Redditors who work with X-ray scanners at airports or train stations, what was the weirdest thing you’ve spotted in other people’s luggage?

Redditors who work with X-ray scanners at airports or train stations, what was the weirdest thing you’ve spotted in other people’s luggage?

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42 thoughts on “Redditors who work with X-ray scanners at airports or train stations, what was the weirdest thing you’ve spotted in other people’s luggage?

  1. apparentlyapparent February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    A set of perfect, perky silicone boobs. An entire human arm that turned out to be a realistic reproduction for medical reasons. Hundreds of sex toys. A living cat.

    Other stuff I can’t remember right now

  2. ispeakdatruf February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I was working at a company that made some specialized servers. We had shipped one to a trade show. But our team there reported, the day before the show started, that it wouldn’t boot.

    So I was tasked to fly down with a spare. In my carry-on baggage, because it was too fragile to check in. I found a bag big enough to hold a 2-U server, and headed to the airport.

    Obviously, I get pulled aside at the XRay station. “Do you have some electronics in your bag?”. Well, I sorta do.

    They asked me to open it. I did. There’s not much you can tell about a server just looking at it. A few more TSA agents gathered.

    “Can you turn it on?”. Well, yes; but without a display hooked to it, you can’t tell nothing.

    “Sir please turn it on, we want to see it working”. OK, I plugged in the cord, hit the button, and the loud fans spun up, “whooosh”. They stepped back and looked at it, as if they expected it to jump up and transform itself into some robot. It did no such thing (probably stopped at a prompt waiting for the net).

    They stared at it for a minute, and it continued to do nothing.

    “OK, that’s good. You can go.”

    Thank you.

  3. everyoneis_gay February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Not quite an X-ray scanner situation, but my friend who recently moved from the UK to Finland was calling around airlines trying to find out if he could take his pet cockatiel on a flight. One person told him yes and passed him onto someone else, who after a minute went “…ah, sorry sir, I’m not sure we can accommodate your pet on our flight.”

    “Ah, really? Your colleague just told me you could.”

    “Oh… Well.. How big is the crocodile?”

  4. Allthenamesareregone February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Not an X-ray scanner, but I watched this go down in an airport:

    A very young man (Him) who was scanning luggage for a flight began calling for help. When the more experienced female scanner (Her) arrived, the young man announced that the person had “an Israeli satellite dish ” in their luggage

    She opens the luggage. Pulls out a colander – one of those aluminum ones with the holes in the bottom in the shape of a 6 pointed star.

    Her: This is NOT an Israeli satellite dish. It’s a colander.

    Him: What’s a colander?

    Her: It’s a thing you drain pasta with.

    Him: Why is it in her luggage?

    Her: I don’t know and I don’t care. She’s allowed to have it. NEXT!

  5. q1ung February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I used to X-ray luggage at the local airport, both checked in and carry on. In the checked in one we found a stuffed beaver, a big ass grenade (a dud, it was a demonstration piece that the army was transporting, would be nice if they told us that), several hoverboards (that we had to remove due to exploding batteries).

    In the carry on I found an fireaxe, several kilos of cheese, around 20 liters of alcohol, weed.

    I worked there for four years, got a lot of stories to share.

  6. HuntedGopher February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    TSA stopped me on my way home from Orlando because of a long pointy object in my bag.

    It was a wand from Harry Potter World

  7. CoomassieBlue February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    A coworker of mine once checked 3 bags of firewood coming home from visiting family, simply because he had free checked bags and he could.

  8. Jeffuary February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I watched a woman put her dog through the X-ray at an airport and the TSA operator started screaming at her.

  9. GrissleMcThornbody February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    After a while, not much surprises you. But a few of the more memorable would include a bag with human skeletal remains, live and dead animals, diamonds worth millions, chainsaws, inert explosives, guns, drugs, organs, live fish, concept phones/tablets, and the list keeps on going. Of course there’s more sex paraphernalia than you can shake a stick at (pun intended).
    Someone even tried to sneak in a ferret under their shirt. Wasn’t expected that during a pat down.

  10. athermalwill February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I am late to this thread, but here you go; the creepiest thing you will ever see is a child’s baby doll. Especailly the ones with the rolling eyes. The just stare at you on the xray like bottomless holes to a dead soul.

    Weirdest? A body builder guy with a bunch of toy professional wrestling dolls in his bag. I guess everybody needs a hobby.

  11. WreakingHavoc640 February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I don’t work with scanners but I can tell you from personal experience that flying with a camping tent in your checked luggage is a surefire way to get pulled aside and made to wait while they yank said tent out of your bag and comb through it like they think you’re fucking Macgyver and you’re hiding parts for a bomb or some shit in that thing. This was especially surprising to me since they didn’t even bat an eye about the gun I had in my other checked bag. Before anyone asks, yes I had declared my gun and was traveling with it legally lol.

  12. MMaxs February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Last summer on my vacation the old man in front of me got stopped and detained, they found three small pen knives. Turned out the guy had forgotten them from his previous hunting trip he looked really sad that he’d have to leave them behind.

  13. Suzwella February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    So my husband is from another country. I was visiting my in-laws without him, and he asks me if I can bring home this big bronze pan. Like 12 lbs(I weighed it to see where I could pack it). Apparently there is this certain dish he wants to make and he just HAS to have this pan. It fits in my carry-on so I decide that is the best place for this super important pan.

    At the airport, I check in, give them my checked bags, and then proceed to security. After my carry-on goes through the scanner they pull me aside and say something about me having something big and metal. So I open it and show them what it is. And it isn’t sharp or anything so I’m ok. Wrong. They say it can be used as a weapon and I need to check it.

    I wasn’t planning on using it as a weapon, but after having to walk back to the desk and check it in, I did consider hitting my husband over the head with it.

  14. twitchy_taco February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I don’t work with any of this equipment, but once when I was on my way out after jury duty I passed by the metal detector screen. When the security guard wasn’t paying attention some lady passed a gun through in her purse. Nothing happened, thankfully, but that was neglectful as hell and really ballsy of that woman.

  15. SM1334 February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I was stopped before because they thought my playstation 3 charging station was a gun. And on a separate instance I was stopped because I ate powdered donuts before hand and all my stuff had powdered residue all over it. Didnt realize why I was questioned until after I got to my terminal.

  16. iknowitsarock February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Used to work for a major tourist attraction. Amongst the crazy item I’ve spotted are a pair of gardening shears (brought in by a sweet little old lady who apparently was just doing some gardening before she went on this coach trip)

    And a vibrator. Because OBVIOUSLY.

  17. Dee013 February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    A number of things honestly. Of course the typical sex toys – sounding rods and a pump being the ones that stand out the most. Had a doctor come through with a silicone teaching aide meant for prostate exams.

    I think the one that stands out the most however is someone brought a truck headlight through. It had something in it that didn’t look like anything a headlight would contain and it turned out to be drugs. That sure was a fun one.

  18. yoboyobo February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I have a co-worker who gets routinely questioned by TSA as she travels from PA to FL. She takes her 90yo father: ring bologna, pork roll & scrapple…the taste of home.

  19. Qvadro February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I dont work with one, but my mother once took a toilet seat in her luggage. It was a pretty small airport, so you could spot the staff having a good laugh about it.

  20. TheFannyTickler February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    A while back, I think when it was when they first started using the xray machines where you stand and put your hands up (that or it was just the first time my frequently flying family experienced them), we went through and we got to our gate and my dad goes “well I’m glad to see those things work well” and pulled a fairly large corkscrew out of his pocket.

  21. midnightboston February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Not an airport worker, but I was traveling 3 days ago and a kid, maybe 10 years old, got his backpack hand searched because he had at least 5 bags of Halloween candy. Like the big 60-piece bags from Target. It’s February. So many questions.

  22. organicgirl811 February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I don’t work with them- but I have a funny story.
    Coming home from Ireland with some friends and we’re in the security line. All is well until one worker asks my friend if she has a banana in her bag. She was confused but said no, because she didn’t. They asked her again, except this time firmer and louder, “Ma’am, do you have a banana in your bag?” She started to get nervous but she absolutely did not have a banana in her bag- or anything of that shape really. It sounded really funny to surrounding people because I’m sure they all assumed it was a sex toy. I was with her the whole trip and she didn’t have anything like that in her suitcase, I’m still not sure what the banana shaped object was.

  23. captain_redballs February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Not my story, second hand from a friend going through security.
    She is a geologist and was going to do work in the Arctic, before this they had to do firearm training in case of polar bears.
    They were flying out of this small airport that had just got one of those swab machines that detects explosives and since only like one flight left per hour they would swab every person.
    Theirs came up and were asked, “we detected gun powder, have you been firing guns recently?”
    “Yes, those ones, right there that you just put through the x-ray”

  24. jjlkaziz February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Not an X ray scanner, but once at the airport this big family of Middle easterns where caught with huge bags of weed looking green leaves.
    They were trying to explain that this is some traditional food in their country (too bad english to explain it correctly) , but the staff took it all away.
    Anyway it is true and it is very delicious

  25. RemmiNepsa February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I got pulled from the line over the gauge on my BP cuff. I had just graduated from EMT school in CA and was flying back to TX. Flew out of CA with no problem and landed at Dallas Fort Worth where the fun began.

    Had to go through security because I left the gates to go get coffee. As I came back through, they freaked when they saw the gauge through the x-ray. At first I was so confused about what was happening. But it clicked and once I realized, I told them it was a sphygmomanometer (the actual name for the gauge) I had a 2.5 hr layover so I wasn’t in a rush. They just glared at me and called more TSA agents to the area. They ran my carry on back through x-ray and someone said it’s just a BP cuff and pulled it out of my bag. One of the guys said I called it something else and continued to glare. I responded with, “Yeah, it’s a sphygmomanometer, that’s the actual gauge you are seeing attached to the BP cuff”. The one agent that pulled it out of my bag handed it back to me apologized. As I was walking away I could hear her heckling him some over the whole incident. I think I laughed all the way to my gate.
    Edit: I suck at spelling today! I’m medicated and stuck in this hospital bed. Tried to fix it all. Please forgive me!

  26. MadG February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I got the bomb squad for a turkey sandwich. Lss: I had to work black Friday, husband didn’t, so I flew back after thanksgiving, same day, and mil didn’t mention that she had slipped a sandwich in my bag to enjoy. Maybe it was the strangely proportioned metal object, maybe the bomb dogs were hungry, but I got a ton of attention as I carefully peeled open the sandwich. Shout out to all my dtw fellow travelers thanksgiving 2002!

  27. 2T2Good February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    A moose cow skull, it was strange, it confused all of us trying to figure out what it was until we flipped the bag. But we are in Alaska so I guess it makes sense.

  28. jules083 February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I was a passenger here, but here’s my story.

    2003, heading to Iraq for the US Army. We’re on a commercial plane, but it’s all Army personnel. Go through a commercial airport. So when it comes time to go through security, much to my surprise, we still have to go through the whole process. At one point I set down my pistol, machine gun, pocket knife, and bayonet, just so I could pass through a metal detector. No clue what they were looking for.

    Pilots let us rotate through riding in the cockpit though, so that was pretty cool.

  29. Spamakin February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Not a security person. But one time I had a TSA Agent pull me aside and start questioning what this sharp object was in my pencil case.

    It was a compass

    A frickin compass

  30. allglownup February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Once I was flying back to college after fall break. Most of the people in the screening line with me were also clearly college students. As I was exiting the line, I saw a disappointed-looking guy whose luggage was getting hand-screened- the TSA agent pulled can after can of Spaghetti-Os out of the guy’s backpack until he had practically a pyramid of them. I guess the guy’s mom thought she’d send him back to school with some food. Needless to say, Spaghetti-Os don’t meet the 3oz limit for liquids.

  31. ChildLaborForce69 February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I brought an inert grenade into an airport when I was 6. (Army surplus store) I’m sure that gave the lady scanning luggage a heart attack considering it was 3 months after 9/11

  32. Slappingthebassman February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Was at an airport once. The guy in front of me had a pocket pussy in his carry on. The TSA pulled it out in front of everyone and couldn’t figure out what it was. I laughed so hard I actually started stomping my feet. This guy wouldn’t say what it was and they couldn’t figure it out. It was a 15 minute situation and nobody said anything. Greatest moment of my life.

  33. chickaboomba February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I travel frequently for work. Only once have I HS my carry-on searched because of something suspicious on the x-ray. Turns out a box of business cards next to a high heel on a shoe looks like a 3-D printed gun.

  34. bostonronin February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Not me, but my friend who worked in the TSA told me they once pulled aside a woman for having a six-inch knife with a pink handle in her luggage. She apparently told them that she thought it would be okay, because “it was a gift.”

  35. Finlaywatt February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Not an airport worker and this will probably get buried but whatever.

    In high school I went on the German exchange program to a town near Munich. On one of our days in the city we were given some time to shop so we spilt off into our usual friend groups and explored.

    One of my school friends was a bit of a punk/skater kid and dressed as such (chains, bracelets and most importantly, those square studded belts with massive interchangeable buckles). Well on our shopping trip he found a shop selling his kinda stuff and decided to buy a grenade belt buckle. Imagine if you will your stereotypical grenade cut in half straight down the lever/handle, but hollow and chrome/brushed metal. The day before departing for our flight home it dawned on him that he probably wouldn’t get away with wearing it through airport security and began questioning his best course of action for getting it home.

    Now it’s worth mentioning that I’m that friend who will support a terrible idea if the likely outcome is funny.
    So on our collective advice of not putting it in his checked luggage for fear of them x raying it, seeing it, and blowing it up in a controlled explosion, he decided (on our advice) to put it in his hand luggage.

    Knowing full well what was potentially going to happen I was first in the queue for the x ray, followed by my friend. I cleared security and began repacking my liquids and getting my belt and whatnot back on, while making sure I did this in full view of the x ray monitor. I thought his belt may show up sideways or obscured but what showed on the screen was a perfect grenade, as clear as day. Well things escalated quite quickly at that point with an alarm being pressed and several large, heavily armed German policemen surrounding my friend and barking at him in thick Bavarian German. My poor German teacher was rapidly trying to interpret before his bag was pulled apart to remove the buckle, to which they gave a very dry ‘ha, funny man’ and let him go on his way, minus the buckle and in need of some fresh underwear. Needless to say I was crying with laughter by the end of this.

  36. schumi0221 February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Don’t work at an airport but this is still somewhat relevant. I was on deployment in Afghanistan and had go come home early on an emergency red cross message. I threw on my single outfit of civilian clothes and was flown through Qatar where I was making a connecting flight to Germany. I took everything with me including my Kevlar plates (1 front plate, 1 back plate, and 2 smaller side plates). The woman at the check in counter told me my checked bag was too heavy so I decided to grab the two smaller Kevlar plates and throw them in my carry on backpack. As I made my way through the security check point they slid my backpack through the X-ray machine and I watched the screen and saw my two Kevlar plates appear as giant black squares. Needless to say the security attendant grabbed my bag and started to search it. He pulled out the two plates and in broken English asked me to explain what they were. I immediately shit my pants and the only thing my brain could piece together was to say they’re “bullet proof Kevlar plates.” The security attendant started screaming the question “WHY DO YOU NEED BULLET PROOF VEST ON PLANE?!” This caught the attention of multiple security guards who began to circle around me. I desperately tried to explain what was happening and why I had them but it obviously wasn’t working. Fortunately an army officer dressed in civilian clothing who was also returning home overheard what was going on and rushed to my side and started speaking to them in Farci or Pashtu or whatever. Whatever he said saved my ass and the security attendant shoved my plates in my backpack and threw my bag to me. I bought the officer a drink and thanked him for saving my ass. One of the scariest moments of my life 2/10 would not recommend.

  37. Medic_Ri February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Well I’m very late and this should get buried but I think it’s funny.

    When I was young (around 10/11) my family took a trip to Hawaii. We visited the black sand beach and a bunch of other really sweet places. So I decided to take a ziploc bag full of black Hawaiian beach sand home to California. Through security. In the same backpack pocket as my game boy charger.

    Probably gave TSA a heart attack.

  38. philmtl February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    I’ve been stopped beofre where they thuaght my fishing reel was part of a machine gun? Like common

  39. romeoinverona February 12, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Did not happen to me, rather someone who was bringing some stuff to my family when we were living overseas.

    Apparently, a bag full of like six drinking birds looks a lot like a bomb, with all the glass tubes and non-water fluids. It also turns out that a block of cheddar cheese looks about the same as a block of plastic explosive on their scanners.

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