Screengrab via TSA/Instagram

TSA confiscates huge, sad teddy bear, gives it an even more depressing backstory

This teddy bear is now homeless and wandering the streets of L.A.

 

Austin Powell

Internet Culture

Published Dec 15, 2016   Updated May 25, 2021, 9:24 am CDT

If you follow the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Instagram, you know the agency documents all the illicit carry-on items and other oddities it collects on a daily basis. With holiday travel starting to ramp up, the agency thought it would be a good idea to share some extra #TSATravelTips—namely, don’t bring a gigantic teddy bear to the airport or it will end up homeless, wandering alone on the streets of L.A., begging for food and spare change. 

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The bear below was apparently left behind at the Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday, leading agents to create the oddly specific backstory on Instagram. 

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Here’s the full report: 

Why does this gigantic teddy bear look so sad? He was abandoned by his owners at LAX after the airline and TSA determined that he was just too big to be screened as a carry-on and taken on the plane. It’s a good idea to check with your airline prior to traveling with overly large items as cary-ons. If you see this wayward bear strolling the streets of LA, please feel free to feed him. 

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Click on the link in our profile to read a blog post on this subject. ***UPDATE*** After watching a YouTube video posted by the traveler, we’ve learned that he’s a popular YouTuber and this was a stunt to see if he could get the giant bear on the plane. He even made up a backstory that the bear was a gift for his girlfriend. The bear did not belong to a child. The passenger had actually bought a ticket for the bear. After the airline and TSA decided the bear was too large, the airline offered to refund the ticket and the traveler was given the option of checking the bear as checked baggage. The traveler opted not to check the bear and left it behind.*** Why does this gigantic teddy bear look so sad? He was abandoned by his owners at LAX after the airline and TSA determined that he was just too big to be screened as a carry-on and taken on the plane. It’s a good idea to check with your airline prior to traveling with overly large items as cary-ons. If you see this wayward bear strolling the streets of LA, please feel free to feed him. #TSATravelTips

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Obviously, this bear wasn’t going to fit under the seat in front of the passenger or the overhead bin, but it would it be too much to ask that it gets shipped to a better place than the dumpster out back? 

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Please, if you see this teddy bear on the streets, give it the forever home it deserves. 

Update 10:49am, Dec. 15: TSA posted an update to its Instagram post revealing further detail about why the bear was left behind: “The passenger had actually bought a ticket for the bear. After the airline and TSA decided the bear was too large, the airline offered to refund the ticket and the traveler was given the option of checking the bear as checked baggage. The traveler opted not to check the bear and left it behind.”

H/T Gizmodo

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*First Published: Dec 15, 2016, 11:00 am CST