Air Travel with Lock Picks

Jan 9, 2009

For the first time a few months ago I traveled by plane and brought lock picks in my carry on luggage. After having read this article about sneaking lock picks in the extension tubes of rolling luggage, I wondered what would really be required to just sneak picks through. Though flying with lock picks isn’t illegal the TSA agents are not known for their accurate knowledge of the rules concerning air travel. I really wanted to have picks at my destination so that I could do a seminar on picking; I didn’t want them to be taken away by an overzealous agent.

Lock picks don’t have that much mass so I figured if I removed all of normal metal, including my belt, that I’d get through the metal detector OK with the picks in my pocket. I tried this tactic on the trip to my destination and was successful. After removing my belt, I just put my four picks & three torque wrenches in my shirt pocket and waltzed through the metal detector to no notice of the TSA agent. That was easy.

The return trip was equally uneventful, though I used a different method - I simply put my picks into the bag that I put through the X-ray. Again, this was of no interest to the TSA; either they didn’t notice or they know what picks are and that it’s OK to carry them. I’ll assume the former.

Long story short: you can easily sneak a few picks through in your pocket if you have no other metal on your person. Odds are you can get some through the X-ray machine without any hassle, as well.