Call

Blog

Law
02

Blog

CO2 Cartridges are on the No-Fly List.

Bike Law Charlie Nabbed by TSA, Practices Loving-Kindness, and Is Cleared for Take Off

If you ever leave a bike trip and land in a TSA interview room because of your stowaway bike accessory, reading this blog first may help.

On bike rides, I try to never leave home without a CO2 cartridge just in case I get a flat.

I recently worked my way through a Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint at Houston’s Hobby Airport. Working bike accident cases for Bike Law Texas takes me all over the State, though I end up mostly in Houston. I have a busy travel schedule, which has helped me get airport security lines down to an effortless routine. TSA’s PreCheck program helps this because the expedited lines don’t require me to remove my jacket, belt, or shoes.

That’s why I was scratching my head when my briefcase was flagged as problematic and pulled from the X-ray conveyor belt for searching. Whatever caught their attention, I figured they could take a look and then I would be on my way.

The TSA officer wore blue latex gloves and placed my briefcase on a metal table. He opened the clasp with the anticipation of finding a banned item. I wasn’t worried because I knew the drill: No liquids over 3.4 ounces, no weapons, nothing pressurized. As I’m mentally running through the list of prohibited items that I knew I didn’t bring, he pulled out a CO2 cartridge from the front pouch. Ugh.

TSA CO2

These officers were correct. According to the TSA website, CO2 cartridges are listed as a banned item for both carry-on and checked bags. The one exception is when the CO2 cartridge is “clearly visible” as empty to TSA officers. I don’t know why anyone would fly with used CO2 cartridges, but this is apparently allowed.

A different TSA officer accompanied me to a small room where she wrote down my personal information. I asked what was going to happen. She didn’t give me an answer, but released me. I made my flight and hoped all was fine.

I realized things weren’t fine when I booked my next flight and the PreCheck designation was missing from my boarding pass.

I went online and sent an inquiry to TSA about what happened. The good news is they responded. The bad news is because I violated a travel rule, my PreCheck status was revoked for an entire year.

My perspective on the world is wide enough and filled with enough gratitude to know people suffer much worse fates every minute. But I still really didn’t want to be banned from the faster security lanes with my frequent travel schedule.

What happened next is hard to believe – and this is my public thank you to TSA. I responded to the “you’re banned” email with an apology message. I explained that I ride my bike all the time and fly often for cases involving biking and bicyclists. I told them how I didn’t have the CO2 cartridge for any nefarious purpose, but rather just left in it my bag as an oversight from my travel-filled and biking-filled life. I finished by politely begging for my PreCheck status back.

The next day, TSA responded with an email from their Office of the Chief Risk Officer. They had accepted my apology and reinstated my PreCheck status. I’ve never seen the federal government work that efficiently (except for when they originally intercepted my contraband). My faith in the bureaucracy of our country was boosted to a new level.

And now when I’m heading to the airport, I make sure to never leave home with a CO2 cartridge.

Comments

Atlanta Bike Crash
Peter Wilborn Oct 25, 2021

Many of you have heard about the horrific multi-victim crash from October 7, 2021, in which a Chattanooga driver brutally plowed her car into a group of 5 pedestrians as they were crossing a street, causing catastrophic and life changing injuries. In the chaotic aftermath of running a red light and almost killing an entire […]

Read More
Waller Bike Crash Carnage
Rachael Maney Oct 02, 2021

PRESS RELEASE FROM BIKE LAW’S NATIONAL DIRECTOR RACHAEL MANEY In light of the recent Waller Bike Crash in Texas, and in an effort to help untangle and unpack some of the emotionally-charged comments, questions, and inaccurate assumptions being made, we want to update you on the parts that we can share. I hope that this […]

Read More
Brother James
Peter Wilborn Sep 29, 2021

23 years ago today, the world lost my brother Jim. He was killed on his bike by an under-aged driver who blew through a red light. While the years don’t really blunt the loss, they foster gratitude for the gifts left behind. My brother blessed me with so much, but 3 things stand out:   […]

Read More
Family bicycle charity
Bike Law Aug 17, 2021

GUEST POST BY BIKE LAW AMBASSADOR KURT AREHART The bike charity Raleigh Community Kickstand, or just Kickstand for short, is a four year-old project organized under Oaks & Spokes, a 501(c)(3) engaged in fostering cycling in Raleigh. Kickstand channels donated bicycles to low-income and homeless members of our community whose lives can be improved with […]

Read More
Contributory negligence Bike crash
Ann Groninger May 08, 2021

If you’ve met me, you’ve heard talk about contributory negligence many times, including here and here and here. My vocation and my passion as a bike crash attorney is representing injured bicyclists and families of bicyclists who have been killed by careless drivers. Contributory negligence severely impairs the right of these individuals and bicyclists to […]

Read More
Asian-American Triathlete
Rachael Maney May 04, 2021

Bike Month 2021 is setting the bar pretty high. Two days ago, Sika Henry became the first Black woman to earn her pro card in the sport of triathlon. And today, Bike Law and I are honored and excited to announce our sponsorship of the only Asian-American racing on the professional triathlon circuit, Clarice Chastang […]

Read More
Cycliq video close call
Rachael Maney Apr 22, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2021 Jon Korin, President Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (‘BikeAAA’) 443-685-4103, [email protected]   Rachael Maney, National Director Bike Law 410-382-7803, [email protected]   DRIVER CONVICTED ON CYCLIQ VIDEO EVIDENCE Christopher Lee Bradshaw of Lothian, MD was convicted of violating Maryland’s 3-foot bicycle passing law and negligent driving on […]

Read More
cycling friendship
Ann Groninger Apr 21, 2021

Cycling friendships are wonderful benefit to our sport and community.  A major part of our work as bicycle “accident” lawyers means putting a value on losses that our clients suffer as a result of injures from crashes. When it comes to past and future medical expenses, lost income and other financial losses, the job is […]

Read More
Contributory Negligence
Ann Groninger Apr 08, 2021

There is finally a positive development in the fight against Contributory Negligence in North Carolina. Last week a bill called the “Victims’ Fair Treatment Act” was filed in the North Carolina Senate. If passed, the bill would finally bring North Carolina into line with all but 3 other states by eradicating this deeply unfair law. […]

Read More
Load More