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If you’re prepared, have the right tools - looking at you TSA PreCheck - and luck is on your side, airport travel can be pretty seamless. But if you’re not ready, either mentally or physically, it can quickly become a frustrating experience.
TSA agents see it all at airport security and since they’re responsible for protecting passengers and keeping checkpoints moving, they know the passengers who tend to slow things down for everyone. Eric Guthier, a uniformed advisor at TSA headquarters, reveals the most annoying passengers they encounter.
These are the six people you don’t want to be at an airport security checkpoint:
- The Rule Breaker - Passengers who bring prohibited items are “at the top of the list,” according to Guthier. Everything from bottle openers to oversized liquids can cause a bag search and he explains, “More bag searches mean slower lines for everyone.” Even worse? A firearm. Having one of those can lead to “the temporary closure of an entire screening lane” and no one appreciates that.
- The Flier With Faulty Luggage - Guthier says the type of luggage that may cause problems in security lines is a bag with a missing zipper tab. Trying to open a packed, broken bag can be time-consuming, so if your zipper breaks, try a zip tie as a temporary fix.
- The Overdressed Traveler - Think of those in line behind you before you wear shoes or boots with lots of laces or shirts and pants with elaborate decorations, like sequins, that could “make a secondary screening more likely,” this expert says.
- The All-Over-The-Place Passenger - The biggest mistake Guthier sees? People being disorganized. He recommends having all of your documents in order before you even get in the security line so you’re not that traveler.
- The Adventurer Who Avoids All Questions - If your bag gets flagged for inspection, Guthier says you’ll be asked a “standard set of questions,” as well as a few others depending on the issue. “It helps greatly when the owner answers our questions honestly without assuming they know what we’re looking for,” he explains.
- The Impatient Person - To keep annoyance levels at a minimum, one thing passengers can try to do is practice patience. “We wish travelers would keep in mind that we are there for their safety, as well as for the safety of everyone else at the airport,” Guthier explains. “At the end of the day, we are people who go home to our families, just like they do.”
Source: Travel and Leisure