Flying with U-Locks in carry on baggage
I wanted to post my report on this thread (http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-483940.html) but it's archived so I'm opening up another thread for us to share reports on flying with locks.
I brought an OnGuard Bulldog Mini in my carry on baggage on a flight from San Francisco to Austin and back in September, 2011 without so much as a peep from the TSA so that size lock seems ok to fly with (Sample Size = 2 flights)
United Airlines, though that's probably not significant since the TSA is the same for all airlines.
That's not too surprising to me. In my experience carrying on various "weird" items for work or hobbies, TSA has always stuck with their publicly stated list of prohibited items. This changes so it's good to check before you travel.
The item on that list that concerned me on some flights in the past is the generic 'tools' that are longer than 7". I was carrying some parts for my bike trailer (had a bike on the other end, so no need to carry that) and one was the axle that splits in two, but each piece is still over 7" long. I opted to check a bag to avoid the issue (is an axle a "tool" - and if not then why should all tools over 7" be a problem but not other solid metal objects of that size?), but that's less convenient than just having carry-on for the flight.
Originally Posted by Looigi
Since then there's been some discussion on the folding bikes forum about getting the whole bike through the TSA carry-on screening. Apparently there haven't been objections yet by the TSA folks although the bike frame is way over the 7" limit and it strikes me as a potential security risk since various things could be concealed inside the steel frame tubes.
Just as one point of interest - i was not allowed to fly with a pedal wrench. Probably exceeded the 7" tool rule? I'm surprised they'd let a U lock on board, but I won't argue with success. Based on my own experience, I wouldn't try it.