Dark days for lighters

ZippoDavid Ogilvy loved Zippo lighters, partly because of their lifetime guarantee. But what good is that if you can’t take the damn thing with you on a trip? That’s what Zippo’s asking now that the Transportation Security Administration has decided to ban lighters from airplanes as a security measure and to strictly enforce a long-standing law keeping them out of checked luggage, too. Zippo agrees that its lighters shouldn’t be allowed in the passenger cabin but insists there’s no safety reason why they shouldn’t be checked. It claims the ban could cut into sales by as much as 30 percent. Partly, the company says, this is because “Zippo collectors often travel around the country attending ‘swap meets’ and other events frequented by collectors.” Pissing off collectors: Not a good idea. Imagine if they went after Star Trek memorabilia?

—Posted by Tim Nudd

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