TSA Releases List Of 10 Most Unusual Confiscated Items For 2021

Get ready to wonder “What were they thinking?”

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently released its list of the most unusual items confiscated at airport security checkpoints in 2021. As you would expect, the list details some puzzling choices made by people entering U.S. airports.

“It’s here! TSA’s Top 10 Catches of 2021!” the TSA explains in a video with some levity.

Here are the TSA’s Top 10 Catches of 2021. It’s up to you to decide which item is the most unusual.

  1. Chainsaw (New Orleans International Airport) 
  2. A wine holder shaped like a gun (Sacramento International Airport)
  3. Fireworks (Syracuse Hancock International)
  4. Machete (Reagan Washington National)
  5. Bear spray (Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport)
  6. A meat cleaver (Harrisburg International Airport)
  7. Gun belt buckle (Honolulu International Airport)
  8. “Meth-burrito” (Hobby International Airport in Texas)
  9. Antique pistol (Newark International Airport)
  10. Bullets in deodorant (Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey)

A “Meth-Burrito”?

Okay, let’s get to what we consider the most unusual item confiscated by the TSA last year: That so-called “meth-burrito.”

During a routine X-ray screening of carry-on luggage on Friday, April 2, at the William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas, a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) saw what appeared to be an unidentified lump inside a traveler’s breakfast burrito. The traveler said it was just a burrito, but the officer asked the traveler to unwrap the burrito for further visual inspection, the TSA explains.

Another officer then assisted with the inspection. Once the burrito was unwrapped, officers noticed a suspicious lump inside the burrito, so they decided to send the burrito through the X-ray scan again.

“Following the second scan, the TSOs were able to see on the X-ray screen what appeared to be black tape and dark wrapping around a large organic mass,” the TSA explains. “Because they suspected there was an illegal substance concealed in the food, they notified the Houston Police Department (HPD), which responded to the security checkpoint. HPD then determined that the lump was crystal meth.”

Confiscated Firearms

While it isn’t unusual, the presence of firearms continues to be a growing problem for the TSA. Indeed, 5,674 guns were confiscated at U.S. airports in 2021, the agency told CBS News. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, 85 percent of those firearms were loaded with ammunition.

It should be pointed out that the number of confiscated firearms was at an all-time high last year.

“The number of firearms that our TSA officers are stopping at airport checkpoints is alarming,” David Pekoske, TSA administrator, said in a statement. “Firearms, particularly loaded firearms, introduce an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no place in the passenger cabin of an airplane, and represent a very costly mistake for the passengers who attempt to board a flight with them.”

It should be noted that if you are a firearm owner, firearms can be transported by airlines — following strict guidelines.

First, unloaded firearms must be packed in a locked hard-sided container that is traveling as a checked bag. The locked case must completely secure the firearm and it must not be able to be opened easily.

Passengers must also declare the firearm and any ammunition to the airline when they are checking the locked container at the ticket counter.

All of the details about properly traveling with a firearm and ammunition can be found on the TSA’s website.

Know Before You Go

If you don’t want to end up on the TSA’s list of unusual items that were confiscated in 2022, be sure to leave all weapons, drugs, and fireworks at home. 

Then, before your next flight, be sure to read all of the TSA’s rules about what can, and cannot, be carried on airplanes. You can find that list here.

You can learn more about the TSA confiscating firearms here:

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Adam Pascal on TSA PreCheck, his crossword app, and ancient megalithic cultures

While most theater fans know the Tony Award-nominated actor and singer Adam Pascal from his Broadway roles including Roger Davis in the original 1996 cast of “Rent,” Radames in “Aida,” and the emcee in the 1998 revival of “Cabaret,” he is currently delighting audiences in the national tour of “Pretty Woman: The Musical.” The show will be at the Boston Opera House Jan. 18-30.

Pascal, 51, plays Edward Lewis, the role made famous by Richard Gere in the hit film from 1990. In a phone call from Philadelphia, where the show was being performed before heading to Boston, Pascal — who also played the male lead in “Pretty Woman: The Musical” on Broadway for a short time — said that he and costar Olivia Valli, granddaughter of singer Frankie Valli, bring something “unique” to the characters played in the movie by Gere and Julia Roberts.

“I’m biased, but I think that Olivia and I have really found something that’s fun and interesting and different with these two characters that people haven’t seen before,” he said, adding that the show’s creators “have definitely turned up the female empowerment concept of the story.” He also called the musical score, written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, “amazing.”

The Bronx native, who was raised on Long Island in Syosset, N.Y., said audiences’ reactions to the show have been “great — better than great” and said he is looking forward to bringing the show to Boston. The father of two sons — Lennon, 20, and Monty, 17 — said he has an affinity for Cape Cod, since he spent many summers with his family in Wellfleet over the past 20-plus years. We caught up with Pascal, who lived in Los Angeles for many years but said that his home right now is “on the road,” to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? Japan. I have felt a deep connection with the country, the culture, and the people from the moment I got there. I’ve been multiple times, but my first time there was in 2009 when I was on the “Rent” international tour that I did with Anthony Rapp, one of the other original costars of the original company. We were there for a month and I just completely fell in love with it. Every time I’ve gone since then, I have gotten this deeper connection with the country, which is strange being a Jewish kid from the Bronx.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing? My favorite thing is the opportunity to explore eating options while traveling. I don’t have one thing I stick to.

Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? Peru and Bolivia. I am very interested in ancient megalithic cultures and those countries have some of the best ruins on the planet.

One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? My crossword app.

Aisle or window? Aisle. I pee every 20 minutes.

Favorite childhood travel memory? Driving from Long Island to Orlando and Miami. We lived in Syosset and the four of us (including his mom and older sister) would pile into my stepfather’s big giant Cadillac. We’d spend five days at Disney World, then five days in Miami at this hotel called The Newport, which isn’t there anymore. I have such wonderful memories of those trips.

Guilty pleasure when traveling? When I’m traveling and I’m out here on the road, I’m doing it because I like it, so the whole thing is kind of like a guilty pleasure, you know? You get to live alone and sort of get taken care of. It’s like being a big baby.

Best travel tip? Get TSA PreCheck. It’s all about convenience. I spend so much time in airports and the toughest, most annoying part of going through an airport is the TSA screening, so to get the pre-check is such a simple process and for me, it has taken so much stress off of flying. Flying and travel is so stressful to begin with — to me, it is the most stressful part — and now, with TSA PreCheck, it’s pretty much eliminated.


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No, unloaded guns and bullets are not allowed as plane carry-ons, TSA says

SAN ANTONIO – The Transportation Security Administration has a travel no-no for passengers: don’t try to bring your gun, gun parts, or bullets as a carry-on.

TSA Southwest tweeted on Wednesday that a passenger tried to bring a .380-caliber gun in their carry-on bag at the San Antonio International Airport.

In another instance, TSA Southwest on Thursday said another passenger tried to carry 51 rounds of 9mm bullets on the plane with them at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Such items, including other gun components, may be packed in a checked bag if in a locked, hard-sided container, according to the TSA. However, rifle scopes are permitted in carry-on baggage

“In 2022 help make travel safer by keeping weapons out of your carry-on,” TSA Southwest said in a Tweet.

When checking a bag, the passenger should tell the airline employee at the ticket counter that they have a firearm and/or ammunition. Guns must be unloaded.


Read more about transporting firearms and ammunition here.

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Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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TSA expects busy travel on these 4 days

(NEXSTAR) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year, at least for those of us who aren’t stuck in line at a TSA checkpoint.

With the holidays just around the corner, the Transportation Security Administration is expecting some of the busiest travel days of the season in the coming weeks. Specifically, the TSA anticipates Wednesday, Dec. 22, and Thursday, Dec. 23, to be the busiest pre-holiday dates for national and local travel, while Sunday, Jan. 2, and Monday, Jan. 3, are anticipated to be the busiest days for post-holiday travel.

However, a representative for the agency said passengers should expect “sustained high travel volumes” through the end of the year.

“The underlying message for travelers is to arrive early and prepared,” TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers tells Nexstar.

To avoid unnecessary delays, the TSA is urging passengers to be mindful of the current COVID-19 health and safety protocol, including a requirement for all travelers to wear masks at TSA checkpoints.

Among the TSA’s other holiday tips, travelers are advised to do the following: Pack smart by refraining from packing prohibited items or overstuffing luggage; know how to travel with holiday food and drink; packing unwrapped gifts in gift bags to prevent the risk of TSA officers having to unwrap presents during screening; and download the MyTSA app for security information and live support.

The TSA’s latest travel projections come shortly after the TSA recorded its highest passenger-throughput volume since the beginning of the pandemic, recording a total of 2,451,300 individuals screened on Sunday, Nov. 28, just after Thanksgiving weekend.

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New TSA checkpoint opening at Austin airport as travel rebounds

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Austin continues to grow, so does the airport.

Officials at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport tweeted a video of its new general security screening checkpoint area that opens this week.

Travelers have been returning to the airport in record numbers recently as big events in Austin are ramping back up. Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix brought a worldwide audience to town and also a record number of people through the airport. The Monday following race weekend, Oct. 25, smashed previous passengers records, airport officials said. An estimated 35,000-36,000 people went through the terminal at AUS that day, 4-5,000 more than the previous record set in 2019 after that year’s F1 event.

The new checkpoint makes it the fourth in the airport.

The exact airport traffic numbers for October won’t be out for another month or so, but the latest numbers available show that people are taking flights again. Data for the airport in August showed that 1.3 million people went through that month, 210% more than August 2020 and nearly back to pre-pandemic travel levels.

The airport is also in need of more storage for fuel, and plans for a 3 million-gallon facility are in the works.

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TSA anticipates surge in air travel through December holidays, here’s how you can prepare

Acrylic barriers installed at ID checkpoints at Kennedy Airport in New York. (Transportation Security Administration photo)

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is anticipating a spike in air travel through the December holidays, according to an agency news release. 

The prediction comes after over 21 million travelers were screened during the 10-day Thanksgiving break, the TSA said.

RELATED: TSA to extend mask mandate for travelers through January 2022

TSA officials are encouraging holiday travelers to sign up for their PreCheck service. Travelers who are members of the PreCheck program can avoid the hassle of removing their personal items including shoes, belts, and jackets during the security screening process, the news release continued. 

Last month, approximately 94% of travelers enrolled in the program and waited less than five minutes. The TSA says anyone who applies for the program likely can have their application accepted within five days.

The application process requires two steps, the agency explained. Applicants can apply online and set up an appointment at over 400 TSA enrollment centers. Applicants can also attend an in-person appointment that includes fingerprinting for a background check plus an $85 fee to buy a five-year membership.

RELATED: TSA: Vaccine mandate for federal workers won’t impact holiday travel

The TSA provides helpful tips for travelers this holiday season to ensure airport screening lanes move quickly:

  • Be flexible. Airports have rush hours too. If you want to avoid normal airport rush hours, which are normally between 5-7 a.m. or 4-6 p.m., consider booking your flight outside those hours.
  • Pack smart by contacting TSA or visiting the agency’s “What Can I Bring” page before leaving home.
  • Arrive early at the security checkpoint: Two hours early for domestic and three hours early for international flights.
  • Follow signs and verbal directions provided by Transportation Security Officers (TSO) to help keep airport screening lanes moving.
  • Be patient and considerate of others.
  • Avoid fines by properly packing your gun. TSA officials say guns are not allowed at checkpoints and in carry-on luggage.

This story was reported from Washington, D.C. 

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Holiday travel expected to reach near pre-pandemic volumes: TSA

The Transportation Security Administration announced Tuesday that its expects high travel volumes during the upcoming holidays, even reaching near pre-pandemic levels.

The agency screened just under 21 million travelers during the 10-day Thanksgiving holiday period, and anticipates a continued increase in demand into December, the TSA said in a news release.

“We see a strengthening in the airline travel industry toward pre-pandemic levels and our goal is to ensure you as the passenger have a safe and secure flight,” TSA administrator David Pekoske said in a written statement. “We work hard with our airport and airline partners to achieve this by ensuring screening operations meet the upcoming demand.”

Passengers planning to travel this holiday season are encouraged to sign up for TSA PreCheck to have a more convenient screening process and save time at the airport. Members of the program don’t have to remove shoes, belts, 3-1-1 liquids, laptops, or light jackets, the agency said.

In November, 94% of members of the precheck program waited less than 5 minutes, according to the TSA. Those who apply today will likely have their application accepted within five days, just in time for the holidays.

In order to keep screening lanes moving quickly throughout the holiday season, the TSA recommends travelers should:

  • Be flexible. Airports have rush hours too. If you want to avoid normal airport rush hours, which are normally between 5-7 a.m. or 4-6 p.m., consider booking your flight outside of those hours. Check all carriers, as they might have other flight options.
  • Pack smart by contacting TSA or visiting the What Can I Bring page before you leave your home.
  • Arrive early at the security checkpoint: two hours for domestic or three hours for international flights.
  • Follow signs and verbal direction provided by our Transportation Security Officers to help keep screening lanes moving.
  • Be patient and considerate of others. Officers are working as fast as they can and many travelers are flying for the first time since the pandemic began. In an effort to remind passengers to show gratitude and practice patience with others while traveling, TSA worked with its partners in the development of this Public Service Announcement about the Gift of Travel.
  • Join TSA PreCheck or renew your existing membership here before the holidays.

Firearms found at TSA airport security checkpoints continue to trend higher, with officers having stopped more than 5,000 firearms this year — a 20-year record — from making it into airports’ secure areas and passenger cabins of aircrafts. Over 85% of firearms are loaded, the TSA said.

“Since March 2020, TSA has dramatically modified airport security checkpoint operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to improve social distancing and reduce physical contact,” the agency said. “These operational modifications continue in an effort to contain the virus, including the new omicron variant.”

Changes include upgraded screening and credential authentication equipment at many airports to help reduce physical contact. The face mask requirement currently in place across the nation’s transportation systems is in effect through at least March 18, 2022, and aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

And, as of Monday, travelers heading to the U.S. are required to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within one day of boarding their flight instead of three days prior.

In accordance with President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID, 93% of the TSA workforce is in compliance with the vaccine and exemption requirements, according to the agency, with about 86% either partially or fully vaccinated.

Airline travelers can contact TSA directly before their flight with questions on airport screening. General questions can be answered by submitting a question directly to @AskTSA on Twitter and Facebook or by calling 866-289-9673.

For more information on traveling safely during the holiday season, visit www.tsa.gov.  

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Thanksgiving Travel Tip: If The TSA Won’t Let You Bring Booze Into The Airport, You Can Drink Shots And Pass Around The Bottle While Waiting In Line

You…you can do that? I’m not sure what it is about airports, but I’ve always felt like it is one of the stricter places to have fun this side of church if you aren’t in a Chilis or unbranded bar that charges $18 for a pint and a half of beer. They weigh your bag down to the ounce, grill your ID by doing that look up then look down move like 10 times, and herd you onto the plane based on zones even though nobody ever listens to them.

I get why TSA security is so tight because of that fuckhead Bin Laden. I actually appreciate that we are forced to take off our shoes, empty our pockets, and go through those weird x-ray machines that shows all our bits and pieces to a total stranger because I just want to arrive at my destination safely. And if you even DREAM of bringing so much as a drop of liquid through security, you better get ready for a full cavity search conducted with some rubber gloves.

Giphy Images.

Which is why I am so surprised to see that waiting in the TSA line can become a Margaritaville if you BYOB. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it. I LOVE it. I actually can’t believe that the Wonton Don hasn’t engaged in such hijinks in a YouTube video. Termies are cool, but TSA Bottle Parties are where the fun is really at. 

The TSA expects 20 million people to fly the friendly skies this weekend and I imagine there will be plenty of Stoolies partaking in that nightmare. So I wanted to let you guys know that you may want to bring a bottle of booze with you in case those security lines are extra long because you are apparently already cleared for take off on the Blackout Express as long as you don’t go pass the metal detectors. Yeah that was an airplane pun, we like to have some fun around here.

P.S. I would actually be OK with it if you were only allowed to get wasted on the security line if you were going to/from the cities associated with drunken tomfoolery. Like you can’t start slugging Malibu if you are headed to Des Moines. But if you are taking your talents to South Beach, Vegas, or Nawlins, you can get as fucked up as you want as long as you can stay on your feet.

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Busy holiday travel season lands at Sea-Tac Airport but vaccine impact on TSA minimal – KOMO News

Busy holiday travel season lands at Sea-Tac Airport but vaccine impact on TSA minimal  KOMO News

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