What does the TSA do with confiscated items? Can you get your stuff back?

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What to do if a TSA agent tries to confiscate a valuable item from you

If the TSA threatens to confiscate an item from you that has great personal or financial value, you don’t have to give it to them. These are your options if you absolutely refuse to hand anything over:

  • If sanitary products or foodstuffs are blocked from entry through security lines, you can put them in checked luggage. 
  • Try shipping the items straight to your office or home. Many airports provide shipping services for this reason alone. In the shipping area, you can purchase a stamp, envelope, and box.
  • If your car is at the airport, you may consider locking the confiscated item in it.
  • If a friend or family member has accompanied you to the airport to see you off, you can give the item to them and retrieve it after you return.

TSA Confiscated Items For Sale

These are some photos of confiscated items. They will no doubt end up for sale at auction at some point.

As you can see it’s mostly knives and weapon

As you can see it’s mostly knives and weapons.

But there are also some tools and knuckle dusters.

But there are also some tools and knuckle dusters.

Pepper spray is also something that gets seized at

Pepper spray is also something that gets seized at the security checkpoint.

How do I recover lost items from TSA

Answered By: Alan Collins Date: created: Dec 24 2020

For items left behind at checkpoints, travelers should contact the TSA lost and found office and provide detailed information about the item including the date of the flight, the terminal that the passenger departed from, a very detailed description of the item, and a name and contact information for follow-up.

Asked By: Jordan Stewart Date: created: Dec 04 2020

What does the TSA do with illegal items?

A different protocol applies to illegal items such as weapons and drugs (yes, airport scanners can detect drugs). If the TSA confiscates such items from a checked or carry-on bag, they alert the local law enforcement agencies who take over the matter. Then, there’s an investigation. For example, if you had a handgun with you; they may take the weapon and arrest you.

The TSA has its hands tied when it comes to decisions to do with illegal items.

What do airlines do with unclaimed baggage

Answered By: Cole Lopez Date: created: Apr 17 2021

Airlines have 90 days to find and reunite lost baggage with the owner. If they can’t find and return it, a lost baggage claim is paid out to the customer. If the luggage is in the airline’s possession after the 90-day period and can’t be returned to the owner, it’s sold off to a third-party buyer.

Asked By: Dylan King Date: created: Oct 08 2021

Buying Confiscated Items

In the market for some sporting equipment, tools or jewelry? Another traveler’s loss could be your gain if you live in one of the states that sells confiscated and forgotten airport property. To find out if you’re in one of those states, visit the “Surplus Sales by State” page on USA.gov. Selecting your state will send you to its Office of General Services page (or the state’s equivalent), where you’ll find information about surplus sales.

Every state has its own way of selling surplus goods, including those confiscated at airports. Some, like New York, have online eBay stores. Others have physical storefronts in major cities. And several states sell surplus goods using a site called GovDeals. Read the fine print before bidding on or buying anything from these sites. Generally, all sales are final.

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