Nineteen-year-old Sydney Fowls and her cousins planned a girls' trip from their home in Columbus, OH to go to Tampa when they had a question pop into their head: Can we get away with checking a pool noodle on our flight?

"They were like, ‘That’d be so funny, do it!’ And I was like, ‘I’m not doing that," Fowls told Fox13 Tampa Bay. "They said, ’We’ll give you $20 if you check your pool noodle' – and I was like, ‘OK cool, $20, I’m in college, I’m broke.’"

If you fly Southwest Airlines regularly, you know your first two bags fly for free, but noodles aren't exactly what I'd consider a bag.

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"At first I was like, Southwest is never going to let me check this, they’re going to say, carry it on with you," she said.

@sydneyfowls05My pool noodle traveled from Ohio —-> Florida

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When she went through the check-in, she realized after handing the noodle over to the airline employee that nobody was questioning it. "When we boarded the plane, we just happened to look out the window and there were the ramp guys loading my pool noodle onto the plane," she laughed as she retold the story to Fox13. She knew it'd make for a funny TikTok as the day went on, but she never expected it to go viral. "Several times when we were on the beach people recognized me from my TikTok – they were like, ‘Oh are you the girl who made that TikTok about taking a pool noodle on a plane?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah I am.’"

My pool noodle made it back home to Ohio! Thank you Southwest Airlines for everything you did for me! @flysouthwest @junebug2433 ##viral

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Southwest even got in on the fun, giving her a themed pool noodle when she went to board her flight.

Sydney Fowls via TikTok
Sydney Fowls via TikTok

When she landed in Columbus, the crews on the runway were waving pool noodles at her.

Sydney Fowls via TikTok
Sydney Fowls via TikTok

TikTok loved her videos of the travelling pool noodle so much that she gained quite a few followers, starting the trip with almost none.

"Like five, like 10 followers," she said. "I don’t know, not many! And now I have 20,000."

Read more at Fox13 Tampa Bay

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