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Weekly Weird: Clumsy and Cruel TSA Agent Spills Human Ashes

The TSA made us sad, a passenger picked a poor hiding spot for a weapon, and Europeans made us jealous in this week’s weird travel news.

A flyer taking his grandfather’s ashes on a final journey home was shocked when the TSA worker insisted on opening up the jar holding the remains. ABC News reports that John Gross, who was flying from Orlando, alleges that a TSA worker sifted through the ashes with her finger, and then spilled some of them on the floor. Gross said, “She didn’t apologize. She started laughing. I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments. I couldn’t pick up all, everything that was lost. I mean, there was a long line behind me.” For what it’s worth, airport security is not allowed to open cremation containers—but the remains must go through the X-ray machine.

The AP reports that a man passing through security at Newark airport was caught trying to smuggle aboard a 10-inch canister of tear gas—in his sock. Surprising no one except the smuggler, the scanners detected the giant container, and the man was not allowed to board his flight to Munich. He was instead taken to the hospital for evaluation.

As you plan how to maximize your measly two weeks of vacation this summer, be prepared to be even more jealous of Europeans (who already get a minimum of 20 paid days off each year). Travel blog Gadling reports that the European Union Court of Justice has ruled that workers can use sick days while on vacation. Meaning, if you take one week for vacation, but “feel sick” for five of those days, you can use your sick time rather than vacation time for those five days.

If these stories weren’t weird enough for you, be sure to read up on the other bizarre travel stories from this week, including another TSA fail (leaving a metal detector unplugged) and a scorpion surprise in someone’s luggage.

Did you see anything weird on your travels this week? Tell us in the comments!

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