Sunday, October 22, 2017 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

What TSA Agents Say NOT to Wear to the Airport

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.

Too Many Pockets

 

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.

Metal Hair Clips

 

Jewelry Galore

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.

Jewelry Galore

 

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.

TSA Shoes

 

Bulky Sweaters

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.

Bulky Sweaters

 

Twelve Layers

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.

Twelve Layers

 

Underwire Bras

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?

Underwire Bras

 

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.

Stuff That’s Not Allowed On Airplanes

 

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.

 

7 Comments

  1. Mathias James
    September 5, 2017 - 1:55 am

    It was a bad experience, checking me and my dressing like they already know me to be a bad person. Well, I just got to know why from this article. I was putting on bulky sweaters and they might have thought that I have some explosives with me. Funny! i learned the hard way though.

    Reply
  2. Emma
    September 5, 2017 - 11:41 am

    I hate embarrassments, but I’m guilty of wearing several layers of clothes due to my health condition. Do I need to compromise my health to bypass the TSA agents?

    Reply
  3. Halyna R.
    September 5, 2017 - 12:09 pm

    That’s a lot of things to take into account. In my experience, there was one time when someone slowed down the TSA screening. It was a guy wearing a military jacket. It was only that one time, so I guess I’ve been lucky so far. One thing that got me thinking is that both bulky sweaters and lots of layers are on the list. I understand the reasoning but it seems like a contradiction because how do you expect people to stay warm? So wearing thermal clothes would probably be a good idea.

    Reply
  4. Mitchell
    September 6, 2017 - 2:25 pm

    This article reminds me of my visit to the airport a few years ago, the stupid metal detector won’t just stop until I was almost completely undressed for the security to see my chest just because I was wearing my favorite underwire bra. Gosh! I felt bad!

    Reply
  5. Caitlin
    September 6, 2017 - 3:53 pm

    There are many rules about what is and is not allowed on airplanes by the TSA. I have a friend who is a TSA agent and she tells the most interesting stories about the things she’s seen at work – including celebrities! I think a lot of this is common sense, but the underwire bra is not one I’d expected. I doubt I’d be in anything that wasn’t just yoga pants and a t-shirt for my own comfort, but a lot of people do try to have lots of pockets to keep necessary items without resorting to their…

    Reply
  6. Joanne
    September 10, 2017 - 3:24 am

    I don’t usually wear jewelry anyway, and if I do it’s just a necklace that’s easy to take off. I’ve never had any problems. Just once they asked me to take off my shoes and they were, indeed, mid-calf boots with laces, because it was winter time. There is, in my experience, a way to avoid the “emptying your pockets” issue. I had my winter jacket with me and had my pockets full and if you just take it off and put it there to be scanned then there’s no need for you to empty the pockets.

    Reply
  7. Kelly
    September 10, 2017 - 3:31 pm

    I agree with all these points accept the underwire bra – I only wear underwire bras, I’ve travelled a lot and I don’t recall ever triggering any alarm or anything like that because of my bra. I have however left in metal hair clips that have set off the beeper before.

    Reply

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