FLYING WITH PLANTS

Barb and Bella sent us this note: "We just returned from the west coast with some plants and wanted to alert our members who are travelling this summer within Canada by plane. We had the good fortune to spend some time with David and Wendy Sellars. David propagates alpines and offered us as many plants as we could fit in a shoe box in the bottom of a bag. He made a fine collection for us. The airline absolutely agreed that this was an acceptable hand baggage that would fit under the seat or in the overhead bins. However the security pulled our bags out and refused to allow them on the plane. We really had to scramble and were lucky to find a young man who could help us to pack them and put them through ‘oversized’ baggage. This is what we learned: Your can no longer take plants with any organic material in your hand luggage. There is a new threat that Security is screening for that is an organic material about the consistency of bath salts. So, the potting mix and top dressing on our plants mimicked this material and set off the alarms. Unless you can completely bare root your plants, they will get picked up by Security. You can pack your plants in a box and register it as a checked bag. When you check in, you can take the box to ‘oversized’ luggage where it will get a bit easier ride; it will not go into the general hold but be put in the nose of the plane. (Ours came out on its side, not upside down.)"