Just a heads up to anyone bear hunting and dealing with TSA in Ketchikan. I just returned from a successful bear hunt on POW.
Check in for the return flight was uneventful and we watched as all of our bags and coolers cleared the TSA machine. When seated and nearly ready for take-off, both of us who had containers with bear hides were paged and told to get all of our carry on items and exit the plane. All I was told was that I would likely miss my flight and that TSA needed to see me. We had to exit the security area and return to the TSA area to get any information as to the problem.
I was told that they were required to examine the hides and the owner had to be present. He stated that they could not x-ray through the fat of the hides and that I would not be allowed to touch, but only witness the TSA examination. My father was told that TSA could not touch the hides and WE would have to open the frozen hides for their examination. After TSA's inept attempt to cut open the tape, we were requested to do it for them and they provided us with box cutters to do it. Incidentally, we were not allowed to do this inside the building, but were taken outside into the sidewalk/parking area in the rain. After opening the hides as best we could, TSA was satisfied and we were released to be searched through security and then our carry-ons torn apart manually as well before allowing us back. Luckily the plane was held and we did make it.
Before allowing the cooler opening, I asked as to where in the rules this was and was told it was there and it was posted everywhere. I have spoken with several Alaska air employees who had not heard of this and Spoke with a local TSA agent in moline,IL about it . Her statement was that the idea of not being able to scan due to fat was ridiculous and that there was no rule whatsoever requiring this.
As a veterinarian, I also know that anything metallic (including sealing tags) would show easily through fat and my hide had less fat than most dogs I examine.
I have to wonder what was the real reason for the hassle and if anyone else has to deal with them, allow a lot of time. Remember, our coolers went through the machine and we were recalled about 30 min. later.
Has anyone else had similiar problems??