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Author Topic: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.  (Read 697 times)

NiDara

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Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« on: March 10, 2018, 10:02:28 pm »
I wasn't entirely sure on where to post this, but if this is wrong area, someone can move it. It seemed like a good place since it's related to everyday life (travel) and a travel altar (faith).

I have a small wooden travel altar that I want to take with me on a potential trip later this year, but I'm wondering about taking it through airport security. The box has a small bell, some small ogham staves, crystals/stones, devotional jewelry, and devotional imagery. I'm aware of TSA's policy toward gift boxes, but has anybody traveled through an airport and had their travel altar with them? Did it cause any issues? Should I pack the contents separately so everything can be seen easily?

Thanks!

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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2018, 10:11:35 pm »
I wasn't entirely sure on where to post this, but if this is wrong area, someone can move it. It seemed like a good place since it's related to everyday life (travel) and a travel altar (faith).

I have a small wooden travel altar that I want to take with me on a potential trip later this year, but I'm wondering about taking it through airport security. The box has a small bell, some small ogham staves, crystals/stones, devotional jewelry, and devotional imagery. I'm aware of TSA's policy toward gift boxes, but has anybody traveled through an airport and had their travel altar with them? Did it cause any issues? Should I pack the contents separately so everything can be seen easily?

Thanks!
I wouldn't worry too much, but putting anything that might look odd in x-ray in an easily accessible part of the bag can't hurt.

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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2018, 10:13:35 pm »
I have a small wooden travel altar that I want to take with me on a potential trip later this year, but I'm wondering about taking it through airport security. The box has a small bell, some small ogham staves, crystals/stones, devotional jewelry, and devotional imagery. I'm aware of TSA's policy toward gift boxes, but has anybody traveled through an airport and had their travel altar with them? Did it cause any issues? Should I pack the contents separately so everything can be seen easily?

This is a 'going to depend on what's in it' - as long as the items themselves aren't prohibited, you should be fine. I would probably carry anything that might look like it could hold liquid in your bag for liquids just in case unless it's easy to see it's an empty container. (i.e. if I had an opaque bottle, that's different from clear glass.)

I'd also make sure that you put ritual items in your carry-on (which means limiting what you take to the carry-on list) just because items can get damaged or lost occasionally in checked baggage. 

I flew a couple of years ago with fairly substantial ritual gear because I was helping with initiations - I didn't bring a ritual blade, or any other item that would be a problem, but did bring significant ritual jewellery including my priestess crown, a Tarot deck, various other somewhat odd items. No one blinked twice at it, it didn't even bring me up for an extra check. And I flew with a little tiny metal case and simple ritual items (folded cloth, a carved stone, jewellery, etc.) several times on my last job hunt, with no problems.

And plenty of Pagan presenters and ritualists going to festivals or conferences fly with some odd things (though there's also the option to ship stuff ahead by mail.)
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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 04:58:10 am »
This is a 'going to depend on what's in it' - as long as the items themselves aren't prohibited, you should be fine. I would probably carry anything that might look like it could hold liquid in your bag for liquids just in case unless it's easy to see it's an empty container. (i.e. if I had an opaque bottle, that's different from clear glass.)

I'd also make sure that you put ritual items in your carry-on (which means limiting what you take to the carry-on list) just because items can get damaged or lost occasionally in checked baggage. 

I flew a couple of years ago with fairly substantial ritual gear because I was helping with initiations - I didn't bring a ritual blade, or any other item that would be a problem, but did bring significant ritual jewellery including my priestess crown, a Tarot deck, various other somewhat odd items. No one blinked twice at it, it didn't even bring me up for an extra check. And I flew with a little tiny metal case and simple ritual items (folded cloth, a carved stone, jewellery, etc.) several times on my last job hunt, with no problems.

And plenty of Pagan presenters and ritualists going to festivals or conferences fly with some odd things (though there's also the option to ship stuff ahead by mail.)
I can add that I flee just last month and I carried white sage and crystals in my checked bag.  Then I had select certain crystals, my insane amount of ginger, and my deck of faerie Oracle cards in my carry on.  The only thing anyone cared about on my outward bound trip... was the ginger.  I put everything in Ziploc baggies to make it easier to get through security checks.

Coming home, though, I had harder more crystals and the last of the sage.  TSA looked through my checked bag this time And I figure it was the weird shape of some crystals and the sage.  I blame the sage!  I'd just be sure to be helpful and label some things that may seem a little strange.  Like, with the sage, I kept the packaging label with it... just in case.

Other than that, I had no problems with anything else.

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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 05:44:48 am »
I wasn't entirely sure on where to post this, but if this is wrong area, someone can move it. It seemed like a good place since it's related to everyday life (travel) and a travel altar (faith).

I have a small wooden travel altar that I want to take with me on a potential trip later this year, but I'm wondering about taking it through airport security. The box has a small bell, some small ogham staves, crystals/stones, devotional jewelry, and devotional imagery. I'm aware of TSA's policy toward gift boxes, but has anybody traveled through an airport and had their travel altar with them? Did it cause any issues? Should I pack the contents separately so everything can be seen easily?

Thanks!
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Honestly, as long as it's not illegal, the TSA couldn't give less of a shit. Everybody knows somebody with a TSA horror story -- because assholes do work there -- but as a rule you'll be good. The only thing to worry about is if you have something super-duper weird; like, for example, a gigantic dildo large enough to be conceivably used as a weapon. They won't confiscate it, but they will tell other people about it when lunching.

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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2018, 06:45:48 am »


an airport and had their travel altar with them? Did it cause any issues? Should I pack the contents separately so everything can be seen easily?

I have a small travel altar that lives in an aluminum jar. I've flown with it in my carry on many times and never had any problems. It's never even caused my bag to be searched.

I also always carry a few rocks and more jewelry than I really need. Never had any problems with those things, either.

As someone else said, as long as you're not carrying something that violates the rules, like too much liquid, you should be fine.

I wouldn't worry about "odd" things. I'm sure TSA agents have seen it all and don't care. You have a right to carry anything you want, as long as it's not dangerous or a rules violation.


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ehbowen

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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2018, 07:59:29 am »
I'd also make sure that you put ritual items in your carry-on (which means limiting what you take to the carry-on list) just because items can get damaged or lost occasionally in checked baggage. 

This. I worked "behind the scenes" at Hobby Airport in Houston for two years. I'll never put anything breakable in checked luggage again. They really do fling it...sometimes they even seem to be having contests to see who can throw it the farthest.
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Morbid

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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2018, 08:40:33 am »

I wouldn't worry about "odd" things. I'm sure TSA agents have seen it all and don't care. You have a right to carry anything you want, as long as it's not dangerous or a rules violation.


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This is what I would echo.  I've traveled with so many odd things that the TSA doesn't even blink at. 

As some one else said just make sure fragile things are in your carry on and you should be fine.
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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2018, 12:31:49 pm »


  I blame the sage!

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I had trouble with TSA whilst just transiting through Houston en route from Guatemala to London. I arrived in London but my case did not. It was 3 hours behind on the next flight having been detained by your TSA.

I blame the chocolate powder! 

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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2018, 03:27:27 pm »
I had trouble with TSA whilst just transiting through Houston en route from Guatemala to London. I arrived in London but my case did not. It was 3 hours behind on the next flight having been detained by your TSA.

I blame the chocolate powder!

I've carried quite a lot of strange things while traveling.  I've packed bottles of sesame oil in my luggage (not carry on...too big for the liquid allowance lol)  The one thing I got inspected for, which was my own fault for not thinking, was my son had been gifted several (like 8ish) small containers of play-dough.  Which of course might have been mistaken for something quite dangerous!  I saw the inspect notification when we got home, and it took me a while to figure out what had triggered the search.  Of course when I realized it I wanted to smack myself in the face lol

As far as ritual items, I almost always carry a fair amount of jewelry in my carry on (I never pack it in my checked luggage), which may or may not include prayer beads.  I have carried rune dice and cards without a problem (so many people carry playing cards, I'm sure they don't even really pay attention to cards).  Last time I traveled I had a wooden bowl in my carry on!

I was not aware they had some policy on gift boxes, but I imagine it's something like "We may need to open these, so don't bring anything you would be upset if it needed to be opened and inspected."  I have definitely carried tins and boxes with stuff in them, so it's not just 'having a collection of stuff in a container' that causes a problem.
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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2018, 06:00:47 pm »
The one thing I got inspected for, which was my own fault for not thinking, was my son had been gifted several (like 8ish) small containers of play-dough.  Which of course might have been mistaken for something quite dangerous! 

My brother once got his bag checked because of whole carrots (which he was carrying as a snack) and he suspects it was for a similar reason. That is, they showed up as blocks of solid organic substance.

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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2018, 06:47:40 pm »
They won't confiscate it, but they will tell other people about it when lunching.

I confirm that this is the case. Heck, preboard screeners might still be telling some of the more unusual stories about Weird Stuff In Bags decades after the fact.

On the flip side, as other have noted, once they've been in the job for a while, preboard screeners will have seen a lot of odd stuff; the bar for 'worth telling a story about' is very high. And aside from 'does this make a good story?', if it's not something restricted from airplanes, they don't care.

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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2018, 07:51:06 pm »
I confirm that this is the case. Heck, preboard screeners might still be telling some of the more unusual stories about Weird Stuff In Bags decades after the fact.

On the flip side, as other have noted, once they've been in the job for a while, preboard screeners will have seen a lot of odd stuff; the bar for 'worth telling a story about' is very high. And aside from 'does this make a good story?', if it's not something restricted from airplanes, they don't care.

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I will say I've traveled with skulls, dead bodies, human remains in the form of ashes, shrunken heads, and all sorts of fun things - full discloser: yes these are treated special.  But I've never had issues with the TSA as far as looking through stuff.  I have however gotten every weird look known to man it is ok. 
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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2018, 03:09:00 am »
I will say I've traveled with skulls, dead bodies, human remains in the form of ashes, shrunken heads, and all sorts of fun things - full discloser: yes these are treated special.  But I've never had issues with the TSA as far as looking through stuff.  I have however gotten every weird look known to man it is ok.
I'm picturing you just toting around a large rolly suitcase crammed full of bodies and nothing you say can change my mind.

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Re: Concerns about a travel altar during a trip.
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2018, 05:12:22 am »
I'm picturing you just toting around a large rolly suitcase crammed full of bodies and nothing you say can change my mind.

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