British author J.K. Rowling says she won an argument with airport security officials in New York to carry the manuscript of the final "Harry Potter" book as carry-on baggage. Had security agents not relented, she might not have flown, she said in a post on her Web site dated Wednesday. "I don't know what I would have done if they hadn't - sailed home probably," she wrote.
The author had participated in a book reading for charity on August 1 with fellow writers Stephen King and John Irving. Security was drastically tightened after August 10 when British police said they had intercepted a plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners. "The heightened security restrictions on the airlines made the journey back from New York interesting, as I refused to be parted from the manuscript of book seven.
"A large part of it is handwritten, and there was no copy of anything I had done while in the U.S.," she said. Eventually, she said, "they let me take it on, thankfully, bound up in elastic bands."
America's Transportation Security Administration has never banned carry-on luggage on U.S. flights.
"TSA never implemented a ban on carry-on luggage for flights originating in the United States," TSA spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said. "A manuscript would certainly be allowed to be carried on." British Airways did ban carry-on baggage on flights between the U.S. and Britain last month when the threat alert was raised because a terror plot was broken up in England.
Rowling said she was still considering two possible titles for the last of the boy wizard's adventures.
"I was quite happy with one of them until the other one struck me while I was taking a shower in New York," she wrote. "They would both be appropriate, so I think I'll have to wait until I'm further into the book to decide which one works best."