This morning there was a radio interview with an official from Transport Canada, on the topic of what you can and can’t bring on an airplane in the wake of the new TSA regulations for flights entering the USA from abroad. She confirmed the “zero carry-on” policy, i.e. no carry-on bags. However, it appears you can bring on a laptop, camera, medication, and essential medical devices. Interestingly, there was no mention made of cellphones and MP3 players, neither by the “expert” nor on the Transport Canada web site. But here’s my question. If these items are allowed, what do you carry them in?

Since we are traveling to Florida next Saturday, I called my travel agent, who was also unclear. She speculated, “Well, in their original cases, I guess”. Does this mean I can carry a laptop case, and camera bag (lenses and accessories)? And what about the other stuff? Does it go in my coat pocket? Or can I put it in my laptop or camera bag? And if I can carry a laptop case and camera bag, isn’t that two pieces of carry-on luggage? Or can I put the camera into the laptop case? But if I do that…am I not carrying on a carry-on?

As Mr. Italo said, “Don’t worry, even they [the security people] don’t know…they’re making it up as they go along.

And here’s the rub: Domestic and charter travelers are not under the same restrictions, but must pass through the same shared security line. So even if you’re going to Toronto (a one hour flight), you need to show up at least three hours beforehand. Hey, with 3 hours at the airport, an hour and 20 minute flight, deplaning and luggage collection, plus car rental time, etc., you’re better off driving!

But here’s the kicker according to my travel agent: Passengers departing FROM the USA are under NO restrictions and can carry on their luggage as before. The US does not believe that anyone already in the States and flying abroad is a security risk!!