Sea-Tac travelers attempted to bring these items onto a plane in the past 2 weeks

Mar 30, 2016, 8:12 AM | Updated: 8:12 am
Travelers attempted to bring a range of banned items on the airplane at Sea-Tac. In just the past t...
Travelers attempted to bring a range of banned items on the airplane at Sea-Tac. In just the past two weeks, everything from knives to martial arts weapons were confiscated at the security gate. (TSA)
(TSA)

Nunchucks. A wrench. Keychain self-defense weapons. Hammers. Vice grips. That’s just a snapshot of what travelers attempted to get through Sea-Tac Airport security screenings in the past two weeks.

“If the passengers didn’t bring it, I wouldn’t be able to show you,” said Lorie Dankers, a spokesperson with the Transportation Security Administration.

“Every day, somewhere in the country we have eight firearms, on average, brought into an airport,” she said.

At 10 a.m. on Tuesday a passenger attempted to bring a torch lighter, in the shape of a gun, through the security gate. That was promptly confiscated, and Dankers put it on display in a room full of reporters.

The items aren’t to showcase what is going through and what is not going through the security screenings. Rather, they are to make a point of why travelers should be prepared when coming to the airport, especially in the coming months when record high numbers of travelers are expected to flood into Sea-Tac. When one person gets stopped for contraband, the whole line stops. Law enforcement might be called depending on the item. And that slows things up.

That can only make things worse this spring break when the airport expects to see the first wave of record high travelers coming through its gates. Last year during spring break, between March 31 and April 17, about 43,500 people went through the security gate each day. This year, that number is expected to be more than 53,000.

“It’s not a sleepy airport anymore,” Dankers said.

“It used to be if we hit 50,000 passengers screened by TSA in a day, as recently as two years ago, that was considered to be in the stratosphere,” she said. “As of last summer, nearly every day it was like 53,000-58,000 people.”

Spring break is a notable time for travelers and TSA agents. It is the first busy push through the airport before the travel season peaks in the summer.

“Spring break is the dry run for summer,” Dankers said. “Unlike holidays at some airports, our biggest travel time is summer. The biggest of the summer is August.”

Dankers notes that despite the considerable rise in passenger loads passing through the checkpoint, TSA staffing levels have not risen, making 2016 the lowest staffed year in five years.

This adds up to lines at the airport security checkpoint. Dankers said beyond timing, the best thing a traveler can do is be prepared for that checkpoint. For example, remove laptops from bags before sending them through the x-ray machine. When a passenger doesn’t do this, the bag then has to be inspected.

• The busiest times at airport security checkpoints are 5-7 a.m.; 9-11 a.m.; and 4-6 p.m.
• Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays are the busiest travel days; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are less busy.
• Think about what clothing you will wear in the airport line. Jewelry or lace up shoes and boots will take longer to process at the security gate. Slip on shoes go on and off quick.

Local News

covid...
MyNorthwest Staff

UW Medicine study seeks local participants to understand COVID spread

UW Medicine invites Washington state residents up to age 85 to submit a survey about their exposure to COVID during the pandemic as part of a study.
16 hours ago
Amazon...
MyNorthwest Staff

Amazon hiring for more than 500 positions at new sort center in Fife

A new Amazon facility in Fife, Washington, that's set to open later this month has starting hiring for more than 500 positions.
16 hours ago
hospitals...
Nicole Jennings

Rural Eastern Washington hospitals say no big losses in staffing post-vaccine mandate

Some of the rural Eastern Washington hospitals that were expected to have big losses after the vaccine mandate say things are going well.
16 hours ago
Climate Pledge Arena...
Associated Press

Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

The first event ever inside Climate Pledge Arena — whether it will be considered the official first event or not — was far from a soft opening.
2 days ago
Some of the located containers, captured by the US Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles helicopter....
KIRO 7 News Staff

Approximately 40 shipping containers adrift off Washington coast

Approximately 40 shipping containers were lost off a ship 43 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, according to the United States Coast Guard.
2 days ago
refugees...
Kathryn Altena

Gov. Inslee, Washington groups prepare to welcome Afghan refugees

In the coming months, 1,400 Afghan refugees are expected to pass through the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport upon their arrival in Washington.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Sea-Tac travelers attempted to bring these items onto a plane in the past 2 weeks