If you aren’t careful, getting through security – depending on how busy the airport is – can tack some serious time on getting to your gate. If you get flagged by the TSA for something careless you can be questions and searched and that is time you really don’t have when you need to catch a flight.
First, pretty much everyone knows not to make a bomb joke…but this also includes talking about weapons or explosives at all.
Even if you are talking with your friend about a movie or that time you went to the shooting range…This can get you pulled out of line and questioned. Keep it zipped!
Another thing that is pretty obvious because there are about a million signs and even officers telling you as you line up…Take your liquids and gels out of your bag. If you don’t, you will get pulled to the side and have your bag searched which of course takes time.
And if you are traveling with kids, don’t forget to check their bags one last time before going through security. Things like toy guns are a NO NO and could get you pulled to the side and the item confiscated.
You should also take out any unusual items that might look dangerous going through the scanner. Someone I know was traveling with a toy metal Yo Yo in their backpack…it was a stocking stuffer…and it caused a big issue at TSA and he was pulled to the side and all the items were carefully pulled out of his bag and inspected. This was all because they didn’t know what it was.
Things that are harmless but might look weird in the X-ray machine should be pulled out and put in the tray. Think staplers, a harmonica or any other metal object that isn’t easily recognizable.
Another item that is totally harmless but can cause you trouble is traveling with coffee beans or ground coffee. Apparently this has been used in the past by smugglers to throw drug sniffing dogs off the scent so it’s best to pack this in your checked luggage.
You also want to refrain from getting out of line. Don’t attempt to switch lines either. TSA agents are watching you and this looks suspicious.
And finally, although going through security and the airport is a stressful experience you don’t want to let that stress show. If you look uptight and agitated, it seems like you are hiding something which could cause you to have your bags searched and even worse cause you to be questioned at length.