TSA announces its weirdest security-checkpoint finds of 2021

A well-worn, heavy-duty machete was found at a checkpoint at Reagan National Airport last year. (Courtesy TSA)

Reagan National Airport has made a rather macabre list put out by the Transportation Security Administration.

But the airport could not have done it alone: It has a clueless traveler to thank.

The TSA on Monday released a video listing its Top Catches of 2021 – the most unusual items caught at the safety checkpoints of America’s airports. And an item found at Reagan National made the No. 4 spot on the list.

A machete that the TSA described as “well-worn” was found at the airport March 6, the TSA said.

“The dirtied blade showed it has had heavy use with what appeared to be significant wear, rust and other markings as a result of use,” the TSA said in a statement. “This specific traveler also was toting along some ammunition and a canister of flammable butane fuel.”

If you don’t know by now that you can’t carry these things onto planes, you probably aren’t going to learn any other way than firsthand.

Kudos to the TSA for trying to have fun with it, but honestly most of the items seem pretty grim. Some, um, highlights:

  • No. 10: Bullets were found stuck in deodorant at Atlantic City International.
  • At No. 8, Hobby International Airport, in Houston, played host to a meth burrito.
  • At No. 6, a cleaver — yes, a straight-up meat cleaver — was found at Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania.
  • And topping the list was a chainsaw at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Happy travels, everyone!

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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