The Transportation Security Administration is not known for its sense of humor. “I was just joking” is probably the last words heard of many travelers before they are dragged into one of those private rooms at the airport.
But it turns out the TSA makes an exception for its Instagram account (did you know the TSA has an Instagram account?). When a traveler at San Antonio International Airport tried to bring a highly questionable item in his carry-on baggage, the TSA had some fun with it.
Yes, you can carry your sword in Texas — it's still legal, believe it or not — but you can't fly the friendly skies with it. In the post, TSA joked "We expected this would happen once they started offering direct flights from San Antonio to Gondor."
Carrying on the “Lord of the Rings” reference, TSA continued: “Whether you’re a Ranger of the North, or a United States Marine, we know you need to travel with your sword. It’s fine, just place it in your checked baggage.”
A traveler trying to take his sword on a plane (where it would be somewhat effective against hypothetical terrorists, but not so good for snakes and such) probably doesn’t happen often. The TSA couldn’t resist a final joke for King Arthur / Monty Python enthusiasts:
“Oh, on a slightly unrelated note, a farcical aquatic ceremony does not entitle you to carry your sword on the plane. Just in case you were wondering…”
Sadly, there's no word on the fate of the traveler or his sword.
This isn’t the only time whoever mans the TSA Instagram account had a little fun. Take a look at some of the other tongue-in-cheek posts.
“Grrrr! I’m mad! My owner packed me in his carry-on bag and had to leave me with TSA. Now I’m stuck in a dark box with a bunch of other knives. I’m feeling pretty edgy, man. These multi-tools think they’re so much better than me. And don’t even get me started on the cheese knives! You know, because they cut cheese…” … Don’t let your knife down. Leave it at home or pack it in your checked bags. All knives, no matter their size, are not allowed into the cabin of the plane. A few years ago, we attempted to allow small knives in carry-on bags, but for reasons out of our control, it never came to fruition. This knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at Rochester (ROC). … Did you know you have options if you accidentally bring a small knife through the checkpoint? If the options aren’t offered by the officer, please ask. You can leave it with somebody you know that isn’t flying, you can take it out to your car, you can go to a postal kiosk and mail it to yourself, or you can go back to the ticket counter and see about having the knife checked with luggage. If none of these options work for you, the knife will have to be surrendered. Our officers are not allowed under any circumstances to keep any of the prohibited items surrendered at our checkpoints. It’s a zero tolerance offence and a quick way out of a job.
This may be the closest thing to the Glaive that our officers have ever discovered. In this case, it was discovered in a carry-on bag by an officer in Newark, not pulled from the magma by a prince in a mountain cave on the planet #Krull. I know it’s a stretch. It’s not as big, and it’s missing a couple of blades. Oh, and we’re pretty sure it’s not magical. ... It’s best to put items such as these in your checked bags to avoid any holdups at the checkpoint. … Did you know that you have options when you bring a prohibited item through the checkpoint? As long as the item isn’t illegal (requiring a call to the police), our officers will give you some options so you can keep your item. They’ll allow you to exit the checkpoint and hand the item off to a friend or loved one, take it to your car, mail it to yourself, or have the airlines check it for you. If none of these options work, you’ll have to surrender the item to TSA. Contrary to popular belief, our officers are not able to keep any of the surrendered items. It’s a zero tolerance fireable offense. — If permitted to leave he checkpoint, please know that you’ll need to be screened again.