Ice SkatesSharp as they may be, ice skates make decidedly clunky weapons. Like most moderately sized sporting equipment, TSA has no problem if you take skates on the flight.
Knitting NeedlesKnitters may be a notoriously violent lot, but the TSA still allows them to bring their needles on board. Perhaps the wrath of a group of knitters unable to pass a 5-hour flight with yarn in hand is a greater fear. Bring bamboo or plastic needles to avoid any problems.
Common LightersLighters without fuel are permitted in checked baggage but lighters with fuel are prohibited unless they adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) exemption, which allows up to two fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case -- just don’t get caught trying to smoke in the lavatory.
ScissorsRunning with scissors = bad. Flying with scissors = okay. The TSA has no problem with scissors so long as the pointed tips and blades are shorter than four inches.
ParachutesPteromerhanophbics rejoice! In case things go terribly wrong, you can pack your parachute and jump to safety.
CorkscrewsBanned from carry-on bags in Canada, American winos can keep their corkscrews in hand so long as they don’t crack open a personal bottle of wine during the flight.
Dry IceIf you see strange vapors coming from someone’s carry-on bag it might just be ice… dry ice. The TSA allows passengers to preserve items using dry ice in quantities of 5.5 pounds or less.
ToolsThere’s not much need for tool time when you’re 30,000 feet up, but try telling that to the Tim Allens of the world. The TSA allows tools like screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers onboard an aircraft as long as they are seven inches or less in length.
Deceased RemainsTake your loved one on a final flight; just make sure to pack the remains in a wood or plastic container so it can successfully be X-rayed. The TSA is still developing guidelines on this one and some airlines do not allow cremated remains on their flights. It’s best to check with your airline before any issues arise.
Pot-bellied PigsThe trendy Vietnamese pot-bellied pig is legally classified as a service animal and is allowed to fly under certain circumstances. A “therapeutic” 300-pound companion hog made headlines several years ago when it wreaked havoc on a US Airways flight. The airline promised it would never again allow pigs on planes, so it’s best to check with your airline and have proper paperwork before you bring your pig to the airport.
The airport was once the most exciting window to the world. Now it's more like a war zone -- a place to be sniffed, searched, scolded, and scurried away.
Each week the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) makes headlines for handling situations inappropriately, from instituting revealing body scans to strip searching grandmas and leaving inappropriate notes in passengers' luggage. The list goes on.
In fact, the Web is buzzing with blogs dedicated to a whole array of airport gripes, most of which revolve around the screening process and the items we bring to the airport.
It's easy to forget that the TSA didn't even exist before 9/11. The now-ubiquitous organization was created in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to strengthen the security of the nation's transportation systems by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, passed by the 107th Congress in November of 2001.
Before 9/11, airport security was contracted out to private companies.
The TSA was formed to do three things: take responsibility for all modes of transportation; recruit, assess, hire, train and deploy security officers for 450 commercial airports from Guam to Alaska within 12 months; and provide 100 percent screening of all checked luggage for explosives by Dec. 31, 2002.
Now, 50,000 TSA officers screen nearly two million air travelers each day.
While so much has changed in America since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, arguably the greatest alteration to our way of life came in the way we travel.
Over a decade later, increased security at airports is commonplace, a certain lack of privacy is demanded, and we have given up many of our freedoms for the sake of that very word.
The TSA is constantly struggling to strike the right balance between what technology is capable of, and what the public is willing to accept.
Most of us, for instance, are still unclear what items we can and cannot take on an airplane -- and rightfully so. These rules are constantly changing with the times to meet the latest intelligence in Washington.
The great majority never, for example, imagined that someone could make liquid explosives until British police uncovered a gruesome plot to bring down up to 10 transatlantic airlines with them in 2006. Later that year the TSA limited the amount of liquids, gels, and aerosols we could bring in our carry-on luggage. The so-called 3-1-1 guidelines were a direct result of the perceived liquid bomb threat.
Bill Burns, the tongue-in-cheek writer and No. 1 TSA cheerleader at the helm of the agency's official blog, had this to say earlier this year when a woman tried (unsuccessfully) to board a plane with a cupcake stored in a frosting-filled jar.
What the [liquid bomb] plots and intelligence gathered from all over the world tell us is that unless Wile E. Coyote is involved, the days of the three sticks of dynamite with a giant alarm clock strapped to them are long gone. Terrorist have moved to novel explosives disguised as common, everyday items.
When you think about it, he added, do you think an explosive would be concealed in an ominous item that would draw attention, or something as simple as a cute cupcake jar?
So if we're not allowed to bring something as silly as a cupcake in a frosting-filled jar, what are we allowed to bring on a plane?
Press Start to have a look. The answers may surprise you.