By Evan Santiago, The Charlotte Observer
Going through the TSA line at U.S. airports comes with little to no trouble for most experienced travellers. However, those who are inexperienced are at risk of making packing mistakes that could delay their trip.
There are a number of prohibited items that people often bring without knowing they’re restricted from traveling with them. One of the more obvious of these items is a firearm.
Security at Charlotte Douglas International Airport found a record-breaking 106 firearms in the bags of passengers, The Charlotte Observer reported. More recently, U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina was cited for having a loaded gun at a TSA checkpoint.
It’s common knowledge to most travellers that bringing a weapon through TSA could result in citations or even detainment. But there are seemingly harmless items that are also prohibited by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
Here are nine items you probably didn’t know were prohibited by the TSA.
- English Christmas Crackers – Much to the dismay of British or Canadian travellers, English Christmas crackers are prohibited by the TSA. The small, popular party favour is used to celebrate Christmas and other special occasions. When popped, it creates a “bang” sound with the help of a minuscule amount of gunpowder stored inside.
- Ink and toner cartridges – According to the U.S. Transportation Administration, ink and toner cartridges that are more than 16-ounces in weight pose a risk to air travel security and are banned from both carry-on and checked baggage.
- Most sports equipment – Sports equipment like baseball bats, hockey sticks and golf clubs can be used as bludgeons and are prohibited in the cabin of airplanes. If you wish to travel with these items, they must be stored and transported in checked baggage.
- Aerosol insecticide – As long as they aren’t labelled “hazardous material,” aerosol insecticides can be transported in checked baggage. However, you could have your can of bug spray swiftly confiscated if you try to bring it through TSA.
- Bang Snaps – The highly entertaining (and rather annoying) childhood toys known as Bang Snaps, Bang Pops, or TNT Pop-Its are strictly prohibited in both checked and carry-on baggage. This is most likely due to the small amounts of explosive silver fulminate stored inside of each tiny pouch of fun.
- Cooking spray – Although it’s highly unlikely you’d ever be travelling with a can of Pam, you should know that it is considered a restricted item according to TSA’s standards. Cooking spray cannot be transported by air travel in checked or carry-on baggage.
- Foam toy swords – If you’re travelling to or from a certain fairytale-themed amusement park, be sure to explain to your young prince and princess that their foam swords must travel separately in a checked bag.
- Wrapped gifts – One way TSA could ruin your holiday mood is by unwrapping a gift you spent time packaging. Unless you want your gifts to be unwrapped and reconstructed with TSA tape, you may want to wait until arriving at your final destination before wrapping presents.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – According to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone devices are banned from air travel in the United States. The ban was initiated in 2016 after a series of recalls on the device were ordered due to its tendency to spontaneously combust. “Device owners have experienced documented incidents of dangerous evolution of heat with both recalled and replacement Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices,” the Department of Transportation said in a statement. “Anyone violating the ban may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines.”
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