Oops! I Made It Past The TSA Screeners With A 6-Inch Hunting Knife

While the TSA is busy rolling out full-body scanners and grope-y pat-down procedures, the agency still hasn’t managed to actually stop people from slipping onto airplanes with deadly weapons.

Take for instance the story of Consumerist reader Steve, whose 6-inch hunting knife went unnoticed by all involved:

On my way to Chicago for business this past week the TSA missed the six inch hunting knife in my coat pocket while they busied themselves wanding my crotch and checking my hands for powder residues.

The knife was a gift from an outdoorsman friend and I forgot it was in my jacket pocket. In fact, it was the only thing in my pocket. I came across it when I buckled my seat belt!

So let this be a lesson to you all. Since the TSA is apparently remiss in doing its job, you will need to pre-screen yourself before boarding the plane.


Edit Your Comment

  1. SkokieGuy says:

    Does the back-scatter (or pat-down alternative) replace the metal detectors that we all used to walk through?

    If not, this is a multiple fail, as certainly the metal detector should have been able to detect a 6″ knife, without the pat down.

    Or maybe it was it really 4-1/2 inches??

    • padams89 says:

      I’m not sure if it replaced the metal detectors. Each time I have traveled since the roll-out I haven’t been selected and have therefore only gone through a metal detector.

      However, either way this is a HUGE fail because you are no allowed to wear coats, jackets, etc. in either the scanners or through metal detectors. They must go through the x-ray machine.

      In short: TSA still can’t read the x-ray images properly.

    • Necoras says:

      Jackets go through the x-ray, not the metal detector. That is, you aren’t allowed to go through the metal detector wearing a jacket for just this reason. If the knife had been ceramic, and he had it in his coat pocket, he could walk through the metal detector and it wouldn’t go off. The purpose of the backscatter is to find such weapons (like ceramic blades, or titanium guns, whatever weapons aren’t magnetically reactive) that are in pants pockets, or sewed into clothes.

      This was almost certainly a case of the TSA guy in front of the x-ray scanner not paying attention.

      • qwickone says:

        I’m not sure if the procedure has changed, but it’s my understanding that if there’s something in the x-ray that’s weird, the tech tells someone else to search the bag/coat, but not necessarily what was in it that was weird. This has happened to me before and there was a water bottle as soon as you opened my bag (I forgot about it). Once the TSA person found the bottle, they threw it away and let me go. When I got to my destination, I found my Swiss Army knife in the bottom of my bag.

        • Sian says:

          Now this is interesting. So I may be able to get say, a garotte or explosives through in a hidden compartment in my jacket if I leave a set of nail clippers in the pocket.


          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            actually i had this conversation with someone once as an “i bet they’d miss finding a ____” and there’s a line of travel purses and backpacks with wire running in the straps that supposed to make them mugging resistant. we were discussing how if the TSA didn’t confiscate it that the wire could be picked out of the strap and made into a garotte if the flight was long enough.

            • MrEvil says:

              If you’re strong enough you don’t even need to make it into a makeshift garotte. It doesn’t take much force to crush someone’s trachea. I’m fairly certain I could do some damage with my belt.

      • bluline says:

        There was an incident a couple of weeks ago where a woman dressed only in panties and a see-through camisole to go though the strip-search machines. The flustered TSA people made her put her coat back on before she went through the machinery and the pat-down. So the take-off-your-coat rule isn’t a hard-and-fast one. If you are naked, or nearly naked, underneath, they may force you to leave it on.

      • zegron says:

        It probably just looked like a bowling ball candle.

    • Sword_Chucks says:

      That is correct, You don’t deal with a metal detector if you go through back-scatter. No wanding, at least for me when I got felt up. But at Midway, Atlanta (which has 2 backscatters), and Phoenix they still have Metal Detectors. It is just ridiculous how much they miss, a 6″ hunting knife and everything in Adam Savage’s luggage, hes a mythbuster of course he has something dangerous.

      • smirkette says:

        I read your comment too quickly and substituted DAN Savage and thought, “Yup–he’s got to have some kinky stuff in his luggage.”

        • PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

          Ha-ha! (For those who don’t know who Dan Savage is, the mental image is pure gold, trust us.)

          Actually, this happened to a friend while crossing the Canadian border. She was randomly selected to have her vehicle searched – it just so happened that weekend was a getaway weekend with her boyfriend.

          She said they were very professional as they searched through her trunk and discovered what had to seem like a mini BDSM dungeon…

          • mythago says:

            Canadian customs is extremely professional. I am sure they waited until your friend was entirely out of earshot before going “Did you SEE the car we just searched?!”

          • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

            When the pest control people came to treat for termites, they neglected to tell me that they were going to spray *inside* my bathroom vanity; instead of coming to get me out of the kitchen to ask me to empty it, they put all the contents onto the countertop. Except, of course, four or five, uh, marital aids, which they left daintily sitting in the back corner of one of the shelves. The worst part is that I had to look them in the eye the rest of that day and all the next, and then I had to throw out a couple hunnert bucks worth of, uh, intimate appliances, because we couldn’t look at them without thinking of the pest control techs.

    • mikedt says:

      Don’t they make you take off your outerwear and send it through the x-ray machine? So the operator was probably texting someone as the coat rolled by.

    • obits3 says:

      “That’s what she said!” – Michael Scott

    • Paladin_11 says:

      SkokieGuy, are you still using AOL inches?

    • DancesWithBadgers says:

      I mistakenly took a swiss army knife through security once, and have kept it in my carry on every since to see what happens.
      Only once has it been noticed and that was at the most podunk airport I have had the misfortune to pass through, which meant I was able to walk 20 feet and have it put inside my checked baggage.
      One of the occasions it wasn’t found was also less than a week after the whole liquid bomb scare and every single carry on was hand inspected on the jetway after going through normal security.

  2. consumerd says:

    Another reason why the TSA is just worthless…

  3. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Pfft. The TSA didn’t see his puny 6″ weapon?

    • jaazzman says:

      You call that a knife? THIS is a knife…

      Thats a spoon.

      Ahhh, I see you’ve played knifey spooney before!!!

    • ccooney says:

      Sorry, not getting the joke – a 6″ hunting knife is plenty big for dispatching humans, and if you’re going for the sex reference, 6″ is about average size – if you can’t get it done with a 6″ johnson, you really have no excuse.

  4. Daisy Chain says:

    My mother-in-law just got on a plane with swiss army knife in her purse last week. Not the little ones, either.

    • NewsMuncher says:

      Does it have a crossbow and flamethrower? Without either of those, she’s not a real threat.

    • Papa Midnight says:

      Reminds me of the time I got through TSA in LAX with a street-legal (under California law) pocket knife attached to my keychain. Not wanting to have any hassles, I turned it in my self after walking 50 or so yards and realizing it was still there. They were too busy running over a Small-Form-Factor PC for any kind of “residue” to check the keys in the “metallic objects” bin.

  5. tedyc03 says:

    While I’d rather have one crazy guy with a knife than a crazy guy with a bomb on a plane any day, this only reinforces the reality that the TSA is security theater, nothing more.

    • Cleo256 says:

      And yet the Sept 11th hijackers, according to every story, did their thing using knives (box-cutters, actually), not bombs.

      So it’s kind of an important oversight.

      • aloria says:

        Except that, before 9/11, people were advised to just sit quietly and “not be a hero” since hijackers usually wanted money or had demands. Doing nothing made sense, since the typical hijacker wasn’t intending to kill everyone on board.

        Post 9/11, a terrorist dumb enough to try to take down a plane with a box cutter or even a gun would get the snot beaten out of him.

        • obits3 says:

          And this is why I think that everybody should be able to carry knives again.

          5 Guys vs. a plane full of Americans just looking for a fight/rambo moment.

          I wonder who would win?

          • lucky13 says:

            Archie Bunker was right all along when he said that if all passengers were armed there would be no hijackings. Would have solved that problem of making people sit in planes on runways for hours on end too!

      • full.tang.halo says:

        From 2006

        You act crazy on a plane and people aren’t gonna just sit there anymore. Trying to take over a plane with a knife these days and you might hurt some people, but you’re not gonna take over the planes, and probably not gonna make it out of there with all you’re bones intact either.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        You forget what happened on Flight 93 when they found out what happened to the other planes.

        • JennQPublic says:

          I don’t. It restores my faith in humanity and makes me want to cry at the same time. :-(

          • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

            Doesn’t it just?

            I make sure to tell my kids, when we talk about Sept. 11th, about Flight 93 because what went down there, along with the actions of the emergency personnel in NY and at the Pentagon, is the very definition of heroism.

      • Emperor Norton I says:

        Since no one from any of the four planes survived, we don’t know exactly what type of knives they had.
        My personal opinion has been they took out the long breakoff blades from a cheap knife [the ones where you break off a segment when it gets dull] & placed them in the suitcase, along with something to act as a handle. They were put together in the toilets & then brought on board.

    • Akuma Matata says:


  6. Rocket says:

    Is that a knife in your pocket or are…. Oh it is a knife, ok then.

  7. c!tizen says:

    I’m blaming the OP for not carrying the knife next to his nuts. How can the TSA be expected to check pockets too?

  8. Hi_Hello says:

    you call that a knife?

    dang, now terrorist will know to attack with machete…explosive machete.

  9. Knippschild says:

    When you discover that you accidentally brought a weapon on board an aircraft? Do you just stay quiet about it and hope no one finds out (I imagine this might be your only real option)

    Or do you try to bring it to the attention of the flight crew, which might end up having you arrested or detained. That and I dunno if walking up to a passenger and saying “I need to speak to the captain, I just realized I accidentally brought a knife on board.”

    People would selectively hear “need to speak to captain” (maybe) and “brought a knife on board” and panic would ensue.

    I guess I answered my own question.. the best bet would be to just keep your mouth shut and not draw attention to yourself.

    • Gandalf the Grey says:

      This is a really good question. There need to be some clear guidelines on how airlines handle this. I ended up on a plane with my leatherman in 2004, simply because I had forgotten it was in one of those tiny pockets inside a compartment in my backpack. I ended up leaving it there and just hoping that nobody sitting around me had seen it.

      If there had been a way I could have handed it over without having to worry about armed air marshals when we landed I wouldn’t have had a problem giving it to them. Something like the cash for guns thing that some police departments used to do.

    • laughingisfree says:

      just stay quiet about it. You have the right not to self-incriminate yourself.

    • Hooray4Zoidberg says:

      Well once you’re on board nobody is going to search you again and you don’t go through any more security checkpoints so you really wouldn’t have to worry about it. Just leave it in your pocket and keep quiet.

      I’d suspect if you told someone they’d overreact and probably emergency land the plane nearest airport and detain you, thus ruining everyone’s day.

    • ThinkerTDM says:

      Pull it out, and test it against your finger while smiling. Guarantee much better service! They’ll do anything you want.

    • LastError says:

      You keep your mouth shut. The point of the security checkpoints is to keep people with malicious intent off the planes. If you have no malicious intent, shut up. What’s done is done.

      People who have accidentally gotten firearms past security (typically “left gun in purse/briefcase and forgot about it”) and took themselves to someone to reveal the accidental situation have found themselves arrested, criminally charged and prosecuted. So you can expect legal fees, possible jail time, loss of possibly an expensive item, not to mention the loss of the trip, and maybe your job and home after you end up broke and unemployed. If you have kids, you may lose them because you’ll be in jail.

      So the thing to do is shut the hell up. Leave the item where it is and go on your way. Don’t play with it. Do not brag about it to anyone in person or on the phone. Do not stare at it in amazement that you hoodwinked the TSA intentionally or not. Shut up. Keep the item secured. No problem.

      Most people are unable to keep their damn mouths shut and screw themselves. So I wish you luck and the ability to shut up.

      Did I mention shut up?

  10. golddog says:

    Are you Jason Bourne or Batman? How could such a thing happen in such an obviously secure system?

    Tell me, OP, you didn’t go back and point this out to TSA. I shudder to think what they’ll implement next if they can document this happened for real and not in one of their own field tests.

    • IphtashuFitz says:

      If he went back and showed them the knife that they missed I’m sure he would have immediately been arrested for failing to disclose the weapon at the checkpoint and carrying it into a “sterile” area, whether he knew he had it on him at the time or not.

      Given all the other horror stories we hear about TSA abuse of power I’m sure they would have seriously overreacted to this one if it was brought to their attention.

      • golddog says:

        No kidding. I think we should all take a cue from Walmart and do our citizenly duty, get Consumerist to get his IP, and report him to the Dept of Holy Shit for questioning just in case this was a dry run, probing for holes in the system.

  11. Cicadymn says:

    TSA – Stealing your personal freedoms and failing in creating any additional security every step of the way.

  12. OBEYshiba says:

    i can’t help but think of this video from mythbuster adam savage…


  13. Bativac says:

    I was flying a few years ago and had a backpack full of random stuff (clothes, sketchbook, inhaler, etc) with me. One of the items was, and this is embarrassing, a plastic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man figure. Well, the looks I got when that thing showed up on the scanner — I might as well have packed my bag with plastic explosive.

    Half an hour later, I was patted down, the backpack’s contents were dumped out and sorted thru, and I had to endure the indignity of a TSA employee waving Mr. Stay Puft around the airport shouting “IT’S OKAY, IT’S JUST A DOLL. IT’S A DOLL!”

    Jeezus lady. It’s an ACTION FIGURE.

    The worst part? On my t-shirt was… a picture of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. My seat on that flight was in the dork section.

    MY POINT IS that I can’t believe I got held up over a plastic toy while this guy inadvertently boards the plane with a hunting knife!

    • KaralynK says:

      My husband was flying a few years back with some vintage Transformers action figures. Not one to risk his collectibles, he packed them in his carry-on instead of checking them. The screener opened his bag, took them out, said “Oh cool, I remember these.” Then he took out Megatron and transformed him into his other form – a gun. And told my husband he’d have to check the toy because it was a gun.

      Seriously. They made him go back and check the bag. Idiots.

    • Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

      Years ago I was put through unnecessary drama when I had a bottle of lotion in my carry on (this was before the liquids ban) that apparently looked like a bomb (really, it was a lotion bottle, with lotion in it). HUGE drama. The woman watching the xray machine honestly thought I had a bomb. It was so embarrassing having all my toiletries laid out and examined. What an idiot she was.

    • Gail says:

      I used to work in the Sears Tower. Right after 9/11, they were hand searching everyone’s bags as you entered. I was coming back from a trip. Now, I always travel with stuffed animals. Yes, I’m a grown woman.

      Not thinking, I plop my suitcase on the table (which of course was also full of dirty laundry), and the security guy opened it, spied the stuffed cow and laundry, slammed the suitcase shut and send me on my way. I was so blushing.

      • Bativac says:

        Well, at least they didn’t hold up your stuffed cow for all to see.

        I stopped traveling with any toys or action figures after that. I don’t even know what the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was doing in my bag. Just one of those things I guess…

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          I want to know where you got an action figure of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man. I want one.

    • Daggertrout says:

      Ray? What did you do, Ray?!

  14. ellmar says:

    Perhaps we should have a big group grope before (and after) the screeners put us through our paces. Or, how about I grope the person in front of me, turn and grope the person behind me, with everyone in line doing the same. We should just pitch in and get the job done.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      No, as I said before, each person getting on the plane should be allowed to grope _any_ other in the group, and as many people as they want. It’s the only way to be sure since their own lives depend on it.

  15. The cake is a lie! says:

    Just don’t admit that this happened to the authorities. The last time I read about someone getting something past security, he was arrested when he went back to tell them he was able to do it. They don’t deal with their mistakes well and love to overreact.

  16. obits3 says:

    How about this:

    Everybody can carry a 6″ knife. This way the TSA can concentrate on more lethal problems like guns, bombs, etc…

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      Archie Bunker said they should issue handguns to all the passengers to prevent hijackings. I have a better idea, I’ll smuggle a bomb on board with me. The chances of a bomb on a plane are like a million to one and the chances of TWO bombs are a million times a million!

      • obits3 says:

        LOL, the reason I would allow knives (but not guns) is because everybody would be flying. Also, knives can’t accidently discharge. Furthermore, the rows are so tight that a knife would be a good weapon.

        • Clumber says:

          “Also, knives can’t accidently discharge.”

          Apparently you have never worked around emergency medicine. The propensity of stupid human tricks is incalculable.

  17. coffeeculture says:

    I had a screwdriver in my carry on bag and the folks at San Diego Int’l airport caught it…they took it out and measured it and it was right over the limit.

    • deejmer says:

      Um…yeah, not a good idea. I think they had a similar policy before…just trying to remember how that ended up…..

      • coffeeculture says:

        nah they just took it from me, it was a $2 screwdriver…apparently you can take them on planes but mine was 1/4″ over the limit

  18. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Well, I’m terrified.

    Of the TSA, not the random guy who forgot his knife was in a pocket.

    • Sword_Chucks says:

      Theres a size limit on screw drivers??? I think anything longer than half an inch is enough to pierce a vein, jugular or anything crucially vital if need be… What do I know im just a civilian who watched a movie where jason borne killed a guy with a bic pen.

  19. Kestris says:

    TSA’s too busy get its freak on with the enhanced patdowns to care.

  20. TBGBoodler says:

    I see he knows how to play Knifey Spoony.

  21. Joe Dirt says:

    I can show you how to make a bomb out of a roll toilet paperand a stick of dynamite

  22. Chris W. says:

    I sure hope the OP submitted anonomously and hid or spoofed his IP when he did so-he just admitted to what I imagine is a federal felony these days. And he did so to the world.

    I sure hope he won’t need legal assistace because of it.

  23. zigziggityzoo says:

    I went to SFO and back, and was on my final leg of the trip when I noticed that I had this in my laptop bag: http://amzn.com/B0009VC9PE

    I made it through security TWICE with that.

  24. MeOhMy says:

    ~5 years ago I did pretty much the same thing. I always carry a folding knife with me.

    The night before a flight to catch a cruise I said to myself “Leave your knife at home!”

    Well in my grogginess getting ready to leave at 5AM, I was on auto-pilot and when I grabbed my wallet/keys/phone I grabbed my knife just like I do every day.

    Went to the airport, got to the security checkpoint, showed them my ID and boarding pass, put my wallet/keys/phone/knife in the plastic bin, went through the metal detector and collected my belongings. My wife almost got us busted when she saw me taking the knife out of the bin and was like “Are you allowed to have that?” Fortunately no one heard.

    I work in info. security so I share a sense of brotherhood with those in allied fields. I would hope that if other security professionals found a deficiency in my operation they would tell me about it and my tendency is to do the same.

    But I knew how TSA worked, even back then before shoe bombers and underpants bombers – my honesty and concern would surely be rewarded at the very least with being detained long enough to miss my flight and my cruise departure and quite possibly with being arrested and charged.

    Screw that. I slipped the knife in my bag and went on my way.

    • mszabo says:

      I’ve done almost exactly that on several occasions. For me I think its a pain to empty my pockets in a bin, so I always put everything inside my coat pocket wallet/keys/belt/etc. My knive’s gone through several times now accidentally.

  25. midwestkel says:

    I can’t believe no one posted this, I had to, sorry:

  26. Scamazon says:

    Its all an Illusion of security. Bags fly without the passengers they are attached to and things get through checkpoints. Lets not get into the cargo that flies in the belly of the plane…

    • golddog says:

      Oh no, that’s fixed now. You have to show an ID to UPS to ship a package. Done and done.

    • Rena says:

      And then you hear about some dumb kid sneaking into the wheel well for a free ride and dying. Sure were lucky he wasn’t a terrorist, weren’t they?

  27. Tamar Weinberg says:

    Less than a week after 9/11, a friend of mine flew internationally with a pocketknife. Makes you wonder…

    • Bonster says:

      I flew out about three weeks after with a pocket knife. It’s happened a few times since then, too. I never seem to remember until I land that I had a knife with me.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      All of the anecdotal evidence about weapons making it onto planes, along with the fact that the Hoover Dam is still standing unmolested–is enough to convince me that if “the terrorists” really had it together they would have done something by now. There’s more than enough opportunity.

  28. Etoiles says:

    In September 2009, some friends and their moms and my mom surprised me with a bridal shower. Included in the shower gifts was luggage, which is good because I’d flown up for the weekend and had to fly back on Labor Day.

    So there I am at PVD, with a brand-new carry-on size rolling suitcase full of gifts, cheerily making my way through security, when suddenly there’s a swarm of agents on my bag and I’m being escorted to the side and told I need more searching and being forbidden to touch my stuff. I’m confused. I stop *just in the nick of time* from blurting, “But I took the knives OUT of my bag,” thinking of the flatware, cutlery, and cake-cutting set I’d been gifted but left behind for my mom to ship.

    After a thorough search, they came up with this and this (although mine were blue). As the metal goes down inside the silicone, it apparently x-rays as if it were a bizarrely-shaped knife.

    Luckily, I don’t usually need to take silicone cookware on a flight, but that one was a close call. They argued for a bit over whether I’d need to go check my bag.

  29. Scoobatz says:

    About five years ago, I flew on a plane with firecrackers.

    I was wearing a sport coat around July 4th and somehow ended up putting them in my inner coat pocket. Several months later, I had to fly to a wedding and wore the same jacket on the flight. After I landed, at the reception actually, I took off the coat and noticed something inside. Sure enough, there were about 15-20 Black Cats. Somehow, I made it through security without anyone noticing that I had them.

  30. yospiff says:

    Happened to me as well. In 2003, I was boarding a plane at Dallas-Ft. Worth International and when I reached into my laptop case to pull out my boarding pass, I found I had one of those 79¢ utility knives that screening had missed, even though they had scanned and x-rayed the bag it was in. I shoved it back in quickly and it didn’t come out again. I do wonder what would have happened had I found an airport employee to turn it over to before getting on the plane. (I probably wouldn’t have made my flight.)

  31. madderhatter says:

    People with concealed carry permits should be allowed to carry on domestic flights, that sure would cut down on the number of people whipping out box cutters.

  32. jaredwilliams says:

    I’ve accidentally gotten so many things past TSA. I travel a lot for work for 3 days at a time, as you can imagine I don’t need huge bags so I limit myself to a backpack typically. Well I have one awesome backpack that I use for fishing, hiking, biking, whatever. At any given time I have buck knives, beer bottle caps, bug spray. Somehow I can’t get the bug spray through but I seem to ALWAYS get the knives through…right after 9/11 I traveled to DC to see family and went through with a buck knife no problem. It’s not like I’m even trying to make a point I just pack quick without thinking and throw everything on top of the knife. I got caught with a grinder and pipe coming to Chicago from Amsterdam though, and TSA jokingly held me then said “I’ll be doing that when I get off work buddy, we’re joking with you” and let me go. haha

  33. dush says:

    So don’t hide bombs next to your genitals, hide them in your jacket pocket.

  34. prismatist says:

    I’m glad an upstanding citizen was on that flight, well armed, and prepared to take down any terrorists that may have been on the flight. We need to arm every passenger. Sure, you might give a weapon to a terrorist on a flight, but you’re also giving weapons to ~250 non-terrorists on the same flight. Heck, there should be a Marine-issue combat knife in a holster for each seat.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      I seriously doubt the majority of citizens are clever enough to be armed without making any situation substantially worse.

  35. HoJu says:

    Can we prescreen each other?

  36. merkin says:

    I’m surprised I’m the first person to comment on the photo, but I find it awfully disturbing. Was there no other image you could use than that of a man casually walking away from a woman who’s just been stabbed? Like maybe just a picture of a hunting knife?

  37. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Now can we send these TSA ass clowns packing? Is this enough evidence or does someone have to smuggle a locked and loaded AK-47 onto the plane?

  38. yulingo says:

    Those X-Ray machines are useless. The scanners hardly have a long enough attention span to check everything that comes through. The TSA should spend more money developing technology to scan the bags and things on the scanner line, not on our person.

  39. badaboomxx says:

    I guess they were more interested in his other weapon.

  40. maynurd says:

    Just curious about a couple things.

    The knife was in his jacket pocket so was he wearing the jacket at the time he was being wanded?
    Since he was flying TO Chicago, which airport was he flying out of where the knife was missed?

  41. Bella_dilo17 says:

    We made it from Italy to Amsterdam with a letter opener in our bag, and then from Amsterdam to Minneapolis, they took it away.

    Yes, a letter opener.

  42. Shield Ramrod says:

    Uhm, am I the only person who thinks the photo is icky? Oh, wait, Uhm, am I only the second person who thinks the photo is icky?

  43. Razor512 says:

    The TSA knows this is BS, that is why they didn’t notice it, not everyone is a terrorist, in fact, you have a batter chance at getting hit by lightning than attacked by a terrorist. Most TSA workers understand this and also understand that if someone wanted to sneak stuff on a plane, then they would, regardless of the security.

    The only reason why the TSA does the enhanced patdowns is because they enjoy touching you, especially if you are a little boy or girl.

  44. RTWinter says:

    A person I know (this was pre-9/11 but still shocking) did competitive shooting. When she got on board, she found a live .22 caliber round in her carry-on.

  45. gman863 says:

    I wonder if the TSA was distracted by Kevin Smith’s attempt at getting his 300 pounds of crack on that Virgin flight.

  46. homehome says:

    What’s funny is this “report” is probably gonna cause stricter rules. Then which will lead to more ppl bitchin.

  47. arcticJKL says:

    “I carried a bomb on to the plane once. Totally forgot it was in my hat. Whats funny is that the guy in front of my had a MP7 but they only took his bullets.”

    says another consumerist reader.

  48. aydiosmio says:

    My girlfriend mistakenly brought a folding knife (the kind that aren’t even legal to sell in some states) and mace on a plane in her purse just last year.

    What the hell indeed.

  49. Luckier says:

    Twice I’ve realized once I was on the plane that I had forgotten to leave my pepper spray at home and “snuck” it through security.

  50. RobotEmbryo says:

    I guess it’s pretty easy to overlook this and say “Oh, this TSA thing again? Get over it.” But what is dangerous about apathy here is the absurdity of it all.

    After 8 years of calculated programming, our tender sleeping populace is at most slightly uncomfortable with the notion of being sexually assaulted by a group of (hopefully) well meaning high school drop outs because our fears are clouting our rational thinking.

    Now take said sad old “I’d rather be sodomized and safe than sorry” jackass, grope him and photograph him, and THEN put him on a plane next to someone who has intentionally snuck a weapon on board. Now you’ve been fondled AND you’re still fucked.

  51. peebozi says:

    FACT: no one’s ever taken a plane over with just a 6″ hunting knife.

    box cutters, sure, but not a 6″ hunting knife.

    you stay classy, tsa.

  52. shulmda says:

    Here’s an anonymous account of a US Army soldier returning from Afghanistan who watched as his buddies — who were all carrying high-powered rifles, pistols, etc — were forced to surrender their nail-clippers and multi-tools:

    So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:

    TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.

    Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.

    TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.

    Soldier: Why?

    TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

    Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.

    TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.

    Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

    TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

    Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.

    Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

    This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns-but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

  53. xyzzy says:

    A sorta similar thing happened to me a few years ago. The X-Ray machine picked up something suspicious in my bag so it hand-screened. The screener couldn’t find anything, so she ran the bags through the machine again. Again, she saw something suspicious and proceeded to take everything out of my bag. She opened up my overnight case, laid out my toiletries, looked inside my deodorant container, went as far as to open up a condom box to look inside (and left it sitting out for all to see.) Still, she couldn’t find anything. She called over 2 other TSA employees and they all applied the same diligence but couldn’t find anything. They ran it through the X-Ray again, still saw something suspicious, and after much discussion, they just let me board the plane. The whole process took about 30 minutes. It was only when I got to my destination that I realized I had a 6″ pocketknife stuck in one of my bag’s pockets. I had honestly forgotten it was even there. I felt like kind a jackass for being so upset with them, but still — shouldn’t they have found that thing?

  54. 44Wadeable says:

    When I moved to Atlanta, I had to take apart my bicycle to ship it. By mistake, I ended up with my 15″ pedal wrench in my carry-on and it got through security. Mind you, you could club someone unconscious with a full-sized pedal wrench pretty easily.

    Meanwhile, every other time I go through that same airport, a smaller (flight-legal) bike wrench that I keep in my messenger bag always gets me searched. And then they TSA takes out their ruler, measures it, and realizes that I can, in fact, legally carry it on. Instills me with great confidence if any terrorist chooses to fly through there.