I’m going to go ahead and guess the TSA security check point is not your favorite part of the airport. Mine is the Hudson News, where I pretend I’m deciding which magazine to buy and actually reading the articles I want, without purchasing anything.
But, have your seen TSA’s Instagram account? Well, if you’re not one of the 301,000 followers, please check it out!
They are one of the few arms of the government that does social media right. The account shares photos of confiscated items and their adorable search dogs. If you think it’s going to be a couple of jars of peanut butter and full-size sunscreen, you are mistaken. Even 14 years after 9/11, people are still traveling with shocking weapons, both concealed and poorly packed.
They have perfectly blended dry humor, subtle education, and just enough puppies. Scanning the photos makes you appreciate their hard work and wonder about some of the people who fly. They truly have seen it all.
Today we’ll highlight the top 25 and maybe learn something along the way. Be prepared to be astounded by the creativity, the craft, and the sheer idiocy of some of our fellow travelers. Hopefully you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and pick up a tip or two.
Instead of our usual packing tips and tricks, go ahead and file most of these under do not try this at home
You Can’t Fly That
1. Deodorant Safe?
Using an old deodorant for safekeeping? Awesome. Storing a knife? Less awesome. Turns out those x-ray machines aren’t as gullible as pickpockets.
2. Guns & Ammo
Did you know you can travel with a firearms and/or ammunition? You totally can, but only if you declare it in your checked bag. Here are all the details. Notice those details don’t include wrapping in plastic wrap.
3. Teddy’s Packin’
Let’s assume these stuffed animals weren’t packed by a child.
4. Corkscrew: Yes. Knife: No
You can (and probably should) travel with a corkscrew. Just be sure it doesn’t have a knife on it.
5. Just Say No To Knives. Period.
Boot knives are very cool, but you have to leave them at home or buy them when you get where you’re going. When you travel you could use those pockets for extra bandaids or a maybe a pen?
6. Praise The Lord & Pass The Ammunition
Classic hidden compartment in a Bible! Again, could be a great place for some extra cash, but this will add significant weight to your bag. We recommend getting the Bible app and packing your bullets according to TSA guidelines.
7. That’s a Dynamite Carry On!
Yosemite Sam usually just drives to avoid getting his dynamite confiscated. If you travel with real or fake dynamite of your own, you may want to consider other methods of transportation.
8. Hair Cut?
While this looks like a practical travel tool for a lot of reasons, it’s probably not worth getting arrested. Leave your comb knives at home, people.
9. Puppy Power
We interrupt this list of weapons and did-you-knows with a dog. We are talking about Instagram, after all. There are quite a few dogs on the TSA feed so we can get to know their team.
10. In The Grim Reaper’s Carry On?
I can’t think of the last time my sickle has come in handy, but you know this person is the kind of traveler who packs a lot of extras “just in case.”
11. Klingon Carry On?
While this weapon is a necessity for space travel, it’s way too dangerous for air travel. (If you’ve never seen this before, it’s modeled after a Star Trek weapon.)
12. Head Hunter’s Carry On?
Imagine, you purchase some sweet ceramics on vacation and you’re taking them home to display on your mahogany bookshelves. While in the security line, the officer pulls you aside. You’re expecting a compliment on your decorative jar, instead he tells you there is a HUMAN SKULL inside one of them. Detectives Benson and Stabler have to get involved and your souvenir turns into a whodunnit chase.
13. People: No. Blades. Ever.
If we have learned anything from this Instagram feed, it’s that you can buy a knife that looks like pretty much whatever you want. Also, you cannot fly with any of them.
14. Cell Phone Stun Gun? Who Knew?
As a precaution, they have started stopping everyone with this model cellphone because it’s obviously a concealed weapon and something people would talk or text on in 2015.
15. Leave Your Shoes On, Kids
Besides cute dogs, there are occasionally cute kids featured. This one is to remind you kids don’t have to take off their shoes in line!
16. Pick Up Your Passport
Here’s an image to strike fear into the hearts of world travelers. This is a pile of passports left behind at LAX. Each of those passports represents a full day of hyperventilating, tears, and travel stress. Double check where your passport is at least six times each day.
17. You Can Bring Live Fish
You CAN bring live fish through the TSA and onto a plane. And, you can do it in a container of more than 3.4 oz of water (lucky fish!) but you can’t put them in your checked luggage. And, there are rules. A plastic bag won’t cut it.
18. The TSA Are The Good Guys
You’re running behind at Newark Airport. It’s been a rough morning and you spilled coffee on your Armani travel suit. The leather on your brief case was scuffed as you got into your Lexus on the way to the airport. Somehow you managed to leave behind your Cartier watch. You buy internet on the plane and waste some sky time scrolling through Instagram and see this post. BOOM. Your watch is found! Big sigh of relief. Can we please get a round of champagne for the first class cabin?
19. No Grenades
Turns out you can’t pack any grenades, ever. Even fake ones.
20. In a Ninja’s Carry On?
There are a lot of throwing stars on the TSA Insta feed. This makes me think I may need to get into throwing stars. What am I missing out on?
21. “It’s Oregano Officer… I Swear!”
Let’s get real, if you carry illegal stuff, they will call the police.
22. Just Pack It In Your Checked Bag Already
TSA wants to make this extra clear: you cannot have knives, guns, guns that look like knives or knives that look like guns. All great keepsakes, and all very prohibited.
23. Pack it Properly. Not in Your Carry On
Double check your carry on for ammo. This happens all the time and is extra scary in other countries. Bonus points for this artsy shot.
24. Pie in the Sky
Surprisingly, no knife was hidden in this pecan pie. Just your friendly reminder you can fly with a pie. Big props if you share it with your row mates during your flight.
25. Just Mail It
When I bring back treasures from abroad, I always look for the right mix of chic and dangerous. This Eiffel Tower really fits the bill. Just remember to ship it home next time!
If you travel regularly within the US, security regulations probably come second nature while packing. TSA’s Instagram account proves not everyone is familiar with them. Here are 25 of our favorites.
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