More high-handedness from TSA


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dev_null
July 15, 2004, 09:46 AM
http://john.hoke.org/archive/2004/07/my_experience_w.php

July 14, 2004
My experience with a TSA Screener

Last night I was flying from New York LaGuardia Airport to Washington Dulles for a business trip. Being a smart traveller, I went to the TSA's website and downloaded a copy of a PDF that explains what can and cannot be carried on board a plane in checked or carry on luggage.

I arrived at the airport, check my bags and head on down to the Security Screeners, these supposedly well trained, well mannered Federal Employees. I took both of my laptops out of their bags, and along with my shoes, jacket and carry on bags, placed them on the conveyor belt to the x-ray machine.

One screener asked to manually inspect one of my bags, knowing that I had nothing in it that was prohibited based on the TSA's own site I allowed the search. This inspector found a lighter that I was given by my stepdaughter for our first Father's Day together. It was a cigar lighter that did not run on Liquid Fuel, but gas. (Unabsorbed Liquid fueled lighters are prohibited based on the above PDF). He looked at it and exclaimed, "Wow I have always wanted one like this". Then proceeded to tell me that he had to confiscate my lighter.

I calmly explained that it was not on the list of items that are prohibited on his own Department's website. He replied he was allowed to use his judgement (what little of that there apparently is) and he was confiscating it. I requested to speak with his supervisor as he was not wearing any TSA identification, no name badge, not badge at all.

The supervisor came over and the screener was confiscating it, end of story. Tried to be helpful in that unhelpful supervisory way. I requested to file an official complaint, was given the supervisor's name, his badge number, and the screener's name (after much prodding and causing a scene)... While complaining, "Mr. W." tried to intimidate me from filing a complaint, physically, which made me laugh, literally. I took my "official TSA screener complaint form" and went to catch my plane knowing my stepdaughter will be crushed when I tell her they stole her gift, but what is a citizen to do when they (TSA Screeners) have the power to basically do arbitrarily whatever they please?

I will be writing (and posting here) a letter to the TSA, even though I was told by the supervisor "Go ahead and complain, there is nothing you can do to us"

Here is a bit of advice, do not carry anything in your carry on luggage that a TSA screener may want for him or herself as they can apparently steal any personal items they personally wish to own.

Here is a fashion idea, maybe they should trade in those white shirts with the blue patches on the shoulder for nice tan or brown shirts with TSA Armbands on their biceps... much like other fine security groups from Europe in the 1930's and 1940's? Based on the actions of this "person" it would be a fitting change.

When I get to a scanner, I will scan and post the complaint form I was given and started filling out, as well as posting the text of the letter to the TSA I am writing.

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Gray Peterson
July 15, 2004, 09:50 AM
"Wow I have always wanted one like this". Then proceeded to tell me that he had to confiscate my lighter.

Theft, pure and simple. As soon as you get back from your vacation or whatever, I would call the local authorities and register a theft complaint. Bring in your TSA prohibited items list, and everything you could to them, and they might be able to haul off the thief on charges.

0007
July 15, 2004, 11:23 AM
I'm afraid at that point I would have removed the lighter from his hand, laid it across the edge of the table rapped it smartly with the edge of my hand and handed him back the pieces with a smile and "Enjoy, you *&*^$%$&** thief"...:fire: :cuss: :fire:

rick_reno
July 15, 2004, 11:41 AM
I'm afraid at that point I would have removed the lighter from his hand, laid it across the edge of the table rapped it smartly with the edge of my hand and handed him back the pieces with a smile and "Enjoy, you *&*^$%$&**

If you were to do this - you'd be designated as "Improperly Conditioned" and you'd enter one of the reconditioning programs that are funded by our tax dollars. As a citizen of the new Shrub States are not allowed to "reach" toward a person of authority - even something as siimple as a verbal comment can get you a ticket to reconditioning. Wake up folks - 9/11 gave us a police state. Get used to it or move.

fix
July 15, 2004, 11:50 AM
Yep. That's one for NYPD to handle. Clear cut case of theft.

Mikul
July 15, 2004, 12:07 PM
Hysterically illegal fantasy deleted by moderator

Coronach
July 15, 2004, 12:15 PM
It would seem that so much drama could be avoided if the TSA had a policy of retaining items that you could then pick up later, and providing you with a receipt for said items.

That way if someone did take a liking to something and helped themselves to it, you would have documentation of the theft.

Mike

Coronach
July 15, 2004, 12:37 PM
From the TSA's site:Your prohibited item may be detained for use in an investigation and if necessary as evidence in your criminal and/or civil prosecution. If permitted by the screener or Law Enforcement Officer, you may be allowed to:
Consult with the airlines for possible assistance in placing the prohibited item in checked baggage
Withdraw with the item from the screening checkpoint at that time
Make other arrangements for the item such as taking it to your car
Voluntarily abandon the item. Items that are voluntarily abandoned cannot be recovered and will not be returned to you.Hmmm. So, the options are...

1. TSA retains it as evidence of a crime.
2. You take it away with you from the checkpoint and make some other arrangement (trash it, mail it, give it to a friend, secure it in your car, put it in checked luggage, etc)
3. You "voluntarily abandon" it and the TSA keeps it.

So, did this guy ask if he could take it away from the checkpoint and they said no? Interestingly enough, there appears to be no 'confiscate' option. In order for it to be confiscated you must, apparently, "voluntarily abandon it." So, it would seem that by maintaining forcefully that you are not doing any such thing as voluntarily abandoning anything, they are forced to either retain it as evidence of a crime, or allow you to withdraw the item from the checkpoint. This could be a good thing, because if they elect to charge you with something they will lose, as the item is, in fact, not prohibited, and you should then have the evidence returned to you. Best case scenario would seem to be just allowing you to take it away and make other arrangements.

Caveats IANAL and the website is not the same thing as the actual laws and policies of the TSA. So, I dunno if this take is correct or not.

Mike

EOD Guy
July 15, 2004, 12:46 PM
I agree that you should have been allowed to make other arrangements for your lighter. However, if you had a gas lighter, it contained unabsorbed liquid fuel and was prohibited under the TSA rules you had in your possession. The fuel is in liquid form in the lighter and is released as a gas.

Can'thavenuthingood
July 15, 2004, 01:24 PM
You left the screening area and boarded the aircraft. The TSA will call that "Voluntary abandonment" and weasel out by saying you had other options.
Weak supervisor leadership is what the system thrives on and promotes. He could have put an immediate stop to the crap and chose to let his underling make the decision.

They can make your life miserable on a whim, detaining you for further "inspection". Which cause's you to become more irate and words get heated as you are passed around from inspector to inspector. You miss your flight, charges are pressed, you get attorney and go to court.
They don't care. The arrogance is displayed daily.

We are there for their enjoyment, keeps them off the streets.

Vick

ojibweindian
July 15, 2004, 01:58 PM
TSA is why I no longer fly.

Also, the TSA is just another indicator of the brewing storm.

MrAcheson
July 15, 2004, 02:04 PM
Yeah not a bright idea to think that the TSA is just going to let you through on a technicality. They enough discretionary power that they don't have to.

That said there needs to be some additional due process at the TSA to fix this. Either store the thing at the airport for later or put a UPS kiosk up somewhere so they can ship it home. You have a right to just compensation from the government so they cannot be allowed to just confiscate items like this.

Mute
July 15, 2004, 02:13 PM
Perhaps a civil suit against the individuals involved (instead of TSA) might work. And if it does, this could send a message to future TSA thieves that they'll be held accountable and won't have their employers to back them up when they steal under the color of authority.

Mr. James
July 15, 2004, 03:37 PM
Once, while flying out of Dulles, the TSA found a tiny pair of mustache scissors - the collapsable kind, mebbe 3/4" long - in my dopp kit (I'd forgotten they were in there). The petite little TSA inspector moves to discard them in a wastebasket.

"Not so fast."

"What do you mean," she asks quizzically.

"That's my personal property, and you may NOT throw it away."

With much disgust, she tells me I do, in fact, have the option of checking the deadly man-killing sabers, which I indicate I will do.

I move to get my bag to carry it back out when, with even more disgust, and dread, she tells me only she may carry my bag out of the security area.

Folks, it may have been a carry-on, but that bag weighed a ton. With great groans and gutteral grunts, she humps my bag all the way around the security area with me in tow. Felt bad for her ... for maybe a millisecond.

"Have a nice day, ma'am."

No reply. :D

Bacchus
July 15, 2004, 03:49 PM
Following this thread closely. Please do post a scan of your letter of complaint.

rock jock
July 15, 2004, 04:09 PM
If the author wanted to test the limits on what can be carried (which he was surely trying to do), why would he do it with a family gift? I guess a $.99 lighter from a convenience store would not have the same "outrage" impact, hmmm?

DragonRider
July 15, 2004, 06:35 PM
This is exactly why I travel, I have 2 evenlopes with 5 dollars of postage on them. No way am I giving up on of my Surefires, Drafting Pencil with the metal tip, Wilderness Belt, etc.

Just a thought

John

Hawkmoon
July 15, 2004, 09:27 PM
There was another TSA thread about a month or six weeks back, in which a TSA supervisory type became rather upset with some of for suggesting that the TSA might have some problems. What was interesting was that he says the TSAs web site rules are only "advisory," and that the real rules do allow the screeners unlimited judgment as to what they deem unsafe.

Naturally, we serfs are not allowed to see those rules.

Sounds like another typical gumming Catch 22. I've seen it before.

"You can't do that."

"Why not?"

"Because the rules say so."

"May I see the rule that says so?"

"No, that's against the rules."

Standing Wolf
July 15, 2004, 09:43 PM
Here is a bit of advice, do not carry anything in your carry on luggage that a TSA screener may want for him or herself as they can apparently steal any personal items they personally wish to own.

That's also known as "honest looting."

standingbear
July 15, 2004, 09:46 PM
this is why I wont use an airline to go from point A to B.I hate dealing with bereaucratic wanna be people that left their common sense at home and bring their ego to work.Id rather drive,the ride is much more scenic and cheaper.

Waitone
July 16, 2004, 10:00 AM
My daughter gave me a pocket knife which I failed to remove from my pocket before a recent day trip. Snagged at security. The supervisor said I had several options I could exercise.

--Go back through security to check-in and check the knife as baggage then come back through security.

--Go back through security and take my knife back to my car parked in the remote lot. Then come back through secrurity.

--Go back through security and find someone who could mail it to me at my destination (I was on a day trip with no checked baggage).

--"Surrender" the knife at security and be done with it. I opted to let TSA "confiscate" my daughter's knife. Carrying pre-stanped envelopes is and excellent idea.

My fault for not cleaning my pockets before entering the cordon sanitair.

Carnitas
July 16, 2004, 08:09 PM
Two words......

General Aviation.

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
July 16, 2004, 08:35 PM
Yep. That's one for NYPD to handle. Clear cut case of theft.

Since this was a Federal Official enforcing Federal law, I think the US Dept. of Justice would also have jurisdiction, and so a complaint filed with them and the FBI would also be a good idea.

Warren
July 16, 2004, 08:38 PM
for those of us a bit slow we'll need more than those two words.

What is needed is a network of private plane owners who would be willing to take people places.

Probably illegal in these government heavy socialist times but it would be hard to police.

There may even be a work around, if the plane owner cannot charge you for the "trip" maybe he could sell you a Coke for 100 or 200 bucks. :D

Carnitas
July 16, 2004, 09:05 PM
for those of us a bit slow we'll need more than those two words.

Ok, how about....

Go get your license. Instead fo taking off your shoes and submitting yourself to a govt. thug, take off at the time of your choosing and submit yourself to your being master of your own destiny. Fly w/ knitting needles, lighters, sicsors, knives, and even guns. Hell, long guns if you choose to.

Warren
July 16, 2004, 09:46 PM
Oh, I thought maybe you were talking about a company called General Aviation.


I've been looking at getting a license.

madcowburger
July 16, 2004, 11:04 PM
Don't fly, period. Air travel long ago became unfit for a free people. I have refused to fly since the late 1970s. I'm sure not willing to put up with how they do things now.

Boycott the airline. Bankrupt them. Plow them under and sow the ground with salt. Good riddance.

What's worrying me is the way they're trying to treat *all* forms of travel -- train, bus, boat, even private auto -- the same way, as far as it's feasible.

We're all guilty until proven innocent now. We're all "terrorists" until proven otherwise. Well, all us "civilians" are anyway.

If you think it's wrong to do things like this to people, *don't do it*! Don't be a part of an oppressive system. Pledge allegience to the Constitution, not a paycheck.

MCB

Art Eatman
July 16, 2004, 11:19 PM
Other than a trip to Europe from time to time to visit my son, I won't fly.

If I do go over, I'll make sure that when I get to the airport my colostomy* bag is full.

:D, Art

* Look it up. It's gross.

ChiefPilot
July 16, 2004, 11:35 PM
Two words......

General Aviation

Exactly. For anywhere within about 700nm, door-to-door time is faster as well even though the aircraft itself isn't. I can leave my house and be in the air 30 minutes later. I don't have to be at the airport an hour early. My flight is never overbooked. I can, and have, carried my 1911 with me. I don't have to wait for luggage when I land. The rental car is usually driven out to my plane, or at the very worst is waiting for me in the parking lot of the FBO.

Nuts to flying the commercial airlines!

EOD Guy
July 17, 2004, 12:04 AM
What everyone seems to be ignoring is that the man took the time to check on what items were not allowed and then took a lighter that he admits was forbidden to the security check point. He then is outraged when the lighter is taken from him. A gas lighter contains unabsorbed liquid fuel which he knew was not allowed. I think I would be hesitant to accept his unverified version of the events.

Hawkmoon
July 17, 2004, 01:22 AM
What everyone seems to be ignoring is that the man took the time to check on what items were not allowed and then took a lighter that he admits was forbidden to the security check point. He then is outraged when the lighter is taken from him. A gas lighter contains unabsorbed liquid fuel which he knew was not allowed. I think I would be hesitant to accept his unverified version of the events.

Whoa. We are now entering the fuzzy world of semantics. Please re-read exactly what the gentleman wrote:

One screener asked to manually inspect one of my bags, knowing that I had nothing in it that was prohibited based on the TSA's own site I allowed the search. This inspector found a lighter that I was given by my stepdaughter for our first Father's Day together. It was a cigar lighter that did not run on Liquid Fuel, but gas. (Unabsorbed Liquid fueled lighters are prohibited based on the above PDF).

The gentleman did NOT admit that the lighter he carried was prohibited. It was his interpretation that it was NOT prohibited, because it is gas fueled. In fact, he specifically stated that "It was a cigar lighter that did not run on Liquid Fuel." Personally, I don't know what the heck "unabsorbed liquid fuel" means, and not being familiar with the lighter involved I don't know if the gas would/could/should be considered to be unabsorbed liquid fuel while in the lighter. But it IS clear that the gentleman did not think it was prohibited, and that he certainly did NOT admit that he knew it was prohibited.

joe4702
July 17, 2004, 01:56 AM
One thing for sure - If no other option was viable, I would elect to pitch the damn thing in the trash rather than turn it over to a TSA screener and have it end up in their personal goodie collection.

Warren
July 17, 2004, 01:58 AM
Damn straight. Don't give those TSA nazis anything.

Stebalo
July 17, 2004, 02:19 AM
Carrying pre-stanped envelopes is and excellent idea.

Last time I flew internationally, I took a several bills with me. I was arriving at the airport early and I wanted to write some checks and just mail them out from the airport since I had not had time before hand. Do just as planned and then spent half an hour looking for a USPS drop box. I asked security and they told me there were not any post boxes. I was told since 9/11, post boxes had been removed from airport terminals. This was Newark Airport terminal C.

Have they replaced the post poxes? That was awhile ago I guess.

redhead
July 17, 2004, 02:30 AM
I avoid flying as much as possible, but can't always. My mother recently had surgery, and I needed to be there for a few days to take care of her. It's an 11 hour drive. I have physical limitations that make it painful for me to spend that much time at the wheel of my car, so I got a direct flight - 1 hour, 35 minutes.

My suitcase was examined by TSA. I can't imagine why. There was nothing in it that would have caught the attention of a screener, just shoes, clothing, a couple of books. I haven't had any difficulty going through screening myself, but my suitcase has been examined twice this year, out of the two times I have had to fly somewhere. I hope they enjoyed pawing through the socks and underwear of a middle-aged lady. I know I feel a whole lot safer knowing that someone with latex gloves was groping my underwear.

madcowburger
July 17, 2004, 04:30 AM
Hm, colostomy bag, eh? That gives me an idea. Even if you don't really have a colostomy, maybe you could get a colostomy bag and attach it to yourself however they are attached.

You could fill it full (tick-tight) of, I dunno, some kind of chocolate pudding or fudge or something like that, and then, when they start frisking you or whatever, you could let out a scream something like: "Aaagh! You've busted my colostomy bag!" and then slap your own hand on it, as if in an attempt to contain the leakage, but in reality to *force the contents out* all over everything and everyone standing near. (Hopefully most of it would go on whoever was frisking you.) The chocolate fudge wouldn't be quite as good as the "real thing," of course, but it ought to be good for some laughs.:evil:

MCB

RooK
July 17, 2004, 06:26 AM
If the lighter was anything like a Zippo, I personally would have taken the lighter out of the housing and threw it to the idiot to keep. At least them it would be practically useless for him (and dangerous) until he got a new housing. Plus, you could probably take the lighter housing on the plane with you.

EOD Guy
July 17, 2004, 10:35 AM
The gentleman did NOT admit that the lighter he carried was prohibited. It was his interpretation that it was NOT prohibited, because it is gas fueled. In fact, he specifically stated that "It was a cigar lighter that did not run on Liquid Fuel." Personally, I don't know what the heck "unabsorbed liquid fuel" means, and not being familiar with the lighter involved I don't know if the gas would/could/should be considered to be unabsorbed liquid fuel while in the lighter. But it IS clear that the gentleman did not think it was prohibited, and that he certainly did NOT admit that he knew it was prohibited.

In rereading the post, it appears that the man inadvertantly brought a forbidden item to the check point because he did not understand, or forgot, how a gas lighter works. The fuel for gas lighters (usually butane) is a liquid when under pressure in the lighter's fuel reservoir. It becomes a gas when released. It is considered unabsorbed liquid. He was probably thinking gas, not liquid. Those types of lighters can be dangerous if the fuel reservoir leaks in an enclosed space since the butane will expand hundreds of times from it's liquid volume.

Art Eatman
July 17, 2004, 11:23 AM
EOD Guy, a question: If a Bic lighter is safe in the unpressurized baggage hold with the checked luggage, why would it be unsafe in a pressurized cabin?

As a flame source, why would it be different from any "acceptable" lighter? And, how would it be a terrorist weapon where an acceptable lighter would not?

Art

Waitone
July 17, 2004, 03:42 PM
a Bic lighter is safe in the unpressurized baggage hold with the checked luggage, why would it be unsafe in a pressurized cabin?There you go again with that logic stuff. Stop it!:D

JohnBT
July 17, 2004, 04:15 PM
"The fuel for gas lighters (usually butane) is a liquid when under pressure in the lighter's fuel reservoir. It becomes a gas when released."

Thank you. A lighter would hold much fuel in gaseous form - or have a lot of pressure.

And I was told that I couldn't carry Bic lighters on planes even before 9/11 because they didn't want anyone setting the plane on fire. How did I find this out you ask? Why, I repeatedly tried to carry them on the plane in case I found a place to smoke at the next airport. Wouldn't have done me any good in the checked luggage.

Of course, I understand way back when you could smoke on the plane, but I'm not that old. <ha>

John

Waitone
July 17, 2004, 04:21 PM
Well you could "surrender" your BIC lighter at security and then purchase a new one in the news stand just down the corridor from the secuity checkpoint once you clear it.

That is the kind of nonsense that demonstrates conclusively the TSA is not really interested in security.

sendec
July 17, 2004, 04:47 PM
After the ValueJet crash in the 'Glades the carriers got real touchy about what various gasses and liquids came onboard and in what various forms and containers. I'll defer the math to an expert but I am confident that there is enough potential energy in a common lighter to breach a hull.

Frankly, given the twits who try to smoke on fights and the uber-twits who try to light their shoes, it does'nt suprise me at all that lighters are prohibited. I'd be certain to make the screener's comment known. I believe the TSA website has a comments area

EOD Guy
July 17, 2004, 05:31 PM
EOD Guy, a question: If a Bic lighter is safe in the unpressurized baggage hold with the checked luggage, why would it be unsafe in a pressurized cabin?

As a flame source, why would it be different from any "acceptable" lighter? And, how would it be a terrorist weapon where an acceptable lighter would not?

They aren't permitted in your checked baggage either. It has nothing to do with a terrorist threat. It is a safety issue with the aircraft. They were not allowed in checked baggage prior to 9/11.

Turkish
July 17, 2004, 05:42 PM
Wow, I remember going to pick up relatives flying from New York I always carried my Swiss army knife with me. And not one of the little tiny 1" blade ones,a full size climbers edition with a 3" main blade, 1" secondary blade and a few other pointy objects. Took it through security check points all the time, just put it in the little bowl the screener had, walked through the metal detector and had it handed back to me on the other side. Then we would all walk over to the gate and wait for family to arrive. Amazing how things have changed in a few short years.

trapperjohn
July 17, 2004, 06:59 PM
you had a butane lighter, it stores its fuel as An unabsorbed liquid. an absorbed liquid lighter is the type that has a wick.
their concern with these is not that you use it as a weapon, but if hte lighter were to crack or leak (yes it does happen) It can cause a flammable mixture over a relatively large area. This particular ban is not based so much on terrorism but on generaly common sense safety.
You were told it was banned, unfortunatly you didnt make the connection.
did the TSA officer give you the option to go back to your vehicle? Did you ask if you could take it back to your vehicle?

Finch
July 17, 2004, 07:42 PM
Amazing. Becareful about blanket statments. I know that stuff like this wouldn't happen here in Vegas. We understand that rules are confusing, and the some of them are pretty stupid. I've seen many time people being sent back from checkpoint to put a knife, or a really nice lighter back in their bag. I use to think our managment was just hard assed, but I see know that we are one of the better Airports in the country.

Also, if the screener had no Identification at all, he is probably violating several of the Airport and TSA rules. Mainly displaying proper identification at all times. At LAS, you can't work if you don't have your badge.

Moparmike
July 17, 2004, 09:22 PM
I dont think there is a way to harness the potential energy held in a bic lighter while keeping the lighter in its "lighter form" and breech the hull. You might be able to take the gas out of the lighter and use it that way, but you would have to have a container stronger than the skin of the aircraft (which the lighter isnt) to contain the pressure of the "explosion" and direct it out toward the skin. Such a container would not make it past the screeners, along with the small explosive/ignition source for the gas, in my opinion.



Please note that I am not an Airport Screener or an explosives expert. The above is just my "thinking through" the options. :)

another okie
July 17, 2004, 09:59 PM
Turkish - if that seems long ago to you, you might like to know that it is not all that long ago that one simply gave the nice lady your ticket and walked on board. No ID check, no search. You could use tickets issued to other people, you could carry anything you wanted, the stewardesses were young and pretty, the seats were comfortable, and people were generally nicely dressed and polite. I know, it sounds like a fantasy, but it's true.

EOD Guy
July 17, 2004, 11:55 PM
I dont think there is a way to harness the potential energy held in a bic lighter while keeping the lighter in its "lighter form" and breech the hull. You might be able to take the gas out of the lighter and use it that way, but you would have to have a container stronger than the skin of the aircraft (which the lighter isnt) to contain the pressure of the "explosion" and direct it out toward the skin. Such a container would not make it past the screeners, along with the small explosive/ignition source for the gas, in my opinion.

Breeching the skin of the aircraft is not what they are worrying about. The most feared incident on any aircraft is fire. That is what the issue is.

4v50 Gary
July 18, 2004, 01:53 AM
Trapper - after 9/11 I flew with a carry on filled with chisels, files, rasps, dividers, compass, saws, planes (wood removal types), screwdrivers, knives and flintlock gun parts. No one thought a thing. Nowadays if it looks funny, the TSA has a knipshunfit.

I think some TSA guys are cool and pretty friendly, but I've met some neo-nazis who have no sense but an overbearing sense of authority.

Sergeant Bob
July 18, 2004, 02:16 AM
Breeching the skin of the aircraft is not what they are worrying about. The most feared incident on any aircraft is fire. That is what the issue is.
I remember back in '75 when I flew down to San Antonio, (Lackland AFB), butane and those sealed "view lighters" (the clear plastic ones in which you could see the lighter fluid and you had to turn them upside down and push in the button to wet the wick) were on the prohibited list.

The problem is with the pressure differential between the inside of the lighter and the cabin pressure. If the cabin pressure is significantly lower than the pressure inside the lighter it can cause it to flare up if used, or possibly leak or burst (possibly causing the afore mentioned fire).

I had one of those view lighters (Scripto) and decided to use it. I lit it and no problem. Then, just for the purpose of experimintation, I pushed in the button while it was lit. It shot flame out about six inches!! Really cool but I decided the rest of the trip would be dedicated to trying to sneak in some adult beverages before we arrived in Texas.

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