Here we are, only a few days past Memorial Day, and we are off and running with the 2019 summer travel season. If the numbers from last weekend are any indication, it looks like we’re in for one of our busiest summer travel seasons ever. Friday, May 24, set a daily record with nearly 2.8 million passengers going through the security checkpoint. If you’re planning on heading to the airport for an early summer vacation, be sure to give yourself plenty of time. We recommend arriving two hours early for domestic and three hours for international flights.
And if you’re looking to save some money and bring the good times with you on that vacation, you can pack your daiquiri blenders in your checked bags! That’s an unofficial #TSAtraveltip from me to you.
Between May 20 and 26, TSA screened 17 million passengers and found 97 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 97 firearms discovered, 85 were loaded and 45 had a round chambered.
As a reminder, bringing a firearm to the security checkpoint may lead to a civil penalty of up to $13,333 or an arrest. And if you’re a TSA Pre✓® member, you could lose your status. If you must travel with your firearm, check out our transporting firearms and ammunition page to learn how to pack it properly.
When I was in high school, I remember hiding a few of my summer vacation activities from my parents. When they found out, however, I would pay the price. One thing I never did though was wrap up a bunch of box cutters and blades and hide them in the lining of my carry-on bag. If you decide that’s your type of summer fun, you’ll end up paying the price of a civil penalty. Besides, box cutters and razor blades are totally allowed in your checked bags. TSA officers at Nashville International Airport discovered these items on May 22.
Vacationing somewhere where you need to pack explosive equipment? I’d reconsider. Replica or inert explosives are not allowed in carry-on or checked bags, even when they are wrapped in nifty moustache duct tape. Any time our officers discover explosive components they must call a specialist. This takes time and can cause people to miss flights. That’s not gonna make you popular with your fellow passengers.
Pictured above, from the left:
- Two inert projectiles were discovered in a checked bag at San Antonio International Airport on May 24.
- An inert initiator was discovered at El Paso International Airport on May 21.
As the old saying goes, there are thousands of ways to cut a watermelon, but only one way to pack a sharp weapon. In your checked bag! I hope you find this travel tip fruitful and you don’t start your summer vacation off feeling meloncholy.
Pictured above, top row from the left:
- A push dagger was discovered by TSA officers at Bradley International Airport on May 20.
- Four throwing stars were located by officers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on May 21.
- A hatchet and fixed blade knife were found at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on May 24.
Pictured above, bottom row from the left:
- A finger knife was discovered at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport on May 25.
- Three throwing knives were found at Kansas City International Airport on May 21.
- A fixed blade knife was located at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island on May 20.
Our mission at TSA is to ensure you get to your destination safely by keeping dangerous items off planes. The most common explanation we hear from travelers is “I forgot it was in my bag.” Don’t be that person. Save yourself some money and embarrassment and thoroughly check your bags for prohibited items before heading to the airport.
So come prepared! For a list of prohibited items, be sure to use the What Can I Bring? tool. If you have questions about the security process, reach out to AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger. Our AskTSA team will happily answer even the most outlandish travel-related questions.
Want to know how many firearms we found last year? Check out our 2018 blog post.
Also, don’t forget to check out our top 10 most unusual finds video for 2018.