The silliest items passengers were told to leave behind at airport security 

  • Travellers have shared details of bizarre items they’ve had confiscated
  • In one case, a man was told his spiky earring could be used as a weapon 
  • In another, the plane’s captain was told his hummus counted as a liquid

Getting through airport security has to be one of the most frustrating aspects of plane travel and since 9/11, the staff have become increasingly strict what items can be taken in hand luggage.

But it seems that some personnel are just making the rules up as they go along.  

Regular travellers have been sharing details of the more bizarre items they’ve had confiscated, ranging from spiky earrings to pots of hummus. 


Travellers have been sharing details of the more bizarre items they’ve had confiscated at airport security, ranging from spiky earrings to pots of hummus 

In the discussion on internet forum Quora, some passengers found the experience so distressing that they haven’t ever flown since. 

Read on to discover which possessions have been classed as contraband by security in the past… 

A spiky earring 

Sean Corfield said: ‘I flew very shortly after 9/11, from San Francisco to Boston when I had quite a few body piercings, including a claw-type piece in my left ear. 


Security tried to prevent a man from boarding a plane with a spiky earring 

‘None of my body piercings set off the metal detector, but the TSA agent said: “You can’t take that on the plane, it’s metal, it’s sharp — it’s a weapon!”

‘I demand to see his supervisor and she comes over and also insists the earring is a weapon. 

‘This was so soon after 9/11 that the National Guard were present, fully armed, so I  asked him “do you think I can hold up a plane with this earring?” and he laughed: “Let him take it on the plane.”‘

 A super soaker 

Padraig Criostoir Nolan said: ‘I was seven years old in 1995 and on a flight from LA home to Portland. My aunt had given me a water gun as a present to take home.

‘It was totally empty, no mystery fluids, but when I went up to the checkpoint and put it through the scanner they confiscated it because they “weren’t sure if it was a gun”.

Paperclips, pencils and pens  


One man hasn’t flown since 2005, when he had his pens and pencils confiscated

Kirk Copple said: ‘My last flight in 2005 was coming back from San Diego, when I’d just thrown everything from the hotel room desk into the front pocket of my carry-on backpack, including loose paperclips. 

‘I don’t know what kind of threat paperclips are, but that TSA officer deserves a medal for catching those. 

‘My mistake was pointing out that the pencils and pens in the bag could do more damage than a paperclip, when he gave me a good hard stare, then confiscated all my pencils and pens.

‘I haven’t flown since.’ 

 A referee’s whistle 

John McDermott said: ‘I have a whistle on my key fob, from the days when I occasionally refereed karate competitions. 

‘So I put my keys in a tray to pass through the scanner at Stansted airport and the agent said I couldn’t take the whistle.

‘After brief conversation of incomprehension he agreed I could return to the check-in area, where I bought an envelope and stamp, and posted it back to myself.’ 


The captain of a plane was prevented from bringing a pot of hummus on board 

A pot of hummus  

Fabio Rosado said: ‘A flight that I was operating left the stand late, because the captain got stopped at security and got told that his pot of hummus wasn’t allowed because it was more than 100g. 

‘The captain proceeded to explain how humus wasn’t a liquid, but a paste.

‘But the security officer was adamant and said he wouldn’t let him go through.’

A commemorative snow globe 

Vince Siminitus said: ‘I attended the 2010 Winter Olympics games in Vancouver, and our ticket package included the closing ceremonies, where all attendees were given a small snow globe as a souvenir. It was really quite nice.

‘When we got to the Vancouver airport the next day, the security screeners took our snow globe, saying it was not labelled how much liquid was in it. 

‘They tossed it into a trash barrel for confiscated items and when I looked in the barrel as I passed it was full of snow globes.’  

Love letters  


The TSA confiscated love letters from one man’s luggage

Petter Brenna Rian said: ‘For my solo trip to California from the UK, my girlfriend wrote me a series of letters and hid them in my check-in luggage – they were beautifully written, and brought me to tears.

‘When I was flying back home from LAX, I packed the love letters in my check-in luggage, but when I got back home I found TSA’s “we’ve been going through your sh*t” sticker stamped on my luggage. 

‘Lo and behold the letters were gone. The only explanation I can think of is that our fierce love was a threat to the national security of the United States.’  

Dried coconuts 

Parth Sharma said: ‘My mom had bought eight dried coconuts from a local shop in Bangalore and wanted to gift them to relatives back in Ahmedabad.

‘So there was a plastic bag of eight  uncut dried coconuts in their check-in baggage. 

‘There was no water in them so there was no chance of any spillage, but airline staff informed us that coconuts are considered inflammable and cannot be allowed in flight.’ 







Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

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