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For many Americans, traveling under TSA's rules are bad enough, and then there's the special kind of torture reserved for those people whose careers make traveling with knives and scissors absolutely necessary. The New York Times has a story today on the awful traveling reality facing hair stylists (sharp scissors), makeup artists (gels and liquids), chefs and professional knife makers (obviously, sharp knives) who risk checking their luggage and having those expensive goods stolen or packing their items in carry-ons only to have them be confiscated. There are some good tips (provided the TSA doesn't get wise and confiscate those too) in the piece--one man wears his chef jacket to the airport to make it clear he means no harm despite carrying a set of knives--as well as reports of some anecdotes of leeway. But it's the plight of a fortuitously-named knife maker named Ken Onion (get it?) and his new GPS-certified method to make sure he and his knives never get separated that got our attention

Ken Onion, a knife maker from Honolulu, said he had 14 custom knives worth about $40,000 stolen from luggage in 2006 on a trip to a show in California. “It’s rare that I travel with that many high-end knives in my suitcase,” he said. “I was just working until the last minute to get all the knives done in time for the show and ran out of time to mail them.”

Mr. Onion said he now recommended that travelers buy insurance and that they photograph or videotape luggage contents and the handover to airline employees. For valuable items, he said, “place them in a Pelican case, with a GPS tracker at the bottom of it.” He added: “Once my luggage has been checked in, I can follow it via the GPS locator to ensure it is on the same flight I am.”

For the full story, head on over to The New York Times.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.