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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

This Service Lets You Ship Home Items TSA Won't Let You Bring On Your Flight

If there’s one lesson we’ve learned from TSA security checkpoint confiscations, it’s that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.


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Whether it’s souvenir lighters, bottles of wine or multi-finger rings that look questionably like iron knuckles, TSA agents have seized some of our most prized possessions when passing through security. But one company is giving you a way to save your banned items.

Airport Mailers says its mission is “to provide the easiest, most convenient and cost-efficient manner for travelers to keep their possessions by mailing them home.” If you get to the airport and realize that you’ve accidentally packed your large bottle of cologne, a bottle opener or a meat cleaver, you can package it up at the Airport Mailers checkpoint and send it home.

Whatever the item, it must fit in a 6"x9" plastic pouch, available at a convenient kiosk. In order to mail your item, you simply pay the fee, complete the attached shipping form and drop it in the Airport Mailers box.

The first Airport Mailers location was built in 2003 at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. It has since grown to 28 airports around the country, including San Francisco International, Las Vegas McCarran and Dallas-Fort Worth. The company plans to continually add new locations.

Related: Why You Should Get TSA PreCheck and How It’s Different Than Global Entry

Be warned that Airport Mailers does not insure shipments and there is a chance that the item could still be lost in transit. The service will not mail any items considered illegal by the U.S. Postal Service.

Fees for shipment are $8-9 per item for items sent within the U.S. To send a lighter, it costs $14 within the U.S. and $32 for international shipments.

If you are unsure whether or not you can bring an item through security, you can take a picture of the item and message AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter.


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