Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Can I Take my Hand Grenade on the Plane?

Just as with my fireworks post, I'm about to state the obvious again. Hand grenades are not allowed on a plane.

Obvious: Grenades (smoke, stun, sting, concussion, percussion, incendiary, etc) are not permitted on planes.

Not So Obvious: Realistic replicas of grenades (belt buckles, lighters, paperweights, inert training grenades, and other gadgets) are not allowed on planes.

On a regular basis, checkpoint lanes and checkpoints are closed because of novelty or inert grenades and grenade shaped items. When checkpoints are closed… Flights are delayed and missed causing the airline and passengers major frustration and a loss of money.

So why is it such a big deal if the grenades are inert or just a novelty item? Well, that’s why passengers usually don’t think twice about bringing these items. They know inert grenades or novelty grenade shaped items can’t cause any harm. However, we don’t know that. All we see on the x-ray is a realistic image of a grenade complete with pin and spoon and we have to go through the motions.

As a TSO back in 2002, I witnessed the checkpoint at Islip MacArthur Airport coming to a screeching halt because the image of a hand grenade popped up on the x-ray screen. It ended up being a metal lighter in the shape of a classic pineapple grenade with the spoon, pin and all. Even though it was a small lighter that would fit in the palm of your hand, it appeared as a larger than life grenade on the screen.

Grenade shaped belt buckles, lighters, paperweights, inert training grenades, and other gadgets can all look like the real deal on the x-ray screen. Please leave them at home or mail them to your destination.

Blogger Bob

TSA Blog Team