The Diving Knife Incident

Dur­ing my first big adven­ture over­seas, I pret­ty much packed every­thing. I packed every­thing I need­ed, as well as every­thing I may ever need.

Being on an extreme bud­get, I was booked on a Con­ti­nen­tal Air­lines flight by my sister’s friend who worked for a trav­el com­pa­ny and it took the longest route possible:

Syd­ney – Hon­olu­lu – San Fran­cis­co – Atlanta – London

The longest route some­how also meant the cheap­est route… which makes no sense to me.

As I was going through the secu­ri­ty check at Atlanta Air­port for my final leg of the jour­ney, I was pulled aside by a mem­ber of staff.

Sir, could you pull that div­ing knife out of your bag please?”

Div­ing knife? I don’t have a div­ing knife.”

Sir, I know you have a div­ing knife. Could you please take it out of the bag.”

Hon­est­ly, I don’t have a div­ing knife.”

I didn’t have a div­ing knife.

A col­league of the staff mem­ber came up to enquire as to what was happening.

This gen­tle­man has a div­ing knife in his bag. I saw it on the x‑ray.”

Let me open my bag, and we can look through it.” I said as I start­ed with my toi­letries bag.

Oh wait, look. I’ll bet this is what it was.”

As part of my pack­ing every­thing I owned rou­tine, I had packed a strange com­bi­na­tion of knife, fork and spoon, which fit­ted togeth­er and would be use­ful for some­thing like camp­ing (sim­i­lar to the one pic­tured). The sort of thing you would expect Ned Flan­ders to have at the ready. It was my best guess that this was the offend­ing arti­cle that was show­ing up on the x‑ray.

No, I saw a div­ing knife.”

He said he doesn’t have a div­ing knife” expressed her colleague.

I know what I saw.”

Look, just leave it. He ain’t got no div­ing knife. Why would he even have a div­ing knife? Sir, are you a diver?”


It was at this point of time that col­league agreed to let me get on the plane with my knife/fork/spoon com­bi­na­tion, and my poten­tial­ly hid­den div­ing knife.

The orig­i­nal staff mem­ber was still argu­ing that she had seen the knife on the x‑ray as I walked off towards the depar­ture lounge.

My how air­line trav­el has changed since the 90s.