Travelers Share The Craziest Things They Accidentally Brought Through Airport Security

Travelers Share The Craziest Things They Accidentally Brought Through Airport Security

It seems like the number of things you aren't allowed to take on airplanes just keeps getting longer. No liquids, no nail clippers, nothing over 5 get the idea. That list doesn't even include the array of stuff they make you do when you actually walk through security. Take your shoes off, x-ray machines, full body scans - it's no wonder it takes so long to go through airport security.

With all the intense precautions airports take, it's amazing the number of things that the authorities have managed to miss. From something as small as seeds to fireworks (can you say bomb?) to a machete (but I'll be sure to ditch those nail clippers), there are plenty of things that just should not have flown (pun intended).


88. Boom Goes The Dynamite

I once took a whole bag of firecrackers through without even thinking. Totally forgot it was off limits. I bought them out of state because you can’t buy them in my state. I don’t usually check my luggage so I brought it in my suitcase as carry on. Only after I was through security did it dawn on me that it was against the rules, but by then was already past the checkpoint.


87. Beware The Little Old Ones

It was pre-9/11, but I took a razor knife/utility knife though security on three different overseas trips before I was stopped with it.

I used my carryon to carry my tools with me for my job and would use it in country as it was easier than carrying all that weight. I tossed a utility knife in there and went through security at least 6 times (probably more than that as I used to go out and have a smoke outside if I had time at layover airports).

I was finally stopped with it by a little old lady who was scanning bags at a small airport in the Midwest.

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86. A Little Corny

Half of the suitcase contained ears of fresh corn and half frozen bratwurst. Family picnic in the south, apparently.

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85. Jeff Knows How To Handle Things Like This

My girlfriend and I were flying back from China to the U.S. When we got back to the states, we were one gate away passing through customs. A Vietnamese lady in front of us put her luggage through the X-ray machine. All I can hear is the security guard go, "Oh my god," and then they opened her luggage and took out a giant fermented fish that smelled disgusting. I took a quick peek at what else was in that luggage. There were some strange looking fruits and noodles. Then another security guard was like, "Someone get Jeff here."



84. Grandma Escobar

Not me, but my grandma. This would've been around 50 years ago; my mom and my grandma were returning from a trip to Peru.

Now, before I tell this story, let me tell you about my grandma. She worked as an English teacher in South America for years, but she's also worked as an interviewer and written books on the life stories of immigrants. She's the kind of person who will spend a taxi ride learning the life story of the driver and then tell it to everyone she knows.

Needless to say, both my mom and my grandma had souvenirs from their time in Peru. My mom is holding her stuffed llama and about to go through security. The security people at the airport look through my grandma's bag and find several bags full of crushed leaves, nearly packed, and ask my grandma what they were. My grandma proceeds to tell them the name of the plant, where it originated from, and what its medicinal value is... For every single bag.

Security doesn't have time for this and waves my grandma through with at least one bag full of coca tea. Then they go over every seam on the llama to make sure it's not being used to smuggle anything.


83. A Very Close Shave With Security

A whole lot of Gillette razors. I needed one and they only sold a 10 pack and I only had carry-on luggage. I thought worst case scenario, I have to throw them away and buy more when I get home. They stopped me in security, opened my bag, looked at them, looked at me, and let me go with my 9 razors.


82. 12 Disciples

I accidentally brought a 12-pack of beer in my carry-on. I forgot I had put those in my bag (about 3 months before I had gone to a house party with these beers in them). When I landed and unpacked, I was like, "Oh crap, nice!"


81. I Ham What I Ham

A ham sandwich. The sniffer dog was going crazy, but he got dragged away because I'm apparently really very not-suspicious looking. Found the sandwich at the hostel. Was a little dry, but still tasty.



80. Planesaw

My parents own a small agriculture business in Peru and travel there multiple times per year carrying different types of equipment in their luggage.

One time they went and my sister went a week after them. My parents wanted her to carry around a chainsaw from Toronto to Peru. Apparently she got through fine in Toronto apart from some weird looks, but once she got to Peru they started interrogating her and wanted her to pay a huge fine to bring the chainsaw through. It was only when she started crying that they felt bad and just let her go.

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79. Master Of Magnetism

This dude once came through with this massively powerful magnet. Like, 500 pounds or something. He had it in the front pocket of his bag. When it went through the scanner (it was checked luggage) it ripped out those roller bar things on the conveyor that sends it through. It was strange. I swear I held it nearly 2 feet from a metal luggage cart and I could feel it wanting to get pulled to it. It was crazy.



78. Beach In A Bag

My child once packed a ziplock full of sand in her suitcase. Turns out on x-ray this looks like a bomb. Also turns out her sand was full of rotten seaweed and tiny little (dead) sea creatures. Opening that bag was like the bog of eternal stench. Three airports we hauled that dumb bag through, and then I made her throw it away.


77. Not Without My Weiner

Bought a wiener dog corkscrew for my fiancé at a gift shop the same day as my flight. Threw it in my backpack and totally forgot to put it in my checked luggage. Noticed security grabbing my bag off the belt, they pulled out the corkscrew and I gasped and said “MY WEINER DOG!!!”

I must have looked genuinely concerned about that corkscrew because two TSA guys decided it didn’t seem like much of a threat and let me keep it. Shoutout to those TSA guys for letting me bring my derpy gift home!


76. Screw It

I've seriously flown with a huge screwdriver in my carryon before, was pretty surprised when I unpacked at home.


75. Always Check Your Bags

Took three different planes to the Yucatan from USA, and on the way back I took two planes. The last security check point before home found nail clippers, lighter, wine opener, and an razor knife. I was in a rush to leave, and grabbed an extra bag I used for school (I took art classed and worked as a bartender at the time). I was terrified they might find a pot or something of that nature since I did not really check.

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74. It's Not Poison

Bottle of water. I took it past the initial one, the second one stopped me. The security guy asked me to drink the water. So I gulped down 2 gulps of water and told him "See, not poison."

5 seconds of awkward silence

He then said, "You can't bring the water in." Only then did I realize my stupid mistake.


73. The Sly Smuggler

This was back in the days when people shot movies using actual film. I would open the tiny metal film cases with a bottle opener, ditch the film then put whatever I wanted inside and seal the bottom back on. The x-rays can't see through the metal, so security just assumes a film can has film in it. I smuggled all kinds of stuff domestically and internationally that way. Then film became more and more rare, and I felt more conspicuous traveling with it. Plus I grew up and realized how much trouble I'd be in if I got caught!



72. Those Were The Days

Pre-9/11, I was actually able to board a plane with a chainsaw. It was still new in the box so there was no mistaking what it actually was. Would have made for a loud and messy hijacking.

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71. How Does This Happen?

My aunt got two machetes through the airport of JFK. She just wrapped it in newspapers and stuck them in the dirty wet clothes bag. Even going through them by hand no one found them.

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70. People Are Weird

There’s a lot of odd stuff found in checked baggage.

Commercial fireworks, the mortars that shoot up in the sky and explode. Cops were involved.

A skinned goat skull packed on top of clothing. It had obviously missed the plane, sat for a day and that was a very bad day.

Poorly sealed jars of rotting blended fish -- must be a delicacy somewhere.

Undeclared firearms are fairly common, they don’t necessarily pose a danger but there’s a right and wrong way to transport them.

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69. Pennies From Heaven

I was traveling with a buddy from Canada, to France. We were big into one card game that required pennies. So my friend, the character that he is, brought a glove full of around 1000 pennies, and without thinking, tossed it in his carry on. Every security stop we went through, he had to dump out his glove of pennies, and then put them all back into the glove. The first security check we went through, him and I were both staring at the screen, wondering what the hell was in his bag. The way it was placed, it looked like an awkward metal dinosaur.

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68. NOT A Bomb

I flew with an antique 12-inch cast-iron skillet with a lid and two antique oil lamps with iron brackets and a mercury glass reflector in my carry-on. They were family heirlooms that I very carefully and skillfully wrapped in my sweaters and a long velvet skirt and lined everything with socks and bras (yes, my packing skills are to be envied).

I had to explain to the TSA that I was not planning to use the skillet as a weapon and that the reflector was not the casing for a bomb while my bras were laying all over the table. Me yelling "be careful with that - it's super fragile!" probably didn't help with my not-a-bomb plea.

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67. A 10-Year-Old's Disneyland Homework Scissors

Once when I was around 10 years old, my family and I were going to Disneyland, so I thought I'd bring my pencil case with me so I could do homework on the plane. Turns out, there were scissors in there, so the guy just took them out and kept them. Granted he didn't take the whole case, but I was 10, with my family, and going to Disneyland. I got new ones when I came back but I still hold a grudge against that one guy.



65. Fire In The Hole

Did you know that there's a sports drink that comes in a bottle that's shaped exactly like an M2 grenade?

I didn't, until I was working an x-ray machine in a military airport and some idiot decided it would be a good idea to put a bottle in his checked bag.

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64. Let It Grow

Seeds (international travel to the US). I had a full bag of seeds from another trip I made a week before and forgot to take it out of my bag. I felt like Bart Simpson when he took a frog to Australia, totally paranoid when I found them!

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63. Hannibal's Backpack

I worked in a baggage room where bags sat idle until they were run to the plane or another transfer point. We typically didn't open bags unless they were leaking, vibrating or void of any information and we needed to reroute them, hoping for some form of ID inside the bag. (It's vital you properly tag your baggage as the airline's tags are only held together by an adhesive strip that will detach should it get drenched, and trust me, they can get drenched.)

Anywho, we had one guy come in from Paris with only a backpack. When it got to our bag room, a large red pool of something was seeping out of the bag. Obviously, our first thought is blood, so we put on some gloves and slowly open it up.

There were cannisters of extract and syrup. Blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and strawberry -- the strawberry had been badly damaged and was now leaking out of the bag and all over everything else. Dude also had a ton of whipped cream. Like, way more than anyone should ever have stuffed in this little backpack. He legit could have gotten these things from anywhere in the US but opted to jam them in a backpack and ship them across the world where one broke and definitely looked like a horror scene. We all knew better, but we were definitely waiting for there to be a head in there...

There's also the time that for whatever reason a 5 gallon bucket of something squishy was left on the ramp. The gate called us to come get it. It was actually bleeding and smelled like BBQ. There was a picture of a pig on the side of the bucket and everything was in Spanish. We got a friend to translate it and I forget what it was for, but the contents were sponge-like and filled with blood. Pretty gross.

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62. Good To Know

I got myself through Charles De Gaulle airport and right up to getting on the plane without a boarding pass. The scary thing is that it was the day after the Paris shootings last November, and security was supposed to be heightened. How I got that far I don't know.


61. Way To Go

A full dissection set, with scalpels and blades and deadly stuff like that. Way to go, Barcelona airport!

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60. That Lotion Might Be Dangerous

They confiscated my lotion, but neglected to detect the dense metal 8-inch self-defense baton I had attached to my key ring.

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59. Party Fowl

It was me. I found a taxidermy chicken on a trip, and had to buy it. Then I had to get her home. Well, she wouldn't fit in my suitcase, so I had to carry her in my arms.

It was a really busy travel day, and that chicken amused EVERYONE. Absolutely every person in line suddenly wasn't grumpy anymore. TSA all laughed, especially when she had to go through the x-ray; passengers who were irritated at lines started smiling.

I loved it.

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58. For The Manchild On The Go

I once was traveling for business and I just brought all my Gameboy/Gameboy Advanced/DS/PSP games. It was like two ziplock gallon bags filled with games and 3 portable systems. I checked my luggage, so the only thing in my carry-on was tons of video games and systems. The TSA officer stopped and looked through it, then brought over some other people to laugh at the guy traveling with nothing but 200 video games.

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57. Cash And Carry-On

In college many years ago I had a part-time job demonstrating a dollar counting machine (they were relatively new then). Once had to fly somewhere to give a demo, and took my duffle bag full of $1 bills. The guy searching that bag called for his boss to come over. The boss was experienced enough to figure out that real drug dealers don’t traffic in low-value currency and he kept me from being arrested.


56. Education Is So Important

Can't wait to find the response from the TSA officer who flagged me, pulled my solid, amethyst sex toy out of my carry-on and asked me what it was. Good times.


55. Good Looking Out

I had a credit-card shaped knife that folded into something wieldable. It was more of a gimmick than anything, but one time I got it through airport security solely because I forgot it was in my wallet. On the other hand, I went for federal jury duty, and apparently the X-ray people there pay far more attention than the TSA. I got some odd looks when they asked me about that.


54. Watch Out For Gardeners

A bag with several boxcutters and penknives that were given away at a gardening trade show I attended. I imagine the fertilizer sample packs were probably a no-no also.


53. Give Me All The Bacon You Have

I once brought bacon back to Canada from Germany. It was the really salty Black Forest stuff that was fine if it wasn't refrigerated. This was around when Mad Cow was all the rage and meat imports were extremely regulated.

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52. It Went Swimmingly

I had a whole dead carp in my backpack. I was visiting my grandparents in the Czech Republic right before returning to spend Christmas with my parents in France. Carp is our traditional Christmas dinner in the Czech Republic, but it's pretty hard to get in France, since French people don't eat them. So I figured that, hey, I might as well buy one and take it with me. The lady who checked my bag was not impressed, but she let me go through with my carp. I guess there's no rules against taking an entire fish with you on a plane.


51. Inside Out

I worked TSA. It's funny how things look when we x-ray them. One that stood out to me was a hooka pipe. It looked like an octopus. Then some lady put her dog through the machine and I swear it looked like a turkey.

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50. Was This Your Card?

A live spider. The passenger didn't know it was in there. It wasn't large, but when he opened his bag, it crawled out and I screamed.

Human ashes.

Homemade sex toys. (The woman gave me her business card.)

A live cat.

Antlers with rotting flesh still on them.

My favourite was a magician's bag. We were alerted because there may be explosives. He kept pulling bits out of pockets and showing me pieces of his act.

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49. Heads Up

I worked at an airport as a line tech. A former baggage screener (pre-TSA) told me of the time he open a bag and found a human skull. The passenger was an MD and had all the appropriate paperwork to transport the skull, but it was still surreal.

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48. Forget The Knife, Get The Sunscreen

I was flying from Guatemala to Texas and then again to Philadelphia. I was working on a construction project so I was using a knife and usually had it on me. Going through security in Guatemala they stopped my bag and I thought "oh no, my knife must be in my bag!" They then proceed to pull out my can of spray sunscreen and throw it in the trash. Once I was on the plane I reached into my bag to pull out a game boy and cut myself on all 3 of the extra razor blades in my bag. And the knife was in there too.

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47. That's Some Magic Trick

A baby bunny. I used to fly home every couple of weekends in the early 90's when I was in university. I figured they never patted me down so just put it in my inside coat pocket. I almost got busted in security when they asked me to take off my jacket after I walked though the metal detector. My coat moved a bit on the table but they never noticed. Once on the plane, I got busted by a stewardess when I brought the bunny out for a bit. She asked if she could pet it. Flying was a lot more fun back then.


46. He Had A Bag Over It

2 knives and a fake samurai sword sticking out of my bag. This was pre 9/11. To be fair, I had a plastic bag over the handle of the sword.


45. Poor Sushi

I smuggled my goldfish in a plastic baggy full of water through, tucked into my sports bra. I made it through fine. I was young and stupid, and poor Sushi died after that whole ordeal anyway.

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44. A Snake In A Bottle (Which Was Later Sent Politely Returned)

I had a bottled snake confiscated from me when I was arriving in New Zealand from Vietnam. I understood completely and didn't argue with them as it only cost me about $4. The biggest surprise was receiving it in the mail 2 weeks later with a letter justifying it by saying the snake wasn't endangered.


43. A Pair Of Smuggled Zoo-bound Baby Crocodiles

There was this woman who was going through security when a guard noticed she looked sort of "lumpy." Security protocol dictated she had to search the woman in case the lumps were weapons.

The security person took off the woman's shirt and found two baby living crocodiles strapped to the woman's chest. She had been planning to smuggle them to another country and sell them to a zoo.


42. A Gas-filled Chainsaw (That Made It Through Security)

Once when I was doing random searches at the international gate at San Francisco Airport I found a chainsaw. Yep, someone managed to get their chainsaw past the x-ray and almost onto the plane. He was pretty surprised when I told him he couldn't take it on the plane. It was full of gas too, so I couldn't even do a gate check of his bag. This was shortly after 9/11, I don't think they do the random gate searches anymore.

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41. Uhm, Gross

I started at Edinburgh Airport about a month ago. Within the first week, we had to confiscate an entire dead pig from someone's hand luggage. They didn't speak English, so we weren't able to find out why they had it, but that's the weirdest thing my manager had seen in the 20 years he's been there.

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40. A Prank Gone Horribly Wrong

When I was young, I put a toy cap gun in my sister's carry on bag. About 20 dudes with guns and stuff showed up and our bags were all checked and we were searched. My dad denied having a gun in the bag until I fessed up. The look my father gave me when I told them would make even the toughest of men cry. They gave us a warning and told us if we wanted my gun back we would have to send for it.


39. A Set Of "Dangerous" Juggling Clubs

When my brother and I were 12 we were flying to Minnesota to see our cousins. We both juggle so we brought our juggling clubs and they were confiscated because the could be used as a weapon. So the took both of us to a back security room and asked us a bunch of questions asking us if we knew how dangerous the clubs were.

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38. A Spectrum Of Wild Weapons (And A Bag Of Puke)

I confiscated ninja throwing stars and a samurai sword from a guy who swore he was a licensed ninja. He even procured a certificate of his ninja achievements. I jokingly told the guy if he was a ninja he was doing a bad job at sneaking these items through security. My supervisors were not happy with me.

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37. Let's Cut To The Cheese

I went to Hawaii with my family and for some reason, my mom wanted to bring a block of cheese home with her. Because there are no weight or volume limits for cheese in carry on, she brought it in her purse.

While we were going through security, the TSA agent pulled her aside and said that there was something that "resembled a block of an explosive chemical" in her carry on and that additional agents were on their way to inspect it. Long story short, it was the cheese. They let her keep it after thoroughly examining her bag for about half an hour.


36. A Massive Half-Size Machete Souvenir

When my parents were visiting me in Uganda, my dad accidentally brought a half-size machete through the security check. He had bought it before they went to the airport as a souvenir for my uncle. They found it in his carry on. They asked him what he was doing with it. When he told them, they put it back in the carry-on and said make sure you check it when you get to Brussels. Have a good flight!


35. A Keyboard-Laced Trombone Case

I have a really weird (or just stupid depending on who you asked) sense of humor. Long story short: I glued a computer keyboard onto my trombone case. I just glued a qwerty on my case. A harmless conversation starter, if you will. I'd had it for a couple months when I decide to go visit family. I'll bring my trombone! Great idea! But when I get to security... Here's how it all went down

I start seeing TSA and I slowly realize why this is bad. The keyboard is to my leg as I hold it so no one can really see it. I manage to get to the X-ray without a problem and its looking good. It's on the belt. Fits through the hole and I'm hoping the X-ray lady sees that the keyboard serves no function and there are no weapon wires running through my case. Fingers crossed. But when she looks at me and uses her radio I know what she saw. I forgot about the mechanical lyre. The 3 or 4 bottles of slide oil and cream. And the 3 feet of metal coiled cleaning wire. So this thing looks like weapon central.

That's when a TSA miraculously appeared. Like they only pulled him out for special occasions because he wasn't anywhere in the terminal when I got there. And I can see why. This gentleman is 6'6 and probably 230lb of mostly muscle. He grabs me and brings me into that "additional screening" room. (I feel like this is a good time to mention I'm a nerdy overweight 16-year-old band geek). So he starts interviewing me which is basically just going back and forth between "why do you have that?" "I don't know" "Is it yours?" "Yeah but I just thought it'd be funny" "Why do you have that?" All the while I'm watching TSA agents tear apart my case and what looks like messing up my trombone, but they literally can't get past the keyboard. They took everything out of the case so all that's left is a keyboard and black cloth and they just kept swiping it with that bomb detection cloth. For like 5 minutes I watched a TSA lady with the most concentrated face and two pairs of gloves wipe every nook and cranny on my case.

Needless to say, I'm absolutely freaking out and that's when the big dude leaves and an old gray haired guy comes in and explains that I'm not going to be able to take my "object." And I'm lucky he's going to let me fly at all.

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34. To The Moon

Not me, but a friend once brought rocket fuel through TSA. We were traveling for a model rocket competition. Somehow, a rocket motor got into her pocket on launch day and she forgot about it. She wore the same pants for the flight home, and I guess she didn't notice she still had the motor in her pocket.


33. Got The Pen Though

A box cutter and an Exacto knife. The kicker is I was stopped at security because I had a fountain pen.


32. An Overwhelming Stockpile Of Box-Cutter Blades

In 2009, I flew out of one airport in Texas to go to New York for a weekend and only had a backpack (with a lot of pockets) since I don't check bags, so everything goes through the x-ray machine. No problems getting to New York. Upon my return trip, out of LaGuardia, I get pulled aside by two TSA agents about 3 seconds after my bag has been in the x-ray machine. At the time, I was working a job in maintenance and hadn't considered that I failed to check all of the pockets of my backpack (which I also used for work) before packing my stuff. Which led to the TSA agents asking why I had a box of approximately 100 box-cutter blade replacements and various screwdrivers in my bag.

I was immediately sweating bullets, thinking I was about to get thrown in jail, but then remembered that I had my work ID in my wallet which stated my position. I apologized profusely and explained that I really, truly had forgotten and that they could do whatever they needed with them, I could just replace them for my job. Both agents were actually pretty understanding, took the stuff to properly destroy it, made me do the extra pat-down, and only delayed me about 10 minutes from time to entering the machine. I still felt like I had been put on some list, but it wasn't until I landed in Texas later that I realized, TSA AGENTS ON MY FLIGHT OUT OF TEXAS MISSED THEM ENTIRELY!


31. A Violent Deflation Of A Little Kid's Basketball

Once when I was traveling out of Thailand, the boarding desk had told my family to deflate our basketball because it might burst due to high pressure. We stated we would gladly deflate the ball but we couldn't without tools. The man promptly grabbed the ball out of my hands and I started crying. (I was 7 at the time) He walked to the side, grabbed a pair of scissors from the desk and stabbed my basketball multiple times.


30. A Side-Splitting Maple-Syrup Smuggler

We found a Japanese guy with a bottle of pure maple syrup taped to his inner thigh in my airport. Apparently, it's hard to get in Japan and he knew it was over the size limit to carry on a flight.


29. A Hilariously Vulgar BB Pistol

One time when my brothers and I were young we went to Lebanon with my dad. While we were in the airport for the return flight my brother forgot to mention that he bought a very real looking BB weapon that has unclothed girls drawn all over it. Anyways, while they were x-raying our bags the security officer opened my brother's bag and took out the weapon and looked at us and said what is this.

I will never forget the look on my dad's face, he just looked at us and said I'll meet you inside the plane and walked away. We spent 10 minutes trying to convince them to let us have it back but it didn't work and we didn't want to be late for the flight. My little brother was very sad that day.


28. That Might Work

Full stainless steel water bottle. Kept taking an empty one through till I decided to try not emptying it. No issues on the last handful of flights. Might try filling it with whiskey next time. So I guess not really accidental.


27. Don't See The Forest For The Trees

6-inch survival knife in my backpack. I forgot to take it out from my last trip. They found my nail clippers and toothpaste but not this dangerous knife!


26. Just Keep Quiet

Not so much an accident, but when I was younger (7-8) me and my brother were flying to visit my grandparents. We both had one of those bubble blowers that look kinda like lightsabers (brand new). His was taken away, but mine wasn't. I didn't say anything until were on the plane.


25. Gotta Watch Those Lego Swords

Got through with a pair of handcuffs that I found at a yard sale, but I got a weird look from TSA. My nephew's foam sword from Legoland was apparently too big a threat to let on the plane, though.

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24. Just Make Your Own

I brought 16 oz of chimichurri from Argentina to the US. Technically it's a liquid. Worst part of it is the chimi was awful, so not even worth it.

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23. Hidden In Plain Sight

An Exacto pen/blade. I kept it in a pen case with all my other writing/drawing stuff. Didn't realize it until I was looking for a pen and saw it in there.


22. He's Just Testing You

I always take a small pair of spring-loaded, rubber-gripped needle nose pliers on every plane trip in my carry on. 4.5 inches long. 1-inch jaw length. Easy to grip. Would make a great weapon. At least 40 times now - before and after 9/11. Only been questioned once - on a flight out of Germany back to the states. They measured the jaws and gave it back to me.

I don't expect to ever use it as a weapon. I mostly take it along just to see if they'll notice - while they take nail clippers from old ladies.


21. A Pack Of Banana-Driven Drug Dogs

When my family and I went to Florida some police dogs were barking like heck at my dad and he was immediately taken into a room very quickly. Turns out dogs are good at sniffing out bananas as well as illegal substances.


20. Drink That Bottle Before You Get To Security!

I worked at Dulles airport for about two years. One time, some people had problems getting the wine they had bought through. They were like "we bought it here," but the TSA was like "nope" and were going to confiscate it. So they drank a whole box of wine (like 12 bottles) and boarded the plane.

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19. A Salty Standoff Over A Nail File

I take 100+ flights a year for business and have carried the same basic content in my same toiletry bag for 8+ years of doing this. I never had an issue -- until the time flying back from Cancun to Atlanta, the Mexican version of the TSA confiscated my tiny fingernail clippers. The reason (she says) is the one-inch file attached "could be a weapon." Tired and frustrated, I raised my voice to argue a little bit, and I am immediately ringed by three armed guards -- one even pointing his weapon at me! I somehow managed to get up the gall to bend the file back and forth a few times until it snapped off, handed it to her, and put the rest of the clippers back into my bag, smiling. I still carry around that file-less clipper.


18. Confiscated Salt But Ignored Illegal Firecrackers

I was flying back to the United States from Italy, and I had a jar of this really delicious salt and herb mix in the outer pocket of my backpack that was confiscated. I was upset because I was really looking forward to using that salt, but I guess airport staff can't be too careful, right?

Anyway, after we landed in San Francisco, I reached into my jacket pocket and found the half dozen firecrackers I had left in there a few nights earlier.


17. Stowaways

I found two small dogs.

I was waiting in the line at security behind a lady with two bags. She puts both bags down on the conveyor belt and opens one up to grab something. One of the dogs decided this was its cue to make itself known and popped its head out the bag. The security line was halted and she was asked to open the bags revealing not just the first dog but another one. I really have no idea what was going through her head.

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16. Watch Those Spicy Liquids

I managed to bring a canister of pepper spray onto several different airplanes in the same carry-on bag for two different trips. I didn't realize I had it until a few weeks after my latest adventure.

pepper-spray-that-takes-a-picture-and-alerts-the-police-8005-1527794169391.jpgOddity Mall

15. Those Are Expensive Eggs

This wasn't at an airport, but the border. My mom brought two 12-packs of Kinder Eggs from Mexico for my nephew. She didn't know they were illegal and it wasn't until later that I found out we could have been fined about $2,000 per egg. She hasn't brought back any since.


14. Getting Hammered

Not an airport, but a cruise line. There were 4 of us going on a cruise and we spent extra time beforehand preparing legit looking soda bottles that were strongly spiked. We were so worried about the "sod" passing through the bag check that my friend somehow completely forgot about the massive hammer he had in his bag. They never found the hammer. I'm still not sure that x-ray machine was legit because there is no reason for a person on a cruise ship to have a massive hammer.


13. A Massive Oversight

A large amount of fireworks. We were traveling to Ireland. We had already been through customs in Colorado, connected in DC, went through security in London and then were waiting in the lounge to get on our plane to Ireland. My brother looks in his backpack for a snack, and then turns ghost white and looks at me. He calls me over, and shows me his backpack. He has probably 3 pounds of high-end fireworks-- not sparklers, but stuff that goes boom. We got through two security checkpoints with about 3 pounds of black powder. They did catch my drink in my backpack though, so we were safe.

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12. Dorm Room In A Bag

When I worked at a small regional airport, Southwest Airlines was running a promotion -- $39.00 from Baltimore to Washington.

Anyway, I got called over for a suspicious bag. I still remember it: red and black check plaid with leather corners -- old school luggage. It had no ID tag, so we decided to open it to see if anything in it could be used to get an ID. Well, I put on some latex gloves and proceeded to open the bag. About 6 cockroaches ran out. Two of them went up my arm.

As I continued to open the bag, I discovered a small electric hot plate, a beat up sauce pot, and like two pounds of used coffee grounds sprinkled over everything. Plus about 50 more cockroaches. Real Hobo starter kit. Pretty odd stuff.

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11. A Bit Kinky

An entire suitcase full of rope, whips and bondage equipment. Like no questions asked.

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10. The Prince Albert

A TSA agent tried to confiscate a man's gentials right in front of me. He swore there was a "small metal object" in his pants.

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9. Thanks For Your Service, But I Have To Take This

I had a rifle magazine full of 5.56 rounds confiscated once. I'm in the military and was processing a bunch of tired squaddies, so I forgot about it.

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8. Watch That Protractor

I accidentally brought a 6-inch buck knife in my carry-on. Bag was x-rayed, then randomly selected for a manual search. I realized it was there when I pulled out my crossword book mid-flight. This was in 2011. Great job, Air Canada! They did confiscate my protractor set, because apparently the pointy end on the compass could be a dangerous weapon.


7. Pacific-bound Deceased Grandparents

When my grandparents died, they wanted to be cremated and then have their ashes scattered into the Pacific Ocean near where they had a house. But we lived in New York. So my mom wrapped them both up, in really cheap plastic cremation urns, and put them in her carry on.

The airport scanned them, took us both aside into a separate room, swiped the boxes for explosives, and tried to take them. My mom had none of that, and after yelling "you cant confiscate my parents!" we got to keep them and continue on our flight.


6. A Few Knifes

February 2002, Boston Logan flight to the Caribbean: 3 box cutters in my backpack & 2 in my coat pockets (what? I worked in a grocery store). On the way back, I packed 4 of them in my checked luggage and left on sacrificial box cutter in the same place in my backpack, but I made it home with all 5.

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5. Only A Bit Of Illegal Substances

A guy I met when traveling told me on his last trip he forgot he had a few grams of hash in his backpack. He traveled for a few months in Asia without realizing and managed to get past a lot of airport security.

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4. Ready For Action

Fullbore rifle ammunition. In jacket pocket. Went thru xray too. Auckland, NZ, post 9/11

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3. My Other Girlfriend

Flying out from spending time with my girlfriend in another state. I'm anxious and especially nervous while going through security, topped with being sad that I won't be seeing my girlfriend for another long period of time, I'm feeling a little weepy.

My bag rolls through the scanner and I see the woman's face get all concerned and she calls over another agent to look at the screen. I'm thinking like, "Oh good, what now?"

She asks me, "Do you have a milkshake mixer in your luggage?"

I'm just taking it all in for a minute before it dawns on me. I have no idea what a milkshake mixer looks like, but I know I don't have one. My Hitachi magic wand is in there.

At this point, I'm feeling overwhelmed by everything and now I'm pretty embarrassed and there's more attention on me than I care for.

So, I promptly burst into tears, sobbing, "It's a personal product!"

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2. A Weapon-Covered Belt Buckle

Jamaican security confiscated my belt buckle because it had two weapons molded on to it. "No weapons, models, or replicas allowed." Sorry that my belt buckle could have been used to scare or kill someone.


1. Expired

My passport was expired, I didn't notice and neither did he!

nicole-harrington-62045-unsplash-1-300x174.jpgPhoto by Nicole Harrington on Unsplash