5 Things You Should NEVER Do at the Airport (Avoid Jail Time!)

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7 Dec 2023
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Airports are busy and stressful places, especially if you are traveling internationally. You have to deal with long lines, security checks, customs, immigration, baggage claims, and sometimes even unexpected delays or cancellations. But while you may be tempted to cut corners, vent your frustration, or just have some fun, there are some things you should never do at the airport, unless you want to risk getting arrested, fined, or banned from flying. Here are five of them:


Photo by Digital Vision


1. Joke about bombs, guns, or terrorism 🚫

This may seem obvious, but you should never, ever joke about bombs, guns, or terrorism at the airport, or even mention these words casually. Airport security is very serious about these threats, and they have zero tolerance for any jokes or pranks that could cause panic, confusion, or disruption. Even if you think you are being funny, sarcastic, or ironic, you could end up in big trouble.

Photo by - Creatas



According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), joking about having a bomb or a weapon in your luggage, or making any other false threat, is a federal crime that could result in civil penalties of up to $13,910 per violation, as well as criminal prosecution and imprisonment. In some cases, you could also be sued by the airport or the airline for any damages or losses caused by your joke.

📌For example

  • in 2019, a 19-year-old woman was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport after she joked that she had a bomb in her bag, causing the terminal to be evacuated and several flights to be delayed.
  • In 2018, a 70-year-old man was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after he told a ticket agent that he had dynamite in his suitcase, which turned out to be a bottle of honey.
  • In 2017, a 28-year-old man was arrested at Miami International Airport after he shouted “Allahu Akbar” and pretended to detonate a bomb, which was actually a battery charger.


So, the next time you are at the airport, keep your jokes to yourself, or better yet, don’t joke at all. You never know who might overhear you and take you seriously.

❇️Question: Have you ever witnessed or heard of someone joking about bombs, guns, or terrorism at the airport? How did the security react?



2. Try to smuggle prohibited items or substances 🚫

Another thing you should never do at the airport is try to smuggle prohibited items or substances in your carry-on or checked baggage, or on your person. These include weapons, explosives, flammable liquids, drugs, counterfeit goods, endangered animals, plants, or food products, among others. Depending on the item or substance, and the country you are traveling to or from, you could face severe consequences if you are caught.

Photo by- Izusek


According to the TSA, some of the prohibited items that they have confiscated from passengers include guns, grenades, knives, swords, stun guns, brass knuckles, fireworks, gasoline, bleach, mercury, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and even human skulls. Some of these items are illegal in the United States, while others are restricted or banned in other countries.

📌For example

  • In 2019, a 46-year-old woman was arrested at Hong Kong International Airport after she tried to smuggle 24 gerbils in her carry-on bag, which she claimed were for her own consumption.
  • In 2018, a 22-year-old man was arrested at Dubai International Airport after he tried to smuggle 1.8 kilograms of gold into his rectum, which he hoped to sell for a profit.


If you are caught trying to smuggle prohibited items or substances at the airport, you could face criminal charges, fines, confiscation, deportation, or even imprisonment. You could also endanger your own health and safety, as well as the health and safety of others. Therefore, it is best to avoid any risk and follow the rules and regulations of the airport and the country you are visiting. You can check the TSA website for a list of prohibited items for the United States, and the websites of the customs and immigration authorities of other countries for their specific requirements.

❇️Question: Have you ever tried to smuggle prohibited items or substances at the airport? Why did you do it and what happened?



3. Argue with or disrespect the airport staff or security personnel 🚫

Another thing you should never do at the airport is argue with or disrespect the airport staff or security personnel. These include ticket agents, baggage handlers, gate agents, flight attendants, customs and immigration officers, TSA agents, police officers, and any other person who works at the airport. They are there to help you, to ensure your safety, and to facilitate your travel. They are also doing their job, which is not easy, especially when they have to deal with thousands of passengers every day.

Photo by - IPGGutenbergUKLtd


If you argue with or disrespect the airport staff or security personnel, you could cause unnecessary delays, inconvenience, or trouble for yourself and others. You could also face disciplinary actions, such as being denied boarding, being removed from the flight, being fined, being detained, or being banned from flying. In some cases, you could even be arrested or charged with a crime.

📌For example

  • In 2019, a 32-year-old woman was arrested at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport after she refused to show her boarding pass to a TSA agent and then punched another agent in the face.
  • In 2018, a 53-year-old man was arrested at Orlando International Airport after he threatened to kill a gate agent who told him that his flight was oversold.


So, the next time you are at the airport, be polite, courteous, and cooperative with the airport staff and security personnel. Follow their instructions, answer their questions, and comply with their requests. If you have any issues, concerns, or complaints, address them calmly and respectfully, and seek a peaceful resolution. Remember, they are not your enemies, but your allies.

❇️Question: Have you ever argued with or disrespected the airport staff or security personnel? How did they react and how did you resolve the situation?




4. Be respectful of other passengers’ personal space and comfort 🚫

Another thing you should never do at the airport is be disrespectful of other passengers’ personal space and comfort. This includes avoiding loud or obnoxious behavior, such as talking on the phone, playing music, or watching videos without headphones, or being rude or aggressive to others. It also includes being mindful of your hygiene, such as wearing clean clothes, using deodorant, and avoiding strong-smelling foods or perfumes. You should also respect the privacy and belongings of others, such as not snooping or touching their luggage, or taking up more than your fair share of seats, outlets, or bins.

Photo by Robert Kneschke


Being respectful of other passengers’ personal space and comfort is not only a matter of courtesy but also of safety and security. If you cause a disturbance or annoyance to others, you could attract unwanted attention from the airport staff or security personnel, who may ask you to leave or even detain you. You could also create a tense or hostile atmosphere, which could escalate into a conflict or a fight. Moreover, you could ruin the travel experience for yourself and others, who may have been looking forward to their trip.

So, the next time you are at the airport, be respectful of other passengers’ personal space and comfort. Treat others as you would like to be treated, and be considerate of their needs and preferences. Remember, you are sharing a public space with many different people, who may have different cultures, backgrounds, and expectations. A little respect goes a long way.

❇️Question: Have you ever encountered someone who was disrespectful of your personal space and comfort at the airport? How did you handle the situation?




5. Leave your luggage unattended or accept any items from strangers 🚫

The final thing you should never do at the airport is leave your luggage unattended or accept any items from strangers. This is not only a security risk, but also a legal liability. You are responsible for your own luggage and its contents, and you should always keep an eye on it and make sure it is properly labeled and locked. You should also never agree to carry or hold any items for strangers, such as bags, packages, gifts, or documents. You never know what they might contain, or what their intentions might be.

Photo by gilaxia


According to the TSA, leaving your luggage unattended or accepting any items from strangers could result in your luggage being searched, seized, or destroyed, or you being questioned, detained, or arrested. You could also face criminal charges, fines, or imprisonment, depending on the nature and severity of the offense.

📌For example

  • In 2019, a 37-year-old man was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport after he tried to board a flight to Pakistan with a bag containing a loaded handgun, three magazines, and 70 rounds of ammunition, which he claimed belonged to his friend who asked him to deliver it.
  • In 2018, a 20-year-old woman was arrested at Brisbane International Airport after she tried to smuggle 1.1 kilograms of cocaine in her shoes, which she said were given to her by a man she met online.


So, the next time you are at the airport, keep your luggage with you at all times and do not accept any items from strangers. You never know what trouble you might get into, or what danger you might expose yourself or others to.

❇️Question: Have you ever left your luggage unattended or accepted any items from strangers at the airport? What were the consequences?



Conclusion

Airports are complex and dynamic environments, where millions of people travel every day. While they can be exciting and enjoyable places, they can also be stressful and challenging ones. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the things you should never do at the airport and to avoid them at all costs. By doing so, you can ensure your safety and security, as well as the safety and security of others, and have a smooth and pleasant travel experience.



I hope you like this article, and learn something new. And if you want to learn more exoplanets, astronomy, A.I and other science topics, please check out our other articles and resources.



📚 Sources:

  1. Airport Policy | AIRPORTS AUTHORITY OF INDIA - Link.
  2. Security and Baggage Advice | New Delhi Airport - Link.
  3. Security Guidelines for General Aviation Airport Operators and Users - Link.
  4. Air travel - Travel.gc.ca - Link.
  5. How to Have Airport Etiquette (with Pictures) - wikiHow - Link.
  6. 30 Airport Hacks And Tips To Make Your Flight As Effortless As Possible - Link.
  7. Airplane Etiquette 101: 8 Tips for Mindful Travelers - Link.
  8. Traveling Party of Four - Link.


📌Originally posted on - medium


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29 Comments

B
TheVibeVenture
Thanks for sharing
Napes
now
ENDORSED
Whilst a lot of these items should be self explanatory it was good to hear about some of the cases when these things have been ignored. The heading of item 4 should never be disrespectful to other passengers.
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