Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
September 15, 2017

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The State of Surveillance Storage – The Seagate Surveillance Storage Survey Report 2018

Airport security

“Can I take a knife-shaped banana on the flight?” The TSA’s bizarre, brilliant Instagram account

Who said security had to be an unremittingly earnest business?

Few scenarios in modern life are fraught with more tension and frustration than airport customs (does anyone else feel nervous even though they’re carrying nothing illegal?).

However, the Transport Security Administration, a US body created in response to the 9/11 terror attacks, has shown it has a sense of humour via its Instagram account.

Racking up 1,320 posts and 795,000 followers, the TSA account features tongue-in-cheek requests sent in by the public, an array of confiscated weaponary and some weird and wonderful items that landed in lost property.

From a ‘knife-nana’ and ‘nun-chuks’ to an abandoned Grim Reaper and 61 firearms seized in one week across all US airports, it’s phenomenal what airport security staff find in the course of their day.

Below we’ve picked out some of the funniest/most shocking posts – but you can check out the account itself here.

Live WWI grenades

A traveler approached customer service prior to entering the checkpoint at Portland (PDX). He stated that he had some military collectables and wasn’t sure how to travel with them. When told to wait for a TSA Explosives Specialist, he simply wanted to throw them in the trash. The items were found to be actual live military ordnance. He was in possession of a live WWI projectile fuse, a live WWI grenade, and an inert grenade. They were given to him by a friend to sell for extra money. The Portland Air National Guard EOD team took possession of the items. This traveler did the right thing by asking first. We are very grateful that nobody was injured.

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

Knife-nana

Some might find this nanner knife appealing. I’m guessing you have a bunch of them? Yes, you can take bananas on the plane. This is a screenshot of a tweet sent to the @AskTSA account on Twitter. Have you ever wondered whether or not you can pack a certain item? Fret no more! Now you can simply snap a picture and tweet it to @AskTSA or send it via Facebook Messenger and our team will get back to you promptly with an answer. If you’re a regular follower of this account, I’m sure you can think of many situations where it would have behooved somebody to send us a picture first. And that’s not all. Contact us about any TSA related issue or question you might have. We can even help you with TSA Pre✓® issues. We look forward to answering your questions, 8am-10pm ET weekdays; 9am-7pm weekends/holidays. #AskTSA #TSATravelTips

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

Is it a gun or a camera?

This gives “photo shoot” an entirely different meaning. The camera was fine as a carry-on, but due to its similarity to a firearm, the handle/grip/trigger mechanism needed to be placed in a checked bag. This was discovered in a carry-on bag at LaGuardia (LGA).

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

Just a week’s work…

These are just a few of the 61 firearms discovered in carry-on bags between May 1st – 7th at airports around the nation. 52 were loaded and 23 had a round chambered. While firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags, you can pack them in your checked baggage as long as you meet the packing guidelines: bit.ly/travelingwithfirearms See a complete list of firearms discovered by following the link in our profile to the TSA Blog.

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

My, oh my…

These are just a few of the inert grenades that were discovered in checked and carry-on bags last year. So what’s the big deal if it’s inert? First off, we don’t know it’s inert until explosives professionals take a closer look, and that takes time and slows down the line. It can even lead to a complete shutdown and evacuation. Anything resembling a bomb or grenade is prohibited from both carry-on and checked bags.

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

Banana-based weapons are a running theme it seems…

We know you’re kidding, but if you’re being serious, that’s just bananas, man. If you’d really like to travel with your banana gun, visit TSA.gov and check out our guidelines for traveling with firearms in checked bags. – This is a screenshot of a tweet sent to the @AskTSA account on Twitter. Have you ever wondered whether or not you can pack a certain item? Fret no more! Now you can simply snap a picture and tweet it to @AskTSA or send it via Facebook Messenger and our team will get back to you promptly with an answer. If you’re a regular follower of this account, I’m sure you can think of many situations where it would have behooved somebody to send us a picture first. And that’s not all. Contact us about any TSA related issue or question you might have. We can even help you with TSA Pre✓® issues. We look forward to answering your questions, 8am-10pm ET weekdays; 9am-7pm weekends/holidays. #AskTSA #TSATravelTips

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

Cattle prod

Holy cow! This cattle prod was discovered in a carry-on bag at the Chicago Midway (MDW) Airport . All shocking devices, especially cattle prods, are not allowed in carry-on bags. Please pack them in your checked bags with the batteries removed.

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

Who has the Grim Reaper come for?

It’s national #LostAndFound day! Are you missing something? This ominous fellow was left behind earlier this year at #LAX. When something is left behind at a TSA checkpoint, it’s recorded in the lost and found log at the airport and stored in a secure location. If you leave something behind, you can access a list of lost and found phone numbers for each airport at TSA.gov, or you can reach out to our AskTSA team via Twitter or Facebook Messenger. #TSATravelTips

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

Post-apocalyptic bullet-adorned mask

Packing list: Socks. ✅ Toothbrush. ✅ Curling Iron. ✅ Post-apocalyptic bullet-adorned gas mask. ❌ While gas masks are allowed in carry-on bags, replica bullets are not. This was discovered in a carry-on bag at Miami (MIA). Maybe he was catching a one way flight to #FuryRoad?

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

Mummified head of Jeremy Bentham

Have you ever debated about whether or not you can pack a certain item in your checked or carry-on bag? Like the mummified head of #JeremyBentham for example… Fret no more! Now you can simply snap a picture and tweet it to @AskTSA or send it via Facebook Messenger and our team will get back to you promptly with an answer. If you’re a regular follower of this account, I’m sure you can think of many situations where it would have behooved somebody to send us a picture first. And that’s not all. Contact us about any TSA related issue or question you might have. We can even help you with TSA Pre✓® issues. We look forward to answering your questions, 8am-10pm ET weekdays; 9am-7pm weekends/holidays. #AskTSA #TSATravelTips

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

Gun mug (or mug gun?)

Happiness is a warm coffee cup gun… Tell your sister to get a grip (on her mug) and safely pack it in her checked bags.  Replicas of weapons or anything resembling a weapon are not allowed in the cabin of the aircraft. . This is a screenshot of a tweet sent to the AskTSA account on Twitter. Have you ever wondered whether or not you can pack a certain item? Fret no more! Now you can simply snap a picture and tweet it to AskTSA or send it via Facebook Messenger and our team will get back to you promptly with an answer. . If you’re a regular follower of this account, I’m sure you can think of many situations where it would have behooved somebody to send us a picture first. And that’s not all. Contact us about any TSA related issue or question you might have. We can even help you if you don’t see TSA Pre✓® on your boarding pass. . We look forward to answering your questions, 8am-10pm ET weekdays; 9am-7pm weekends/holidays. #AskTSA #TSATravelTips

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

Nun-chucks

These are fine to pack in your carry-on. I imagine not traveling with your “Nun” chucks would be a hard habit to break. . This is a screenshot of a tweet sent to the AskTSA account on Twitter. Have you ever wondered whether or not you can pack a certain item? Fret no more! Now you can simply snap a picture and tweet it to AskTSA or send it via Facebook Messenger and our team will get back to you promptly with an answer. . If you’re a regular follower of this account, I’m sure you can think of many situations where it would have behooved somebody to send us a picture first. And that’s not all. Contact us about any TSA related issue or question you might have. We can even help you if you don’t see TSA Pre✓® on your boarding pass. . We look forward to answering your questions, 8am-10pm ET weekdays; 9am-7pm weekends/holidays. #AskTSA #TSATravelTips

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

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