First the airports, now the trains, what's next?
This month took train out of Kunming. Security scan at Beijing Lu entrance flagged the Swiss Army Knife in my backpack. Not knowing another option, I gifted it to the security guard on duty.
Someone said I should have asked them to hold it until I returned a couple of days later.
Is this a realistic option?
How does anyone travel with a utility knife these days?
Can it be boxed up and sent as "checked baggage" on the train?
Bus stations now have security scans.
Can you get (small) knives through? So far I have no problem with Kunming subway.
The "again" refers to Beijing airport last year. Arrived at check-in counter one minute past deadline. Agent said go on ahead, have your luggage checked at plane side. OK, but I had to go through security first, and the scan detected my Swiss Army Knife in what earlier had been ordinary checked baggage. But now it had become "carry on" of a sort. Gifted it to the security guard who smiled with delight at receiving it.
Lesson learned: ensure sufficient layover time -- three hours too short after arriving from overseas (lines, passport control, schlepp baggage, etc.).
What next? The long distance buses I think.
Must be 3-4 years ago I took a train from Kunming to Guangzhou from the main train station. I've done this many times, but this was the only time the check-baggage guys wanted to take my Swiss army knife - and they had a big pile of knives they'd already confiscated in a tray. The knife has a personal sentimental value to me, as it is not only an excellent knife but was a gift from a former student. I said No man now look if you're going to take the knife from me I'll just turn around and not take the train. After some discussion the guy said something like "Oh - well, then stick it deep within your luggage somewhere". I did and got on the train and all was cool.
I'm still not sure what this was about, unless the check-baggage guys had seen an opportunity and collected a hell of a lot of good pocket knives for personal redistribution/sale, or unless they got some new broom running their operation who was being meticulous about his new job.
Never happened to me again and I've never seen these guys confiscating knives at the train station again, but I no longer carry a pocket knife when traveling by long-distance public transportation.
I didn't have a problem going on the train from Kunming, but when I took the train back from Mengzi this past February they wanted to confiscate my knife. Lucky I was able to give it my friend who I was staying with who brought it with them when they took a bus up to Kunming a few weeks later. It has my name engraved on it, so I didn't want to lose it. Now I won't take it on bus or train travel within China. I'd only ever take it if it was going in checked luggage at the airport
You book It inside a book with the inside cut out and hide It from detection?
Buy a ceramic one, won't go off in the metal detectors then.
It only takes one nutter with a knife on a train and they spoil it for everyone.
Just before and during G20 in Hangzhou last year I took the train from Guangzhou to Shanghai. Extra high security before boarding as the train stops in Hangzhou. My friend had two cans of deodorant confiscated, he wasn't happy. Security lady found my Swiss Army knife, which I expected to have confiscated. She dug under her table for a roll of parcel tape, wrapped my knife up in it and gave it back to me! Strange way of dealing with it but I wasn't complaining
Been wanting to perform this experiment for a long time.
Just did last week.
Bought a miniature Swiss Army Knife and successfully brought it through security (twice) at the Kunming train station on Beijing Lu at center city. Not a peep from the guards glued to the X-ray screen.
It's one of those miniature knives with minimal blades. Small scissors, nail file, tooth pick, tweezers, and one blade 3.5 cm long (1 1/2 inches). The entire unit is 6 cm long (3 1/2 inches).
Afterward I showed the knife to several guards inside the terminal, with varying responses:
1. No problem
2. OK, but keep it out of sight on the train
3. Prohibited (but the guards did not require me to exit, I could have boarded a train)
I don't know what would happen at South Kunming, the high speed railway station.
Time for another experiment.
Since full-sized knives are not allowed, my best solution is the Kuai Di delivery service, though I have not yet tried it.
Why would you want to be performing such an experiment? Finding out how far you can push the limits of rules put in place for public safety is not the way to be thinking anywhere in the world! Let alone Kunming train stations with previous related history.
Get yourself a science kit ;o)