Thursday 07 May 2015

Huge European Shows & My Toy Gun Seizure in Frankfurt! Whoops


Sometimes when you stay up all night for a flight home from Europe, you aren’t quite thinking straight. Been there, DONE THAT! Just last week to be precise! If you read my last post, you know that I was in Germany & Belgium last week for a short tour with the band playing a few headlining shows and festivals. First, let me tell you how that all wrapped up and then we’ll get to the gun!

The shows and festivals were incredible. Here’s a picture of our crowd at Groezrock festival in Belgium:


My view of the crowd at Groezrock Festival 2012 – Belgium

Pretty awesome show and opportunity to play the festival. It was a monstrous fest with over 30,000 crazy metal & punk Europeans in attendance! I had a little moment to myself sitting at the merchandise table when Yellowcard was playing “Ocean Avenue” on Main Stage. I loved that song growing up! Apparently their drummer caught our set and told our singer he’s a new fan, and was excited to be seeing us all summer on the Warped Tour since both of our bands are on it. What?! Crazy life I tell ya. I’m so blessed to have any of the opportunities God has given us. & there has been plenty!

Airport mishap…

After the Groezrock festival we had 1 more festival in Germany, then drove 2 hours to the Frankfurt (FRA) airport and got dropped off at 2:30am for an 8:10am flight to Chicago where I would continue on to Omaha and drive home. Needless to say, lots of travel, zero sleep. Sometimes you miss the little things when that happens. For example, say, packing a toy gun, or as Frankfurt TSA would say “A gun replica” in your carry on bag instead of your checked luggage!

The day before we flew from Boston to Frankfurt for these European shows, we hit the Radioshack next to the Fourpoints hotel. They had an iPhone game attachment that was a plastic gun that your iPhone would mount onto, and you download the App. It was actually super fun, and coming from someone who doesn’t own any video game consoles, or have a single game installed on his laptop, I’m generally not a gamer. I’d rather be whitewater rafting, jumping off waterfalls, going out with friends, or just grinding some work away. The gun/attachment was $25, I played it in the hotel and in Europe and LOVED IT! I couldn’t believe how fun it was. It was virtual reality so it used the iPhone camera, would show whatever you’re seeing with it as it’s attached to your gun, and then aliens would pop up all over the place and you would shoot them with the gun. Pretty neat I thought.

Me having a fun game can’t last TOO long though! A few of us had separate flights, so Ryan and I waited in the airport lobby for the United/Lufthansa check-in to open. They finally opened at 6am, which I thought was a little bizarre since they had 8am international flights and they recommend passengers to arrive 3 hours early. We get to the passport & boarding pass check for immigration at 6:15 and were they open? No… They said they would open at 6:30 and didn’t open till 6:40. The makeshift line was wrapping as far as the eye could see. What gives Frankfurt?!

We finally get through and make it to security to go to our gate, and I just got DESTROYED at security! I had a backpack with all of my day-to-day electronics – laptop, iPad, cameras, hard drives, and other accessories. Along with that comes LOTS of cables, and sometimes security doesn’t like it. I also had a carry on roller bag that had some clothes, shoes, an electronic sample pad that I use in the band, and that toy gun.

Both bags had to be re run with everything put in about 9 separate bins. They had all sorts of questions about my iPad and sample pad, like they’d never seen one before…

Then the head security guy came over grabs the gun and they all start shaking their head “nuh uh!”… Uh oh! I was just thinking to myself “ah crapppp”. I’d been up for 24 hours, and just wanted to get on the dang plane and go to sleep already, but instead I had to argue with security in a hesitant manner as to not get in trouble. Didn’t want to be told I had to leave the airport, but I certainly wasn’t excited about them taking my gun! The option was to go back and check my bag with the $700 sample pad in it which I would NEVER check that much value, nor would I make the flight with how backed up security was b/c they didn’t open on time. Other option was to come back within the next 6 weeks and claim it at the airport. L O L! Seriously? Yeah, let me just book a flight back here to pick up my $25 toy.

I tried to reason with them and told them I flew to Germany with it, and they just didn’t allow it. Then I asked for a complaint form very sternly and they literally refused, which I thought was interesting. I don’t think you would be declined a complaint form in the States. I also know that they were just following protocol and things that look like guns aren’t allowed on the plane. Oh well. I took the loss and made my flight on time.

Pretty funny to me now, but at the time I was frustrated! Does this look dangerous to you?
Looks fun to me!

Pretty fun.... for 5 days!

Lesson learned – no gun toys on carry-on’s, even if you did stay up all night!

Have you had an embarrassing moment at airport security? Post about it below in the comments!

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  1. Hunter T. says:

    actually, yes.
    So, were all already on the plane and we take off. Everything is going smoothly till the Stewartist starts serving drinks. We start to hit a rough spot and the BIGGEST booty Ive ever even been in the same room with falls right on my FACE!!..making me spill my Dr. Pepper all over my brand new He Is Legend shirt. Pretty embarrassing, especially since I was in the 7th grade going to Laguardia Airport in the big city. Yea, it was slightly gross..but now I look back on it and if it had happened to anyone else I wouldve been rolling around trying to catch my breath because I was laughing so hard..
    ““`lol“Freakin Laguardia!

  2. Andrew Goss says:

    In 2005 I was flying to Mali, in west africa and I had this sweet REI backpack as my carry on and one thing it had on it was a spot for a carabiner to clip on a water bottle (this was prior to the 3oz garbage) so I had my Toccoa Falls College Nalgene bottle clipped to my bag so that I could have water, I flew from Pittsburgh, to Atlanta, to Paris then to Bamako. On my trip back home I left Bamako at midnight and flew to Paris, (this whole time with my bottle clipped to my bag) I get to paris have to go through security again and the lady there took my carabiner claiming that it was a weapon. mind you it had already been through 5 airport checks before this point when she took it. I was furious because now I didn’t have any way to clip my water bottle on. The part that made me mad was that it was a legit carabiner that I used for climbing and was like $20. More recently (2010) I was on a missions trip in the Dominican Republic and was flying back from Santo Domingo and airport security took all my batteries for my camera, I had the nice Kodak rechargeable batteries, and my camera took 4 just to run. I always traveled with 2 extra sets too, so they ended up taking 12 batteries because they then took the ones out of my camera. I was livid because those are $15 a pack

    Those are my stories

    • admin says:

      Ah man! Climbing carabiners are already overpriced, and then to have security take it. Ouch!
      I can relate to your Dominican story. Last time I flew home from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, they took my razors that I use to shave my face…. They just take what they want/need in the DR sometimes. Great country, but there’s always a funny line that gets drawn at the airport.

  3. luis says:

    Coming back from Costa Rica there is a NO LIQUIDS policy, got it, I drank whatever I had before I went in. I only had a carry on since I went for 3 days, well family sent with me some tuna cans, for my madre, they searched for a can opener, nothing (why would I have one on my carry on….Idk) they found nothing but the cans, HE KEPT THEM!! saying there was liquid…..Duh oil!! Do I just said “Que los disfrute, ya que nosotros no podemos” the guy laughed and put them in his pocket….

    • admin says:

      Haha, dang!!!! That is wild. You would think tuna cans would be fine.
      I am taking peanut butter on my trip to South America tomorrow to my friend who’s been living in Brazil. She said from experience that peanut butter has to be checked or they’ll take it!

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