Air Canada seizes passenger’s Mexican pinata as potential security risk
Airline security seems to be entering the realm of the absurd: Witness an Air Canada flight attendant confiscating a pinata from Nova Scotia resident Robert Braunschweig.
QMI Agency reports Braunschweig was returning from Mexico earlier this month when he bought the papier-mache animal figure at a gift shop in Toronto's Pearson International Airport during a connection stopover.
As Braunschweig boarded his flight home, a flight attendant spotted the toy in his carry-on bag and confiscated it, claiming it was a threat to security.
"My eight-year-old daughter was seriously disappointed," he told QMI. "She insisted that I bring her something from Mexico so I bought her a small pinata."
Leaving aside Braunschweig's thinking behind buying a Mexican souvenir for his daughter in Toronto, the pinata seems an unlikely threat.
Mexican pinatas originate with Christmas festivals and can be made of paper-covered clay. Today they're mostly associated with children's parties, with blindfolded kids whacking suspended pinatas to break them and disgorge the treats inside.
Braunschweig said the attendant claimed pinatas are "not allowed on the plane because they are soaked in kerosene."
Braunschweig insisted the pinata was kerosene free and bought in a store that's in a secure part of the airport.
If you scroll through the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority's really, really long list of items that can and cannot be packed in carry-on and checked luggage, you will not find pinatas on there, though of course flammable liquids are a no-no.
Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said airline staff put passenger safety first, but incident left other travellers bemused.
"I travelled with 1 in February and it wasn't a threat to DL then!!" a poster on a the Milepoint frequent-flyer forum said.
"It's odd that security was fine with it, but it was taken away by the FA (flight attendant)," said another.
"What were they thinking?" tweeted Tina Daenzer.