Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pocketknife Pawn Cart

Metal-thing exchange for air travellers
  [vote for,

One business opens a small cart in many US airports, preferably just before the baggage-examination gates. At this cart, one can either sell one's Oops-still-in-my-pocket confiscable metal things, buy such things for a somewhat greater fee, or - at one's home airport - pay for their brief storage. The cart has lockboxes, a Big Red Police-Calling Button in case someone wants to use it as an arsenal, and a pressure-cooker or other small sterilizing implement.

If there is an imbalance in trade - if earwax scoops are only left at SFX but in great demand at NPO - then they can travel air freight between branches.

hello_c, Feb 04 2002


       Several years ago an executive with a reputation for ogre-like-ness had been on a customer-funded pleasure junket that included a hunting outing. The "oops-still-in-my-pocket" item that was still in his briefcase was a loaded pistol. I think he eventually avoided jail time but paid a fine of about $25,000. We all just laughed and laughed...   

       Meanwhile, I reported on these pages earlier that Air France had taken an "oops-still-in-my-pocket" nail care kit on a flight from Paris to Edinburgh, with promises that it would be available to me in Edinburgh, and of course, it was not available there. The rest of the story: after I reported my loss they sent me a very defensive letter saying that the law limits their liability to no more than $30 per lb., and they could not assign a weight of more than 2 lbs. to my "luggage." So they sent me a check for $60.
beauxeault, Feb 04 2002

       Again, long before the recent events in NYC, my wife and I were travelling to Scotland, where we were hiring a car and touring round. In my wife's hold luggage was a small kitchen knife (picnics for the preparation of - you know, you just can't slice a tomato with a swiss army knife).
Anyway, it was spotted at secuirty, who told her it would have to be securely wrapped, and would be held by the purser (the chief steward on short flights) and given back at the end of the flight. It was duly handed in.
Near the end of the journey to Edinburgh, there was a tannoy announcment. "Would Miss Jane Cocker (then her name) please make herself known to the cabin crew." So she does, and the purser comes down the cabin to find her. He then leans over, and in a conspiratorial whisper that was loud enough to here three rows away, says "Are you the lady with the KNIFE?" exageratedly mouthing the last word. All around look at her. She says "yes", and the purser produces a big cardboard package with "DANGEROUS ITEM" stickers all over it, and gives it to her, before heading back off to the front of the airplane.
I nearly wet myself.
goff, Feb 04 2002

       This is a lot smarter than my idea.
jutta, Feb 04 2002

       Actually, I'd rather the airlines improved baggage handling in its several sorts - as jutta's idea would do - but this is a different idea economically because it assumes & profits by flaws in the airline's customer service, and logistically because usually the things don't fly.
hello_c, Feb 04 2002

       Bravo! I feel like I've lost opposable thumbs when I don't have a pocket knife or multi tool. What frustrates me is that I tend to need the multi-tool most when I'm out of town on work or play. ( The hotel room DSL cable wasn't punched down properly. 20 seconds with pliers. Several hours & many phone calls without (see also: first world problem)).   

       As a point of reference, in parts of Tadjikistan and Xinjiang one checks one's knife with the stewardess when getting on the stairs going up the plane. She puts it in a paper bag, and you get it back when the plane lands. I find this delightfully half baked.   

       Hello_C's plan solves the problem for pretty much everybody who isn't carrying the metal for religious reasons. My bet is that the "store it for me" option quckly turns into the "mail it to my house" option.
tenhand, Feb 05 2002

       Flagstaff airport offered to hold my 2" pocket knife until my return but I was already on the return leg. Where do those pocket knives, nail clippers, scissors end up?
zardoz, Jun 30 2003

       In South Africa the airports have gun checks. Probably you could check your knife / sabre / poleaxe there as well.
bungston, Jun 30 2003


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