In the last decade, security checks at airports have developed from walking through a metal detector (with the possibility of being summoned for a quick frisk), to a whole manner of heightened security measures involving liquids, technology, coats/shoes and loose items.
The strangest item I've had confiscated at an airport? Tweezers. Yes, I know what you're thinking – it's not such a strange item – but that's the limit of my strangeness (honest!). However, they (security) obviously thought I looked like someone who could easily find an alternative use for tweezers on a flight and promptly took them away. I wouldn't have minded so much but they were a bloody good pair!
Anyway, it turns out there are quite a few of us Brits who have had items confiscated – 17% in fact, according to a recent survey from Jetcost.com (a flight comparison site), with handcuffs and sand topping the list.
The research (which asked 2,194 Brits aged 18 and over) found that handcuffs were the most popular confiscated item (14% of respondents), followed by sand/foliage (13%) a living animal such as lizards, spiders etc. (8%), tent pegs (6%) and a dead animal (3%).
Quite interestingly, those who had handcuffs confiscated said they’d either forgotten to put the item in their suitcase before departing (37%) or were hoping to use the item on the plane (31%)!
Bizarrely, those who admitted they’d had a dead animal confiscated from their possession admitted they had wanted to take it home to eat. Okay, moving on…
One respondent even admitted to having a brick confiscated that they had taken from a damaged part of their hotel. When asked why they were travelling with the item, they said they had several bricks from other countries and were hoping to build something with their collection. One of George Clarke's Amazing Spaces perhaps?
In other countries (Spain, Italy, Germany and France to be precise) the survey found that the strangest items people admitted to having confiscated were cutlery (Spain), hair dye (Italy), a dead animal (Germany) and fireworks (France).
What happened to bringing back good old postcodes, tacky t-shirts and souvenirs?
Oh, I see…that's reserved for people like me – people with tweezers.