Tips + Trends

Weird Things People Bring to Airports that Cause Long Security Lines

A passenger tried to board an airplane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport with a camouflaged double-bladed knife shaped like a Batarang Batman would strap to his utility belt. Another was traveling with a prop of a dead body from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

Transportation Security Administration staff at airports have been surprised at just what passengers think is air-worthy–so much so that they’ve been keeping tabs and sharing them online through an Instagram feed and blog.

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Recent Instagram posts from the TSA have included the “Massacre” prop, the Batarang–actually multiple Batarangs–as well as an armory of handguns, knives, throwing stars and a hacksaw or two.

In between photos of some cute bomb sniffing dogs, the TSA has been patting itself on the back with each discovery of a dangerous weapon. There’s even a hashtag: #TSAGoodCatch.

But the TSA says there’s another, more important reason why’s posting the items.

“Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds,” it says. “Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $11,000.”

With each post, it also provides a friendly reminder to what’s permisable inside your carry on.

“While firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags, you can pack them in your checked baggage, as long as you meet the packing guidelines,” it says, providing a link to: bit.ly/travelingwithfirearms.

Batman fans try to travel with a surprising number of Batarangs. (Photo: TSA)
Batman fans try to travel with a surprising number of Batarangs. (Photo: TSA)
You can't travel with a stun gun, even if it's bejeweled. (Photo: TSA)
You can’t travel with a stun gun, even if it’s bejeweled. (Photo: TSA)
A passenger traveled with a prop of a dead body from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" at Chicago's O'Hare. (Photo: TSA)
A passenger traveled with a prop of a dead body from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” at Chicago’s O’Hare. (Photo: TSA)

As for knives, they “are always prohibited in carry-on bags no matter the size. Concealed knives can lead to fines and arrest.”

And don’t even think about carrying a bejeweled lipstick stun gun. Yes, that was an item confiscated by the TSA in Atlanta.

“All stun guns are prohibited from being packed in carry-on bags or carried on your person,” notes the TSA.

The “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” prop was just fine, however.

According to the TSA, “he was screened and sent on his jolly way.”

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