# Asking same flight customers if they would agree to put my knife in their checked luggage

Issue

When flying with only a carry-on allowed, I am often bothered by not being allowed to carry a small knife that I will need at my destination (backpacking trips). So far, every time I faced this issue, I just bought a knife at destination and offered it to someone before flying back home as it is generally cheaper than having to pay extra for checked luggage in which I would put nothing but my knife! I could also mail my knife but that leads to other problems (e.g., what address to mail it to).

I am wondering whether I could just ask customers checking luggage for the same flight as me if I could put my knife in their checked luggage. I am afraid that some customers would find it offensive for me to ask and afraid that I would put them in a very delicate situation as it is generally recommended to not accept such solicitation (and they can't tell whether I somehow hid some illegal substance in the knife). I am also afraid that security personnel would target me.

The next time I will experience this situation will be a flight from Vancouver, BC, to San Diego, California.

Question

Can I get into trouble for asking people if they'd agree to put my knife in their checked luggage?

An answer could be "Sure, give it a try, you've got nothing to lose. Just be polite and don't be frustrated if it does not work!" or "No, don't do that. You're going to get into serious trouble from airport security, and maybe even people helping you could get into trouble." I am sadly expecting an answer closer to the second option.

• Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – JoErNanO Jun 26 '18 at 8:23
• I know it's somewhere in the chat, but as I believe it is the good solution for this, I write it here again. Look for Poste restante. You can send your knife to a post office, and it will wait for you there. Note that there are post offices in some (many?) airports. Not sure it's much cheaper than new knife/checked luggage though. – Legisey Jun 26 '18 at 10:13
• – MrWhite Jul 19 '18 at 0:08
• What kind of knife are you backpacking with that costs less than the $25 or whatever checked bag fee? My cheapest fixed blade was almost$100 and my cheapest folding was around $50. Get a better blade! And check you bag! – SnakeDoc Sep 20 at 22:06 ## 13 Answers Sorry, it's a valid idea but it's not going to happen 1. It's tricky to find passengers who will be on your flight before you pass through security. You would have to catch them at check in, before they check in their luggage. If you check in with Air Canada in Vancouver, there are flights to many different destinations. How would you find someone going to the same place? 2. It's specifically against safety instructions that are blaring through the loudspeakers every 10 minutes Do not transport items you have received from strangers 3. If security asks the passenger Have you received any items from someone else? (which they occasionally still do), the passengers would have to either lie or a lot of awkward explaining to do. 4. You'd have to figure out how to meet at the destination and potentially exchange phone numbers. So yes, you could get in trouble since you are asking people to do something that security specifically and very publicly prohibits. • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – JoErNanO Jun 28 '18 at 13:03 Sensible people will call security on you and you're probably going to get arrested. You may find a "mark" but you'd be placing a naive and people-pleasing person in a very bad and nerve-wracking predicament. Drug cartels have been known to smuggle drugs in very unusual places (sown inside dogs, in the texture of Virgin Mary statuettes, watermelons) and I doubt they haven't considered doing exactly what you're saying. So no, don't do it, don't put someone in that situation. Mail your knife or replace it, consider it part of the cost of the trip. Or just check in your own bag. • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – JoErNanO Jun 28 '18 at 13:04 • "you're probably going to get arrested". I think this is excessive. Questioned, maybe; asked to leave, possibly; but "arrested"? – a3nm Jun 30 '18 at 15:25 • @a3nm Yes, I think that's a likely outcome. Perhaps not charged with anything in the end, but security is taken pretty seriously today. – Andy Jun 30 '18 at 19:43 Even ignoring the practicalities, it's a terrible idea. Without being too paranoid, I don't know what you have done with that knife. I don't want my finger prints on it, I don't want whatever substances it has been in contact with in my own bag, and I don't want to have any kind of explaining to do to law enforcement, especially upon arriving in the US. • @Surb: Without being too paranoid, it might not even be a knife. I've seen briefcases made out of heroin. Who says the knife's grip isn't drugs, or plastic explosive? Or, whatever, radioactive isotopes bound in a plastic matrix, or a container hiding a rizin vial? Or, none of that, and simply a trick to get close to you and have you open your suitcase so the real object can be put in. Or, a way to get within arm reach of your wallet/passport. – Damon Jun 24 '18 at 11:33 • @Surb if I were paranoid I'd think OP was deliberately trying to set up someone to take the fall for whatever crime he committed using said knife, and call security on the spot. If you're not paranoid you just follow the rules, consider it might be tainted, and decide to be careful and refuse. – jwenting Jun 25 '18 at 4:56 • It's paranoid, but not too paranoid. (I was told once "if you think you are too paranoid, you're not paranoid enough"). – gnasher729 Jun 26 '18 at 15:58 • Excellent point, I hadn't even thought of this. Commit a murder with a knife, than get a friendly stranger to carry the knife in his suitcase to some faraway place. If the police catch him with the knife, he's now a suspect instead of you. If nobody stops him, the murder weapon is now far far away. Maybe it would be easier to just throw the knife in a dumpster, but cool idea. – Mark Daniel Johansen Jun 26 '18 at 19:39 • @Mehrdad: In school, 25 years ago. Drug awareness event, police brought it. They brought a whole load of "harmless everyday stuff" which looked like "plastic" or "hard leather", and said was in reality drugs plus some "matrix", i.e. glue (probably epoxy or such, I wouldn't know). – Damon Jun 13 at 14:43 Forget the fact that it's a knife for a moment. Would you accept a deal where you risk arrest just so a stranger can save (say)$30?

• And even setting the risk of arrest aside, if I’m paying for a bag, and I don’t know you, why would I inconvenience myself (repacking my bag, finding you at baggage claim) so you can save money that I had to pay? – bogardpd Jun 25 '18 at 12:14
• @kukis Do they allow that in airports? – Matthew Crumley Jun 25 '18 at 19:28
• @MatthewCrumley: No I think empathy is illegal in airports – Mehrdad Jun 25 '18 at 19:36
• @MatthewCrumley I agree with all the answers posted here. I was just replying to bogardpd comment. There are some reasons, like empathy to help stranger with a knfie, but probably they are not good enough. – kukis Jun 26 '18 at 7:26
• @Paul no I am not. dictionary.com/e/empathy-vs-sympathy . I could express sympathy for the person with a knife and don't act upon it. I could express empathy for that person, and therefore would be more likely to act upon it (because I would be able to put myself in his position) – kukis Jun 27 '18 at 10:37

Once when I found myself at the airport with no check-in baggage and a swiss army knife I wanted to preserve for sentimental reasons, I asked the airline staff giving me my boarding pass, if they could arrange to transport it for me.

They agreed, and I was able to hand it over (at no cost) and later collect it at at airline's ticketing counter at my destination. I think cabin crew carried it on the flight; this was in 2009.