“Is it a Pet.. or is it Lunch?” Chinese Airport Security Edition

The South China Morning Post reports on a Guangzhou man who wanted to bring his pet turtle with him on a trip to Beijing… so his disguised the turtle as a hamgburger.

The incident occurred on the morning of July 29, when a man, surnamed Li, was about to board China Southern Airlines flight 345 to Beijing, Guangzhou Daily reported. As Li passed through airport security, X-ray screening machines detected a few “odd protrusions” sticking out of a KFC burger that the man had packed in his bag.

Airport staff determined that the protrusions looked suspiciously like turtle limbs, and asked to inspect Li’s luggage.

“There’s no turtle in there, just a hamburger,” Li reportedly insisted. “There’s nothing special to see inside.”

Ultimately he had to leave the turtle with a friend to care for while he was away.


    Photo via Flickr user flaunted, via South China Morning Post

Several questions:

  • Turtle soup is a delicacy in China (and formerly in the US – it was William Howard Taft’s favorite food). Was this really a pet?
  • Is it a good idea to x-ray a turtle?
  • Would the TSA have noticed? Was there ketchup on the bun? Would it have been considered a liquid?
  • Why not permit this on a domestic flight, at least for a pet in cabin fee?

(HT: cblaisd)


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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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