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It’s almost a cruel play on words.

You go to the airport and bring that which you know you’ll need for the trip. Transportation Security Administration employees rifle though your bags and find that bottle of shampoo that was a little too big or the can of deodorant that had a few too many ounces. They tell you that certain items in your possession cannot be taken on board the flight and you have to leave them behind.

The name they have for those goods is a hoot: “Voluntarily Abandoned Property.

I am a simple man and believe words mean things.

When the TSA tells you to leave something you own behind or you can’t get on the plane, that’s not exactly “voluntary” in my book. Kind of sounds like blackmail, but that’s just me. When I’m told if I don’t leave it, I can’t get on the plane, I wouldn’t consider myself “abandoning” that item because you usually abandon something you don’t want.

It was my “property” but after I “voluntarily abandon” it, where exactly does it go? Well, according to TSA Management Directive No. 200.52,

“VAP deposited in collection bins shall not be recovered by, and will not be returned to, passengers. Upon voluntary abandonment of the prohibited item, the item immediately becomes the property of the Federal Government.”

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