Case # 2005OK0536
Dear Ms. Brazieal:
During a screening process on Friday, April 22, 2005, at the Metropolitan Oakland Intl. Airport (OAK), a knife with a 3 1/4-inch folding blade was discovered. Items of this type are not allowed on-board an aircraft or in the sterile area of the airport without authorization.
Bringing prohibited items to the security screening checkpoint, even accidentally, lengthens the security screening process, violates federal regulations and may, in serious or repeat cases, result in monetary penalties and/or criminal prosecution. A list of permitted and prohibited items is available at www.tsatraveltips.us. Please check this list before your next trip.
If you have a question about whether a particular item is permitted, please check our website or contact our Consumer Response Center at 1.866.289.9673. We appreciate your future compliance with all security measures.
At this time, the Transportation Security Administration has determined that this Warning Notice adequately addresses this incident.
Fred H. Lau
Federal Security Director
Metropolitan Oakland International Airport
About a month ago, I was standing in an astronomically long security line at the Oakland airport, cutting it a bit close to make my flight in time. When I checked my bag through security, they found something suspicious and pulled me aside asking if I had brought a knife with me. I had completely forgotten to remove an expensive wine and cheese knife that had been brought back from France as a gift from a friend.
They quickly directed me to another stopping point where a security officer extracted and recorded all of my personal information. Afterwards they told me I had two options:
1. I could go to the airport gift shop, buy an envelope, stamps and mail it to myself.
2. Check it through at the ticket counter.
Of course, both "options" would mean I would have to que up in the 45 minute security line again. Much to my anger, frustration, and resolve, I had to relinquish the knife because I would not have enough time to make my flight if I had to go through security all over again. Thank goodness it wasn't a family heirloom.
One month later, I received the (above) letter in the mail with a return address from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:
I think my friend Will said it best who suggested a three-word response to the letter:
Was this ironic?
Will went on to note that, "The irony is that THEY are the ones who stole property based on unsubstantiated claims of fear. So who's the terrorist here?"
I must say, I'm quite proud of the letter and plan to frame it. I know for certain that my dad would be REALLY proud of me for being on a government "list!"