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SnakebyteXX
03-28-2005, 06:36 AM
Latest airport security measure is scheduled to be enforced in April

By ANNE MARIE KILDAY
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

A federal ban on cigarette lighters inside security checkpoints at the nation's airports has some airline passengers and employees smokin' mad.

The Transportation Security Administration recently announced that a ban on all types of cigarette lighters is effective immediately, but that enforcement will not begin until April 14.

Although a ban on butane lighters had been included in legislation to improve airline security after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, airline passengers had been permitted to carry two butane lighters.

"For reasons of consistency, the TSA is banning all lighters butane lighters, electric torch lighters, fuel-soaking lighters," said Andrea McCauley, a Fort Worth-based spokeswoman for the federal agency. "When the ban goes into place, you can carry up to four books of matches."

McCauley said the TSA recognizes that the ban might be "a great inconvenience" to passengers who smoke and carry lighters so they can grab a quick puff outside an airport.

Several Houston passengers traveling this weekend smokers taking a break outside George Bush Intercontinental Airport strongly objected to the ban.

Others seemed resigned that their habit would become even more difficult to pursue. Already banished to the outdoors and at least 25 feet away from a building entrance the smokers said they would try alternatives, such as the TSA's suggestion that they switch to matches. For now.

Continental Airlines pilot Don McPhee used a butane lighter to light a cigarette for his wife, Cynthia, as he learned about the upcoming ban.

McPhee, who described himself as "a social smoker," said, "In the 21 years I've been flying, I've never heard of anybody trying to hurt anyone with a cigarette lighter on an airplane."

He described the lighter ban as "another nitpicky" rule by the TSA. Even as he lit one of his "social" smokes, McPhee seemed more peeved that the federal agency had outlawed a small tool kit that he used to carry to adjust his sunglasses.

"To me, I look at all the little things, like the tools for my sunglasses what possible harm could I have done with a set of little tiny screwdrivers?" McPhee said.


Called erosion of rights
Frequent flier Doug Zanders, of Huntsville, returning from his 41st trip this year as "a troubleshooter" for a steel company, was smoking a cigarette while waiting for his ride home.

"This country is growing more communist every day telling you where you can smoke, where you can't smoke. That's communism," he said. "I'm really against smoking, but it's my prerogative."

Zanders also suggested that airlines should let frequent fliers know when such changes are in the works.

Barbara Dozhier, of Kansas, Okla., was shocked to learn of the lighter ban as she smoked outside the Continental Airlines terminal where she picked up her grandchildren Friday.

"Oh my God," Dozhier said. "That's ridiculous. What's a person supposed to do? That's really not fair. We smokers have lost enough rights as it is.

"What do they think a person is going to do without a lighter?"

Richard Grody, a chemical engineer, said he already smokes outside his home in Calgary, Alberta, "where it has been a little chilly the past few months."

"It's a disgusting habit, and my wife and kids don't let me smoke inside at home," Grody said.


Leave lighters at home
McCauley said the federal agency is trying to warn airline passengers, and employees, that all cigarette lighters will be confiscated at security checkpoints when the ban is strictly enforced beginning in mid-April.

She said many people do carry lighters with "sentimental value," such as lighters that once belonged to parents, or lighters that were gifts.

"The best bet is not to take that lighter to the airport," McCauley said.

Roger Smith, a spokesman for the city of Houston's Department of Aviation, which operates Hobby Airport and Bush airport, said smoking is banned inside both facilities.

"There is no smoking period inside any building at Bush Intercontinental or Hobby Airport, so if people must smoke they must go outside. And if they carry a lighter so that they can smoke occasionally, it is their responsibility to make sure they don't have to go through a security checkpoint," Smith said.

"The TSA will treat airport employees the same as any ticketed passenger who comes through a security checkpoint."


Matches may be next
Although passengers will be allowed to carry up to four books of matches, the TSA is reviewing a possible ban on matches, McCauley said.

"We're looking at matches, but no definitive position has been reached," she said. "We don't want it to be a ban against smokers."

Matt Laidler, of Houston, had a no-fire answer to the problem.

Walking to a friend's waiting car, Laidler said, "I guess I'll just have to start chewing tobacco."


Link (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/3104742)

Wally_in_Cincy
03-29-2005, 12:55 PM
I guess one of those lighters shaped like a handgun would be out of the question.

PQQLK9
03-29-2005, 02:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> I guess one of those lighters shaped like a handgun would be out of the question. <hr /></blockquote>

I think so ... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
http://www.chtradersonline.com/Merchant2/images/Lighters/cht_lighter/NOV03/Picture1736.jpg

Deeman2
03-29-2005, 03:06 PM
They took a way a laser pointer from me a couple of years ago so I stopped flying for business. Simplified my life a lot. If I can't drive there, I just don't go anymore. This has worked for 2 years now.

I'm old enough to remember when flying was not all that bad. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Deeman

Wally_in_Cincy
03-30-2005, 05:59 AM
For anything less than 500 miles, it is now more practical to drive, considering the hassles of flying.

SnakebyteXX
03-30-2005, 08:23 AM
When lighters are outlawed only outlaws will have lighters.

Lighters don't light fires. People light fires.

[ QUOTE ]
"When the ban goes into place, you can carry up to four books of matches."
<hr /></blockquote>

OMG! Only four books of matches? Like four books of matches couldn't cause a serious problem on an airline in flight. So... are they trying to disarm potential terrorists or disable potential smokers? Or both?

Snake

Once the lighters are gone the matches will be next.

pooltchr
03-31-2005, 10:47 AM
I just finished a 1000 mile drive from Charlotte to Dallas...it was a very pleasant drive...just me, my case of CD's, my Camels and my Zippo!!!
$crew the airlines!
Steve

Wally_in_Cincy
03-31-2005, 10:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> I just finished a 1000 mile drive from Charlotte to Dallas...it was a very pleasant drive...just me, my case of CD's, my Camels and my Zippo!!!
<hr /></blockquote>

and a sidearm? /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

SpiderMan
03-31-2005, 11:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> I just finished a 1000 mile drive from Charlotte to Dallas...it was a very pleasant drive...just me, my case of CD's, my Camels and my Zippo!!!
$crew the airlines!
Steve <hr /></blockquote>

Where are you now? Why didn't you look us up?

SpiderMan