HONOLULU (KHON2) — From boomerangs to knives disguised as hair combs, to a Las Vegas torch lighter that looks like a pack of cards, make sure not to bring these items in your carry-on bags. It’s likely you won’t ever see them again.
These were some of the items that were recently confiscated at Hawaii’s airports. The Transportation Security Administration on Friday gave KHON2 an exclusive look.
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The items shown below are ones that travelers brought in their carry-on luggage to the security checkpoint at the Daniel K. Inouye Airport on Oahu and the Kahului Airport on Maui.
“What we have is a series of items that are really common types of items that we see no matter what the airport is, whether it’s here in Hawaii, on the mainland, because it seems that travelers have a lot of these items that are common,” said Lorie Dankers, TSA spokesperson.
She said one item that they’re seeing a lot of is tools. No tool over seven inches in length can be carried on.
“The reason for that is we don’t want those to be potentially used as a bludgeoning item or weapon when we’re in the aircraft, when we’re in the air traveling somewhere,” she said. “So that is why we limit the size of tools. Once again, anything larger than seven inches should be checked.”
When a traveler bring tools that don’t meet the requirements, the officer sees it on the X-ray screen, and the traveler is given the following options:
OPTION 1: Place the item in your checked baggage. You can go back to the ticket counter and check it and then pick it up at your destination.
OPTION 2: Return the item to your car if it’s parked at the airport or give it to a friend or family member who’s not traveling with you.
OPTION 3: Leave the item with TSA. Dankers said every traveler took advantage of this choice with the confiscated items shown on the table.
“Our officers are not allowed to bend over rules for any traveler who brings a prohibited item,” she added. “I’s very important for people to know.”
TSA has a process where they surplus the prohibited items to the state surplus agency, which then takes those items and decides what to do with them.
“Many times they bundle like-items and will auction them off online, but that’s all part of their process,” Dankers said. “TSA officers don’t get to bring these items home at the end of their shift. We don’t get to go through them and pick our favorites. They’re simply stored away, locked up and then surplused as a group.”
COMMON CONFISCATED ITEMS
- Knives — Everything from machete size to pocket size. Remember, anything with a blade cannot be transported in carry-on luggage.
Over the last three months, TSA in Honolulu confiscated an average of 619 pounds of items that were considered “metals and sharps.” On Maui, there’s an average of 500 pounds of these items per month.
- Power tools — Don’t bring these if they are battery operated or need to be plugged in since many aircraft have an electrical outlet.
“We don’t need those saws or drills or those types of things in the cabin of the aircraft. There’s no need for those. Place them in checked baggage,” said Dankers.
- Novelty items — One example is a serrated chain that can be used as a survival tool, but it can also be used as a weapon. The same goes for Hawaiian paddles and boomerangs.
“The reason that why we don’t want to see that on a plane is we know there have been a number of unruly passenger incidents in the last month, even the last couple of years,” Dankers said. “We don’t want anybody to have a situation escalate and somebody bring that out of their carry-on luggage and potentially use it against another passenger.”
- Martial arts — Brass knuckles, cat eyes, kubatons and throwing stars are common items that are confiscated.
“People like to have those maybe as a novelty or they like to have them as self-defense and they bring them in their carry-on luggage,” said Dankers. “In some parts of the country, those items are actually illegal.”
- Any razor sharp items — Don’t bring these in your carry-on bags.
If you’re not sure how to travel with an item, TSA has a feature called “What Can I Bring?” Travelers can enter the name of the item to find out if they can carry it on the plane, in their checked baggage or not at all.
TSA is also active on social media and has a Facebook account called “Ask TSA” that travelers can send photos to if they’re unsure if an item is allowed. They also have a Twitter account here that offers the same service. Dankers said Ask TSA is staffed by former officers who are experts in their standard operating procedure to tell you the information you need for free.
“It’s a really good reminder that just a few minutes of planning will save you time here,” said Dankers. “Any time we have to do a bag check, any time we have to rerun a bag, any time we have to speak with a traveler — that slows the security screening process for that traveler and everybody behind them.”
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Dankers likes to say that passengers are a partner in security. When you follow the rules, you can go through the checkpoint quickly and keep the lines moving. But when you bring prohibited items, it does nothing but slow everything down, and you may find yourself without one of your favorite items at the end of the day.