Getting through SeaTac was a breeze compared to Heathrow. I intended to carry-on my new Away 22″ suitcase, but with a large tote and a purse just moving through the security lines would be a lot for me. So I checked the suitcase all the way through to Rome.
However, I made a rookie mistake; I had put all my powders, potions and creams in a dopp kit in the large tote. I was mindful of the under 3 oz rule and thought I was covered. Not so fast. After a pleasant flight and a feast of a meal we landed in Heathrow about 1 am PST.
I wasn’t at my very best and then Horrible Heathrow struck. Masses of people at every line and path. Finally reaching the security check point which would allow me to get to the B gate and the flight to Rome–take off in 45″–I was pulled over. All the contents of my tote had been spilled out on a table and a grim faced women held out one sandwich size baggie. “You can take only what fits in this.” Everything else will be sacrificed.” I stared (I’m sure my jaw dropped) at several hundred dollars of stuff on the table and said “But they’re all under 3 ounces!” Doesn’t matter.
I was so flummoxed I couldn’t think. “Let me do it for you.” Ms. Martinet said. When she had finished, I had no liquid make-up, no toothpaste, no hand lotion and no sunscreen. The more expensive cosmetics survived but I was very angry. “Settle down,” I told myself, “you’ve got 15 to get to the Rome flight!”
I raced through a labyrinth of several elevators, escalators, long halls, crowds shopping in Duty Free and finally a transit shuttle which took 40 traumatized people to the BA plane.
Lesson learned. All airports are different and so are their rules. So PACK your wet stuff in your bag and check it! As Ms. Martinet said, “If you can pour it or spread it, check it. If you can cut it with a knife, carry-it on.”
However, leave the knife at home!