Passengers from all over have been sharing their airport security hassles on an online forum by Quora and the list ranges from hilarious to horror.
Here are some of the experiences shared by travelers:
A Referee's Whistle
"I don't recall if this pre- or post-9/11. Probably before but doubt that has relevance," wrote John McDermott, a technology innovation strategist.
"I was traveling U.K. to Eire from Stansted. I have a whistle on my key fob, from the days when I occasionally refereed karate competitions. So I put my keys in a tray to pass through the scanner and the agent said I couldn't take the whistle. "
"After brief conversation of incomprehension he agreed I could return to the check-in area. I bought an envelope and stamp, and posted it back to myself. "
"A flight that I was operating left the stand late. Why? The captain got stopped at security and got told that his pot of humus wasn't allowed to go through because it was more than 100g. The captain proceeded to explain how humus wasn't a liquid, but a paste," writes Fabio Rosado, a flight attendant.
"The security officer was adamant and said it wouldn't let him go through. They proceeded to argue for a while. In the end the pot of humus didn't go through security."
Airport security at the Vancouver airport wouldn't let Vince Siminitus and his fellow passengers board with souvenir snow globes from the Sochi Olympics.
"When we protested that it was an Olympic souvenir and the liquid contents were sealed with no way to access it, the screeners said it was not labeled as to how much liquid was in it and tossed it into a trash barrel for confiscated items. I looked in the barrel as I passed and it was FULL of Sochi snow globes! I am sure that was the case at all the security lines. I am sure the Russians were thrilled."
Parth Sharma's parents were not allowed to take dried coconuts from Bangalore to Ahmedabad, India.
"Soon after I had seen them off, I got a call from Dad that they will not allow them to carry coconuts even in the check-in baggage. He came all the way to the main gate to return them to me. (Because obviously, we Indians cannot simply allow them to throw away our stuff :) )" he wrote.
"Airline staff informed us that coconuts are considered inflammable and cannot be allowed in flight. Never heard of that before. Later, I Googled and found similar incidents experienced by other travelers as well. One guy was told by the security personnel that he can carry the coconuts only if they are cut into half and not full."
"How cutting a coconut into half can make it less inflammable is what I wonder."
The TSA confiscated frequent flier Petter Brenna Rian's love letters.
"For my solo trip to California from the U.K., my girlfriend wrote me a series of letters she hid in my check-in luggage. Once I got to my hotel room in LA, I opened the luggage and found the letters," he remembers.
"They were beautifully written, and brought me to tears. In addition, she had included several random objects, such as Batman stickers and a tarot card. I read the letters multiple times during my trip, and it made me long for the loving embrace and kiss of my dear woman."
"When I was flying back home from LAX, I packed the love letters in my check-in luggage, like I found them. It was when I finally got back home that I found TSA’s “we’ve been going through your sh*t” sticker stamped on my luggage. Lo and behold the letters were gone. TSA took my love letters. And the Batman stickers and tarot card…Why?" he wonders.
"The only explanation I can think of is that our fierce love was a threat to the national security of the United States."
Kirk Copple's had it with the antics of airport security; he now prefers driving across the states. His last flight was in 2009, coming back from San Diego.
Here's how it went:
"I was leaving a conference and had a 6 a.m. flight. That morning I just threw everything from on the hotel room desk into the front pocket of my carry-on backpack. Besides the multiple lighters, there were loose paper clips. Oh my, not paper clips! I don't know what kind of threat paper clips are, but that TSA officer deserves a medal for catching those. My mistake was pointing out that the pencils and pens in the bag could do more damage than a paperclip. At which point he gave me a good hard stare, then confiscated all my pencils and pens!"
"And that was the last time I flew. I haven't traveled more than 1,500 miles from home since then, so I see no reason to subject myself to that kind of BS. I would fly if I really needed to, but find it easy to avoid."