Strange Items Passengers Have Tried to Check-In

By: Maxine Sheppard

April 12, 2011

You may remember a while back we wrote about our passengers’ strangest inflight requests – we’ve certainly been on the lookout for Barbie ever since.

This time around we’ve spoken to our check in staff at our 32 destinations around the world, and discovered that the strangeness doesn’t just happen on board – it begins inside the airport terminal.


Cheese, spiders and bath tubs

From a giant wheel of cheese to a car engine, the survey revealed that our passengers are willing to try and check in almost anything on their flights, as demonstrated by the lady who had her family carry her unwrapped, unpackaged bath tub to the counter at JFK.


Other items that have turned up at Virgin Atlantic check in desks around the world include:


Pet Tarantula by Siri B.L. on Flickr

Pet Tarantula by Siri B.L. on Flickr


  • A pet tarantula hidden in a ladies coat at JFK airport
  • A dead cow wrapped in plastic at JFK airport
  • A bag of cutlery previously stolen from a Virgin Atlantic flight at Delhi airport
  • A bag of sand and seawater by a couple who fell in love on the island of Grenada and wanted a memento of the place where they met
  • A bag of soil and coconut trees also at Grenada airport

Have you ever seen anyone trying to check in a bizarre item on one of our flights? Perhaps you’ve even chanced it yourself – either way, we’d love to hear your stories so share them with us in the comments below.

Thanks to Flickr photographers Siri B.L and pasotraspaso (for the header shot of Las Vegas airport).

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Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the co-editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.