What Not to Pack in Your Checked and Carry-On Baggage – Lessons to Learn From True-Life Stories

what not to pack in your carry-on bag

Sometimes, the items people carry on planes could take even a seasoned TSA agent by surprise. At other times, the most innocuous of items can be misunderstood for being lethal. Either way, nothing comes close to these shocking stories that tell you what not to pack in your carry-on bag. Learn about some of the greatest real-life baggage disasters and what is not allowed in flight.

Sweet as Honey

Honey is perhaps not something that comes to mind when you think about what you cannot take on a plane. Leon Haughton, a US citizen, was thrown into jail for 82 days for carrying liquid meth onto a plane in December 2018. It was later found that he was actually not carrying meth at all – it was honey! Officials stated that traces of methamphetamine had been found inside the jars of honey he was bringing back from his home country of Jamaica.

A second lab test in Georgia revealed that the jars of honey did not contain any methamphetamine and that Houghton had been wrongfully imprisoned. Tragically enough, he had lost his job by the time he got out of prison. With 6 kids, his family went through a huge amount of stress during the time he was in jail. Needless to say, he does not want his honey back. Sometimes, even the most innocuous of things can land you in trouble!

Blast Off

What can you not take on a plane? Not a missile launcher for sure. As a Texas resident returned from Kuwait to the US in July 2019, airport officials were left shocked as an entire missile launcher was detected in his checked luggage. The man stated that he was an active part of the military and merely wanted to keep the missile launcher as a souvenir, and had no nefarious designs whatsoever.

After making sure that the launcher was not a live device, security finally allowed the Jacksonville resident to board the plane. His treasured souvenir was handed over to the state fire marshal so it could be disposed of safely. No weapons are typically allowed onto planes – let alone military weapons – so be careful not to carry them on-board.

Lethal Mistake

Back in 2010, Farid Sief, a businessman from Houston, made one of the worst mistakes you can make while packing your bag – forgetting to remove your gun from the bag. To make matters worse, the gun was inadvertently tucked away in his laptop case so it was easy to miss, but it was fully loaded. The shocking part of the incident is that he was allowed onto his flight without the gun being detected!

Seif was left puzzled when he discovered the gun in his bag midway through his flight. According to him, it was not a small weapon by any means. A standard .40-caliber gun, it was somehow missed by the metal detectors. Being a good Samaritan and knowing that a loaded gun certainly counts on the list of what not to bring on a plane, he reported it as soon as he got off the plane. Make sure to check every pocket in your bag the next time you travel. Not everyone is as lucky as Seif, after all.

Snakes on a Plane

In a story that seems straight out of a cartoon series, a man traveling from Florida to Hawaii in June 2019 managed to accidentally carry a southern black racer snake in his backpack. The Virginia resident-only discovered the snake once he reached the property he was renting in Hawaii.

Snakes, however, are illegal to be kept as pets in Hawaii as they pose a threat to its native fauna. The snake was thankfully non-venomous, but the man narrowly escaped being charged a $200,000 fine and 3 years in prison! Be careful what slithers into your bag next time you go for a spin with Mother Nature, in case you end up bringing along what is not allowed in flight.

Now that you know what not to pack in your carry-on bag, fly responsibly and be safe!

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