Thursday, December 15, 2016

TSA Myth Busters: Did LAX TSA Officers Prevent a Child’s Teddy Bear from Flying?



Did TSA officers at LAX prevent a child from taking his bear on the plane? No. The bear actually belonged to a grown man, and not a child. It turns out it was all a stunt to see if he could get the giant bear on the plane. He’s a popular YouTuber and filmed the whole thing.

Please “bear” with me while I explain how this “grizzly” tale got started.

A picture of the bear and an incident report were sent to me as an idea for an Instagram post. I thought it would be a good opportunity for a travel tips post letting people know that very large items can sometimes pose problems when being carried on the plane.

Even though I didn’t mention a child in the Instagram post, some quickly assumed it was a child’s bear and imagined a heartbroken child having to leave its friend behind for the holidays. This was not the case. It belonged to a grown man.


The problem with the bear is that it was just too big to be screened with checkpoint security technology. Our officers attempted to screen it, but were not confident they could clear the big fella. Not only was the bear enormous, it was heavy and dense making it harder to determine if anything was concealed inside. There have been incidents in the past where people have attempted to conceal prohibited items in stuffed animals. For example, our officers discovered a disassembled gun and ammo concealed inside three stuffed animals at PVD in 2012.

Even though the traveler had purchased a ticket for the bear, the airline determined he was too large to be taken into the cabin of the aircraft and offered to refund the ticket and have the bear checked as luggage (our checked baggage screening technology is capable of screening oversized items). The passenger declined and decided to leave the bear behind.

It came to our attention after posting on Instagram that this was all a stunt masterminded by a popular YouTuber. He wasn’t even certain the bear would make it onto the plane telling his YouTube viewers that he had a 50/50 chance. In one scene, you can watch him have a little trouble stuffing the bear in the back of a minivan. He also confesses in the video of creating a fictional back story for the bear to help him get it on the plane. He said it was gift for his girlfriend.

So… no children were involved in this incident. If you’re traveling with an oversized item, please check with your airline first and be prepared for possibly having to check it once you arrive at the airport. If something can’t be taken into the cabin of the aircraft, travelers are always given the option to check items, mail them to themselves, or take them out their car or a friend or family member who might be waiting. Our officers don’t enjoy having to tell you that something can’t fly.

Bob Burns
TSA Social Media

26 comments:

RB said...

What happened to the 12/14/16 article with July 2013 comments?

Jennifer Miller said...

What will happen to the bear now? Will he go into a TSA Warehouse? I will gladly give him a home in Pasadena if you're looking to relocate him.

Laura Kliegman said...

Love the bear story! What lengths some people will go to, in order to get a u/tube video in circulation...crazy stuff! Mister stuffed bear loving U-tuber must need a real job in Hollywood, perhaps?

Adam Teiichi Yoshida said...

What became of the bear afterwards? Is it available for purchase or can someone donate to have it sent to an appropriate location, such as a Children's hospital? I would be willing to pay to facilitate such a donation.

Wintermute said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Monteros said...

Thanks for clearing this up. People do jump to conclusions and are quick to judge.

TSORon said...

I had a feeling...

Ross Burke said...

Bob,

In English, a person, even if only an imagined child, cannot be an 'it.' The child readers imagined must be a he or a she, a who or a whom, or potentially part of a they or their.

Wintermute said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

Jennifer, if you want to know the whereabouts of the big bear you'll have to look under the tree of a TSA supervisor on Christmas.

Kevin Minnie said...

YouTube is job. I can't believe after over 10 years, people can't not see that. It's just sad.

Karina Asriyan said...

Give Brodie back to Jake Paul!!!!��������

Jane doe said...

Rip Brodie the bear were ever you are lol haha 😂😂 #jakepaulers

Chip and Andy said...

"...The problem with the bear is that it was just too big to be screened with checkpoint security technology. "

Bull.

That bear is about the size of a large child. While it might not have fit into the baggage scanner it should have fit perfectly fine into the Nudie-Scanner.

And I know you still have those hand-held metal detecting wands, and still use them, so why wasn't that an option?

GSOLTSO said...

Chip and Andy sez - "Bull."

The passenger was offered the option to have the item screened in the checked baggage technology (that is specifically designed for larger baggage items), and refused. To quote from above -

"Even though the traveler had purchased a ticket for the bear, the airline determined he was too large to be taken into the cabin of the aircraft and offered to refund the ticket and have the bear checked as luggage (our checked baggage screening technology is capable of screening oversized items). The passenger declined and decided to leave the bear behind."

AIT screening requires the ability to take and hold the scanning position, and the metal detector does not detect other than metal threats - hence the offer to screen with the checked baggage equipment.

Jim sez - "Jennifer, if you want to know the whereabouts of the big bear you'll have to look under the tree of a TSA supervisor on Christmas."

That's not how that works, that's not how that ever works.

What happens to your prohibited items

Karina sez - "Give Brodie back to Jake Paul!!!"

Brodie could have travelled with Jake Paul, but Jake left Brodie behind!

West
TSA Blog Team

Wintermute said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GSOLTSO said...

Wintermute sez - "You failed to address the reason for the "bull" remark"

I did not, the "bull" remark was simply a tack on at the end of his first sentence, which was a quote of the OP. I addressed that the bear was too big to be screened by their existing checkpoint technology. The larger message of the post from TSA, is that the individual was afforded the opportunity to take the bear with them, and chose not to. The airline offered to take it on the bird in checked baggage, TSA offered to screen the bear in checked baggage - the person that brought the bear refused both offers and chose to abandon the bear.

West
TSA Blog Team

Wintermute said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Boldly said...

Chip and Andy said...
"...The problem with the bear is that it was just too big to be screened with checkpoint security technology. "

Bull.

That bear is about the size of a large child. While it might not have fit into the baggage scanner it should have fit perfectly fine into the Nudie-Scanner.

And I know you still have those hand-held metal detecting wands, and still use them, so why wasn't that an option?

are you for real? You cannot really be this...well I guess that would be considered an insult and probably not allowed. Amazing that this was even posted as a real option.

Boldly said...

Wintermute said...
You are not comprehending why "bull" was called, then, because you certainly did not address it, even now. I have difficulty telling if you are being willfully ignorant in these situations, really don't get it, or are trolling us.
perhaps, like most of the intelligent people who post here, he felt "bull" was such an irrelevant if not ridiculous response that it did not dignify a reaction. Just a hunch

Wintermute said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GSOLTSO said...

Wintermute sez - "You failed to address the reason for the "bull" remark."

No, I didn't - I addressed the entire premise in my first response.

~"AIT screening requires the ability to take and hold the scanning position, and the metal detector does not detect other than metal threats - hence the offer to screen with the checked baggage equipment."

As for the size comparison, the notion that this bear is the size of a small child was ridiculous on the face of it based entirely upon looking at the pictures and the other items in the pictures with it. The girth of the bear would not allow it to be passed through the xray machines. I have only seen a handful of people that are large enough that they will not fit into an opening the size of any of our xray machine entries, and this bear would not compress enough to fit in.

**Disclaimer - TSA screening does not xray passengers, their children or their pets. Xray screening is for baggage only.


Wintermute then sez - "You are not comprehending why "bull" was called, then, because you certainly did not address it, even now. I have difficulty telling if you are being willfully ignorant in these situations, really don't get it, or are trolling us."

I am not sure what you are seeing that I missed - the inability to screen in the checkpoint was a real concern, I explained that and even included some basic reasoning with it. I must be missing something else there, would you please explain what you are talking about.

As for trolling, not my bag man, not my bag. Sarcasm, yes, trolling, no.

Wintermute sez - "If that were the case, he shouldn't have replied to the statement. The fact he did proved you wrong."

I merely responded to a comment in the best way I knew how. I truly wish you would clear up what I seem to have missed here.

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

That's not how that works, that's not how that ever works.


West
TSA Blog Team

December 19, 2016 at 12:55 PM

...................

The problem is that things never seem to never work the way they are suppose to at TSA.


Look up the word Dysfunctional in a Funk & Wagnalls and the definition found will be three letters; TSA

Malik Hollins said...

The owner is an actor on Disney Channel.

Melissa said...

His name is Jake Paul he had 2 million YouTube followers and stars on the Disney Channel. Both real jobs.

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "Look up the word Dysfunctional in a Funk & Wagnalls and the definition found will be three letters; TSA"

Actually, Funk and Wagnalls doesn't even recognize dysfunctional as a real word...

http://www.funkandwagnalls.com/?search=dysfunctional

West
TSA Blog Team