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Security

The Craziest Things the TSA Found in 2015

The Craziest Things the TSA Found in 2015

Flyers forget common sense at home – a peek at some travelers’ confiscated goods.

In our modern age of heightened security, most flyers use common sense when packing their bags to clear the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) luggage checks at airports. But thanks to TSA’s Instagram feed @tsa, we can look back at TSA’s unexpected finds.

Seems one flyer couldn’t wait to get their hands on freshly-sliced deli meat. The TSA is asking that flyers either pack their meat slicers in checked bags or leave them at home.

“This meat slicer was discovered recently in a carry-on bag at the Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW),” TSA said. “Blades on slicers, and food processors are razor sharp and are prohibited from being packed in carry-on bags.”

If BBQ is on your mind, TSA also asks that flyers buy propane tanks at their destination. The agency found three full propane tanks, prohibited in carry-on and checked baggage, at the Oakland International Airport (OAK) in California.

Meanwhile, some flyers appear to anticipate a wild ride, as three cans of bear mace were found in carry-on bags at Great Falls (GTF), Glacier Park (FCA) and Pocatello (PIH).

“A reminder about bear repellant: It’s best to buy it at your destination. Bear repellent is prohibited in the cabin of an aircraft,” TSA said. “You can pack bear repellent in your checked bag if the volume is less than four ounces and if it has less than a two percent active ingredient of either CS or CN.”

So, please, leave your bear repellent at home.

Also on the TSA no-go list: flyers’ detonated airbags.

“An airbag was discovered in a carry-on bag at the Sacramento (#SMF) International Airport,” TSA said. “According to the FAA Office of Security and Hazardous Material, airbag actuators are on the list of hazardous materials and are prohibited from transport aboard passenger aircraft.”

Explosives, real, fake or imagined, are absolutely prohibited from airports and aircraft. Nonetheless, they dominated TSA’s Instagram feed this year. Agents found novelty grenades, inert mortar rounds and a “burning book” in one flyer’s bags.

“While the safety of a burning book in baggage can surely be questioned, our officers were concerned for other reasons as it resembles an improvised explosive device,” TSA said about the magic-gag burning book.

At the Blue Grass Airport (LEX) in Lexington, Ky., a cannonball landed in a checked bag. What’s the big fuss? Inert or replica items such as cannonballs look very real on X-rays, and TSA officers won’t know if they are explosives until detection professionals and law enforcement inspect said items, which could lead to checkpoint closure and delayed flights.

That includes explosive drilling devices, a scale model of which was found in a checked bag at Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

Batarangs were a popular concealed weapon choice this year nationwide, from Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) to Boise Airport (BOI).

“For those not in the know, a batarang is a bat-shaped throwing weapon used by the Caped Crusader,” TSA said. “While all throwing weapons are prohibited from carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked bags as long as they don’t violate any local laws.”

Finally, drug smuggling continues to inspire novelty, as in this jar of peanut butter containing marijuana.

“As we’ve said before, we’re not looking for illegal narcotics, but we have to report them to law enforcement when discovered,” the agency said.

To see more interesting TSA finds, click here.

[Photo: TSA Instagram]

View Comments (4)

4 Comments

  1. chx1975

    December 26, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    > we have to report them to law enforcement when discovered

    Really? Why “have to”?

  2. Tangible

    December 31, 2015 at 5:13 am

    With the exception of the propane tanks, none of these items represented an actual threat to passengers’ safety. The thing TSA mostly confiscates is our time and our dignity.

    This year I accidentally flew with a Swiss Army “credit card” in my wallet, and TSA took away the one inch blade. On the plane I sat next to a woman using foot-long knitting needles.

    That’s the iconic TSA experience.

  3. jethornton

    December 31, 2015 at 6:49 am

    We are so overdue for a Darwinian event. I don’t know which is worse: The ninnies that think these kinds of things are ok to bring on a plane, or the ninnies in charge of finding prohibited items, aka the TSA.

    Do I feel any safer getting on a plane than I did just post-911? No.

  4. Jasatt

    December 31, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    What I cannot believe is how many people try to carry guns on airlines and then claim “oops I forgot it was in my bag” Sure you did. You were just hoping to get away with it. I think jail time is appropriate for those people for being so stupid.

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