Where do TSA Confiscated Items End Up?

Parking at FLL AirportFrom getting your plane tickets, booking your parking at FLL airport, and packing, it’s easy to accidentally bring prohibited items in your carry on. How often do we forget that there’s a bottle of lotion in our purse or a laser pointer in our briefcase? This happens all of the time at the airport. So you may wonder, what happens to your confiscated items? (Follow TSA on Instagram to see some of the strangest items they’ve confiscated and while you’re at it follow us too! @SelfParkFLL)

It’s a common myth that TSA agents keep the items they confiscate, but they don’t. TSA has a strict zero tolerance policy for pocketing anything. If a TSA employee is caught keeping a confiscated item, they could be terminated on the spot.


There are three paths for an item that is taken by security:

1. Tossed

If the agent takes a liquid from you such as shampoo, a drink, or lotion, it gets thrown away immediately. There is no way for the TSA to know if the product has been tampered with. Rather than risk that possibility, they simply toss it.


2. Sold

Some items can be sold, but not by the TSA. It is unlawful for the TSA to profit off of confiscated or abandoned items. However, other government agencies can and do. The TSA will transfer potentially profitable items over to government agencies that have the authorization to sell them. Typically these are sold in government surplus centers or online at GovDeals.com.


3. Donated

If TSA doesn’t believe there is value in transferring the item to be sold and it’s not thrown away, it will be donated. Many organizations are helped with the donation of confiscated items. Scissors are often donated to local schools and some police departments will use confiscated pepper spray in their training. Some of the organizations that receive donated items can sell them.

If an item is confiscated during security you can bet that it will be very difficult to try to reclaim your property. Some items that can’t be in your carry on can be checked in your luggage. You can also ship them to you or your final destination. Major airports have mail centers where you can purchase shipping supplies. The mail center at FLL airport is located in Terminal 2 in pre-security at the ticket counter level. To avoid this all together, here is a list of approved items you can and can not bring through TSA security. And remember you can always leave your items in the trunk of your car when you’re parking at FLL airport.


Self Park FLL is home to the best economy parking for Ft. Lauderdale International Airport. Our free shuttles, fenced lot, and friendly team make us the perfect choice for your FLL airport parking needs. Reserve our cheap airport parking now so you can park yourself and keep your keys!

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