TSA reminds airline travelers prohibited items increase lines

Nov 18, 2021, 7:29 PM | Updated: 7:30 pm
FILE: Interior of the Salt Lake City International Airport.  Photo: Paul Nelson, November 18, 2021)...
FILE: Interior of the Salt Lake City International Airport. Photo: Paul Nelson, November 18, 2021)

SALT LAKE CITY – The holiday travel season kicks off this weekend, and TSA officials expect a big surge in travelers coming through Salt Lake International Airport.  However, they’re constantly seeing people bringing weapons and other prohibited items in their carry-on bags, which slows everything down at the security checkpoints.

Currently, TSA officials said their agents are screening almost the same amount of passengers they processed in 2019.  Analysts believe the busiest days will be the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, then the following Sunday.  Officials said the security checkpoint lines are going to be long enough, and passing through them will take much longer as people keep bringing prohibited items to the airport.

(Inert grenades and claymore landmines were some of the items taken by TSA agents in the past few weeks. Photo: Paul Nelson)

On Thursday, TSA officials displayed some of the items that had been seized at Salt Lake International Airport in just the last few weeks.  On that table were airsoft guns, bottles of alcohol and power tools, along with a lot of weapons.

“The types of items that we have on display here, ahead of the holidays, are things like knives and tools, martial arts items and even those inert grenades.  Those are not allowed in carry-on luggage,” TSA Spokesperson Lorie Dankers said.  “I can’t say it clearly enough.”

Agents seized replica explosives that had been turned into art projects, like a replica claymore landmine that was converted into a trailer hitch.  Dankers said it doesn’t matter if those works of art are harmless, replica explosives still can’t be brought to Salt Lake International.

“Even replica grenades are not allowed in checked baggage.  In fact, you can’t even ship those,” she said.

Tools and large beverage bottles are also prohibited

There are some items on the prohibited list that many passengers may not expect.  For example, power tools are not allowed, nor are any tools longer than seven inches. Those could be turned into bludgeoning weapons, in the wrong hands Dankers said.

(Large hammers, wrenches and power saws were seized by TSA agents at Salt Lake International. Photo: Paul Nelson)

“If you think of the viral videos we’ve all seen of the unruly passenger incidents, you wouldn’t want any passenger to have any of those items because that could really escalate things,” Dankers said.

Passengers also can’t bring large bottles of liquid, including snow globes, in their carry-on bags.  These potentially expensive items are usually left behind because passengers don’t show up early enough to send those things back home with someone else.

“Arrive early enough in case something like this happens to you so you have time to deal with it,” she said.

According to Dankers, the items that are left behind are usually collected and given to surplus auctions.

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TSA reminds airline travelers prohibited items increase lines