Friday, July 27, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Cornucopia of Grenades

Cornucopia of Grenades – Please, please, please, leave your grenades at home. Like milk and cola, grenades and airports do not mix, yet some still keep mixing them together. Please leave them at home or ship them via your preferred shipper. A grenade belt buckle was found at Northwest Florida (ECP). A novelty grenade designed to be screwed onto a gearshift was discovered at Des Moines (DSM). And two inert grenades were discovered in Orange County (SNA), and another at Denver (DEN) and yet another at Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Read here and here on why inert items cause problems at checkpoints.

Pot in peanut butter and a belt knife.
Items in the Strangest Places – It’s one thing to forget you had a prohibited item in your bag, but when you intentionally try to sneak it past us, you could wind up being cited or even arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where passengers tried to sneak items past our Officers.
  • A pocketknife was found concealed in the side lining of the carry-on bag at San Juan (SJU).
  • A 3-inch knife was found concealed in the belt buckle of a passenger at Houston Hobby (HOU).
  • Yet again, a passenger tried to conceal marijuana in a jar of peanut butter. Marijuana stuffed in a jar of peanut butter looks odd on the monitor. We’re not looking for marijuana, but we have to report it when we come across it. This time it was at Seattle (SEA).
  • Multiple razor blades were detected concealed in the shoes and wallet of a passenger at Burbank (BUR).
  • A 6” knife concealed in a metal tube was discovered in Guam (GUM).
Water filtration system.
Certain Water Filtration Systems Look Like Pipe Bombs – I’ve read about this 3 or 4 times now where a water filtration system looks like a pipe bomb on the X-ray monitor and the checkpoints/terminals have to be evacuated while the bomb experts do their thing. So… if you have a water filtration system that is similar to this one, you might want to consider shipping it or coordinating with TSA or your airline prior to travel. This time it was discovered in checked bags at Phoenix (PHX).

Stun Gun
Stun Guns –9 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation at: Tallahassee (TLH), Atlanta (ATL), Raleigh-Durham (RDU), Lubbock (LBB), Knoxville (TYS), Washington Dulles (IAD), 2 at San Diego (SAN), and New York LaGuardia (LGA).

People Say the Darndest Things – Here is an example of what not to say at the airport. Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience lots of other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:
  • A passenger approached an Officer at Los Angeles (LAX) and asked: “Would you help me get a bomb on a plane?”
  • A passenger at New Orleans (MSY) told another passenger: “I have explosives in my bag.”
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also found firearm components, realistic replica firearms, stun guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and a lot of sharp pointy things.

Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
32 Guns Discovered at TSA Checkpoints Last Week

Firearms - Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.

You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

TSA Pre✓™ Hits 2 Million Mark

TSAprecheck Logo
As of today, TSA has screened more than 2 million travelers through the TSA Pre✓™ prescreening initiative! Interested? Go here to read all about it!

Long story short, it's an initiative that allows passengers to expedite their screening experience if they opt in. How do you opt in to TSA Pre✓™? Funny you should ask. Just go here

Here are some other TSA Pre✓™ posts that might interest you:
Bob Burns

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.