Accessories

Italy Confiscated My Unconfiscatable Corkscrew

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When you think of packing for Italy, a corkscrew probably makes the list. Just make sure you don’t put it in your carry-on!corkscrew_boomerang

The security folks at Milan Linate Airport confiscated my bladeless travel corkscrew (which meets all TSA requirements for carry-on luggage). Not because of the foil cutter, but because it had a corkscrew. Sigh.

It has served me well, and despite a few false alarms, I’d managed to hang on to it for several years of travel — saving me from buying a cheap corkscrew at every destination or being limited to only screw top bottles.

I am ordering another one as I write so I’ll have it for my next trip, I’ll just know now not to bring a corkscrew through Italy unless I want to check a bag :(.

Does anyone know of other countries where the corkscrew and not just the blade is a problem?

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13 Comments

  1. Curtis

    November 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Had the exact same thing happen to me in 2008… very frustrating for wine country!

  2. David

    November 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    We had the same problem in Madrid. The security person seemed quite agitated looking for ‘something’ that showed up on the x-ray of our carry-on, but wouldn’t tell us what until she found it and took it. Ours was just a cheapy corkscrew/bottle opener that we weren’t concerned about losing, but it had no blade and was allowable by US TSA.

  3. Fred

    November 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Yes, that corkscrew can be used as a deadly weapon.

  4. Bill Ovalles

    November 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Same story here, never in Italy though. Carried one through 4 flights within Peru (as well as the arrival to Peru) and on the departure, leaving the country for a Lima-BCA flight had mine confiscated. Same thing in Chile, carried one into Chile, the onward to Easter Island and then had it confiscated flying out of Easter Island. Once again, similar stories in Caracas, Venezuela and one time flying out of Amsterdam (despite having carried a corkscrew through Amsterdam before). What’s even more ridiculous is that after Peru and Chile my wife and I each started carrying one in separate carry on bags and that’s when we had one of two confiscated in Amsterdam. Mine got thrown in the garbage bin while hers went through without a problem. It’s random and inconsistent all over the place.

  5. Iolaire McFadden

    November 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    They took ours in Qatar with the comment (repeatedly) “Not Allowed” didn’t listen as we tried to tell them it had no knife. The good news was that all our wine bottles in South Africa were twist off tops…

  6. Ms. M

    November 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I had an issue with crochet needles (yes I said crochet needles). The agent could not figure out what caused a flag for the bag check. He pulled out a few things, then my curling iron and could not match the shape to what he was seeing. Finally, a lady agent comes over and immediately sees the crochet needle set and tells him that was the culprit.

    I think the fact that she found it so quickly embarrassed him, so he said to me in broken English “I cannot believe America let you leave with these” to which I said that crochet needles were allowed and I had the document to show it if needed.

    The short guy (and yes I think he had short man syndrome) had to “show me he was in charge” so made me promise I would not use them during my flight home – like he would know. But the experience taught me not to take anything into or out of Italy that had anything resembling a sharp edge. They go crazy over it!

  7. scibuff

    November 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    So what, just because it is TSA approved, that doesn’t mean anything if you travel outside of the US ffs. If you can’t take manicure scissors on board why should you be allowed a corkscrew?

  8. DaninMCI

    November 7, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Maybe they figured that Americans don’t know good wine and should be restricted to screw tops 🙂

    Oh and I personally can’t imagine traveling to Italy for more than a weekend without checking a bag but that’s me.

  9. Iolaire McFadden

    November 7, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    FYI: your advertising supplier is now showing video ads on this page that are set to auto play with the audio on…

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      November 7, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      I noticed that too and sent something in about it. Thanks for letting us know. There isn’t supposed to be any automatically playing sound, so I really appreciate you tipping us off in case we missed it. (I usually browse muted, so it was unusual for me to hear it)

  10. nolatravelgirl

    November 11, 2014 at 3:59 am

    Bummer that it got taken away. I have the same one that I carry in my bag and when in traveling domestically in the US I have gotten used to popping it in a bin alone because I kept getting pulled aside while in US airports while the easily confused TSA agents was pilfer through my entire bag then stare like the RCA dog at corkscrew before letting me go on my merry way. Putting in a bin allowed it to flow freely in the US.

    I have been stopped in a few foreign airports but my determined and firm “allowed/no bad” generally got it through security. I would however let it be confiscated it really was an issue.

  11. Jon

    March 26, 2016 at 1:34 am

    I have had a variety of corkscrews confiscated over the years, mostly on return trips from small endpoint airports. Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Spain, and Frankfurt have (recently) been culprits. I just travel with the unfortunate-but-cheap simple screw-in-a-tube style ones that are usable in a pinch, and $1 each for when they break and/or are (much more often) confiscated.

  12. Jim Peart

    November 16, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I had my corkscrew confiscated in Vienna. The security officer noticed it on the Xray and asked to examine it. He took it to his control center and returned telling me the screw was 6.2 centimeters in length and that the EU only permitted corkscrews of 6.0 or less in length. I had been through Vienna several times before, as well as other European airports with this device and never had it examined before.

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