Alot Travel > Travel Tips
For many, the TSA line is the most stressful part of flying. Fortunately, there are some things you can be aware of to minimize the chances of getting that extra pat-down. Or, if you're really lonely, you could always do these things and guarantee that extra pat-down.
The lesson here is not to fly in the morning, apparently. Chug some coffee if you have to wake up early. Or, if you're tired, try not to look too tired? Maybe? But not so disheveled that you get pulled aside for extra screening. Look, we're clearly not experts on this.
Whatever you do, don't avoid eye contact. Now you're thinking about it, and you're super self-conscious, aren't you? All thought of what constitutes appropriate eye contact has left your mind. And that's a shame when it comes to the next point on the list.
Well, shoot. Okay, so not too much eye contact. But not too little, either. That makes sense, right? Just try not to think about it. Because that works.
This one seems kind of obvious, doesn't it? In any case, better leave the Groucho Marx glasses at home, or put them in your luggage, at least. TSA screeners aren't generally renowned for their sense of humor.
Let's say you're staying with your parents for a couple of weeks in the summer. Your dad offers for you to have his oversized Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt because he's going to get rid of it otherwise. You think, "Sure. I would wear that someday." Then, it won't fit in your suitcase. That someday has come sooner than expected. Whatever your solution is, don't wear the Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt through security. They will make you take it off, and they will feel you up like a high school quarterback on prom night. Not that we're speaking from experience or anything.
If you're not clear about why you're taking the trip, apparently that's enough to look suspicious. Don't just mutter one-word answers when the person at the desk asks why you're traveling.
You knew this was coming up next, right? Apparently, if you overshare the minute details of your trip, you run the risk of sounding "rehearsed" and winding up the lucky recipient of extra screening. There's no winning with these rules is there?
The good news is that this alone isn't enough to get you extra screening. The bad news is that sweaty palms, trembling, body odor, and "Adam's apple jump" are all separate categories that can get you points towards a screening. So if you have any inherent nervousness around authority figures or if you're an anxious flyer, good luck!
There's nothing confusing about triple-checking to make sure your toiletries are all in a separate bag and all your electronics are in another separate bin. Then also making sure you don't put too much in the tray so it doesn't look like you're hiding something. Then taking off your shoes, and making sure your belt doesn't fall through the grate thing on the conveyer. All at the same time.
Because, really, what's not to love?