05/19/2014 01:11 pm ET Updated Jul 19, 2014

Seven Things You Should Never Say to the TSA

Airport security is not the place to practice your stand-up comedy routine. Avoid saying these seven things if you want to make it through the security line unscathed.

I'm So Wasted!

If you hit the airport bar before security, try to at least act sober when you're going through the screening. Public intoxication is considered a serious offense in an airport, and the TSA may call the police and have you escorted out if you seem too drunk to fly.

How Do You Sleep at Night?

I'm sure TSA agents love getting yelled at by irate passengers just as much as flyers love getting harassed by TSA agents. But at the end of the day, remember that the agents are just people doing their jobs. The TSA agent confiscating your 4 oz. toothpaste probably isn't doing it because he loves throwing away your stuff -- he knows he's being watched by supervisors and doesn't want to lose his job.


Okay, I get that you're frustrated that you might miss your flight. But don't go around saying that you'll "get a gun and shoot everybody" if you don't make it to the plane on time. (And yes, someone actually said that to the TSA.) It may seem funny if you're talking to your friends, but I can pretty much guarantee you that the TSA won't find it nearly as amusing.

I'm Opting Out of the Nudie Scanner!

You're well within your rights to opt out of getting X-rayed and instead get an enhanced patdown. Just don't make a big deal out of it or the TSA might make you wait a long time for that supervisor to pat you down. Quietly and politely tell the TSA agent that you would prefer the patdown instead. Manners, people!

This Patdown Is Turning Me On!

Joking about a patdown to a TSA agent could be considered sexual harassment and could lead to even more screenings and a potentially missed flight. Plus, you think they haven't heard it all before? Heads up: You're not that clever.

Bomb Jokes

C'mon, in this day and age of heightened airport security, who would be stupid enough to make a bomb threat as a joke? Well, according to the TSA's blog, a lot of people. These are not funny jokes, people!

Bad Body Language

Even nonverbal communication can get you in trouble. The TSA employs behavior detection officers whose job it is to identify passengers that may be a security risk due to their body language. This means that if you're acting nervous or stressed (which is totally common for flyers), you may be pulled aside for extra questioning. I've been stopped before for questioning because my hands were shaking when I handed over my boarding pass and ID.

—By Caroline Morse

Read the original story: Seven Things You Should Never Say to the TSA by Caroline Morse, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.

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