webinar “Choose your own Adventure”, submit topic ideas here.  Who knows, maybe we’ll find a solution to all this madness.

Entry filed under: Business Travel, Security, TAP, Tony's thoughts. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

A Group Hug for the CODiEs and Hotels Choose Your Own Adventure

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michele McDonald  |  March 31, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Tony, it gets even weirder than that. According to Transport Canada, you can have a carryon and a “personal item” such as a handbag or computer bag. But if you put anything into the computer bag that is not a computer or a related accessory, it is no longer a personal item — it’s your official carryon. You can’t throw a last-minute pair of socks in there, for example.

    Since my laptop is pink, I consider my matching nail polish a related accessory … but it’s probably not a good idea to test that theory!

    • 2. Tony D  |  April 4, 2010 at 6:48 am

      Good luck with the nail polish and I agree it’s not worth taking the chance and having it confiscated because as a father of two girls I know how important it is to accessorize :-)

      In fact they did inspect my laptop bag, and the guy actually pulled out a stress ball and asked me what it was.

      I said “you’re kidding right?”.

      He very politely put it back in the back and asked “are you carrying anything sharp today?”, and I responded “besides my rapier like wit, no, all the other sharp objects were in the bag you made me check”.

      After the physical pat down and the obligatory stern looks, I was on my way!!

  • 3. Tom McDermott  |  April 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Tony, a couple of million miles ago, airports were transportation hubs; today they are, literally, battlegrounds. At best, they have become extremely secure and expensive shopping malls, where people can shop in what looks like their pajamas, while waiting to miss flights, because nobody can hear the PA system.

    And, remember Tony, it’s not the size of the luggage, it’s the magic of the porter.

    Perhaps this is the moment to start that airport bag-shrinker business we always dreamed about?


    • 4. Tony D  |  April 4, 2010 at 6:41 am


      Amen brother!

      Your comment brought back visions from my childhood with my dad slamming the old hard shelled Samsonite so hard to get it closed that it shook the rest of the house. He’s 83 and still going strong so maybe we hire him as a non-paid consultant for our bag shrinking business!!


  • 5. Jeff Palmer  |  April 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Tony, to avoid the Tim Horton’s problem, install the GateGuru app on your iPhone. Tells you all the food and shops by terminal and gate at each airport. You can plan what to hit before you arrive/land.

    If you don’t have an iPhone, buy one.

  • […] with increased government restrictions and limited airline capacity, the situation is only getting worse. I It’s your job to champion the […]


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