Fireworks don't fly but more travelers are packing fireworks in checked bags and even trying to carry them on flights. The ban is strictly enforced by TSA at airports across the country including Southwest Florida.
According to TSA, agents are having to remove fireworks during the screening process. So far there this year, TSA officers at RSW Airport have had eight incidents, responding to four incidents at check points and finding fireworks in 4 different checked bags.
"That's crazy! Why would you try to bring in fireworks? That doesn't make any sense," a traveler said.
For all of 2016 TSA only reports 5 incidents. At Tampa International Airport so far there have been 9 incidents involving fireworks, compared to the 18 for all of last year.
"I think it's insane," another traveler said. "Why do people keep doing it?"
If fireworks are found in a checked bag, T-S-A agents alert the airline to take control of the hazardous material. The airline then chooses to call the passenger back to their bag. The airline may decide to not allow the bag on flight and the passenger may not make it on either.
The Federal Aviation Administration says passengers who don't comply and pack sparklers or other fireworks could face criminal and civil penalties of up to $75,000 per violation. Penalties can run as high as $175,000 per incident in cases involving death, serious illness, severe injury, or substantial destruction of property.
Criminal convictions resulting from hazardous materials violations can result in criminal fines and up to five years in prison. However, passengers carrying fireworks could face up to 10 years in prison if they release a hazardous material that results in death or bodily injury.