Air travel can be exciting and stressful, but one thing that remains consistent is the strict security measures to ensure all passengers’ safety. While most travelers understand the need for these measures, a few always push the boundaries by attempting to bring some truly bizarre items onto planes. From live animals to peculiar souvenirs, here are some of the weirdest things travelers have tried to bring on planes.
While it’s not unusual for passengers to bring along their furry companions, some travelers have taken things to the extreme. In 2018, a passenger at Miami International Airport was caught trying to smuggle a live snake inside a hard drive. The passenger claimed it was a “spiritual” item, but security swiftly confiscated it. This isn’t an isolated incident, as people have been caught with birds, turtles, and even tarantulas tucked away in their luggage.
For some, it’s not just about bringing live animals on board; it’s also about transporting the dearly departed. TSA agents have encountered numerous travelers attempting to bring deceased pets and even larger animals like goats and deer on planes. In one instance, a passenger tried to carry a dead shark in their carry-on bag. While this may be an unusual way to remember a cherished pet, it’s not recommended.
One of the strangest items ever found in carry-on luggage is human ashes. Travelers have been caught trying to bring the ashes of their loved ones on board, often without proper documentation or inappropriately labeled containers. Airlines have policies for transporting cremated remains, but passengers must follow the guidelines and seek approval beforehand.
When travelers visit exotic destinations, they often want to bring back a piece of the culture. However, some have taken this to a whole new level by attempting to bring unusual souvenirs on board. TSA agents have seen everything from jars of pickled snakes to shrunken heads. These bizarre items often lead to awkward conversations and confiscations at airport security checkpoints.
While bringing snacks on a plane is common, some travelers try to transport the most unusual food items imaginable. A passenger was once caught at Los Angeles International Airport trying to smuggle 450 live leeches in her carry-on bag. She claimed they were for medical purposes, but the TSA had concerns about the potential biohazard. In another instance, a traveler attempted to bring a cooked pig’s head into the United States. Customs officials had to intervene to ensure it met import regulations.
Weapons in Unconventional Forms
Airports have strict rules about carrying weapons on planes, but some travelers attempt to get around these regulations by disguising weapons as harmless objects. For instance, a passenger in Australia tried to board a plane with a knife hidden inside a peanut butter sandwich. Another passenger in the United States attempted to bring a collapsible baton disguised as a pool cue. Fortunately, vigilant security personnel spotted these concealed weapons before they could pose a threat.
Insects and Reptiles
In an attempt to bypass regulations or simply out of ignorance, some travelers have been caught smuggling insects and reptiles on planes. This not only poses a risk to the safety of other passengers but also to the animals themselves. From scorpions to iguanas, these creatures have no place in the confined space of an aircraft. Authorities take such incidents seriously and impose strict penalties on those responsible.