Very similar experience at JFK coming home from my student exchange year in a wine growing area in Germany. 17 years old, two suitcases with my worldly possessions of the last year plus 18 bottles of wine carefully packed among them. I was at a 45° angle pulling them along with my customs declaration clamped between my teeth. Customs guy just reached out, grabbed it, said “welcome home” and waved me through.
Ok, now I’m having a flashback to an ill-advised tasting/shopping spree around the Finger Lakes in New York. I managed to get two suitcases closed through the sheer force of desperation, and wore layers of clothing on the return trip to make room. No wine was left behind, but next time I’ll just drive instead.
18. Bottles. Of. Wine???
I had to leave 6 behind because they wouldn’t fit.
Rhein-Hessen whites were lovely. The local vintners made some nice ones. Haven’t been back, but maybe this summer…
On a holiday from college to visit my parents, I brought a few bottles of flavouring* and some tinsel into Saudi Arabia and returned with a camel skull** in my luggage to the UK.
*to make homebrewed spirit more Christmassy (or barely palatable)
**for a drawing project that was never completed
Half a robot with wires hanging out. Post 9/11. It got lots of swabs and I had a nice conversation with a TSA employee who concluded I was a nerd and a bit of an idiot.
Three rooms worth of Ikea parquet tiles from Sweden to Italy.
A friend (RIP Vincenzo, you are missed ) was renovating his apartment and calculated that they would still be much cheaper notwithstanding the extra luggage cost.
Today I often get some extra questions as I travel with lots of loose half assembled circuit boards, components, or in general non-commercial electronics in various stages of undressing and distress - for hobby, only a couple of times for work.
I so welcome the new scanners in Rome, you don’t need to take out all the electronics any longer.
Coming back from an SCA event in New Zealand.
Carryon goes through the x-ray.
“Are those… crowns?”
“Yes! They are! Would you like to see them?”
“Nnnnnnno, thanks, I’ll take your word for it.”
I had to google that.
I got Society for Creative Anachronism
Specialty Coffee Association
Well, that’s definitely the funnest one.
And I would suppose explain the crowns.
I was in the area of Fort Leonardwood, MO and found an interesting fossil. Some kind of fossilized clams embedded in a big 'ol rock. I threw it in my backpack to bring home to my son.
When the bag went through TSA it garnered quite a bit of attention. The stone was too dense to be penetrated by x-ray and the TSA guys were just scratching their heads wondering what to do next. It took a few minutes of calling over supervisors and asking me goofy questions before one guy just asked me “do you have a big rock in your bag” to which I replied “yeah” and showed them. Then I was on my way. I don’t think they ever noticed the box cutter that was in the front pocket.
I fly a lot so I probably have a few more to add
Ok not me - but I was there.
On my first business trip (IT to USA), long before 9/11, my quite portly and bearded colleague was told by his boss to check a model train store in Baltimore for a very specific locomotive.
When we got there the shop was still closed, so to waste some time we visited a nearby pawn shop.
I got myself a very nice film camera (Asahi Pentax Superprogram) and he bought a trumpet.
We then went to the train store and found what he was looking for.
Going back to Italy, the x-ray of his hand baggage clearly showed the silhouette of both items.
The operator waved at him: “Hi Santa! Make sure to read my letter!”
I’ve only flown 3 times in my 58 years, once to DC for a family health situation, once from Omaha to Colorado Springs but drove from Michigan to Omaha, and once in a jet powered helicopter with the door off so I could lean out and take photos, I was paid for that.
So, the most stupid and funny stuff was me.
Ah ha ha ha ha hah hah!
I needed a laugh this morning.
(Welcome to BoingBoing)
Today’s odd carry-on: four pounds of frozen Elk meat. TSA opened the box and I was tempted to ‘helpfully’ tell the agent that is wasn’t human. Pinky swear!
I’m sure they were more bothered about the freezer packs.
They were frozen, therefore solid, so ok. But what about when they thawed? Then they would be gel, right? But maybe they would stay solid until you landed. But maybe not, and you would cleverly explode the elk and crash the plane.