Carry On Luggage – Spiders, Plutonium & Kids

Carry On Luggage stories that will give you nightmares

Our Carry-on Luggage Ultimate Guide to what you can, and absolutely cannot, bring onboard an aircraft. With head-scratching real-world cases of those who thought they knew better in the world of carry on luggage.

Some people! Sheesh. 


Items, Inches & Mls

Yes, you know not to bring 100ml (or 3.4 ounces) of liquids in your carry-on baggage. But do you know why? It was because a would-be terrorist once got a clear, odorless explosive liquid past security.  

You know those swabbing machines at the screening checkpoint are EDS (Explosive detection Screeners). But what else, you know… could they detect? (not much really). 

And yes, electronic devices of a “personal nature” are a common trigger at TSA checkpoints. But did you know they are waaaay down the list of stuff that can get you into serious trouble? (We think that one’s up for debate however). 

Now you can read the do’s and don’ts of carry-on luggage at the TSA site. But where’s the fun in that?

You’d much rather learn from the misfortune, mistakes, and outright stupidity of others. Are we right? Of course we are.


These People are Trips

Not to see if they’re sneaking Jack Daniels out of his duty-free bag or smuggling a dubious musical instrument like a digeridoo. But to see if he’s got something in there he shouldn’t. Like realllyyy shouldn’t. 

Something scary. 

And if you think scary is non-branded luggage – then read on. You’ll want to avoid some of the fates suffered by these folks.

Platinum Elite Travelers

If you thought the movie Snakes on a Plane was far-fetched. Then buckle in friends. If you flop-sweat when you remember the 105ml bottle of L’Homme or Chanel No. 5 at the bottom of your tote bag, then bless your cotton socks. Because there are people out there who think these rules are there to be broken in ways Hollywood horror directors would find frightening.

These criminals have real imagination. They scoff at normal criminals. Those idiots that try to bring drugs, weapons, or enormous amounts of cash through the most observed buildings in the world. “Why would you bring that! That’s what they are looking for!” you hear these uber-criminal’s shout.

They’re kinda right.

Why? For one there’s technology at Airports that does Sci-Fi level analysis that will make you stand out like a sore thumb as soon as you step onto the curb. The uber-criminals know this. So, they’ve decided to smuggle more creative items. Items of similar or bigger value. Items that these machines cannot detect. Things that are alive.  

What's in the Suitcase?

Live Animals to be exact. Now I don’t mind snakes. I mean, I wouldn’t choose to spend time with one. But they don’t keep me awake at night. Spiders on the other hand, are nightmare fuel. Ever since a large house spider showed its true ground-speed capabilities in 1992, I was done. Given a choice, I would throw my children at a spider to slow it down. 

Live pets in the cabin are allowed by most carriers. We did a piece on the rules and advice. We even have a hilarious story about a dog that rises from the dead in Milan. Really. 

Some animal species, however, are big business. And the laws and punishments for smuggling them are sketchy at best. Like urban electric scooters, where the law hasn’t caught up yet, we get a lot of incidents before we can stop these numbskulls. But back to exotic spiders, which it turns out, are a huge business. And spiders prefer to travel by air, like the rest of us.

Well, at least those spiders strapped to the body of the person who chooses the travel options when lethal arachnids are close to the skin. 

Carry-On Luggage : Spiders

He carried them in plastic aerated bottles. Imagine getting sat beside him and after a few G&T’s he decided it was no longer worth the hassle. Or the guy who tried to bring two hundred live, venomous Scorpions from Sri Lanka to China. Scorpion Venom is extremely valuable it turns out. His $500 fine, not so much. Especially given the profit he stood to make. And think of the therapy bills for the passengers in his row if he got stung mid trip. And the crew went to defibrillate him.

Carry On Luggage Personal Items

Radioactive Materials are allowed.

Surprised you, didn’t we? Ok, in exceedingly tiny amounts. A lot of test equipment, sensors, or measuring devices use radioactive materials. Medical patients ingest (or have implanted) medicines that are radioactive. They are allowed onboard. You do need approval from your hospital and the airline, but the rules and laws are known and available. IATA has a whole section on it.

But this too can be abused. The Russian KGB agents that targeted Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006? Guess how they got the material into the UK? That’s right. British Airways. 

When the police figured it out, two of their B767’s needed to be decontaminated. And all affected passengers were contacted and needed some long-term corrective action. Anyway, it’s Solar radiation at high altitudes that you need to be aware of! So, keep those long-haul flights down to a few a year.

Airline Travel & Kids

There’s a dad joke. You know the one. When you announce you’re going on a trip, to New York or Ireland. And your dad says, “Just stick me in your carry-on – no one will notice!”. LOL, as the cool kids say. 

People actually try this.

Not with Trent, your golf buddy, but with babies. Sometimes older kids. Now we’ve checked, and babies are still allowed into the cabin. So relax, nothing has changed there. But so is Bourbon. So, we still have that good balance.

But these are babies’ people shouldn’t have. Or they want to smuggle home. To keep. Or even sell. 

Carry On Luggage Patch Kids

Like this Ohio lady at an airport in the Philippines. Or a French woman flying from Istanbul to Paris. She somehow managed to get a four-year-old through Istanbul airport and onto the aircraft in her carry-on luggage. Only to be caught by her fellow passengers as she tried to free her during meal service.

We reached out to her representatives for an interview. To do a luggage packing how-to piece. That’s some serious skills right there. On a serious note, we did a whole piece on human trafficking, especially kids as unaccompanied minors.

Weight Limits

What about leaving the aircraft with more luggage items than you boarded with?

This is a common occurrence. Even those you least expect will do it. Especially in those cabins closer to the front of the aircraft. Our advice, especially for long-haul flights, is to keep valuable items in a bag or backpack at your feet. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be double-checking your stuff every 5 minutes anyway.

But it boggles the mind why people would steal on board an aircraft. You are already identified. You’re already in containment and even if you do get away with it, you can easily tracked down. Doesn’t matter if you’re the pink panther, much less using an alcohol invisibility cloak like most of these numpties.

And you have an audience just sitting there. Their eyes repelled away from their tiny screens by Hollywood nonsense. Their noses track your business. Like what kind of clothes you think are appropriate travel-wear, or how your kids treat you when the pressure is on.

Carry On Luggage Laws

And the law is undetermined. By that, we mean that the victim, airline, or country can decide which authority they can prosecute you in. And which country. Depending on certain factors.

Getting tempted by fifty dollars sticking out of a pocket can get you a criminal record in a country you really don’t want a criminal record. Or a country you intended to start a new life in. Or it could get you trapped in a country where the law for stealing means they might remove the limb you used to steal it.

So don’t do it! Or they’ll give you a travel experience to a place with real spiders. And Scorpions. Or alongside those people who think smuggling kids in boxes is a clever idea. 

And these places definitely don’t allow Bourbon.

Scroll to Top