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I saw a gentleman get in security line behind me with an autographed bat in a case and I didn’t give it a second look. We were all leaving the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention and seeing a guy walk around with an autographed baseball bat didn’t alarm me at all. I knew he was carrying it because he cared about it and didn’t want any harm to come to it. The idea of him breaking it open during the flight to take over a plane seemed comical to me, but the reality of living in a post 9/11 world is that you can’t bring something like that on a plane.
When the TSA agent let him know he couldn’t bring it, he was crushed. He was already late for his flight and this meant he would have to go back and check it. But he couldn’t just check it as it was, he would need to find packaging for it as well to insure it was not damaged. I felt for him as he most certainly missed his flight over this misstep and likely had to spend another day in Baltimore.
If you are a collector traveling to a show, you will want to make sure you ship any larger items back home or make sure you check them in a way where they are packaged safely. As an important note, most shows go until Sunday, a day when the post office and most business centers at hotels do not ship items. Make sure you ship anything larger on Saturday before the last day of the show if you are leaving on Sunday as this gentleman was. Also, make sure to check out this list of sporting goods TSA will not let you carry on board a flight. That’s right, you’ll have to check the bow & arrows as well…
UPDATE 3/5/13 – TSA has eased some restrictions on items you can travel with. Golf clubs, hockey sticks, ski poles and pool cues are now good to go. Your baseball bats however are still blacklisted.
Have you ever had TSA give you grief over trying to carry on your favorite sports collectibles?