Confiscation at Security???

May 28th, 2008, 06:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 242
Confiscation at Security???

I'm curious about something.

We just recently returned from Italy.

While at the Naples airport on our way home, I inquired at the Duty Free shop about purchasing a gift of Limoncello for someone, and whether I would run into problems trying to transport that gift by hand, given that we were connecting in Zurich before landing in BOS our final destination.

The woman assured me (twice) that as long as I had my 2 boarding passes (Naples and Zzurich), that they sealed the bags and placed the receipt inside to indicate that I had purchased this gift after going through airport security.

Stupidly, I believed her, and purchased the gift.

We had already gone through security, and were fine flying to Zurich. At the Zurich connection, I showed my sealed bag, receipt inside, and the airport security sadly told me that I could NOT carry this on board. They then informed me that I could go back to the original terminal where ticketing is, and check this piece in and it would go as checked luggage.

So, for my questions....

Obviously I was stupid and naive.

However, why would the Duty Free shop tell me this? Sad to think just to make a sale.

Why is it not OK to hand-carry something like this, but OK to check it? What is the difference?

If the airlines are worried about something being in the liquid, it's going to be there regardless of whether it is in my hands or in a suitcase (??) I don't get it.

Are there different/better screeners that screen checked luggage?

I was obviously mortified, although the Zurich airport security people were extremely nice about it, telling me Naples "always tells people that", but I want to know the rationale so that next time I don't end up in this situation.

Can anyone shed light on this?
wanderer1 is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Naples duty-free may have been just been interested in making the sale or they were truly ignorant.

You are only allowed to carry on 3oz or less containers of liquids in a one quart container unless the liquids were purchased after security. Your limencello bottle was more than 3oz. So, in Zürich, you could only carry on something > 3oz if purchased after security in Zürich.

Your checked luggage is not subject to the 3 oz rule.
nibblette is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 07:15 PM
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One problem is that you're flying back to the US. You may not have that problem if you're connecting in Zurich to most other places in the world. But flying to the US, you certainly have to go through at least one screening before getting on the US-bound flight, and you won't be able to take liquids over 3oz with you.

The duty free shop people at Naples probably should have known, and should have asked, but they have no obligation to know all the various connections as well as the particular rule for the US.
rkkwan is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 08:21 PM
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I have to call you on that one. AFAIK, the 3 oz rule has been applied to most if not all the major airports in the world. I really don't think it would make a difference if the OP was flying to HKG or JFK. The OP has to go through security in Zurich before making the connection and that's where the problem lies.

For future reference, if you want to buy anything that holds more than 3 oz. of liquid, then do it at the connecting point duty free shop past security, not at the origin.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 09:31 PM
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AAFF - I apologize that my post wasn't clear, as I rewrote it halfway.

My point is that not all airports require reclearing of security for all flights, especially for domestic connections. A duty free worker at Naples wouldn't know all the different scenarios at different airports going to different destinations.

There might be some NAP-XXX-YYY connections that don't require reclearing of security at XXX.
rkkwan is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 10:15 PM
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There is one exception to the 100ml rule - and that's for liquids bought airside at an EU/EEA airport where you then transit through another EU/EEA airport where you can carry larger volumes of liquid IF it is sealed, bought that day & has the receipt.

So OP could have flown Naples, Zurich, and onwards with no problems EXCEPT that in this case the OP has been caught out by US rules on liquids which basically boil down to no > 3oz onto the plane
alanRow is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 05:13 AM
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I believe the only way to transport a liquid over 3 oz. when purchased within security when out of the US and then transport into the US would be to intercept your baggage at your connection and pack it in your check-through baggage. (A wordy explanation - I hope it makes sense!)
widespreadpanic is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 08:36 AM
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It's not simply the reclearing of security that's really the issue as you can normally bring duty free liquids through EU (also includes Switzerland, Iceland & Norway) airport security as long as it was purchased within 24 hours with receipt in an EU tamper proof bag with an unbroken seal.

It appears to be a specific issue pertaining to flying to the US ex-ZRH.

Q: May I purchase liquids and gels (such as liquor & perfume) at the See Buy fly shops if I am flying to the United States?
A: You may also purchase liquids and gels if, for example, your flight to the United States includes a stopover in London or Paris. Please note that Zürich airport forms an exception. If you are flying to the US via Zürich, your liquid and gel purchases will be confiscated.

Liquids you bought at another EU airport (Switzerland, Iceland, Norway)
These liquids are allowed. All passengers have to use sealable, manipulation-proof packaging including proof of purchase at the respective airport on the day of the flight.

Special rules for flights to the USA
For flights to the USA, liquids from tax-free sales are only allowed if purchased in specially designated US security areas, which are located behind the security check. Tax-free purchases outside these areas are not allowed on board even if sealed.

I think Naples made an honest mistake and don't blame them for not knowing all of the regulations.
Patty is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 09:04 AM
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The best advice still is to buy duty free at the connection point. That way you're assured no problems. With so many rules and regulations it's impossible to keep up with what each country/airport/airline does anymore.

OT, but somewhat similar situation. Couple of years ago I accidently threw in a bottle of very expensive man's cologne into the clear bag for my trip to SEA. Unfortunately the bottle was 7 oz. Fortunately, it was only about 1/3 full and it was a clear bottle. Going through TSA security in TPA, the bottle was looked at, I was told that it shouldn't be allowed but since the agent and his supervisor were able to see that it was only 1/3 full, they let it go. Return trip from SEA. A totally different story. The same bottle with even little less content, was ruled to be against the rules by the initial agent and then her supervisor. Technically they were right. But I tried to reason with them and even told them that TPA TSA allowed it on the grounds that it contained about 2 oz. of liquid and it was clearly visible. No go.

I had to use their shipping method to get it home. It was about $10. They had a nice shipping station set up just for that purpose....

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 02:34 PM
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At Zurich you had to pass through security to get to your flight and you can't carry more than 3 oz. through security. If you could have gone from arrival gate to departure gate without passing through security, you would have been okay. The woman in Naples didn't know about this because people usually don't have to reclear security. Unfortunately for you, Zurich is different.
EricH is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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The OP could have passed through security at ZRH with his/her EU sealed bag had s/he been traveling to any destination other than the US. See the links I provided.

If you couldn't take duty free through security, there would be no duty free sales at all at airports like AMS on the non-Schengen side where all passengers go through gate security. I've taken my duty free through security many times. But for flights to the US specifically, there are more restrictive rules that vary by airport.
Patty is offline  
May 30th, 2008, 03:19 AM
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I did this on my last trip to Spain. I bought some vinegar in Madrid (it was then sealed in a clear bag with the receipt inside). I connected in Frankfurt to Washington, DC, and had to go thru security again. I showed them the bag and they let me thru with it, no problem.
rhy is offline  
May 30th, 2008, 05:21 PM
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But I tried to reason with them and even told them that TPA TSA allowed it on the grounds that it contained about 2 oz. of liquid and it was clearly visible. No go.

Remember that the three-ounce rule was designed by a committee of bureaucrats for the sole purpose of being easy and convenient for low-level flunkies at checkpoints to implement. No need for reasoning, no need for common sense. Just set up something that the TSA's trained monkeys can apply mindlessly and (in theory) efficiently. (Besides, even if TSA screeners possessed reason or common sense, letting them apply either one to individuals would slow down the processing of those herds of suspected terrorists.)

In the real world, the situation with liquids passengers carry is nowhere near as simple as it surely seemed to those bureaucrats when they worked it all out behind their locked doors. So we end up with those trained monkeys needing to constantly "interpret" the rules, which of course they do arbitrarily and inconsistently. And we're supposed to accept on faith that the rules (and their inconsistent and capricious implementation) actually improve security. To doubt this is unpatriotic!

But for flights to the US specifically, there are more restrictive rules that vary by airport.

The War on Liquids, Toiletries, and Shoes effectively renders duty-free purchases of liquor, perfume, and other liquid goods pointless. Unless you're willing to gamble that the items will arrive intact in unlocked, roughly-handled checked bags, you have to add the cost of shipping to the cost of the items. Once you've done that, it's probably no cheaper than buying them at your local mall or from a mail-order vendor. But that's a sacrifice well worth making for the greatly increased security those restrictions on liquids give us, right?
JBHapgood is offline  
May 30th, 2008, 05:42 PM
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JB said, "Remember that the three-ounce rule was designed by a committee of bureaucrats for the sole purpose of being easy and convenient for low-level flunkies at checkpoints to implement. No need for reasoning, no need for common sense. Just set up something that the TSA's trained monkeys can apply mindlessly and (in theory) efficiently."

Is there any reason to be this rude, unkind, and unpleasant? There is no shame in honest work, and no one deserves this disrepectful treatment.
grapes is offline  
May 30th, 2008, 06:01 PM
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Is there any reason to be this rude, unkind, and unpleasant?

I'd say that "rude, unkind, and unpleasant" accurately describes too many TSA screeners.

There is no shame in honest work, and no one deserves this disrepectful treatment.

Try telling that to the TSA screener who barks orders at you because you didn't take your camera out of the bag (never mind that it's a still camera, and the signs at the checkpoints only demand the removal of camcorders, and confiscates your one-ounce shampoo bottle because it's in your own bottle rather than one labeled by the manufacturer (never mind that there's no officially published TSA rule requiring liquids to be in manufacturer's labeled bottled). You're right that no one deserves this disrespectful treatment (for violating rules they just made up and that you can't have known about), but that's what the TSA too often dishes out. Is that "honest work?"
JBHapgood is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 02:44 AM
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Wanderer1: I think Patty answered your question well.

To answer your other question:
"Why is it not OK to hand-carry something like this, but OK to check it? What is the difference?"

The carry-on liquid restrictions were put in place after the British and U.S. governments said they discovered a terrorist plot that involved carrying on board material to make liquid-based explosives. The liquid brought on board was to be hidden in drinking bottles. The terrorists were reportedly going to mix the explosive components while in the bathrooms of several U.S. airliners leaving the UK for the U.S.
caribtraveler is offline  
Jun 1st, 2008, 03:49 AM
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Im a West australian who luckily gets to travel quite a bit.Have had a few trips to Asia recently and my experience is that -leaving Perth you can purchase in Dfree in City in sealed bag with receipt or in the international lounge before departure as as its bought there no problem.Nearly made the same purchase at Bangkok just recently - done all the departure stuff booked luggage and in the Dfree area.Saw spirits at an unbelievable price also perfume.Purchased-just as I was arranging asked the ?? about security.They would have been happy for me to pay but as I specifically asked said I would have to take the perfume and put in my luggage- obviously well gone as we did at check in.
When we got to the last check at departure the amount of liquor and perfume was staggering put in a trolley - I wonder where for ????No one at the shops would have told me if I hadnt asked.about 4 weeks later travelled to and from NZealand.Purchased alcohol and perfume once though customs and baggage checked.No probs buying alcohol we were in customs area.
About to go to Hong Kong and will be making sure I ask specific ?? as I arrive in HK before I purchse for my home journey.What I found interesting was the trolley load of staff at Bangkok - also saw the same travelling between phuket and bangkok - someone is having a good party!
paamaibe is offline  
Jun 1st, 2008, 11:09 AM
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We just returned from Spain and France and I have to say that the adjectives that JGH used to describe TSA people are quite correct.
nini is offline  
Jun 1st, 2008, 03:19 PM
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The rules are crazy in their application. Almost empty bottles with a capacity of greater than 100ml are confiscated. Empty water bottles of greater capacity are allowed. If the reason for removing the first is that the receptacle could be used for aggregating and mixing then why allow the water bottles?

Fluids over 100grams are confiscated. This is based on the specific gravity of water; 100ml = 100 grams. Those who have not caught up with the rest of the world can do your own translations. However many fluids are much denser than water so the capacity of the container is less than the limit. It seems that toothpaste is not the only thing denser than water! When I asked an official who was stealing my toothpaste what the specific gravity of the stuff was he became so affronted that my wife was worried for my safety.
Saltuarius is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Its not just TSA personnel. Leaving CDG airport last yeara French security guard noticed my little 2 cell AA flashlight in my carry-on, took it, and was quite rude when I questioned her.

I have never read nor heard before or since that flashlights were forbidden, but the agent quite vocally to me so.

I think she wanted my flashlight.

bocacpa is offline  

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