Unusual items accompany holiday travelers at JIA

Published On: Nov 21 2012 03:07:30 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 21 2012 10:39:57 PM EST

Some people travel light, some of are chronic "over-packers."

But nearly everyone takes something with them when they fly during the holidays.

There was no shortage of unusual items accompanying passengers the day before Thanksgiving at Jacksonville International Airport.

Among them were animals, weapons, sporting equipment and family heirlooms. An interesting mix of things people wouldn't normally think of when it comes to flying out of town.

Tina Heckel and her family brought along their family cat named Ugly.

"He's a little upset," she said of her cat, which was flying with her for the first time.

Neither the family nor a Transportation Security Administration agent could get the scaredy cat to come out of its cage, but Ugly passed inspection and was carted off to catch its plane.

Steve and Kammi Norrington also take a long time to get through security because they travel with "his-and-her" golf clubs. The couple flew down from Wisconsin to play at TPC Sawgrass. Steve said it takes security 40 minutes to go through all the pockets of their golf bag.

He said agents look for "gun powder, explosives, anything terrorists would use to blow up a plane."

Mike Fisher, of Valdosta, is flying to North Dakota to bag him a white-tailed deer. To do that, he needs his bow and arrows.

"We got binoculars, range finders, arrows, gloves, more gloves," the bow hunter said. "It's a little tricky if you have a gun in there with it, but archery equipment no problem."

The oldest and most delicate travel item seen was a plate -- an 80-year-old family heirloom that Bill Turner is flying to Virginia to pass on to his daughter. It's wrapped up in a leather jacket for protection.

"There was never any consideration that this was going to go in a suitcase with clothes over, under it, any way," said Peggy Turner, of Ormond Beach. "We we're going to carry this on."

There are size and weight restrictions for luggage. Fifty pounds is generally the limit for checked bags, and then the airline will begin charging passengers extra.

A lot of those items mentioned in this story such as the bow case and the golf clubs were very close to the limit.