Airport security screener confiscates car key

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This must be idiot's day (see above for more idiocy): From USA Today, Airport security confiscates flier's car key as 'prohibited item'.

The trouble seems to have started because of passenger Nathan Rau's standard-issue car key for his Audi, writes Joe Sharkey, business travel

columnist for The New York Times (free registration). The new Audi keys actually hold the ignition key inside a fashionable holder that's designed to minimize damage to the carrier's pockets. When ready to start the car, the driver pushes a button on the 2-inch holder and the key slides out. Of course, to the screeners at DFW, Rau's key seemed awfully similar to a switchblade. They ran it through the x-ray machine three times, before Rau says he was told: ""Well, sir, that's a switchblade style, and that's a prohibited item. We're going to have to confiscate that." In addition to the $300 Rau says he had to spend to get a duplicate key from his car dealership, the incident raises a key complaint of

frequent travelers: security procedures that seem to vary widely from airport to airport. Rau says he hadn't previously had problems with the key at other airports.

I wonder if my husband's Saab key will be next--it doesn't really look like a car key at all, just a plastic jobbie that you plug in (I tried to find a photo of one but didn't have any luck). But really, couldn't they just have clicked itopen and found that it actually housed a key, not a switchblade? Sheesh, redux.

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