What happens to supposedly dangerous items confiscated at airline gates? I assume actual weapons are seized by the police as evidence while their owners are hauled away in handcuffs. But what about all the nail clippers, knitting needles, and gun-themed earrings and belt-buckles (not to mention Congressional Medals of Honor)? Are they thrown in the trash? Formally incinerated? Or perhaps taken home by those who confiscate them? I've occasionally seen rude remarks by disgruntled airline passengers who accuse the security screeners of 'doing their Christmas shopping' when they confiscate valuable and obviously non-dangerous objects. Does anyone know the answer to my first question? It's actually two questions in one: what is supposed to happen to all the stuff, and what actually happens?
A professional journalist, or a blogger with airline connections, should be able to come up with some answers. I haven't seen anyone even ask the question . . . not that I've been in an airport in the last eleven months.
David Kenner of An Age Like This reports that he has had confiscated items returned to him at his destination. However, that was before September 11th. According to my comments, there seems to be no common method. They variously report donation to charity (I hadn't thought of that), open theft, and accumulating huge piles of stuff with no decision yet on what to do with it all ('pseud', from a newspaper article -- apparently at least one journalist has thought to ask).Posted by Dr. Weevil at August 12, 2002 10:05 PM