Apple AirPods Among Most Commonly Confiscated Items

New Zealand’s Aviation Security Service (AvSec) has released a report listing the most commonly confiscated items at airport security. Last year, 200,000 items were taken, compared with 130,000 items seized in 2022, the most common being batteries. AvSec operations’ Group Manager Karen Urwin explains why:

“In January 2021 new rules around batteries on aircraft came into effect and that means any type of loose batteries can’t travel in your carry-on luggage. The batteries need to be in their original packaging or ‘sealed’ in a way that prevents the two ends from connecting, such as taping over them.”
“We see lots of weird and wonderful items at our screening points, but the most commonly removed items are everyday things that people forget are in their bags.”

Most common confiscated items

As many of us have experienced, sometimes we have put an item in the wrong bag in the panic of last-minute packing, which is feedback New Zealand’s Aviation Security Service AvSec commonly hears. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop the items from being taken.

Body screeners at Invercargill Airport
Photo:  New Zealand Aviation Security Service (AvSec)

The top ten items:

  1. Batteries (must be in your checked luggage or its original sealed packet)
  2. Sharp Items (including knives, scissors, pocket knives, and box cutters)
  3. Lighters (travelers are permitted to carry one lighter only, any additional will be confiscated)
  4. AirPods and hearing aid charges (both utilize lithium batteries, so they must be in your carry-on)
  5. Powerbanks (these also use lithium batteries, so they need to be taken onboard, not in your checked bag)
  6. Liquids over 100ml (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”). There are some exceptions, such as medication and baby food. However, improvements in scanning technology have mooted the removal of the liquid rule quickly imposed after 9-11 in some areas.
  7. Camping Equipment (such as non-reusable gas cylinders or tent pegs)
  8. Tools and Power Tools (all power tools should be checked in, while their lithium batteries must be taken onboard)
  9. E-Cigarettes (The E-Cigarette and its entirety must be taken onboard in your carry-on)
  10. Ammunition and bullets