We’ve all seen that guy… you know, the one who’s blocking a long line of eye-rolling passengers who are less than happy to wait for someone to empty out his cargo pants at airport security. Worse, maybe you’ve been that guy! Fortunately, you never have to repeat that experience again if you avoid wearing these things that, according to TSA agents, can slow you down during security checks.
Too Many Pockets
Unless you want to end up like our hypothetical cargo-pants guy, skip the pockets. Sure, you love carrying around twelve sticks of gum, eleven bent paperclips, ten expired coupons, and a partridge in a pear tree, but forget to take out your pocket knife and unloading all those pockets will be the least of your woes.
Metal Hair Clips
What’s worse than a pat-down? A ‘fro pat-down. Unless you want all the time you spent curling or straightening your hair this morning to go to waste (who are we kidding; nobody does their hair in anticipation for a flight), skip the clips. Nobody’s looking at your hair, anyway. At least nobody you’ll ever see again.
In case you didn’t notice, both Avril Lavigne and wearing an armful of bangles went out of style a decade ago. Supposing you didn’t get the memo, let this be your wake-up call: jewelry and airport security do not go together. A better plan is to put your studs and your bracelets in your bag and wait until you get to your destination to put them all on.
Shoes with a Zillion Straps and Buckles
You have to take off your shoes at the security checkpoint, so make sure they’re shoes you can get off easily. That means no lace-up boots, sandals with twenty-five snaps, or other hard-to-remove kicks. Flip-flops are ideal, and slip-ons are second best. If you don’t like walking barefoot though the scanner, stash a pair of your socks in your bag for the occasion.
Nothing says “I might have explosives on me!” like a ridiculously bulky sweater. I know that planes are basically Antarctica with wings, but there are other ways to stay warm. Leave the fluffiness at home and stick with clothing that doesn’t ask for a pat-down. My tip: stow a light blanket in your carryon.
Wearing a dozen layers of clothes may eliminate the need for a suitcase (and any hope you might have had of getting a date at the airport), but it’s not a great way to get though security. I’m assuming that being a fuming striptease in the middle of the line isn’t quite what you have in mind for the start of your vacation. So suck it up and check a bag, or leave just it all at home.
This one is for the ladies (actually, most of these suggestions have been for the ladies, but that’s beside the point). Did you know that your underwire bra might set off a metal detector? How humiliating! I’m not saying you should go braless (I don’t care what Kendall Jenner does, it’s NOT attractive) but it’s worth it to pull out a sports bra for the trip. After all, that’s all we really want to wear, anyway. Can I get an amen?
Stuff that’s Not Allowed on Airplanes
Um… duh. I know, this is a no-brainer. Still, it’s amazing how often people still accidentally bring to the security lines all kind of contraband items like hazardous grape jelly, dangerous cans of pop, and deadly shaving razors. I’ve personally learned this one the hard way, and I had an entire gigantic jar of peanut butter confiscated. There went my lunch. I still suspect that TSA agent confiscated the next guy’s crackers and had a snack on his break.
There you have it: all the things to avoid wearing through airport security. Stick with simple t-shirts, jewelry-free limbs, and slip-on shoes and you’ll be just fine. Now, all you have to do is hack into your airline’s files, copy all the emails, send this article to every other person on your flight, and you’ll have one-hundred percent smooth sailing. Do you have any other ideas of things NOT to wear though airport security? Let me know in the comments! Goodness knows we could all use more advice on getting through TSA screening faster.