Transportation Security Administration officers at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley International Airport received an unusual surprise Monday when luggage belonging to a man flying home to Florida set off an alarm as it went through checked bag security.
Further inspection by TSA officers of the offending baggage revealed a disassembled rocket-propelled grenade, a familiar adversarial weapon encountered by many veterans of the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan.
The St. Augustine, Florida, man was subsequently taken into a confined inspection area, where he told airport security he was under the impression he could bring the checked RPG on the plane, CBS Philadelphia reported.
Because, Florida Man.
“Personal items such as deodorant, hairspray, nail polish, perfume and certain medicines are permitted in baggage in limited quantities,” United Airlines’ baggage policy states.
For some inexplicable reason, RPGs were left off the list of permitted items, but when has anything illegal ever deterred the one they call Florida Man?
Deodorant. Rocket-propelled grenades. “What’s the difference?” Florida Man likely pondered, deeply, before heading to the airport.
Detailed inspection of the weapon itself revealed the launcher was fortunately not in working order, the report said, and the grenade — yes, there was a grenade in the bag — was in fact a realistic replica.
The items were confiscated by security, and, miraculously, officials then made sure Florida Man was able to catch his flight.
Can’t help but perceive this as an insult to anyone who has ever missed a flight for even a moderately valid reason.
Security line take too long? Misplace your boarding pass? Struggling to get your bag under the weight requirement? Car rental shuttle not show up on time? Sorry, you’re S.O.L.
Get stopped with a dud RPG in your checked baggage? Let’s make sure we get you to your gate, sir.
Who else but Florida Man?
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.