Alaska TSA sees unique items given up at security, offers tips for travelers

Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 7:24 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A shovel, fish clubs, a bracelet with a knife in it, and even a blowtorch. These are all items people tried to get through the Transportation Security Agency with at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

“Probably the biggest thing that’s lacking, is common sense,” said Alaska TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers.

Every month, TSA said travelers leave behind 400 to 450 pounds of metals and sharp objects at Ted Stevens and that number increases over the summer.

So what should people know before heading to the airport?

In general, people are prohibited from traveling with sharp objects in carry-on baggage.

“Knives of all shapes and sizes, even something as straightforward as a corkscrew. But if that corkscrew has a blade like this one then what’s going to happen is you’re not going to be allowed to have it in your carry-on luggage,” Dankers said.

Tools longer than 7 inches measured from end to end when assembled are prohibited in carry-on baggage; these items must be packed in checked baggage.

“The next section I always like to talk about is the martial arts items,” Dankers said. “People bring those, everything from the little kubatons, to the brass knuckles, nunchucks themselves. I mean these are things common sense would say, no martial arts items in the cabin of the aircraft.”

The rule for firearms is that they need to be checked, and the same goes for replicas or toy guns.

TSA will collect these items and they’re bundled by the State of Alaska Office of Procurement and Property Management and put up for online auction to the public, because once someone leaves an item behind with TSA, they will not be able to get it back.

“Our officers take no joy in telling a traveler that they can’t travel with these, but often times we have no choice but to let them know what their options are and then they leave them behind, they end up on a table like this,” Dankers said.

“Because ultimately our job is to ensure you have a safe flight,” said TSA Officer Sean Hubbard at the Anchorage airport.

Travelers can check out and enter an item name to see how to travel with it, The “MYTSA” app has the same feature, and on Twitter and Facebook go to “ASKTSA.” Users can take a picture of an item and the TSA will explain how to travel with it.

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