My Adventures In Fondant In My Carry-On Bag

Decorating By Ruth0209 Updated 27 Jan 2010 , 4:49am by kathik

Ruth0209 Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 2:17am
post #1 of 17

In case any of you ever wondered, I learned the hard way this weekend that you CANNOT take fondant in your carry-on bags on an airplane.

When I visited my daughter in Denver, I got the brilliant idea to buy some fondant in a local cake store. I bought two 2 pound containers and two 4" cake pans. Immediately after my purchase I started wondering if I could carry them onto the plane. I didn't want to check my bag and pay $30 (stupid airlines). So I got on the airline's web site and checked the policy on carry-ons and it clearly said no liquids, aerosols, or gels. Since fondant is obviously not any of those, I figured it would be okay, although I figured it might look suspicious in my bag with those metal pans. I have to admit, it probably looked like plastic explosive on the x-ray.

So, I wait in the security line for an hour, finally go through the checkpoint, and sure enough, they pull me aside. I explained that fondant is not liquid, aerosol, or gel, and that it is a SOLID, a consistency similar to PlayDoh. He said the policy includes pastes. I said, it's not like a paste. It doesn't spread. He said, sorry you have to check the bag or throw it out.

I had to go back outside to the curbside check-in, pay to check the bag (they only charged me $20, but it certainly made the total price for 4 pounds of fondant TOO much). In the meantime, my DH is totally freaking out thinking we're going to miss our flight for sure. We got to the gate and walked right on to the plane just in time.

What a trauma. I'm kicking myself because I considered having my daughter mail it to me. But after I looked at the web site it seemed safe.

BTW, I went to the TSA web site today and it doesn't mention pastes anywhere, so the screener was full of crap, but when you're trying to make your flight it doesn't pay to argue. HEAVY SIGH!!!

16 replies
Evoir Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 2:29am
post #2 of 17

In 2008, I took in my hand luggage about 3kg of fondant which looked like plastic explosives, from Australia to New Zealand with no issue at all. Additionally I took a 10 inch square fruit cake, and if you know the paranoid quarantine restrictions in our two countries you'd know why that is amazing!

We also did research before I flew with it. I took the ingredients over to make the small wedding cake for my friend who was getting married in NZ. I made it all the night before, while drinking champagne, at the hen's night!!

I'm sorry you had such problems. I too would be annoyed with having to pay more...grrrrrr.

golfgirl1227 Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 2:40am
post #3 of 17

There was a story on the news recently where they took play-doh away from a little boy. I know it didn't say so on the list, but I find that it's more like whatever the TSA people feel like that day.

JanJess Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 2:56am
post #4 of 17

While I was visiting my mom out in Seattle we went to a wonderful seafood store and I bought all these great prawns and scallops we can't get in FL and I froze them and wrapped them in plastic and newspaper and put my clothes around it in my suitcase and even checked my bag. When I got my bag, it was completely wrapped in yellow tape. They thought I was smuggling drugs and totally trashed my clothes and everything. I was so glad I was home and not just getting someplace. They don't make it enjoyable to travel anymore icon_cry.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 3:21am
post #5 of 17

I googled "recognizing c4 explosive" and got this picture: http://midfield.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/c4-montage.jpg

I can see why fondant might upset a screener, even after you told them it was fondant. I think they don't mention "things that look like plastic explosive" in the list of prohibited items because it's really obvious, to the TSA anyhow. And of course if someone had explosives and said it was fondant and a screener let them on the plane, we would all be saying the screener was stupid and hoping they would go to jail and stuff like that.

It's just a good thing you didn't have any wire for gumpaste flowers, or premade flowers on wire or anything like that, packed with the fondant.

Ruth0209 Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 3:31am
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

I googled "recognizing c4 explosive" and got this picture: http://midfield.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/c4-montage.jpg

I can see why fondant might upset a screener, even after you told them it was fondant. I think they don't mention "things that look like plastic explosive" in the list of prohibited items because it's really obvious, to the TSA anyhow. And of course if someone had explosives and said it was fondant and a screener let them on the plane, we would all be saying the screener was stupid and hoping they would go to jail and stuff like that.

It's just a good thing you didn't have any wire for gumpaste flowers, or premade flowers on wire or anything like that, packed with the fondant.




I should add that this screener was EXTREMELY nice and helpful to me, and I am glad he's doing his job attentively. I certainly can't blame him. I did ask him if they'd let it on if it was PlayDoh and he said they would if it was 3.4 oz. or less, so at least they're consistent in that.

I purposely did NOT pack my cell phone charger in that bag beause I figured that would really inflame them. I think they have a tough job.

prterrell Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 4:48am
post #7 of 17

I wonder if you'd volunteered to eat some of the fondant if that would have been goodl enough?

But then, sense they took Play-do away from a kid, maybe not!

Anyone else think that's just senselessly mean?

victoriacakery Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 1:13pm
post #8 of 17

I worried about this very thing when flying home from a Nicholas Lodge class. I had a gumpaste flower arrangement packed in a separate box. (wired) And in my carry-on was extra gumpaste, metal cutters I had purchased. Even a aerosol can of edible varnish. I'm shocked I didn't get pulled aside. I'm sure I must have looked very suspicious. I didn't breathe the whole time my things went through the x-ray. Everything went fine, not one question. But then I wondered, why not! What if I was a terrorist smuggling parts of a bomb! Maybe a middle aged, overweight woman from Minnesota doesn't fit the profile. detective.gif

Ruth0209 Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 2:01am
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by victoriacakery

I worried about this very thing when flying home from a Nicholas Lodge class. I had a gumpaste flower arrangement packed in a separate box. (wired) And in my carry-on was extra gumpaste, metal cutters I had purchased. Even a aerosol can of edible varnish. I'm shocked I didn't get pulled aside. I'm sure I must have looked very suspicious. I didn't breathe the whole time my things went through the x-ray. Everything went fine, not one question. But then I wondered, why not! What if I was a terrorist smuggling parts of a bomb! Maybe a middle aged, overweight woman from Minnesota doesn't fit the profile. detective.gif




I know, the poor screeners are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Many years ago, before 9/11 I passed through the screeners at the White House with pepper mace in my purse, which was outlawed even then. No one even spotted it. I was glad they didn't confiscate it, but I was disappointed that they were so lax. Of course, that was the pre-9/11 naivete.

kathik Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 2:19am
post #10 of 17

Okay, now you guys have me really nervous! I am flying to Raleigh next week to make a cake. I will have premade flowers, wire, ready made gumpaste decorations, etc. This will all be in my checked luggage, though. Am I going to have a problem?

Kathi

Ruth0209 Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 2:35am
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathik

Okay, now you guys have me really nervous! I am flying to Raleigh next week to make a cake. I will have premade flowers, wire, ready made gumpaste decorations, etc. This will all be in my checked luggage, though. Am I going to have a problem?

Kathi




No, it'll be fine. They're not as excitable about what you put in checked bags. And if it's already been made into flowers, it'll be light weight and dry. They let me put four pounds of fondant in my checked bag, for heavens sake.

I would, however, expect that they will inspect your bag, so you probably need to pack them in Tupperware that can be opened, and mark them as fragile with a description of what they are so they don't break them when they're inspecting. I'd be much more worried that they'll get broken than that they'll cause any security concerns. Good luck!!

kathik Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 2:38am
post #12 of 17

Okay. So, I was thinking of taking my most fragile piece in my carryon bag. It is a RKT horn covered in gumpaste. Do you think that will be okay?

Thanks for the reassurance,
Kathi

newmansmom2004 Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 2:46am
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathik

Okay. So, I was thinking of taking my most fragile piece in my carryon bag. It is a RKT horn covered in gumpaste. Do you think that will be okay?

Thanks for the reassurance,
Kathi




Since you have a few days before you fly, I'd suggest calling the airlines to ask them. You don't want to take any chances that they'll confiscate your piece.

prterrell Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 2:51am
post #14 of 17

I wouldn't fly with the decorations. Instead, take them to a UPS or a Fed-Ex store and have them help you pack them really well and ship them to your destination. I wouldn't trust them in my checked luggage.

Ruth0209 Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 3:00am
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmansmom2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathik

Okay. So, I was thinking of taking my most fragile piece in my carryon bag. It is a RKT horn covered in gumpaste. Do you think that will be okay?

Thanks for the reassurance,
Kathi



Since you have a few days before you fly, I'd suggest calling the airlines to ask them. You don't want to take any chances that they'll confiscate your piece.




You should talk to the TSA. They're the ones making the inspections and the decisions, not the airlines. I looked at the airline site and it only said no liquids, gels or aerosols over 3.4 oz. It didn't say anything about pastes or PlayDoh.

I doubt that shipping them will be any easier on them than packing them in your checked bag. They all manhandle the crap out of packages and luggage, both.

erinalicia Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 3:42am
post #16 of 17

There is no way I'd trust fragile gumpaste flowers in the hands of airline employees. They are horribly rough on luggage and completely ignore labels like "fragile."

I would go the UPS or FedEx route and send them to my destination ahead of me if someone will be able to accept them.

kathik Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 4:49am
post #17 of 17

Well, hopefully I can finish the pieces soon enough to do that. The flowers are tiny, and well packed, so I'm not worried about them, but the other pieces concern me. I think I'll try to get them shipped out.

Thanks guys,
Kathi

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%