The TSA's Top 10 Confiscated Items for 2021 Included Bear Spray and a Meth Burrito

"From bear spray to meth-rritos, our officers found some truly unusual items," the TSA shared.

What do a chainsaw, bear spray, and a meth burrito all have in common? They were all seized at United States airports last year, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which recently released its top confiscated items for 2021.

The list, released last week, contains the agency's "top 10 catches of 2021" include dangerous items like a machete and pistols as well as unusual finds like a wine holder shaped like a firearm. In Atlantic City, one passenger even tried to smuggle bullets onto a plane by hiding them in deodorant, while someone flying out of Honolulu tried to board with a belt buckle with a firearm in it.

And one passenger in Syracuse thought bringing fireworks on their flight was a good idea, but the TSA quickly reminded them it "doesn't take a rocket scientist to know… this is a no-no."

"From bear spray to meth-rritos, our officers found some truly unusual items," the TSA tweeted in its release of the list. "They worked hard to keep travelers safe as they returned to the skies."

Some items that are prohibited in carry-on luggage may be allowed in checked baggage like alcohol and baseball bats, according to the TSA. Even firearms can be packed in checked luggage if they are unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in.

A TSA agent helps a traveler through security at a nearly deserted checkpoint at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, CA
Paul Bersebach/Getty Images

It's also important to remember to pack strategically when going through airport security, packing liquids together in case you have to remove them and keeping all important documents within easy reach.

In addition to confiscating certain items, the TSA has said it would revoke the "privilege" of TSA PreCheck for travelers who become unruly on planes with TSA Administrator David Pekoske saying the agency has a "zero tolerance for the unruly behaviors, especially those involving physical assault occurring aboard aircraft."

These are the top 10 items confiscated in 2021, according to the TSA.

  1. Chainsaw, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
  2. Wine holder (shaped like a firearm), Sacramento International Airport
  3. Fireworks, Syracuse Hancock International Airport
  4. Machete, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
  5. Bear spray, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport
  6. Cleaver, Harrisburg International Airport
  7. Firearm buckle, Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
  8. Meth burrito, Houston William P. Hobby International Airport
  9. Pistol, Newark Liberty International Airport
  10. Bullets in deodorant, Atlantic City International Airport

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles