Last weekend my fiancé and I went to the Maine Wildlife Park for the first time. As the entrance line moved slowly forward, I saw a small sign that said, “cash only.” Being the cliché millennial, I, of course, only had a debit card. My heart sank. I thought, this must be how some first time flyers feel when they arrive to the airport with an unknown prohibited item in their carry-on bag. Luckily, my fiancé had cash and first time flyers have this blog!
Use our What Can I Bring? tool to do some quick research on what items you’re allowed to bring and whether you should pack them in your carry-on or checked bag. If you can’t find an answer there just send us a message on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll be happy to help!
You can also learn few lessons from the incidents highlighted below.
Don’t pack your firearm in your carry-on bag. 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. Check out our transporting firearms and ammunition page to learn how to pack it properly.
Between August 5 and 11, TSA screened 17.7 million passengers and found 77 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 77 firearms discovered, 66 were loaded and 28 had a round chambered.
See all firearm discoveries from August 5 to 11 in this chart.
Who would think that placing these items in your bag would be okay?! I’ll just let the TSA know that it isn’t real and everything will be okay! Wrong! If we suspect an item to be a potential explosive threat, we have procedures we must follow to make sure everyone remains safe. We’ll call an explosive specialist to evaluate the item, which takes time and leads to delays and missed flights.
- Two empty and very realistic replicas of 40mm grenades discovered at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on August 9.
- An inert – but very real – Civil War Parrott shell was found at Denver International Airport on August 11.
- An expended diversion grenade was located at Great Falls International Airport on August 11.
A box cutter was discovered in a passenger’s bra after alarming the AIT machine at Nashville International Airport on August 7. Why!? An underwire should be the only metal item in your bra. Attempting to conceal items can lead to bra-blems, including a civil penalty and possibly being arrested.
Sharp objects aren’t allowed in carry-on bags but they can be packed in checked bags. As far as self-defense weapons, they are good in checked bags, but we recommend checking with your airline and the local laws before packing.
- Two throwing stars and brass knuckles discovered at Indianapolis International Airport on August 8.
- A knife shaped like a firearm was discovered at Washington’s Paine Field on August 6. Maybe this passenger was on the fence about bringing a knife to a gun fight.
- A 12-inch meat cleaver was located at University Park Airport on August 10.
Our mission at TSA is to do everything in our power to make sure you get to your destination safely by keeping dangerous items off planes. The most common explanation we hear from travelers for prohibited items 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. 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.