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We Asked What Items the TSA Confiscated From Our Readers—And We Are Not Okay

Hindsight is 20/20 for our readers who lost these precious items before boarding.

We’ve all been there—the moment you’re about to go through airport security and your palms start to sweat as you irrationally convince yourself that you have LSD in your pocket even though you’ve never had LSD in your pocket, or anywhere on your person for that matter, and you smile politely at the drug-sniffing dog to convince him or her that EVERYTHING IS FINE HAHAHA.

The list of airport stressors is long and varied. Maybe you’re trying to catch a connecting flight; maybe you forgot your passport; maybe your emotional support pet isn’t flight-friendly.

If you were looking for a hopeful addendum, you won’t find it here. Nope, we’re just here to commiserate with you, dear readers, as we all navigate the lonely, empty void that we call life airport security.

Reading through your responses, we learned a lot from what you forgot to put in your checked luggage when it was too late to turn back. (Though in some cases the TSA was kind enough to offer to mail your stuff!) Some of you laughed, most of you cried, and all of you got robbed, man. Here are the important takeaways:

Getting Drunk Will Take the Edge Off of Packing, But Might Lead to Complications at the Airport.

One of our readers bravely recounted this tale when her good intentions went unrecognized, and gifts she bought for her friends were confiscated due to wine-induced judgment: “…there was Paris, where I packed, while sipping wine, packed my little gifts for my friends. Little knives. Lost them all. My fault, although I blame it on the wine.”

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Honestly, this could be a haiku.

Leave the Pocket Knives At Home

“I blame it on the wine.”

From countless Swiss Army knives that many of our readers (and some staff members) cherished, to the sentimental pocket knives that you inherited from a relative or friend, that which protected you ultimately betrayed you.

“They confiscated my 85-year-old father in law’s tiny Swiss Army knife that he had carried in his pocket for over 40 years…like, seriously, look at this tiny little man that looks like a jolly leprechaun. Is he seriously wielding his tiny, dull pocket knife?”

For one of our readers, this even included a vintage toy Davy Crockett pocket knife that was rusted shut. The lesson? Rules is rules.

Salami Is Strictly Prohibited

Well, all meat and perishables are, of course, but (relatably) our readers love their international snacks enough to try and bring them home regardless, and who can blame them? “My Italian salami. I knew but forgot we can’t bring meat back. I told them to please take it home to enjoy.”

You heard it here first: you can’t bring meat back. Pay it forward.

You also lost various types of jams (seriously, lots of jam was confiscated?), as well as sausage, and, perhaps most tragically…cheese: “Pimento Cheese. It broke my heart.

We feel your pain.

LaGuardia FTW

One crafty traveler used this trick for preventing getting something confiscated. It was risky, but ultimately paid off (and we’re remembering this tip for the future).“My husband had his late father’s vintage zippo and was told he had to mail it home or hand it over. He buried it in a fake plant stand and it was still there when we returned. This was at LGA.”

We knew we liked that airport (and we have a lot of opinions about airports).


Snow Globes Are Not TSA-Friendly

Several of our readers, unfortunately, had these delightful souvenirs confiscated. The more you know…

Sometimes the TSA Cuts You a Break

“Almost had to leave my Chanel perfume, but the TSA girl was like, ‘just go.’”

We’re so glad she understood.

Honorable Mentions

Your dignity (we heard this from a lot of you, and, we’re sorry).

Your child: “My daughter. They made her walk out, and back through security, to empty a couple of ounces of water out of a Swell bottle.”

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