How Good is Airport Security in Colombia?

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I lost my first traveling item the first day when I entered airport security in Toronto.

I foolishly packed my multi-tool in my carry-on bag and airport security caught it in the scanner.

I was so disappointed as I had purchased it for the trip after much deliberation at Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Fortunately,  Mr. Tofu brought me a new one in Honduras. And while I only use it to clean my nails, I feel reassured that the day I needed a mini saw/pliers/knife I will be prepared. Reassured until today.

Today I took my first flight since the RTW inaugurating flight to Cancun and as I stood in airport security I had a sense of panic.

Yet again, I had forgotten to put the multi-tool in my backpack and I would lose this one too.

Or would I?

I went through security without any snafus and was on my way to Bogota.

Bogota Airport

I landed in Bogota and snapped a shot of the multi-tool as I was certain I was going to lose it when I re-entered airport security for my flight to Santa Marta.

This was a larger airport and security would be tighter.

After being wanded down by a security officer because I was wearing a belt I patiently waited as the staff realized they wanted to scan it again because they had seen something.

This was it, they had seen the multi-tool and I was going to lose it.

Or would I?

The man handed me my bag with a smile and I was on my way.

But I wasn’t so lucky with the flight situation, mine had been delayed and it was freezing in the gate waiting area so I asked to exit back into the main shopping area.

This meant I had to re-enter through security again and I wondered if cockiness would lead to me losing the multi-tool.

Could they really miss it 4 times?

They did.

I am lucky and I still have it today. Although my luck has probably run out and now that I’ve written this post someone will find it and put me on the airline security list and I’ll be strip searched on my next flight.

At least my nails will be clean.

Join the Conversation

  1. That’s kind of funny & kind of frightening that they missed it in your bag so many times. Hopefully you’ll be able to hang onto it for the rest of your trip!

  2. Even airport security knows that anyone with a pink pocket knife isn’t going to use it for harm.

  3. Yeah I was going to comment on the colour as well. I don’t think a terrorist would be seen with that thing 😉

  4. Carmie Brogan says:

    I too am praying that you haven’t used up all your luck on a pink pocket knife. I don’t think a strip search is all that it is cracked up to be…..

  5. Andrew Murano says:

    Terrorists hijacking planes in Colombia isn’t as likely as in North America. Plus, drugs are obviously their number 1 concern.

  6. Jonathan Evans says:

    Funnily enough I’ve only ever had one item confiscated at airport security and it was an old, very blunt penknife (it was my grandfathers, high sentimental value, not much else). Confiscated where? Yup, you guessed it, Bogota! So they don’t miss everything…

  7. Ummm, I had a completely different experience when I was in Bogota. I got pulled aside and basically strip searched in front of everyone. It was humiliating and terrifying! They tore my entire suitcase apart and destroyed my LP guide. 🙁

  8. Shannon Enete says:

    I accidentally left trauma shears (used to cut people’s clothes off in 911 emergencies) in my carry on as I used the same bag for work, but somehow they missed the 7” shears in LAX right after 911!

  9. wow………4 times! that’s crazy. we got through Reagan in DC with a live bullet (it was an accident!) but we were not so lucky on the return trip from Vegas.

  10. It might just be my brown skin but I never get ANYTHING past security…. They even triple checked my bike on my return flight to make sure it wasn’t stuffed with cocaine!

  11. Devin the Travel Writer says:

    I have had similar experiences with numerous sharp and liquid items in many carry on bags. The only time I have ever had any issue was when I took my Father’s ashes to Spain (only momentarily stopped in LAX), and had an over-sized shaving gel taken away from me on a domestic flight in Greenland. Yes, that Greenland.

    Of course, the real question is, are we safer. The answer, probably not.

  12. ann wellwood says:

    As much as I want you to hang on to your knife, I think I would feel better(safer) if they had taken it!I am also hoping your luck hasn’t run out.I wish they were more diligent with the terrorists and leave the little people alone!!!

  13. Steve | SomeoneInTheRoad says:

    After flying weekly for years for work, I’m never surprised by the lack of consistency at airports (domestic or abroad).
    I’ve had bottles of water get by, had toothpaste taken (tube was too large, even though it fit in the plastic bag. And I didnd’t even bring up the fact that if it was bomb material, I’d just put it in two smaller tubes and be fine…).

    All of the regulations create a false sense of security and convince some people that it is all under control. Oh well, at least you didn’t lose your knife 🙂

  14. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    I feel like it’s hit or miss with airport security in most places. I wonder if they saw the knife and didn’t see it as a big deal. Interesting.

  15. They have such different security standards in different countries. I’ve found that, although they may have signs indicating they ban the same things as in my home country of the U.S., they actually often let these items go through, even though they clearly see them. For example, water. It sounds like they saw what you were bringing on board. Maybe they used common sense and realized you weren’t going to be stabbing anyone.

  16. Wow, thats kind of scary if you think about it. Thankfully you are a good person and arent going to use it for harm. What if a bad guy slips with one, they could really do some damage. Anyway glad you got to keep your pocket knife!!!

  17. With airport security it’s all hit or miss… you were lucky they didn’t notice. I once got pulled aside in Costa Rica. The screening agent confused some ceramic figurines I had in my backpack with rocks. Ha! Why would I carry rocks in my backpack?!

  18. Corinne @ Gourmantic says:

    I was going to say unbelievable! But we were allowed to take duty free alcohol with us on board a flight after checking repeatedly with airline staff. I guess you just go with the flow sometimes… I’d consider your piece a good luck charm from now on!

  19. Funny but quite scary. Doesn’t matter about the color really does it. You still could of been someone who would use it for other means then cleaning your nails

  20. Cornelius Aesop says:

    I remember when I flew from Peru back to the USA, after their fuss and searches they gave us metal forks and butter knifes for our meal. Now I’m not going to take anyone down with a dull butter knife but still I thought it was odd.

  21. John Delaney says:

    I have to say, if you were going through airport security in somewhere like Heathrow in the UK, they would have taken that from you straight away. The security there is intense.

    Good for you managing to keep it however.

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