Travelers Who Are More Likely To Get Stopped By TSA

'Safe-list' travelers get fast track through airport security | CNN Business

Excellent article from journalist Erika Mailman gives advice on how not to draw a TSA agent’s attention when travelling by airplane.


The first thing that raises a red flag is aggressive behavior. Even if you’re justifiably upset about a canceled or delayed flight, you need to keep your cool and remain courteous. Tamp down that anger, or you might get a little more attention than you bargained for.


On the other side of the coin, overly friendly passengers draw the TSA agent’s eye. No need to make small talk—this person is not your friend. And if you’re too chatty with the agent, you may appear to be trying to disarm them. It’s best to just be polite and neutral.


Another sign that the agent looks for? People who act nervous. You might be a nervous flyer or filled with anxiety about other aspects of your trip. So, while you’re going through the checkpoint, try to avoid the indications of being aflutter: clearing your throat a lot, being pale or shaky, or being wide-eyed. How can you quell those signs? Try to meditate or visualize a pleasant space in your life that makes you feel calm.


Avoiding eye contact is another telltale sign. Don’t be shifty-eyed; look at the agent directly when he or she is talking to you.


Believe it or not, baggy clothing can make an agent take a second look, because they may wonder if something is being concealed under those folds of fabric. That could inspire them to request a pat-down. Your clothes can also be a red flag if they are out of season. No, we don’t mean that you’re wearing last season’s runway; we mean that you’re wearing a parka in summertime. It could make the agent think a weapon’s hidden under all that goose down.


Another thing that makes you appear suspicious is being drunk (and, relatedly, unruly). The time you spend cocktailing in the airport bar may actually cause an agent to request a blood alcohol test…and if you don’t pass, you could be denied boarding. And even if you aren’t found to be tipsy or loaded, you might have drawn unwanted attention from TSA.


If you are carrying a lot of cash, especially if it’s in different denominations, you could be seen as a potential trafficker. It’s best to convert your money back to American dollars before heading to the airport.


The list of suspicious behaviors and appearances continues. They include transporting electronic and electrical items such as curling irons, having an intricate hairdo with pins and clips, bringing battery packs (those go in carry-on luggage only and can’t be in checked bags), trying to get by with larger liquid containers than the allowed 3.4 ounces, and talking about bombs and guns while in line. It may surprise you to know that you can be arrested for joking about bombs while in the TSA line. The best advice is to be chill, don’t talk other than when directly addressed, and follow all the rules to a tee.

Please contact my office if you, a friend or family member are charged with a Drug Offense or any other crime while travelling. Hiring an effective and competent defense attorney is the first and best step toward justice.