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10 most bizarre items confiscated by TSA in 2021

  • Air Travel
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has shared a list of the strangest objects it confiscated in 2021. There are plenty of weird items on there that will have you wondering, ‘Huh, what were they thinking.’ Here’s the list of TSA’s top ten catches of 2021.

most bizarre items confiscated by TSA

1.     Chainsaw

Macabre, yes. The weirdest item confiscated? Debatable. The chainsaw confiscated by the TSA at New Orleans International Airport is probably one of the tamer items on the list. The sheer audacity of trying to sneak a chainsaw through TSA shot it to the top spot, we presume.


2.     Gun-themed wine holder


Sacramento International Airport yielded this gem that piqued our curiosity. So much that we had to find out what it was. However, Google showed mixed results from wine holders that look like guns or holsters. There was even a pistol-shaped decanter.

3.     Fireworks


The TSA confiscated fireworks at New York’s Syracuse Hancock International Airport. We all know that highly flammable items aren’t to be toyed with. They’re certainly not to be taken aboard airplanes. Except maybe this passenger. Filed under ‘what were they even thinking.’

4.     Machete


Yup, a real machete. It’s described as “a well-worn, heavy-duty, wooden-handled machete with a dirty blade.” The item was confiscated at Reagan National Airport in Washington DC.

5.     Bear spray


Yes, at some point or the other in our lives, we’ve sat next to rather ‘grizzly’ or maybe even ‘growly’ co-passengers. But surely none warrant a Bear Spray! The TSA caught this at the Destin/Fort Walton Beach Airport in Florida. (We’re not going to make a ‘Florida man’ joke, just no.)

6.     Cleaver


“Not a cleaver idea to bring this through security,” jokes the TSA video. The joke is about the cleaver they confiscated at Harrisburg International Airport (Pennsylvania). We concur. Doesn’t cut it at all! (Ha-ha‚Ķnow that’s being ‘cleaver’ if you ask us)

7.     Firearm buckle


We have only one thing to say to the person whose Firearm buckle the TSA caught at Honolulu International Airport: “Why waist our time. The security checks take long enough already?”

8.     Meth burrito


A meth burrito was caught at Hobby International Airport in Texas. It’s probably the item that raised the most eyebrows. It is, in fact, exactly what it says. A burrito with crystal meth stuffed in it. Eagle-eyed TSA agents spotted “something dark and unusual” in a breakfast burrito. A passenger had it in their carry-on luggage. Amid the eggs, cheese, and meat, they found crystal meth. The waste of a good burrito should be a crime in itself!

9.     Pistol


You cannot carry guns through an airport security checkpoint. Not even if they are like the antique pistol the TSA seized from a Newark International Airport passenger. TSA also reported that in 2021, it confiscated the most weapons in its history. 5,674 guns were detained at checkpoints. At least 85% had ammunition. Not cool at all.

If you have doubts about what you can or cannot carry on an airplane, visit https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all.

10. Bullets in deodorant


The TSA confiscated six bullets hidden inside a deodorant stick at Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey. We’re guessing that this passenger was literally sweating bullets!

The list shows how challenging the past year was for the TSA. Airports grappled with flight cancellations and issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, people continued to travel. In fact, TSA reported the highest number of holiday travelers since the beginning of the pandemic. The 2021 holiday season saw more than 110 million Americans in airports across the country. On December 26, approximately 2.1 million passengers passed through TSA checkpoints.

The list is a bit of hilarity from an organization that has faced many difficulties through the epidemic. They’ve been grappling with the considerable increase in the number of firearms seized at checkpoints. Also, they’ve seen a steep spike in the number of positive coronavirus infections among personnel.

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