Craziest Things Anyone Ever Tried To Sneak Onto An Airplane

Travelling by air can be stressful and confusing, what with all the rules, deadlines, inconvenience, and that unique combination of stress and boredom. Probably the biggest, and most important, rules of all concern what you can and can't take on the plane. Despite the obvious sophistication of the scanning and detection equipment being employed by the TSA agents, many people still try to sneak something shady onto the plane. Usually it's a pocket knife, or a questionable souvenir, but every now and then, it's something really crazy. What made anyone think they could ever smuggle on-board the following?


Bringing a knife on the plane is bad (and illegal) enough—why on Earth would you ever try to bring on something bigger, and deadlier? In January 2012, at Elmira Airport in New York, a man was caught attempting to do just that, sneaking a chainsaw onto the plane with him. However, while this may sound like the opening scene of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel, the guy luckily had no actual ill intent. He just ... needed to take his chainsaw on the road with him, for whatever reason.

Interestingly, there wouldn't normally have been an issue with bringing a chainsaw onto the aircraft (so long as it's not in the cabin). However, it has to be dead—this one was fully fueled-up and ready to roar, and gas is definitely not allowed anywhere on an aircraft ... other than its fuel tanks, or as a byproduct of the in-flight meal.

Tiger cub

Cats are cute, right? And if you've ever owned one, maybe you'll understand how someone might wish they could take theirs with them. And if the traveler isn't totally lazy, there are ways to do just that ... so long as we're talking about house cats, that is. When it comes to larger felines however, the rules are taken just a tick more seriously. Which is probably why, in 2010, a 31-year-old woman attempted to sneak a two-month-old tiger cub through security in Thailand. Obviously aware that she couldn't walk it on board attached to a leash, she elected to sedate the kitty, and stuff it in her suitcase. Security at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok unsurprisingly spotted the sleeping cub when the bag went through the x-ray machine—the bones were a dead giveaway—and they promptly called in the authorities to take charge of the beastie.

The woman, it turns out, was on her way to Iran, where she was presumably hoping to make a lot of money by selling the cuddly cash cow. If so, then she clearly didn't do her research, because the last time Itanians got their hands on tigers, they shot them to extinction. Maybe next time, smuggle your cuddly baby tigers somewhere they'd be appreciated, like Detroit.

A corpse

After a long flight, you can probably expect some passengers to say they feel like death. Probably, they'll look a bit like it too. However, if the passenger is looking that bad before the flight, that might ring a few alarm bells. Unfortunately, that didn't occur to two women from Germany in 2010, who attempted to take a dead relative with them on a flight back home from the UK. The woman and her daughter were attempting to check-in for their flight, with their deceased husband/step-father in a wheelchair. The airport worker who had helped them out of their taxi raised the alarm, after he touched the dead man and was shocked at how cold he was. When a doctor checked on the man, it was determined that he had probably died the day before, but despite the professional medical opinion, the women insisted he had been alive when they got to the airport, and must have died since arriving.

The women were arrested, obviously, and authorities proposed they were simply trying to avoid the expensive costs of shipping the dead man home legally, not to mention that awkward moment when they have to collect him from the baggage claim carousel.

420 pounds of cow brains

In what appears to be some sort of zombie cow conspiracy, three men were stopped as they attempted to enter Egypt, after a flight from Sudan. Authorities decided to check several large coolers the men were travelling with (because who travels with large coolers?), and discovered 420 pounds of frozen cow brains. It seems the men were intending to sell them to Egyptian restaurants, for consumption by brain-eating Egyptians. Cow brains are much cheaper in Sudan than in Egypt, so you can make mad money if you have a way to move the grey matter to where there's demand. Airport officials confiscated the brains, and since there was no way to confirm sanitary handling of the goods prior to entering Egypt, the brains were sent to be incinerated.

That the men were smuggling brains didn't appear to be the officials' chief concern—they even admitted that it was not the first (or second, or third) time that week airport security had intercepted cow brain smuggling attempts from Sudan. It's not clear what's more disturbing: that there's a significant demand for cow brains in Egypt, that "budding entrepreneurs" are transporting them on flights in checked baggage, or that it's common enough for security to be all "eh, just another day at the office" about it.

Klingon bat'leth

A Klingon and his favorite weapon are not easily separated, not even if it's a human nerd dressed as a Klingon, apparently. Because TSA agents found what appeared to be a mini bat'leth (a Klingon sword-like weapon) in a traveler's carry-on baggage at San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Puerto Rico. If the object had been packed in the passenger's checked baggage, there probably wouldn't have been a problem, but not even Klingons are allowed to take weapons into the cabin.

This isn't even the first time this has happened, because TSA found a similar item in the hand luggage of a passenger at LaGuardia Airport in New York. It can't have been too much trouble knowing which passengers to search for this type of thing—the foreheads must be a dead giveaway.