12-23-2018, 03:00 PM
#1
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Earlier this month we went to Atlanta for a 3-day weekend.  We did carry-on luggage.  TSA regulations limit liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes to 3.4 ounces.  For years I've packed Sampson's Natural Soap, which is 5.3 ounces,  in my carry-on luggage without any issues.  I chose Sampson's for travel because it's the hardest soap I have and it did not seem to qualify as a gel, cream or paste.

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The Sampson's went through security on the Miami-Atlanta leg of the trip and was not an issue.   However, on the Atlanta-Miami leg, the TSA opened my bag and removed the Sampson's because it exceeded 3.4 ounces.  I told the officer that it was just hard soap, no different than a bar of hard bath soap.  The officer called a supervisor, who asked me if she could touch the Sampson's.  After I consented, she put on gloves and used her index finger to press down hard on the soap.  She then told me that the soap was moldable, and therefore prohibited because it weighed more than 3.4 ounces.  You can't reason with these people, and arguing is futile, so I let it go.

Using this "moldable" standard, only a hard, triple milled soap, whether for shaving or bath, is likely to qualify for carry-on if it exceeds 3.4 ounces.  Even then, an unreasonable TSA officer may not let the soap through.  It seems as if there are no consistent, objective criteria on soap, and we're subject to the whims of individual officers.  I may start using one of the new Mike's shaving sticks for carry-on.

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 12-23-2018, 05:28 PM
#2
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Terminally Senseless Aparatchiks

There's no reasoning with some people

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 12-23-2018, 06:14 PM
#3
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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Ricardo that was extreme, and unfortunate for you. . It’s a good heads up for the rest of us. I’ve been TSA successful with Valobra. It’s the smallest soap container own. Yet it probably weighs more than official guidelines. Go figure... Travel size shave soap is tres niche. The Container Store probably sells something compatible. I’ll check next time we pass by. Two years ago, TSA in Greensboro allowed me to board with over a pound of chilled shea butter. I planned ahead, and kept it in the fridge for 24 hours prior to departure. The supervisor said something to the effect of, “yeah, we know what shea butter is. You’re ok with that.”

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 12-23-2018, 06:15 PM
#4
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I carry-on a shave stick for just this reason - that or a 1/2oz sample size of AdP. Also why I bring a synthetic - especially when traveling internationally. I try to give the TSA zero reasons to take a closer look. That said, I usually carry a few protein bars in my bag - and sometimes they’ll take a closer look, chuckle, and send me on my way.

You can make a shave stick from an old deodorant tube and any soap - or just re-use a mikes/mystic-waters/d.r. harris tube.

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 12-23-2018, 08:29 PM
#5
  • Garb
  • Active Member
  • Oregon
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Don't get me started on TSA as I just returned from Taiwan and went through the hoops with them when it came to the TSA precheck line that was supposed to be the quicker way to go, that didn't happen at all and the line was actually longer than the "slower" way to get on. So, TSA got my money to be processed quicker to board and it gets my goat how they operate. 
I also had a carry on synthetic brush and a stick of Speick

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 12-23-2018, 08:43 PM
#6
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I've also heard of people having hard soaps pulled from their bags.  There is such a thing as plastic explosives.  The rules are established for a reason.  Having traveled about a half million miles I have learned that if you don't want to lose something, keep everything that is considered a toiletry in one TSA compliant bag and the size of each item needs to conform to the limitations. And I bring a tube of cream for that reason.  As a frequent flyer myself, I actually appreciate being safe in the air.  Sure it's an inconvenience but the world isn't what it used to be either.

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 12-23-2018, 10:31 PM
#7
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i have had this happen to me more than once and they are just following their own rules.  I use a travel stick or sample size containers for this purpose.

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 12-23-2018, 10:53 PM
#8
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The problem is that they are inconsistently following their own rules; what is allowed through on one airport is confiscated on your layover etc. It's the same in Europe, although if my limited experience is a guide, over here they are at least a little more willing to work with you - if nothing else than to get the line moving.

The worst part about taking my shave gear in carry-on is that DE-blades is definitely a no-no.

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 12-23-2018, 11:10 PM
#9
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(12-23-2018, 10:53 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: The problem is that they are inconsistently following their own rules; what is allowed through on one airport is confiscated on your layover etc. It's the same in Europe, although if my limited experience is a guide, over here they are at least a little more willing to work with you - if nothing else than to get the line moving.

The worst part about taking my shave gear in carry-on is that DE-blades is definitely a no-no.

Well, >= 3oz should make it through any airport. I carry-on a sensor excel to avoid issues with DE/SE blades - a single cartridge is generally good for a week. I accept these consolations as payment for letting me on my way.

Same thing about carry-on size: 22" x 14" x 9" is generally good, though 21” on the longest side is often the max for international flights. This obviously doesn’t apply to puddle jumpers (regional planes).

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 12-23-2018, 11:33 PM
#10
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
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I travel with a Speick stick and Feather MII in carry-on for short trips, nicer stuff in checked baggage for longer.
The TSA is a joke.  TSA has been around for 17 years and haven't caught, identified, or caused to be charged and tried anyone who would be termed a terrorist.

However, the TSA has captured untold gallons of harmless water, milk for young children, and other harmless shaving soaps. I witnessed a TSA agent tell a person in front of me to throw away a sealed bottle of water because it exceeded the volume limit.  That same TSA agent then retrieved the sealed bottle from the bin and put it in their pocket.  When challenged, he simply said "prove it."  Angry

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 12-24-2018, 05:15 AM
#11
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
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I'm sure this will happen now, but I have never had them check my soap.  I always carry a 4 oz B&M Latha with me.  I thought it was ok that it was more than 3 oz because it's a solid, or at least I consider it a solid.  The problem for me is I can only use unscented soaps / creams and it's harder to find an unscented cream than a soap, especially in a travel size tube.

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 12-24-2018, 03:02 PM
#12
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A few years back, I forgot to put my large shaving soap container into the suitcase. Munich airport inspection ditched the soap. They offered me to leave the line and check the shaving soap into my baggage. Why should I potentially miss boarding an international flight because of shaving soap? I was miserable for about a day. When I got home I shaved with another soap. In time, the company that made the shaving soap ceased making the soap. SSAD appears in many forms. I was lucky enough to be weaned off one soap quickly with no long term withdrawal symptoms.

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 12-24-2018, 06:58 PM
#13
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I work for an airline, and I agree with a lot of the comments here. I just take a cream, stick, or soap sample to avoid any potential hassle. I never travel with any items I’d be sad to lose.

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 12-25-2018, 07:31 AM
#14
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Absolutely ridiculous!

They maybe thought you could magically change the chemical composition and mold it into a block of C4. They knew it was soap right? Morons!

But I'd be willing to bet you felt safer after having witnessed that bit of stupidity. I know I always feel safer knowing that morons are keeping me safe.

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 12-25-2018, 10:20 AM
#15
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"Your security is provided by the lowest bidder" etc.

Try flying domestic in the US with a couple of half kilo blocks of Norwegian Brown Cheese in your luggage; not only did I have to convince the TSA it wasn't an explosive, but I also had to convince them that it was a food product. I still suspect that I was only let through because I offered my Norwegian military ID as my second form of photo ID...

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