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|| News Item: Posted 2003-12-31

Road Warrior: BOGUS extra baggage allowance!
By Mongo Johnson

Photo by
Earlier this month, I saw a posting about how our friends at the ASMP had negotiated with the TSA for an additional piece of carry on luggage. The link is:

Since most of you gerbils will never read the entire puff piece, let me give you the Readers Digest version:

"Thanks to the efforts of ASMP and the cooperation and understanding of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), working photographers and other members of the traveling public may now take on board an additional piece of carry-on baggage containing photographic equipment. This means that you are allowed to carry on two bags - when at least one is photographic equipment - along with a personal item"

WOW! Let me say that again, WOW!

Being naturally suspicious of any information provided by any four-letter organization, I thought to myself.

This is to good to be true?

Yep, that's right it is to good to be true.

If you go to the TSA site at: and read the fine print, you'll discover a loophole.

Again for the same gerbils who won't even RTFM, here's the fine print:
"Air carriers may or may not allow the additional carry-on item on their aircraft. Please check with your air carrier prior to arriving at the airport."

So I called a bunch of different airlines and did some checking.

American, America West, Delta, and Southwest said N.F.W. Continental and Jet Blue said they'd get back to me. Only United Airlines said YES. On a whim I called different United office and they said NO.

Several airlines claimed they were following FAA mandated carry on restrictions. Funny thing is that the FAA says that it's the TSA's call now that they are in charge of airport security.

(Mongo Johnson has worked as transportation captain on several hit movies including "Dancing At The Blue Iguana", City of Industry" and "The Double D Avenger". Johnson currently has a travel consulting firm and organizes fly-fishing junkets for celebrities.)

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