I Was Emasculated At The Abu Dhabi Airport Security Checkpoint

Filed Under: Security/TSA, Travel

Okay, so let me start by saying that I’m on #TeamScissors over #TeamClippers when it comes to nail care. Not usually a topic I discuss on the blog, but it’s important for context.

99% of countries don’t mind you taking cuticle scissors through a security checkpoint. The only countries I’ve been to that take issue with it are Australia and the UAE. The latter is bizarre, because they otherwise have some of the most lax security I’ve ever seen. Anyway, while passing through the UAE a few weeks back enroute to the Etihad A380 inaugural flight, my cuticle scissors were confiscated.

When they are confiscated or I lose them, I usually always buy the same scissors, which are available at just about every CVS in the world. Except I was in Hawaii until late last week staying at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, and was feeling especially lazy.

Go figure the hotel gift shop sold only one variety of cuticle scissors:


They worked fine, and I haven’t been in the US to buy my usual brand of scissors since.

Of course I forgot they were in my carry-on, and while going through security at Abu Dhabi Airport yesterday, my bag was flagged for additional screening.

Within a few seconds the officer found the scissors. He laughed.

Then he called over another officer. Then he laughed.

I would’ve been less humiliated if they had found a Hello Kitty banana sling in my bag…

  1. “I Was Emasculated At The Abu Dhabi Airport Security Checkpoint”

    I’m pretty sure that actually happened at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki’s gift shop and was merely discovered at the checkpoint. On the other hand it takes some balls to carry scissors like that, so maybe it balances out. Just out of curiosity what’s wrong with non-scissor nail clippers?

  2. The security checkpoint at Aeroparque airport in Buenos Aires confiscated my cuticle scissors, too even though the rest of the security process was a joke. Like, an old-school metal detector and a staff who could care less whether you take your laptop out of your bag or your phone out of your wallet, much less take off your coat or shoes. And yet they were sticklers for tiny scissors!

  3. @Nick – In Cairo, you don’t have to take your coat off, shoes off, belt off, laptop outside of bag, and even sometimes the detector beeps and he lets me inside. But I missed my flight to Dubai because of a bottle of perfume that said 150ml even though it was more than clear there was less than 20ml left

  4. @Dax — “Iā€™m pretty sure that actually happened at the Hyatt Regency Waikikiā€™s gift shop and was merely discovered at the checkpoint.”

    This deserves some love.

  5. Funny, but if I can be serious for a moment: like you, I’m on “team scissors,” and have never had a problem except at CDG. But it’s been a few years since I tried. CDG’s website currently says, ” Les instruments tranchants (couteaux ou ciseaux dont la lame dĆ©passe 6 cm)” are prohibited, which would make small cuticle scissors ok since their blades are way under 6 cm. What’s your recent experience at CDG and in the EU?

  6. Hahaha omg how gay are you man? Next time please pack a butt blug into your hand carry-on!
    And no, looking at you, there is no single piece of muscularity left from tip to toe.

  7. And how are they cuticle scissors? I mean, you don’t cut your cuticles with them.

    Unless you mean they’re your awww-cute-icle scissors. But that’s just tragic.

  8. Mike- I don’t think it is appropriate for you to have a homophobic rant on this site.

    Please take your vile comments to wherever they are welcome. Not here.

  9. I have a collection of playboy magazines from all over the world. Say what you will, but I think they make better souveniers than shot glasses or t-shirts

    Last year I was flying PTY->ATL->LGA with a Panamanian adult magazine in my backpack and I was lucky enough to get the full search with customs.

    Agent is going through my bag, finds the magazine and smiles. Then he takes it out and starts leafing through it. Finally he opens it up, lets the centerfold hang out and screams across the room “Hey Jerome, check out these titties!!”

    I’ve never been more embarrassed. My friends still dont let me forget this incident.

    I later filed a formal complaint, but who knows if/where that went.

  10. Alex says “I later filed a formal complaint, but who knows if/where that went.”

    Most countries confiscate adult magazines as “obscene materials” on sight. Some prosecute for possession. Be glad if your naive attention seeking complaint went nowhere.

  11. BKK also confiscates nail scissors. I have never heard they are a security risk and therefore a prohibited item in your carry-on. A simple pen is equally “dangerous” IMO. Extremely annoying practise …

  12. I bought a corkscrew souvenir in Egypt and forgot I’d packed it in my carryon. I was caught with it passing through security in Brussels. I was sure they would confiscate it because the thing is super pointy, but the security agent checked with her supervisor, who let me take it on the plane. Scary.

  13. I’ve had just good ole run of the mill nail clippers confiscated at FRA and HKG since they had a fold out nail file/cleaner. One of the stranger things for sure…

  14. I really needed a laugh this afternoon and I just snorted so hard the person who sits next to me peered over her cubicle wall to make sure I was ok. THANKS.

  15. My embroidery scissors had gone with me everywhere in my purse until they were confiscated in BKK. Lesson learned, as they were fine everywhere else but just not there. Haven’t found a good replacement since, even with trying a bunch.

  16. If it makes you feel better. Once my wife and I were traveling home from India, connected at LHR, and one of our bags got flagged for additional screening. The guy took *everything* out, which happened to include our dog’s collar and leash (we wanted to pick the dog up on the way home from the airport). He looked at each of us, raised an eyebrow and awkwardly started repacking the suitcase.

  17. Aren’t they classed as sharp items and therefore prohibited? I’m surprised only Australia and the UAE have protested!

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