Have corkscrew, will travel?

Last week I wrote about buying wine while you’re on the road, which raises the issue of traveling with corkscrew in tow. Going by car, bus or rail, the corkscrew question is merely a matter of personal preference. But when going by air, the opaque and sometimes-changing TSA rules for prohibited carry-on items should make some travelers carefully consider their packing lists.

When I fly and I’m going to check my bag, I don’t hesitate to pack a corkscrew (generally the cheap one I picked up in Paris years ago) inside.

Cheap-o corkscrew for travel

Cheap-o corkscrew for travel

Some veteran flyers say simple pulls are safe to bring in your hand luggage; others insist that standard waiter’s corkscrews – those with retractable foil-cutting knives – are now okay since the TSA earlier this year revised its list of prohibited items to allow carrying on blades shorter than four inches.

My advice, given screeners’ discretionary powers and aversion to sharp objects, is to pack a corkscrew in your carry-on only if you don’t care if you have to surrender it at the check point.

In any case, once I’ve arrived at my destination, I’m always glad I brought along my three wine-related travel essentials: aforementioned corkscrew; Vacu-Vin pump; and a rubber stopper (or two).

Vacu-Vin pump and stopper

Vacu-Vin pump and stopper

To my fellow corkscrew-toting travelers, can you pass along any air-travel advice or anecdotes?

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