Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia Airport each made it into the Transportation Security Administration’s list of Top 10 List of most unusual items found at checkpoints in 2019. TSA released the list in an on-line video it posted on the agency’s YouTube account.
What Were the Two Items from the New York Area That Made the List?
TSA officers at Newark International Airport came across a pet snake that someone lost on August 19, 2019. The 15-inch ring-necked snake, a thin black snake with a bright yellow band around the back of its neck, was spotted on the floor of the checkpoint in Terminal C by a youngster who heeded the advice, “If you see something, say something” when she spotted it and notified a TSA officer.
The TSA officer placed a gray checkpoint bin over the snake to contain it and prevent it from slithering away. The checkpoint lane was closed temporarily and passengers shifted to another lane to clear the area. Port Authority Police were notified and secured the snake before taking it away, allowing TSA to repopulate the checkpoint lane a short time later.
TSA screens a variety of pets that travelers bring to checkpoints, but it is up to the airline as to whether it will allow those pets—snakes or otherwise—on their aircraft.
A month later, at LaGuardia Airport, a traveler who was passing through a TSA security checkpoint on September 14, 2019, was traveling with a pair of martial arts sais, which are metal piercing weapons with a central blade with two curved prongs coming out of the handle. They went through the checkpoint X-ray scanner where TSA officers discovered the set on the X-ray monitor. Sais are martial arts weapons and, of course, no weapons are allowed through a checkpoint. That’s quite a no-no.