"People who are tempted to discount the importance of screening need to think again," said Adm. James M. Loy, TSA Administrator in a TSA press release. "Every day screeners are meeting the challenge of keeping flights secure, and all too often they are finding dangerous weapons that passengers are trying to take on flights."
Loy stressed that screeners at all U.S. airports will be prepared to check every passenger and every bag over the long Labor Day weekend. "Passengers can help by being prepared to go through security," he said.
Yogi Go Boom
In July, screeners at Orlando (Fla.) International Airport made international news when they intercepted a 10-year-old boy toting a cute teddy bear with a not-at-all cute and fully loaded handgun tucked in its furry little tummy. The boy's parents told officials that another child in the airport had given their son the loaded bear. The other child was never found and no charges were filed, but the teddy missed the flight.
Armed Passengers Show Vast Imagination
At New York's JFK Airport, screeners observed a man walking very gingerly. Probably because he didn't want his feet sliced and diced by the two razor blades hidden in the insoles of his tennis shoes. That's why they still check shoes. In other displays of "armed and imaginative," screeners have found "lipstick" and "belt buckle" knives and canes with swords hidden inside. In Hartford, Conn., screeners caught a man who had hollowed out his prosthetic leg to conceal a nine-inch military knife.
Screeners also discovered a handgun taped to the side of a similarly shaped drill in an effort to get it past X-ray equipment, and a man with a culinary bent tried to conceal two handguns in a checked bag by taping them between frying pans. At Austin-Bergstrom International in Texas, a man tried to hide a 9 mm handgun inside a car stereo.
How to Speed Up Airport Security Checks
If you're flying this Labor Day, you will encounter heightened security screening and you will be delayed. However, these travel tips from the TSA will help you get through security as quickly and easily as possible. Have a safe flight!