For accuracy, this post should be titled:
How I Accidentally Got Through Airport Security Twice with Three Large Jars of Homemade Jam
…but that seemed a little wordy.

If you are a frequent traveler, then you probably describe yourself as a professional at getting through airport security. Heck, I should be adding this to my resume at this point. But when I managed to get three large jars of homemade jam in my carry-on luggage from Hamburg to Chicago, via Frankfurt and Raleigh, even I was shocked.

I packed my carry-on luggage without ever considering the fact that jam is a liquid. Since I always have issues with my luggage being too heavy, I was more concerned with putting the heaviest
items in my carry-on. Thus, three jars of jam got shoved into my backpack.

So I get to security, pull out my bag of liquids and place it in a separate plastic bin to go through the scanner. My jam was still in the bottom of my backpack. After I got through, the security officer calls me over and asks me to open my bag. I do, and he digs around in it, until he pulls out the jars of jam. Plain jars with just “Erbeermarmelade” written on a sticker.

“Selbstgemacht (homemade)…” he says under his breath as he is shaking his head.

“Ja…” I reply, feeling like a fool.

He quickly just shoves them back in my bag and says, “Go.” Oh. Okay. I grab my bag and go. As I am walking to my gate, however, I am already worried. I have my first layover in Frankfurt, where I won’t have to do another security check. But when I get off the plane in Raleigh to go to Chicago, I know I will, and I doubt the Americans will be so forgiving.

About 12 hours later, I am ready to go through the security check in Raleigh. I leave the jam in the bottom of my backpack, planning on just playing the oblivious card again. I put my bag of liquids in a separate plastic container, my backpack behind it, and go through the scanner. I see the woman point at the screen as my bag goes through. She motions for another officer to check it. He walks over, but thinks she was pointing at my bag of liquids. So he opens up my ziploc bag, reads the labels on each of my little bottles. Satisfied, he hands it back to me. I grab my backpack and get the heck out of there.

This could probably bring up a whole debate of how effecitve airport security really is, but I was just happy to get to enjoy my homemade jams at home in the U.S.

What is the strangest thing you have gotten though airport security with in your carry-on?