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Business in 60 seconds

Imagine you are standing in a queue for security checking in an airport. While checking your pockets, you realise that you forgot to put your swiss knife in your check-in baggage. What can be your options then?

You can go back to check-in desk and request if they can retrieve your luggage and you can put in your knife. But, what if the staff says no? Then you can put the knife in your hand baggage and hope that it miraculously goes through the scanning. But you fear that if it gets detected, they will simply throw it away. You like your knife very much and you know that seeing it being thrown in the dustbin is going to hurt you. May be you can give it to someone – someone who will value it. But how will you find that someone?

There is a huge queue at the security checking and the boarding of your flight closes in 30 mins. What can you do in this situation? I guess there are no options, except taking chances with the scanner. Will you think of selling the knife? At least, I wouldn’t.

However, our Tikipedia thought of it. That’s the nickname of our friend, Tiannan. Why? That’s a different story altogether :). This was the scene at Cagliari airport when we were returning from Sardinia. Tiannan realised that he was still carrying his swiss knife in his jacket. He tried the first option but without any success. He evaluated the other two options but wasn’t convinced. Finally, he decided to try to sell it.

“Guys, you go ahead. I will try to sell it and join you at the gate”, said Tiannan. “Man, it’s only 30 mins and there’s a huge crowd. Aren’t you risking missing your flight?”, Hari asked him. “I understand, but I can’t let it be thrown into the dustbin. Let me try. I promise that I’ll not miss the flight”, replied Tiannan and he ran towards the check-in area.

Frankly speaking, we were skeptical about Tiannan’s idea. However, we also secretly hoped that he is able to do it. We knew that he liked the knife very much. The queue was moving slowly. But the clock seemed to tick fast. Finally, we got through the security. Tiannan still didn’t return. We walked slowly towards the gate, hoping Tiannan will catch up. But still no sign of him. He is not even answering his mobile. Probably it’s in his jacket which he was holding in his hands, when he left.

Lei, Hari and I were at the queue of the gate for boarding the flight. It was almost time. Tiannan hadn’t returned and he was also not answering his phone. A few minutes later, we finally got a glimpse of him, running down the escalator carrying his jacket, belt, bag, etc in his hands. It was a relieve to see him.

When he came near us, all of us gave him the same quizzical look. He knew the question but didn’t reply for sometime. He was out of breath. Finally, he smiled and we understood. “Wow, man! That’s awesome!”, we exclaimed together.

He sold the knife for 20 euros to a British couple. He had bought it for 30 euros, after a big discount, about a year back. He had asked for 10-15 euros, but the couple gave him 20 euros. Now, that’s what I call “Business in 60 seconds” :).

  1. May 10, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Our Tikipedia is truly unique! 🙂 Thinking out of the box in real life!

  2. May 10, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Great post! It reminded me of when I realised I had my son’s toy gun in my handbag at the check-in desk in Switzerland. My famous last words were “please don’t scream, I’m going to take a gun out of my bag, but it’s not a real one”….

    • May 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks Jonnna :). Your incident sounds interesting… I can’t imagine the reaction of the security folks at the airport :). Do you have a blog on it?

      • May 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

        Hi there,
        I had a great time trying to establish what I could do; I couldn’t put it in the bin, couldn’t take it on the plane, and couldn’t return it to my 7-year-old. It ended up at the lost-and-found desk, and as far as I know is still there….. 🙂 Blogging is a more recent adventure for me than smuggling toy weapons onto Ryanair flights, but one day I’ll blog about it….

  3. Hari.P.S.
    May 10, 2012 at 8:27 am

    amazing presence of mind! :-).. hats off Tikipedia 🙂

    • May 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Yeah man.. tikipedia in action 🙂

    • May 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Aha, so you had to leave it there. In India, I have had such situations. In those cases, I just handed the stuff to the airlines and I could collect them at the destination airport. Although, it’s a different matter that I used to forget to collect it :). I guess this doesn’t work here!

      Sure, would love to read your blog on this incident 🙂

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