Flying with a pac-safe mesh in/on the carry-on

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David A. Desrosiers

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Feb 18, 2011, 7:23:01 PM2/18/11
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I bought a pac-safe mesh (55L) for protecting/covering my bag while
I'm abroad, and it came to my attention that TSA might not let me
onboard with it inside my carry-on. I called Outpac designs (makers of
the pac-safe), and spoke to "Tracy", who said she's never heard of
anyone having problems flying with it, but she really didn't sound
confident in her own answer.

Question: has anyone actually flown with a pac-safe mesh "net" around
their carry-on, or packed up in the original storage pouch inside
their carry-on?

I talked to a friend today who is a frequent flyer, and he said it's
probably better to have it around the bag, and send it through the
x-ray machine at the security checkpoint, and take it off if they ask,
vs. letting the x-ray machine "find" the wire mesh inside its storage
pouch deep inside my bag, drawing attention to me, while they ask what
all those wires are there for.

I'd hate to put it in/on my bag, and have TSA reject it outright, and
force me to discard it right at the security checkpoint.

Anyone?

Mark Eckenrode

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Feb 18, 2011, 11:38:05 PM2/18/11
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i have the same 55L pac-safe and in 2009 had no problems flying
internationally with it either way... around the bag, and in it's
pouch in an outside flap on the bag.

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Lefty

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Feb 19, 2011, 12:19:45 AM2/19/11
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On Feb 18, 2011, at 4:23 PM, David A. Desrosiers wrote:
>
> Question: has anyone actually flown with a pac-safe mesh "net" around
> their carry-on, or packed up in the original storage pouch inside
> their carry-on?

I've never used one—although I've been interested—but based on my experiences with TSA and the like, they're not going to be especially bothered by something like this, or I'd be extremely surprised if they were. It's not sharp, it's not obviously any sort of a weapon, it's got an easily-explicable function, should they ask. I'd leave it either in the bag, or—better still—out in a tray when you went through the scanners at security.

They don't care how much metal you bring through, and unless something seems like it could be potentially used offensively—they won't let me carry on my photographic tripod, which I suppose could theoretically be used to club someone—I don't think they'll have an issue with it...

John Veteran

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Feb 19, 2011, 12:49:45 AM2/19/11
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I carry those Pac Safe Meshes worldwide no problem. 20 Year Airline Pilo.

David A. Desrosiers

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Mar 1, 2011, 6:21:15 AM3/1/11
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On Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 11:38 PM, Mark Eckenrode <ma...@replytomark.com> wrote:
> i have the same 55L pac-safe and in 2009 had no problems flying
> internationally with it either way... around the bag, and in it's
> pouch in an outside flap on the bag.

Well, it was a successful trip to and from Singapore, with the
pac-safe, Osprey 46 and North Face Surge (2011 model). In fact, TSA
didn't even give me a second look at all, in or out of the US. I
didn't have to take my shoes off, wasn't wanded, didn't have the
'grope-and-tickle' experience, nor was I offered the backscatter
scanner as an option.

After all the stories I'd heard about the TSA and their draconian
policies, I was shocked... not a single person called out the
pac-safe, nor the numerous external batteries I had inside my carry-on
bags. Singapore Airlines balked, but only briefly at my 12kg weight in
each bag on the way -to- Singapore, but I talked the counter woman out
of making me check either of them.

The one thing that was the most-painful on the way there, was their
rigid policy about charging laptop batteries while plugged into the
power outlets in Business Class. The outlet itself detects if your
laptop has a battery installed, and will -cut power- if it finds one.
If you plug your laptop in, and immediately remove the battery, the
outlet will stay powered the whole time.

http://www.singaporeair.com/saa/en_UK/content/exp/entertainment/pc.jsp

I tested this with my 90W and 65W power adapters, as well as with the
laptop powered off, but plugged in (with battery inserted). Every time
the battery was at play, the outlet would cut power about 10 seconds
later. I asked the flight attendant and was referred to their website,
which states that "Charging laptop batteries is prohibited".

This is the worst part: Unless you realize it, you'll plug your latpop
in, and happily work... until the battery runs out, and then your
laptop will shut down, and can't be powered on again, until you remove
the battery... but now you're stuck with a battery you can't recharge,
until you de-plane and find a proper outlet.

The outlets in Economy, are not bound by this restriction, as I found
out later. On the flight back, the seats were very different, and had
USB ports, AC power, RCA jacks for audio, iPod plug, etc. and did not
restrict me from charging my laptop.

The pac-safe came in handy, when I wanted room service to turn over my
room. I packed everything up in the Osprey, and locked it to the
hangar bar in the closet, and rested the pack on the high wooden shelf
inside the room. You can see that here: http://twitpic.com/44zf7u

This was the first time I really tried to fit everything into one bag,
and even then I realized I could have gotten away with less than I
brought. You can see from the above photo, that my bag was definitely
not over-stuffed, and there was plenty of room for more gear, if I
needed it.

I -did- pack an extra, empty duffel, which I checked on the way back,
and packed my gifts in the center of a clothing bundle, to protect
them.

These two bags are now going to be my standard kit going forward...
I'm going to pare down the other gear I bring to keep both bags under
a 7-10kg limit, but it was fun to experiment "live", while 9,500 miles
away from home. It absolutely made getting on and off the plane -much-
simpler, than having to wait for and lug bigger luggage around with
me.

Chris Dame

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Mar 1, 2011, 3:34:31 PM3/1/11
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I'm very curious about how Singapore Air handles the current
generation of Apple laptops, as their battery is not removable. During
a time when some airlines are handing out iPads as in-flight
entertainment, they would keep you from using them.

- Chris Dame
http://TravelTrue.net

David A. Desrosiers

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Mar 1, 2011, 3:48:08 PM3/1/11
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On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 3:34 PM, Chris Dame <ch...@traveltrue.net> wrote:
> I'm very curious about how Singapore Air handles the current generation of
> Apple laptops, as their battery is not removable. During a time when some
> airlines are handing out iPads as in-flight entertainment, they would keep
> you from using them.

That came up in a discussion with some of my engineer friends, as we
mentally disassembled the armrest trying to figure out exactly how
they were able to "detect" whether I had a battery plugged in or not..

The current generation of Apple laptops that has a non-removeable
battery also has a smart Magsafe adapter that can tell if the voltage
supplied is enough to charge, or just power the laptop.

f the battery is too low, or the power is insufficient, the power
adapter itself will disable charging, and only power the laptop, thus
bypassing the active power controls built into the SIngapore Airlines
armrests in Business Class.

With a normal pee-cee laptop adapter, if you have a battery plugged in
and an AC adapter attached, you're charging the battery no matter
what.

You'd think they'd institute this in Economy Class first/only, and not
in Business Class, to avoid 300 passengers from abusing the power
offered, but it's -only- restricted in Business Class, for some
reason. The outlets in the washroom and everywhere else, are not
subject to this "active" power monitoring.

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