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Photos: TSA Agents Discover Two Unlikely Stowaways in Florida Airport

Florida Airport
Credit: Becky Burkett/Canva

TSA agents at the nation’s airports have seen it all. At least that’s what agents at one Florida airport likely thought–until they discovered something unexpected hiding inside one passenger’s pants.

Related: “Danger Noodle” Discovered in Carry-On Luggage By TSA Agents at Florida Airport

Tsa precheck lines at an airport with passengers in the background and informational signs in the foreground directing travelers.

Credit: Canva

Millions Vacation in Florida Every Year

The state of Florida has it all when it comes to family fun, vacation destinations, tourist attractions, and theme parks. The Sunshine State boasts more than 8,400 miles of shoreline and more than 200 public beaches–the most popular being Clearwater Beach–totaling 825 miles, beckon tourists to spend their vacation days in Florida.

A vibrant beach scene with turquoise waters and a bustling sandy shore dotted with blue umbrellas. a pier extends into the sea, and the view includes a clear blue sky.

Clearwater Beach, Florida/Credit: Canva

“The state of Florida is filled with an array of attractive options for visitors,” explains Rachel Fu, Ph.D., the director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute at the University of Florida. “Visitors can enjoy beaches, theme parks, cultural and historical attractions, sports and festivals, outdoor activities, wildlife and nature, entertainment, and winter escapes for the snowbirds.”

And it goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that when it comes to theme parks and theme park resorts, Florida is second to none in the variety of offerings that make their home in the Sunshine State. Take your pick: Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, ICON Park, Legoland . . . and on and on.

seaworld orlando

Credit: SeaWorld Orlando

Related: After 60 Years in the Business, SeaWorld Entertainment Becomes a Thing of the Past

A large part of Florida’s economy is comprised of the revenue generated by visitors and tourists who vacation in Florida, whether for the weekend or for weeks at a time. In 2023, the Sunshine State welcomed more than 135 million tourists–123 million of them from other states in the U.S. and approximately 12 million who traveled from other countries.

fireworks at magic kingdom

Credit: Canva

And millions of tourists arriving in Florida each year means the state has several large airports.

Lots of Tourists, Lots of Airports

According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the Sunshine State is home to more than 125 public-use airports, including 19 commercial service airports located in various cities from the Florida Panhandle to the Florida Keys.

MCO Terminal C

Credit: Orlando International Airport

Among the busiest and most recognizable airports in Florida are Orlando International Airport (MCO), Tampa International Airport (TPA), Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Palm Beach International Airport, and Miami International Airport (MIA).

TSA Agents Have Seen It All

Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, which were carried out by 19 hijackers and claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent people, the United States government immediately set about the work of creating better safeguards and screening procedures with the goal of keeping a similar scenario from ever playing out again.

Nighttime view of a city skyline with two beams of light shining upwards from among brightly lit buildings, creating a poignant and dramatic scene.

Credit: Flickr/Caruba

In November 2001, then-President George Bush signed into law the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which required screening to be conducted by federal officials. The law also expanded the Federal Air Marshal Service and called for the reinforcement of cockpit doors.

Further, the new law called for 100% of bags traveling on a commercial airliner to be checked. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents are required to check any bag transported on a commercial aircraft, whether the bag is checked with the airline or considered carry-on luggage.

Tsa precheck lines at an airport with passengers in the background and informational signs in the foreground directing travelers.

Credit: Canva

But despite the fact that these measures have been in place for almost 23 years, some passengers still attempt to bring prohibited items–both living and inanimate–onto the aircraft. Much to their dismay, they are stopped in their tracks, and depending on the item, some are arrested on the spot.

In 2022, TSA agents in airports across the state of Florida confiscated hundreds of firearms during bag checks, and the most shocking part of the ordeal was that nearly all of the guns that were discovered were also fully loaded and had their ammunition chambered. In fact, 2022 saw the most firearms ever confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration in Florida and the United States.

Three black handguns displayed against a blue background, emphasizing details and design of each firearm.

Credit: Canva

But it’s not just guns that passengers attempt to sneak aboard the airliner. And just when TSA agents think they’ve seen it all, they’re surprised to discover something even crazier in passengers’ luggage–and sometimes in their clothing.

In a Hurry to Catch Your Flight?

We’ve all been there. You’re running late, the check-in window for your flight is slowly closing, and no excuse on planet Earth–even if it’s true–will get you on your plane without visiting a TSA checkpoint first. (Nope, not even if your wife has already boarded and she’s in labor.)

So you grab everything you need that isn’t in your bag yet and race out the door, stuffing everything into your available pockets. You greet the Uber driver, tell him to “step on it,” and off you go to (hopefully) board your plane before it’s too late.

Airplane flying overhead with a contrail, viewed from the ground surrounded by tall palm trees against a clear blue sky.

Credit: Canva

But once you arrive, you’ll need to empty your pockets–and everything else you’ve brought with you–so that federal agents manning the TSA checkpoints can ensure you don’t have any sinister motives in boarding your plane. It might be a pain in the neck, but it’s not too difficult to divulge the contents of your bags, your pockets, and your luggage, right?

Right.

But for one passenger at a Florida airport last week, the task was seemingly too much, as we’re thinking he likely wasn’t overjoyed about the contents of his pants being on display at the TSA checkpoint.

Unlikely Stowaways in One Passenger’s Pants

According to a post on X by the Transportation Security Administration, TSA agents at Miami International Airport were shocked to find a small bag of snakes hidden in a passenger’s pants at a TSA checkpoint inside the airport.

“Officers at @iflymia detected this bag of snakes hidden in a passenger’s pants at a checkpoint on Fri, April 26,” the post reads. “@TSA called our @CBPSoutheast and Miami-Dade Police partners in to assist, and the snakes were turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.”

The passenger reportedly had a small camouflage bag–like a cloth bag that holds sunglasses–in his pants.

Inside the bag were two whitish-pink snakes, and time will not permit us to discuss all of the ways in which putting a bag of snakes in your pants shows a lack of judgment on the passenger’s part–to say nothing of his lack of judgment in attempting to bring the snakes through the checkpoint and onto the aircraft.

A hand holding a pale pink snake surrounded by small white blocks scattered on a concrete surface.

Credit: Transportation Security Administration

Perhaps the passenger was running late–and grabbed everything he needed and put them in his pockets. But snakes? In a bag? In your trousers? We’ve been thinking on this one for a while now, and we just can’t come up with a single scenario that would necessitate a bag of slithering reptiles being placed in your pants.

Can you? If so, tell us in the comments below!

This post Photos: TSA Agents Discover Two Unlikely Stowaways in Florida Airport appeared first on Disney Dining.

About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.

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