The 7 Dumbest Things Ever Done by Airport Security

If there's one holiday ritual we all know and hate, it's that yearly trip to the airport, where the friendly security man awaits with his X-ray machine, his metal detector and possibly a well-lubed rubber glove.

While none of us want to spend the holidays involved in a terrorist incident (unless you're living in the Die Hard universe), you have to admit that sometimes security gets a little out of hand. And then there are horror stories like...

#7. Terrorist Breasts Safely Disarmed with Pliers

Just Another Day In Line:

Mandi Hamlin was just trying to grab a flight from Lubbock, TX. She made it through the main security scanners and her various metal piercings hadn't set off any alarms. Then she was wanded by a female TSA employee and discovered that, without her knowledge, her breasts had joined Al Qaeda.


Apparently figuring that the metal nipple rings were there to disguise some kind of implanted boob lasers, Hamlin was forced to remove both of her piercings.


One came out with no problem, but the other had to be removed using pliers. This was done behind a screen, while (according to Hamlin) male agents stood nearby laughing at her.

Here's what the Transportation Security Administration had to say for itself:

"TSA supports the thoroughness of the officers involved as they were acting to protect the passengers and crews of the flights departing Lubbock that day... In the future, TSA will inform passengers that they have the option to resolve the alarm through a visual inspection of the article in lieu of removing the item in question."

We suppose the visual inspection beats the hands on approach. Though it's just a matter of time until Al Qaeda develops some kind of poisonous nanodarts that can fire out from those piercings and kill everyone on board. Or at least that's what keeps happening in that dream we dare not tell the therapist about.

Where will you be when tits strike back?

To Make Things Worse...

Before the Hamlin incident, the TSA saw fit to feel up dozens of women, forcing them to take off their shirts in public while a female TSA agent felt all around the bra. Don't worry, ladies, after enough complaints rolled in the TSA promised to exclude your boobs from the pat-down.

Unless the metal detector goes off...

#6. All Men Named David Nelson are Terrorists

Just Another Day In Line:

You probably know that all airline passenger lists are compared against a no-fly list, which the TSA didn't even want to admit existed at one time. The problem is that, as it turns out, sometimes more than one person in the world shares the same name.


So, you can imagine the chaos that erupted when a "David Nelson" somehow wound up on the list. That name isn't exactly as distinctive as, say, Flavor Flav, so the result was many, many David Nelsons getting pulled out of line every single time they flew (including one David Nelson who got called out by security four times on one trip).

It doesn't help that the process to get your name removed from the watch list takes at least a month and a half, and the ACLU had to sue to even get that. In a nice touch of irony, one of the lawyers who was working for the ACLU was named...David Nelson.

To Make Things Worse...

An easier way to get off the no-fly list is to just change your name, as one Canadian man did. Yes, the entire no-fly list is founded on the idea that terrorists are stupid enough to fly using their own names.

#5. The Cutest Little Terrorist Ever!

Just Another Day In Line:

Now, of course the whole "block every flyer with the same name" thing doesn't apply to the obvious cases. Like they're not pulling little David Nelson babies out of the line or anything, right?



Yep, TSA employees pulled Matthew Gardner out of the line because somebody with that name showed up on a federal Most Wanted list.

Matthew is five.

Agents searched the belongings of both Matthew and his mom. When the mother went to comfort the upset child, she was told to back away. Because, you know, it totally says right here on the screen he like shot six dudes at a bank in Reno.

But, hey, we've heard of little kid suicide bombers before, right? It could happen. And really, can you ever be too careful?

To Make Things Worse...

Yes, yes you can. For instance, if you not only stop an infant in line, but you stop an infant from flying because, again, he shows up on the no-fly list.

"Sorry, but you're gonna have to leave that with us."

Parents have gotten repeatedly held up (or missed flights completely) waiting to get passports and other documentation faxed in to prove their one-year-old wasn't a little terrorist mastermind.

#4. "All We Need to Take the Plane is a Butter Knife. And the Pilot."

Just Another Day In Line:

Anybody protecting our safety on airlines obviously isn't going to let somebody bring a knife on board. And, of course, the TSA plays things safe by confiscating thousands of Swiss Army knives and others that could make damn fine weapons in the hand of a trained nutjob.

We're not going to complain about that, are we?


Well, there's the case of Patrick Smith, who got stopped with a butter knife. A butter knife from the plane. It was one of the knives they give you with your in-flight meal.

Like this dangerous piece of murder.

But what was this crazy man doing trying to sneak airplane issued silverware through security anyway? Why couldn't he have just waited to get one with his meal, like a normal person?

Well, the airline issued it to him. Because he works for them. As a pilot. And all of this happened while he was standing there in full pilot uniform.

Wrap your mind around that. If this man was a terrorist and intended to fly a plane into a building, he doesn't need a knife to get into the cockpit. They pay him to sit there.

To Make Things Worse...

With such stringent standards, they catch every dangerous knife, right? Well, there was somebody who got through a security checkpoint with a four-inch knife blade after getting his apparently far more dangerous pudding confiscated.

As for all those knives they do confiscate, you might be wondering what happens to them. After all, some of these knives are cherished possessions of the owners, or beloved heirlooms! So, of course, there's a process to get them back. They call it eBay.

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