Q. I had some problems taking a flower lei to the Mainland last week because of the new federal restrictions. I went to Watanabe Floral Inc. and asked their advice. They suggested the types of lei that would best survive the travel. I paid an additional $15 for special packaging that included a frozen gel pack. I asked about the new restrictions since I planned to carry the lei on board with me, and they assured me it would be fine. But when I got to the airport, the screeners pulled out the gel packs and threw them away. Can I get my money back?
A. The federal Transportation Security Administration this month began to prohibit people from taking aboard various gels on airplanes as a security precaution after British police discovered a plan to detonate bombs on several planes headed for the United States.
Kevin Miyakawa of Watanabe Floral Inc. apologizes for any confusion about the new rules and said he hopes you and any other customers will come back to tell them about such problems so they can make it right. "They can come back with the receipt, and we'll give them a credit for the gel-packs," he said.
He said his company now is advising travelers that the gel packs will likely get removed by federal screeners if they try to carry them on board. He said the packing price includes the box, wrapping and insulation, so you won't get all that money back.
Q. What options do I have for getting lei on a plane?
A. Miyakawa said travelers may want to choose flowers that they believe would survive as carryon luggage without the frozen gel. Or if they want more fragile and fragrant lei, such as pikake and ginger, then they can have them packed with the gel and put the lei in their checked luggage.
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