The most commonly seized items at airport security have been compiled in a report by the Aviation Security Service (AvSec) of New Zealand. Most commonly taken were batteries, which accounted for 70,000 of the 200,000 items taken last year, compared to 130,000 in 2022. Karen Urwin, Group Manager of AvSec Operations, provides some background:
New Zealand’s Aviation Security Service AvSec often receives comments about passengers forgetting items or packing them in the wrong bags in the midst of the last-minute craziness that comes with flying. But that doesn’t stop the thefts from happening anyway.
This does not mean that DON’T carry AirPods, but just do it carefully and put it in the bag it’s allowed to carry in.
List of items you shouldn’t carry
- Batteries (must be in your carry-on luggage or its original sealed packet) (must be in your carry-on luggage or its original sealed packet)
- Objects with a High Potential for Injury (including knives, scissors, pocket knives, and box cutters)
- Lighters (travelers are permitted to carry one lighter only, any additional will be confiscated) (travelers are permitted to carry one lighter only, any additional will be confiscated)
- Costs for AirPods and Hearing Aids (both utilize lithium batteries, so they must be in your carry-on)
- Powerbanks (these also use lithium batteries, so they need to be taken onboard, not in your checked bag) (these also use lithium batteries, so they need to be taken onboard, not in your checked bag)
- More than a 100ml liquid (any liquid from shampoo to peanut butter, as AvSec, says, “if you can spread it, spray it or smear it, the 100-milliliter rule applies when flying internationally”). Medication and baby food are two notable exceptions. The liquid rule that was implemented swiftly after 9/11 was threatened to be lifted due to advancements in scanning technology.
- Gear for Camping (such as non-reusable gas cylinders or tent pegs)
- Hardware and electric tools (all power tools should be checked in, while their lithium batteries must be taken onboard)
- E-Cigarettes (The E-Cigarette and its entirety must be taken onboard in your carry-on) (The E-Cigarette and its entirety must be taken onboard in your carry-on)
- Bullets and ammunition
Security checkpoints in New Zealand use X-ray machines to examine all bags for contraband. As soon as the officer determines whether or not the item poses a threat to public safety, they will either return it to you or take it into custody, at which point they will leave a note in your bag. Once items are confiscated, the airline is responsible for their disposal as outlined in the terms of carriage.
Fruit and other common foodstuffs may be prohibited from entry into Aotearoa New Zealand due to the country’s stringent biosecurity regulations for international visitors (New Zealand). Foods like meat, honey, fruit, and eggs are frequently confiscated by the Ministry for Primary Industries Biosecurity. However, even stranger items have been reported recently, such as dried animal dung found in a passenger’s bag at Auckland Airport!