What not to do in an Airport

Ever since 9/11 happened there’s been a mass tightening on airport security worldwide. With the increase in airport security come the seemingly ridiculous rules on what you shouldn’t do when travelling through an airport. While most of us know to watch our P’s & Q’s when it comes to using words like ‘Bush’ and ‘Bomb’ in the same sentence, there are a few things that you may not know about travelling through airports. Here’s a short guide for any first time travellers that would like to brush up on their airport etiquette. I’ve included a few ‘case studies’ to illustrate the kind of trouble your airport antics could land you in if you fail to comply with the stringent security measures put in place by airports companies the world over.


The Baggage Claim Conveyor Belts aren’t Toys

Long haul flights can do funny things to people; like the New Jersey teenagers who thought it would be fun to ride the luggage conveyor belts on arrival at a New Orleans airport in 2008. They rode it right past security and into a prohibited area. Moral of the story – don’t ride the airport conveyor belts or anything else for that matter.

Stupid is As Stupid Does

People have tried to smuggle some strange and stupid things passed airport security. Some of these things include a chainsaw and a dead relative in a wheelchair. Apparently the wheelchair person was trying to avoid the fee for transporting a body.

Remember to pay attention to what isn’t allowed in your checked and carry-on luggage. Something that often slips the mind of travellers is the LAGS Act. Otherwise known as the Liquids, Aerosols and Gels Act, it specifies the permissible amounts of any liquids and gels that you carry on to the plane with you. This includes things like shampoo and deodorant.

Fashion Police what-not-to-do-in-an-airport

You can’t help but feel sorry for the poor chap who was stopped at Heathrow in 2008 when he tried to board a flight wearing a T-shirt that didn’t agree with airport security officers. The T-shirt was hardly offensive but apparently an image of a gun toting Transformer was all too much for the authorities at LHR.

On a more serious note, pay attention to what you wear when you fly. While the Heathrow officials may have been having a bad day, it’s probably going to be less hassle for you if you refrain from wearing clothes and accessories that make offensive or ‘threatening’ statements when you fly.

If you’re a first time traveller then the best advice I can give you is to apply common sense when you travel through security sensitive airports (read ALL airports).

First Time Travellers

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Photos: Andysternberg & Truthout.org

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