Carry on


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Two bags combine into one, 2007

Okay, so it’s not my government, it’s the British government, but still.

If you have a layover at Heathrow, be forewarned that while your initial airport may have allowed two small carry-ons, Heathrow does not. While leaving Capetown, I packed my electronics into my computer bag and had a small shopping bag with my fragile gifts. When I flew into Heathrow, we had to go through security again (fighting terrorism and all) . Problem is, British security insisted I needed to check one of my carry-on bags from my previous flight. Neither of my bags were rugged enough to be checked so I balked. I told the guy, “So, if I had a big paper bag and could stuff both of my items into it, that would qualify as one bag?” He said, “Yes, it would,” but the rule was strict. After all, do I really want to wait while everyone else has two bags scanned? I pointed out that it’s the same amount of stuff and shouldn’t matter if it went through in one batch or two. He was unmoved.

So, I rifled through my bag and found masking tape and decided that if I didn’t have a big enough bag, I’d make one. I then took the contents of my shopping bag and stuffed everything into my computer bag, using tape to hold it together. Voila–one bag. They let me through.

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