13 Things Most Likely to Get You Flagged by the TSA
Even if you follow all the rules—removing your shoes, belt, and heavy jewelry—you might still worry about getting flagged by the TSA. We got travel pros to reveal how you can avoid making yourself a target when you reach the front of the security line.
Red Flag #10: Not having proper identification
Think of the last time you visited Europe or went to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico: Between the night before and the commute to the airport, how many times did you double (and triple) check that you had your passport? While it might be a bit of an OCD behavior, Lloyd says making sure you have proof of who you are long before you ever get in line is a solid idea. “TSA is not there to make sure you get on the plane, they are there to make sure you are there to travel safely and not there to harm others,” Lloyd says.
Red Flag #11: Not having proof for your medicine
Are you allowed to travel with medicine in your carry-on bag? Yep. But for some medications, do you need a note from your doctor? You could. That’s why McDermott says it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to prescriptions that you need to stay healthy while you’re on your trip. (After all, who wants to be Samantha in Sex & the City 2 when she can’t bring her much-needed menopausal regimen to Abu Dhabi?) Here are the secrets flight attendants won’t tell you.
Red Flag #12: Not complying with rules that vary by country
If you’re going to have a bucket list of dream destinations, you’ll also need to become pretty flexible, not only with flight delays and language barriers but with following the varying rules of those respective countries. “Regulations vary around the world, and sometimes something that’s allowed here will be confiscated elsewhere. A good example is small cosmetic scissors. TSA allows those, but don’t be surprised if screeners in a foreign country confiscate them before your flight back to the U.S.,” Kaplan notes.
Red Flag #13: Packing certain types of toothbrushes
If you have a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, then you will need to opt for a new phone before boarding a flight. It’s been known to explode —yep!—so airlines have banned it from the friendly skies, for safety reasons. But did you know that your Sonicare toothbrush could be taken too? According to Marcelia, the spare lithium batteries that come with it have—wait for it—also exploded, so the FAA doesn’t allow you to take them into the cabin. Don’t be that person: Follow this airplane etiquette the next time you fly.