Ham Radio and the TSA

Just a recommendation after my trip to Texas last week. If you’re going to travel with a handheld, drop in charger, extra battery packs and maybe a rolled up j-pole antenna, expect the TSA to take an interest in your luggage. It’s reasonable in my opinion. Ham gear isn’t all that common and to have a complicated radio, batteries and an 18 inch coil of coax and TV twinlead wire show up on the Xray SHOULD need further investigation. I had no problems other than them wanting to take a peek. I usually fly with a handgun or two (in checked luggage and declared at the check in desk) and that’s no problem either IF you follow the rules. I recommend you download and print both the TSA regs AND airline policy on the issue AND have the printed material at hand throughout your trip. Also turn your luggage and lower your voice so that other passengers behind you in line don’t see and hear what the counter representative sees and hears. According to Massad Ayoob this to avoid ‘spooking the cattle’. He was kind enough to email me with the above recommendations when I asked. Bottom line: Be current and correct on you info, the airline rep may not.
73 de KS4TI

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