SWAG Saturday: Can you bring a corkscrew through TSA? I had this one flat out wrong – you?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

new trip-lite surge and TSA OK bottle opener

Whenever my wife and I go on vacation somewhere we tend to swing by and pick up a bottle of wine to enjoy in our room. The problem is finding a corkscrew. Most times a hotel will have one you can borrow but not always. You see I was under, to this day, the impression that you could not bring a corkscrew through a TSA check point. I was wrong. Notice what the TSA blog says:

“Bigfoot is probably one of the best known urban legends, but nail clippers, knitting needles and corkscrews are probably the most believed.” – From Blog.Tsa.Gov

And they go on to tell us:

“Corkscrews are a little tricky, but also permitted. Let’s be clear, corkscrews without knives. We know many corkscrews have the little knife that help cut the metal wrapping on a bottle, those are not allowed, but the little corkscrews with no knife are. Clear? No? Let’s try this. Fancy schmancy corkscrews with knives, no. Cheap corkscrews with no knife, yes.”

So the key issue is no knives. So one like featured in the above photo that has no knife but just tiny little disks (4 of them) to cut the foil on a bottle works just fine. BTW I have tested it a few times and I just love the design and not just for travel.

tsa ok wine opener

Here is the thing about this little gem, TSA still “freaks out” a bit with a corkscrew of any kind and will want to inspect it. So, even with TSA PRE check it is a good idea to take it out and put it in its own tray. That way, a quick check and you can pop it back into your bag. Maybe that is too much hassle for you but having flown with this a number of times I know that is what they like to see and it will expedite your screening.

Also note this is for the USA. Outside the USA you may still have this item confiscated and they may care less about the TSA rules and just not like the long cork opener made of metal. Just sayin’ I would leave this at home when traveling abroad.

What about the second item in the photo, that is, my new upgraded Trip-Lite Traveler3USB I am now using. Am I in love with it? Yes and No. I loved my old one for the size and compactness. However, it has some drawbacks. First off I LOVE with the new one the cord that gives me some reach. This, plus two conveniently placed USB power outlets for faster charging is a nice perk. Lastly, the fact this is a “proper” surge protector is a huge reason I have changed over. Now the downside is this is NOT a power converter so not much of a help outside the USA but most of my travel is domestic. Lastly, as mentioned, it is bigger but the slightly larger size is a trade-off I am willing to make for the other perks.

Now, after all of this interesting travel info, on to the SWAG SATURDAY part as you have a shot at winning both a surge protector and a bottle opener for yourself this week 🙂

For a shot at winning this week, all I need is for you to let me know if you knew that you could take a non-bladed bottle opener through TSA. Yes or No is all I need but feel free to comment more on this post below. I will then use later this week to pick a winner! – Rene


Comments are closed as of 9PM on 9/18/15 as we have our winner per and it is Keven #55:

winner swag sat 9-18-15

“No and that’s crazy. You could do more damage with the corkscrew than with the fancy schmancy little knife.”

Well I am sure there are many who agree with you but either way you have one on the way to you now 🙂 Congrats and I will email you soon to get your prize on the way! – Rene


Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. That’s news to me! Of course if they could catch anything anyway, my niece would not have been able to come see me with a five inch blade knife in her duffel bag… 😮

  2. Love your blog Rene. I certainly thought a corkscrew would be taken away from me. So, “No”.

  3. I knew these were allowed, but it can be hard to find one without the little knife, and the cheap ones bend. I also consider it a good idea to learn the vocabulary for this item, as a survival word when traveling to another country. In Italy, it’s called a “cavatappi”. 🙂

    I like make TSA “freak out” by bringing through a frozen (I.e., solid, not liquid) bottle of water, but as you suggest always better to take it out and put it in plain sight.

  4. No, I didn’t know but then being pregnant I don’t get to drink much. 🙂

  5. Yes, accidentally kept a low quality hotel corkscrew in my backpack carry on and after TSA inspected, was fine to proceed.

  6. Yes I knew it was permitted by TSA regulations. However, I still had a TSA worker take it from me saying it was not permitted. I figured it was not worth it to argue about it so I gave it up. In fact this was part of a TSA approved toiletry pack which has steadily dwindled in size due to some TSA workers having issue with some contents even though the regulations clearly stated they were acceptable.

  7. Christopher Reply

    Yes, but haven’t purchased on yet. Been going to buy one since staying at an Airbnb apartment in Barcelona where the host gave us a bottle of cava but didn’t have a corkscrew in the apartment.

  8. No. Although several years ago TSA in Maui confiscated my corkscrew and I’m pretty sure it didn’t have a knife on it.

  9. Yes, but, of course, it makes no sense. You can slice someone with the tip of a corkscrew or stab someone with a knitting needle – security theater!

  10. NO! Good to know. Also, good comment re: outside the USA. I had to throw away a wonderful opener (without a knife) in Rome 🙁

  11. I’ve had several confiscated over the years, but they all had the knife as part of them. Nice to know they are allowed as long as they don’t have that feature integrated. Thx

  12. yes most items and i repeat MOST items 6 or7 inches long with no knife
    are allowed even screwdrivers / wrenches , etc
    but as rene says BETTER to place in bowl for easy inspection

  13. Absolutely you are allowed but that’s not the point. The point is whether the crew there at the time agrees. And don’t try accompanying it with a bottle of wine 🙂

  14. I’ve carried them through, and I’ve had them confiscated too, so have resorted to screw top bottles of wine 😉 I have carried knitting needles with me for years with no problem domestically. When traveling outside the country, I carry interchangeable circular needles (I can unscrew the wooden tips and pack with pencils/pens where they’re not noticed).

  15. No, didn’t know that! Thanks for the info! Hate going down to borrow one from the front desk!

  16. Yes I knew that since I researched it on our last trip to Europe.

  17. Little Bob Reply

    No I did not know this but thanks so much for the information!

  18. No. But I do take small scissors for needlework with no problem in the U.S.

  19. Skippie687 Reply

    No, I didn’t know but I have come to expect total inconsistency from the TSA anyway!

  20. No thought they were banned, had a fancy lighter in a checked bag get taken…not sure if it’s illegal or the inspector just liked the lighter!

  21. Randall Powers Reply

    Good post! I never could figure out why sometimes they took mine and sometimes didn’t! (Now I can stop buying wine bottles with a twist top 🙂

  22. No. But I do know that knitting needles are permitted IF they are part of an active knitting project. Why that changes the status is beyond me.

  23. no and that’s crazy. You could do more damage with the corkscrew than with the fancy schmancy little knife.

  24. TSA has never taken my corkscrew, and I have travelled internationally with one for years, but finally had it confiscated when returning from South America through Buenos Aires. We just had to laugh when the guard looked so scandalized upon finding it. Oh well, time to find another cheap one.

  25. Yes, we’ve always taken the cheap 2-piece kind like the ones in most hotel rooms.

  26. No. I never actually thought about it. Just remember to leave the corkscrew at home when you travel abroad.

  27. I always beg the front desk for the bottle opener. I did not know I could bring one along

  28. Actually I DID know this. Whereas I LOVE the model that you have shown us; I use a much cheaper item. I have two of them with a hotel name on them. Two pieces of plastic to pull apart. The corkscrew portion has a hole in the handle, that you then insert the other part into to use as leverage putting into the cork and pulling out. Probably not describing it well. Its about 4″ long and width is smaller than a dime. But it has no blade or whatever to cut the foil, so is deficient in that sense. I usually use a metal emery board for that. PS. Thnx for all the info you share !
    With me on every trip – probably enjoy wine as much as you do !

  29. Reply

    Just curious as to what electronic device you have that is not 110/220 volts? I find it actually hard to buy something now that does not automatically detect the voltage and self adjust.

  30. I would have asked which week and which airport, but guessed no in general.

  31. Nope, but I have gotten them through inadvertently and been happy I had it with me.

  32. Yes. Keri from Heels First blogged about it a while back, but she ended up getting it taken away from her in Italy or some other European country as I recall.

  33. I did know, and have brought one through many times. Never thought about it taking it out and putting it in a bin. I’ll have to do that in the future!

  34. Kurt DeAngelis Reply

    In the words of the beloved Ed McMahon … “I did not know that”.

  35. dotti cahill Reply

    yes but they still sometimes take them away.. luckily we only take cheap ones now in France that is another story evenn the little plastic ones with no cutter or knife—they take away..the other day in pre-check they kept running my purse thru again… they saw something sharp they said news to me… finally came down to a sharks tooth necklace a large tooth and the end was sharp.. they finally let me keep it !!!…

  36. I didn’t know for sure except that my husband has carried one in his dop kit for years and never even been stopped. He’s also carried a meat thermometer (in the food business) numerous times and never been confiscated either. Guess it’s along the lines of knitting needles but still a pretty impressive instrument.

  37. I have a polymeric corkscrew that I’ve carried without incident for a couple of years, after the TSA crew took away a metal one without a knife. The TSA agent on-the-spot doesn’t always know the rules and I don’t often have time to teach them.

  38. No
    Weird tales of airport security. I had an external cell phone battery confiscated by Chinese security at the Beijing airport this summer.

  39. No, I didn’t know that. I also didn’t know they made one with the little wheel foil cutter attached as I bought mine separately and I love it. I must be in the minority but those little knives never work right fot me and I end up just ripping off all the foil.

    I wonder if an ah-so Two-Prong Cork Puller would be more acceptable to the security theater actors.

  40. No, I didn’t know, and frankly it had never occurred to me to wonder.

  41. No, I did not know a wine opener corkscrew would pass TSA security and be allowed on board in carry on baggage.

  42. I can’t say that I knew corkscrews were allowed, but I have unintentionally made it through security with my small, Chapstick-looking corkscrew. Here I thought I was just lucky!

  43. Yes and no. Yes, I knew you could and no, we haven’t always been able to do so. One time fine, the next time (same day) not so much. I guess TSA figured we were going to screw someone to death or something! Oh well, chalk up one corkscrew — no arguing with the folks who hold all the cards. Even if you win, you lose because they will ensure you miss your flight, at the very least.

  44. No. Had one taken from me in YVR and never tried again. Funny part is that corkscrew had been around the world numerous times before that. I had totally forgotten about it. Cheers.

  45. Yes, but I found out the hard way. Carried a cheap plastic one from a hotel in my carry on bag for a long time, then somehow ended up with a “better” one after a vacation stay where the bartender at the hotel bar let us take one back to the room. Next trip, my wife borrowed my bag and had the “better” corkscrew taken away because it had the 1″ blade (the cheapie of course only had the screw element). Live and learn.

  46. Young_Tho®ough Reply

    I certainly would have assumed so, even though I’ve never considered the tool specifically. My logic is since I can bring a 6″ awl, screwdriver, etc sharp pointy tools made of metal, I would think that recreational tool would be acceptable too.

    Supposedly ice picks are banned from carry-on’s but how do they distinguish an awl from an ice pick? length right? Anyway probably won’t be trying either anytime soon.

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  48. FYI- I have carried a corkscrew similar to yours around Europe and have never had a problem- not even to take it out of the bag and I’ve carried on everytime! In case anyone traveling Europe is wondering 🙂

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