We’ve all had those questionable items we weren’t sure were going to get past airport security.
Whether it’s silly string for a birthday party, an 8oz bottle of your favorite shampoo, or an entire Stryfe costume for Comicon (fully equipped with a razor adorned helmet and thigh guards), TSA agents have surely seen it all.
But this list of luggage items surprised even the most seasoned TSA agents in the field. So take note – these are things NOT to bring on your next travel adventure.
1. A cat
Many frugal tourists find ways to save money when traveling.
Some stay in hostels, which really aren’t as bad as you may think, while others look to haggle every vendor for discounted souvenirs and trinkets.
But one area you should not attempt to save money on is the pet carrier fee!
According to a TSA agent’s Instagram post, a live 6-month-old cat named “Slim” was found in a passenger’s checked luggage.
The small cat was taken away from the unfit owner and turned over to the local humane society.
Now, taking your pet on vacation is more than acceptable for passengers, and at times, even necessary.
But here’s the safest – and proper – way to get your furry friend on board.
2. Samurai swords
Rules and regulations regarding bringing weapons of any kind on an airplane are strict.
So much so that toy replicas and novelty items that resemble weapons are prohibited on most flights!
But in 2019, a passenger attempted to bring not one, not two – but THREE – Samurai swords onto a plane, according to Reader’s Digest.
Assuming you are a ninja in training, you should always ship your blades home through a parcel service or check with your airline on the best way to transport these ancient war pieces.
Yes, that’s right, I said snakes!
A TSA agent once found a 15-inch ring neck snake at Newark Liberty International Airport reports Reader’s Digest.
Although the snake was harmless, it can be frightening to stumble upon one unexpectedly.
You may be surprised to know that it’s often acceptable to have snakes on a plane, but they have to be registered as a pet and in a proper travel carrier.
Check with your airline to find out their specific guidelines for slithering pets.
In 2012, a TSA agent investigated a piece of luggage that had a large liquor bottle in it.
The bottle alone was a red flag, but then the agent found something even more alarming floating inside.
Five dead and endangered seahorses were hoping to be snuck home with a passenger before being confiscated.
As alarming as this is, it’s not the first time mischievous passengers have attempted to sneak sea life high above sea level.
5. Fake IED
If there is one thing all travelers know, it’s that bombs are definitely not allowed on planes – period!
But in a warped sense of security, a training instructor on X-ray detection attempted to bring a fake IED for his class on explosive devices.
The replica looked so realistic, TSA agents were forced to close down six checkpoint lines at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to TSA’s website.
So the next time you decide to bring a fake explosive device on a plane, be prepared for some serious delays.
6. Moose poop
Some things are just meant to be left alone – and fecal matter is one of those things!
The occasional dirty diaper can be expected, but one man in 2019 was found to have an entire bag of odiferous-smelling moose poop in his carry-on reports the New York Post.
When asked what his intentions were with carrying moose poo on board, he replied that he planned on giving it to politicians he was upset with.
Surprisingly, the poop was allowed to remain in his luggage because it didn’t technically break any traveling rules.
I would say the passenger sitting next to him likely felt differently.
7. Freddy Krueger’s hand
The iconic Freddy Krueger hand from the 1984 classic film Nightmare on Elm Street is an atrocious image that’s plagued many a nightmare since its inception.
However, one TSA agent came face-to-face with the horror prop covered in metal and razors at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport when a man “forgot” to take it off before going through security, according to an Instagram post.
Let’s keep the Halloween decorations tucked safely away when traveling, because getting on a plane can be scary enough.
8. Shampoo bottles filled with drugs
It can be frustrating condensing all your favorite beauty products into regulation-size mini bottles.
But when all those shampoo bottles are filled with liquid cocaine, it is impossible to get your beauty routine covered.
At Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, a man from Columbia tried to bring 24 bottles of shampoo filled with liquid cocaine into the United States.
The $400,000 dollars-worth of drugs were confiscated and the man was returned to Columbia for prosecution.
Drug-sniffing dogs were the heroes of this tale, with CBP Port Director Shawn Polley singing their praises in a statement:
“Our officers are the first line of defense at our ports of entry, so they are trained in the various smuggling methods people use to bring illicit goods before they enter our communities,” says Polley according to Travel and Leisure.
Taking a journey to a different part of the world carries its own adventures, so no additional excitement at the airport is necessary.
When packing for your next trip, just stick to the essentials and keep the eccentric items at home.
And if you must transport the odd item or two, contact the airline ahead of time to ensure you don’t set off any red flags with TSA agents.
(h/t Proud American Traveler)