There have been media reports that were picked up by several travel blogs saying that the Star Wars themed Coca Cola containers issued in cooperation with the Disney Company would be banned from carriage in passenger baggage.
This information is wrong and we were able to verify this with several individuals including travelers who took them through without problems and a TSA Employee at a checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport.
The items in question resemble so called Thermal Detonators that appear in several Star Wars movie scenes and which have been taken as a blue print for Coca Cola to design beverage containers that are for sale in the theme parks since late spring.
In recent weeks it appears that one passenger had a problem with these replicas at a TSA security checkpoint and the TSA Agent asked them to dispose of the item as it resembles a grenade. Carrying replicas of explosives or firearms on board an aircraft is prohibited per TSA rules.
Since then it has spiraled out of control with the media reporting that these beverage containers are banned by the TSA, based on a vague response from the TSA on Twitter reiterating the “no resemblance rule”.
The Orlando Sentinel has in the meanwhile updated their coverage of these toys and the TSA’s position regarding it.
TSA is reviewing its policies over whether passengers who visit Disney’s Star Wars-themed land can bring home their thermal detonator-shaped soda cans in their luggage.
With fanfare, Coca-Cola designed the round bottles that show off rusted labels in Aurebesh, the written language from the movies. The thermal detonators appear throughout the films, often in the hands of a bounty hunter. TSA acknowledged the cans “could reasonably be seen by some as replica hand grenades.”
When contacted Wednesday, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, which handles security at airports, would not definitely say whether the soda cans are banned from carry-on or checked bags.
“TSA continues to review this issue,” said Thomas Kelly Jr. in a statement. “Officers will maintain the discretion to prohibit any item through the screening checkpoint if they believe it poses a security threat.” …
This morning a friend flew out of Los Angeles and I asked him to approach the TSA supervisor to inquire about these items. The (inofficial) reply was – Quote: “It’s fake news and total BS“.
As long as these items are clearly identifiable as toys or a simple F&B product there won’t be a problem with them. Keep in mind that the limit regarding liquids still applies and that no containers with more than 100ml are allowed through the checkpoint.
These containers have been circulating for months now and passengers have no issues carrying them around. The one incident might have been a simple case of an overly zealous TSA agent. I would expect that the resemblance to an actual grenade on the x-ray screen could result in a checked suitcase being pulled and opened.
While I wouldn’t have any concerns taking them through the checkpoint where a quick visual inspection is possible, provoking that the bag is being pulled out and possibly left behind due to inspection isn’t something I’d like to risk. Don’t put this stuff in your checked baggage or even better, don’t buy it at all when you plan to travel.