If you’ve ever taken a flight before, you know the worst part about all of this: going through security. This is why we believe that you need to know the things you should never do at the airport. Being aware of them can help you have a smoother experience.
Usually, it goes like this: you stay in line for a while, and when it is finally your turn, you will need to take the jacket off, take your shoes off, and put them back on, but what about the belt? You need to take it off. All of this can be truly annoying, but guess what? Besides being a nuisance for you, it is also one for the people who work for the TSA. Just imagine doing this as a job every day!
All of the things you are doing, or maybe not doing, and all of the things you bring with you on a trip can influence how fast the line will go and how easy the process will be. So, let’s see together what you should never do at the airport.
1. Not listening to directions
Not following the directions TSA agents give you is definitely one of the things you should never do at the airport. When airport security gives you basic directions, you need to listen to them and do as they say. In this way, the agents make sure that everything happens in order.
Not removing gadgets from your luggage, keeping your belt on, attempting to carry huge bottles of beverages, having your wallet and keys in your back pocket, and so on are all examples of not listening to directions.
If you are aware of these basic directions and follow them accordingly, you can help the TSA agents, yourself, and all of the people who are waiting in line save so much time. Even if some of these requests sound pointless, remember that these are the rules for a reason.
Also, you have no excuse for not following the rules. When you go to any airport, you will notice that the signs are everywhere, so pay attention. If you have flown before, you probably already know that you are not allowed to take a 5-ounce bottle of conditioner with you. Please don’t try to sneak around the rules and respect everyone. Please do not try to dodge the rules, and respect everyone who is standing in line after you.
2. Petting the TSA K9 dog
We know that dogs are cute, and when you see one, you feel like petting it. This is a quite common reflex, but have you ever wondered if this is appropriate to do with a K9 dog? The answer is no; this is one of the things you should never do at the airport.
TSA agents explain that the dogs that work in the airport are trained to do one thing: detect explosives. Yes, it is a common misconception that the dogs are there to find out who has drugs and who doesn’t.
Generally, these dogs are mostly walking around the airport with their handlers, but sometimes people feel like they can play with or pet the pup. Both the handler and the dog will ignore you, but you need to know that if people keep doing this, the annoyance will keep building up.
As anyone knows, the TSA agents simply want to do their job, and if people stop to pet the dog constantly, this will interfere with their ability to do the job properly. The K9 dogs should never be distracted.
The right thing to do is to keep your distance. Never pet the dog, throw objects at it, give it food, try to play with it, or scream at it. We get that you like the dog, and maybe you want to play with it, but please don’t.
3. Ask the TSA agent to check you in for the flight
TSO takes care of the information about your boarding pass, and if you are not paying attention, TSO and TSA kind of sound the same. But they are not the same, and one of the things you should never do at the airport is confuse these two.
Many people think that TSA agents can help them with different stuff about their flights, such as changing flight reservations, checking in, or upgrading flights. The people who work at TSA are not working for the airlines. Always remember that. Some passengers also get confused and assume that scanning their boarding pass at security also checks them in for their flight, but this is not the case.
Of all the things you should never do at the airport, this is the one that will take a lot of time, and if there is something wrong with your boarding pass and the security notices it, they will have to explain to you to get out of the line, go to ticking to solve the problem, and then get back to wait in line.
Some passengers will be annoyed by this, but if you are aware that TSA can’t help you with the tickets, you can easily avoid something like this happening to you.
Many times, when people get annoyed, they yell, but this is one of the things you should never do at the airport. Never yell at a TSA agent. There are a lot of them who end up struggling with mental and health issues because of how stressful their job is.
Surprisingly enough, those who work in the field describe this job as the most boring and intense job that they have ever done. The main reason for this happening is that you mostly have to do the same thing over and over again, but you have to always be hypervigilant.
Also, the TSA agents are trained to look for threats everywhere, and this leads to them feeling threatened most of the time. This is incredibly stressful, and many of them suffer from anxiety and other issues.
On the other side, as a traveler, you might be stressed out by everything that happens at the airport and all of the crowds, but no matter how bad and uncomfortable you feel, never insult or yell at a TSA agent. They already have a difficult and stressful job. Treat them with kindness, as you would also like to be treated.
5. Not showing them the ID properly
We know that it might be easier for you to just hold up the ID so the agent can see it, but this is not helping them. The TSA agent needs you to hand them the ID so they can verify it. So, showing them the ID through the plastic screen in your wallet is one of the things you should never do at the airport. This will only slow down the line.
To properly verify your ID, the agent will use a CAT machine. CAT comes from credential authentication technology, and this system can accurately identify if your ID is legit. It’s not safe to rely just on humans for this task, and the machines do a great job.
So, because they have to put the ID in the machine and let it scan your document, you need to hand your ID to the TSA agent. The machine will validate your ID, confirm your reservation, and check to determine whether you have a Secure Flight pre-screening status or not. Here we are talking about Global Entry, or TSA PreCheck.
If you want to keep your luggage safe, you can try using a travel lock: TSA-approved Approved Luggage Travel Lock
You should also read: These Are the 9 Worst US Airports, According to Online Reviews