Day 5: 30 days of the Vitamix S30 — The hassle-free method to get questionable items through airport security in a carry-on bag
Who likes being hassled by airport security?
Well, chances are, if you bring a high-powered appliance with an attached, stainless steel, four-way blade, they’re going to give you a hard time.
Or will they?
What if there was a trick to getting iffy items through security?
Turns out, it’s not really that difficult.
Nor does it require any “tricks”, per-se…
…just a little planning ahead.
I did it with a high-speed blender.
Let me explain.
Note: This is assuming you’re NOT carrying-on contraband. Do NOT do that ever. Thank you.
Five years of air-travel taught me a lot
Going through airport security used to kill me. It would stress me out beyond belief. People told me that I made a “murderer” face during the process.
Zero control. Being herded like cattle. Dealing with people who enjoyed messing with people like me (know-it-all’s).
But here’s what I learned:
Going through airport security doesn’t have to be painful.
It can be painless.
And after five years as a traveling consultant, I know painless travel experiences are more than a possibility.
The stress reduction I found from easy security passes brought me INCREDIBLE joy.
And all it took was a little strategy.
Maybe a few deep breaths, too. 🙂
How to get through airport security with ease, even if you’re carrying-on questionable items
In the USA, there’s a lot of stuff you CANNOT carry-on to a plane.
In fact, even saying “The ‘B-word'” will get you in BIG trouble. Yes, you cannot say “Mom” when you have a stuffy nose, because it sounds like “Bomb.”
(Aside: I’m a marked man now.)
But there’s one B-word that you ARE allowed to carry-on a plane.
Blenders are on the whitelist in America’s TSA security screening process.
(Aside: Hopefully my mentioning of TSA and bombs drives web traffic from the NSA! Hey NSA! Want to learn simple ways to feel more energized and lose a couple pounds? Subscribe now!)
So, in theory, bringing a blender onto the plane should be easy.
And it was!
But since it’s ultimately at the discretion of the active security officer, there are a few key steps I recommend you follow when you are going through security, especially if you are carrying-on a questionable item, like a blender.
Step 1: Do your homework
Call the airport and speak with security. Ask them to confirm that it’s okay to bring that thing you want to bring. In this case, I wanted to carry-on the new S30 I packed in my carry-on bag.
Getting the name of the person you spoke to (ideally a supervisor) helps, too. Keep that info in your back pocket just in case.
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Step 2: Set expectations
Tell the officer searching bags EXACTLY what questionable items you have in your bag. Even if the item has been white-listed, it’s better to avoid any surprises.
Letting them know in advance will make the process much easier for all parties.
Step 3: Take it out
Remove the questionable item(s) and run it through the x-ray machine separately.
In this case, I removed the motor, blade assembly and cup from my bag. I placed each item on a tray so everyone could see.
If you packed correctly, it should be right at the top of your bag.
Step 4: Smile
Seriously. Best way to immediately build trust is to offer a duchenne smile. Could be the difference between success and failure.
Step 5: Make their job easy
Be nice. Remove stuff from your pockets. Take off your shoes preemptively (if required).
Do it all.
Because when you make someone’s job easy, they’re more likely to make your life easy, too.
NOTE: Under no circumstances should you EVER try to sneak banned items through security. Ever. Seriously don’t. You’re better than that.
So yes, you CAN bring your blender through security at the airport. And now you know how.
But, everyone has airport horror stories. I want to hear yours.
And share any strategies you have for getting through airport security with ease.
Go ahead. Do it now.
I’m looking to purchase a rechargeable travel blender. Can blades be removed from these types without damaging the internal parts?
Emily Lebron -
I have a Nutribullet Pro and I am wondering how to safely take it with me on my travels. The blade is not an exposed blade however it does stick out and have a single cup attachement. Therefore, my question is will I need to keep the clear blender cup attached to the blade section through TSA and will they allow this personal blender if it has the blade attached?
Lenny Gale -
Your best move is to call the local TSA office. Tell the exactly this and they’ll provide a recommendation.
Wouldn’t it be easier to say CERTAIN blenders can be brought on? It’s misleading and can cause a lot of trouble to some people.
Lenny Gale -
Probably. What’s been your experience?
Hello All, I know this is old. I am a flight attendant and used to travel with my hand blender. Recently I was stopped because of the blade mind you I was in uniform and everything. They refused to let me through and I was going to work.
I had to run outside remove the tiny blade and hide it behind a rock outside and retrieved it when I got back from my trip later that evening. When they saw me thy looked at the bottom of the blender to make sure the blade was removed before they let me through. Leave your blender at home.
Lenny Gale -
Hi Ana, we’ve successfully gotten this model of Vitamix through TSA security a handful of times with no issues. I think the difference is that the blade is exposed on a hand blender (and could therefore be misconstrued as a weapon).
do you think that u can travel international as well with a blender like that one?
Lenny Gale -
We haven’t tried international travel with it yet. But it can’t hurt to give the airport a call and ask 🙂
Just took your advice and called security – transferred twice and the TSA Check Point lady said blenders are allowed! Got her name just in case! Thanks for the advise.
Lenny Gale -
Love it. Which one did you bring through? Where did you bring it? I want to hear stories! 🙂
Mary Ann -
I just lost my blender blade in Boston. It has been through 6 airports and did not make it today. So annoying. They let people take knitting needles but took my blender blade.
Lenny Gale -
I’m sorry, Mary Ann.
What kind of blender were you bringing through? How’d they take the blade? Feel free to email me if you want to take it off the record.
Henry W. -
Have you tried getting a regular Vitamix through airport security? I have a New Generation one. I e-mailed TSA and their response to me was that anything with a blade would not be allowed. I did not find any guidance on their website last year on blenders. I don’t want to lose my blender.
Lenny Gale -
I called the TSA office at the airport I was flying out of (ORD) and talked to the supervisor.
They said that blenders ARE allowed.
In fact, when I went through, they didn’t even flinch at the blender. They just wanted me to put all the pieces through separately.
My guess is that the “any blade” reference they’re making is a blanket statement about stand-alone blades (NOT blenders).
You should be good.
I’ll report back when I try to bring my Pro 750 through.
You do the same.
As I did the first time, I left an extra 30 minutes, just in case I had to go back and check it.
Don’t you love America? 🙂
Ah-ha, I wondered how that would work. I thought about taking a small travel blender with me but didn’t want to risk TSA taking it away. Very helpful, thanks.
Mary W -
I have never been on an airplane.
The closest I have been is to pick someone up…or to pick up a rental car to use on vacation. Thanks for the great tips! I may need them one day. 🙂