LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — An oversized stuffed teddy bear has apparently missed his flight, thanks to the Transportation Security Administration.
The TSA posted an image of the teddy Wednesday on Instagram announcing the bear had been “abandoned by his owners” after TSA determined the toy was too large for a carry-on item.
After reminding travelers to check with their airline before attempting to bring large carry-on items on their flight, the post added, “If you see this wayward bear strolling the streets of LA, please feel free to feed him.”
The post elicited hundreds of comments largely criticizing the TSA for apparently depriving a child of his teddy bear.
After initially editing its Instagram post in response to the criticism, the TSA posted an update Thursday saying the agency has determined the whole thing was a “stunt” by a popular YouTube personality “to see if he could get the giant bear on the plane.”
Click on the link in our profile to read a blog post on this subject. ***UPDATE*** After watching a YouTube video posted by the traveler, we’ve learned that he’s a popular YouTuber and this was a stunt to see if he could get the giant bear on the plane. He even made up a backstory that the bear was a gift for his girlfriend. The bear did not belong to a child. The passenger had actually bought a ticket for the bear. After the airline and TSA decided the bear was too large, the airline offered to refund the ticket and the traveler was given the option of checking the bear as checked baggage. The traveler opted not to check the bear and left it behind.*** Why does this gigantic teddy bear look so sad? He was abandoned by his owners at LAX after the airline and TSA determined that he was just too big to be screened as a carry-on and taken on the plane. It’s a good idea to check with your airline prior to traveling with overly large items as cary-ons. If you see this wayward bear strolling the streets of LA, please feel free to feed him. #TSATravelTips
“He even made up a backstory that the bear was a gift for his girlfriend. The bear did not belong to a child. The passenger had actually bought a ticket for the bear”, according to the TSA.