Now, righly or wrongly, up until now on the few occasions I’ve been through airport security with my 817, ive left the stock rechargeable batteries in. This was in the belief that if there was any doubt that it wasn’t a ‘real radio’ but something more sinister, it could be turned on, after being left tuned to bbc r2 or some similar strong station to show it working.
I’ve never had any issues with that, bemused expressions from operators of the X rays, and irate glares from fellow travellers when they get held up for an extra 2 minutes while everything gets swabbed
That is, until this weekend, when passing through security at a major middle eastern airport (you probably know the one) I very nearly had the 817 seized
Apparently ‘walkie talkies’ are prohibited in hand luggage (*), and an 817 that powers up, with its 2m rubber ducky and microphone just in the same bag was deemed a 'walkie talkie’
Girlie on the xray called the boss fella over and he appeared adamant that it should be handed over
After a couple of minutes of ‘discussion’ on the subject, and not wishing to end up in some middle eastern jail or other I popped off the battery cover, unplugged the battery and handed it to him. Asking if he agreed that it was now not a ‘walkie talkie’ but just a box of non functioning electronics he agreed, told me it was now ok to take,and let me on my way (thankfully).
I had the exact same response from another security barrier, just before the gate (I told him he was too late as his mate in the next building had already taken the battery, rendering it useless as it was!
This was the only ‘issue’ i had going through some 6 or so security checks. Nobody seemed to bat an eyelid at the lifepro4 battery (As an aside, this second bunch of security checks, being between duty free and the aircraft were doing their best to enforce the ‘no bottles of liquid over 100ml’ rule, much the the annoyance of many!!!)
(*) “walkie talkies” are shown on a list of ‘banned items’ in hand luggage along with ‘cables’ ànd ‘wires’ but of course this is only evident AFTER the items have gone through the scanner and have been picked up.
The obvious next question is… since I have to go through the same way in a few weeks, do I trust outting the rig in checked baggage?