Airport searches

A friend told me about a relative in her mid-sixties who was pulled out of line at the airport because she had glitter or sparkles or whatever it’s called on her shirt, and given a full cavity search. Now while I agree that shirts with sparkles are a crime against fashion, it seems this punishment was harsh.

I’m going to be flying in a couple weeks and will wear the plainest clothes I own, but what else can I do to minimize the likelihood of setting off alarms?

I think this “friend”'s “relative” was a figment of someone’s imagination. A full cavity search of a 60+ year old? I doubt it.

That being said, wear as little clothing as possible. Don’t bring any liquids, gels, aerosols, etc (except if they are very small and in their own little baggie). Don’t leave anything in your pockets, and take your shoes off too.

I fly ALL the time, and sometimes I get searched/patted down. It’s no big deal. Don’t think for a minute you’re going to get a cavity search.

You are making this 60+ person feel much better.

Okay, not because I think you need to worry about cavity searches but just because it will make the whole experience smoother and less stressful - my airport tips.

Follow their rules, read the website the night before your flight just in case anything changes but as of today:

Have your boarding pass and ID in your hand when you reach security. If your carry on has a zip up side pocket that’s the perfect spot for them until that point.

Put all your liquids in one ziploc bag and make sure the total is not greater than 3 oz. Pro tip - toothpaste and other gel like substances are liquids. If you need to take more than that you’ll need to check a bag. Remember to take the ziplock bag out and put it in the bin separately.

Don’t wear a lot of metal jewelery, large belt buckles etc. I used to fly with no underwire bra and zipperless clothes but the metal detectors seem to be set better now and those don’t matter anymore but an arm of bangles is a poor choice.

Wear shoes that you can get in and out of easily. With you being 60+ and the recent changes you might not have to take your shoes off but better to be prepared.

When walking through security keep an eye on your possessions at least until they’re into the xray machine. Once you’re through grab your stuff and move to one of the reassembly areas to put everything back into your bag. At this point check that you have everything.

If you’re carrying on two items (carryon bag and personal item) have everything you need to access during the flight in the smaller bag. Getting into the overhead bins during the flight is a pain and you don’t want to deal with that if you don’t have to.

Give yourself time to get through security without rushing.
Bring a sweater or a scarf for the plane. They go nuts with the AC.
Bring an empty water bottle and fill it up after security. Drink lots while you’re in flight the extra bathroom trips are worth not getting dehydrated.
Even if you have an ereader you may want to bring a small magazine or book for the “turn all electronics off” times. I get bored easily so this one is important for me :smiley:

The last time i flew I very carefully removed anything metallic from my body but the detector still said “ping!”. When I asked the controllers “What the eff?” they explained “It’s just a random search”.

This. Have there actually been any documented instances of the TSA peering into a passenger’s anus or vagina?

Nitpick: It’s not a total of three ounces. Rather, no single container should exceed three ounces (or 100 ml), and all such containers should be in a single quart-size ziploc bag. See the TSA rules here.

A friend of mine looked like he very well might have had a body cavity search when he emerged after ten minutes alone with security personnel at Schiphol once. I never dared ask him what had happened.

I’d love to have this guy’s problemat a TSA search.

Despite its rather misleading name, a metal detector detects metal. All metal.
Take off the jewelry.
If you try to go through with 5 chains around your neck and 27 bracelets on each arm two things will happen.

  1. You won’t make it
  2. You will piss off everybody in line behind you.
    If you really feel like you have to travel looking like a mobile Cookie Lee catalog, leave it in your carry on and put it on after security.
    Thank you
    -disgruntled former frequent flier

Fly first class, do not use a wheelchair.

LOL, damn that’s excellent news. For some reason I always read it as total so I’ve been doing stuff like switching to solid shampoo bars and carrying the bare minimum of actual liquids. Thank you!

Won’t help. Everyone has to pass the security control.

When I flew last month I made the mistake of wearing a top with soutache all over the bodice (soutache is a heavy embroidery). I went through the full body scanner and apparently it appears similar to wires on the readout. My boobs got totally felt up (in public) and the agent (female) also looked down the neckline of my blouse. Most action I’ve had in months…

Yes and no. I’ve been “pre screened” by TSA. can leave my shoes on, laptop in, and my liquids can stay on the suitcase. Pretty sweet.

Worrying only makes you clench up, relax and the experience might even be enjoyable.

I flew about a week ago and going through the body scanner, it picked up on the little brass rivets on the end of the seams on the front pocket of my jeans. I didn’t get a body cavity search, but he sure did get friendly. I don’t get it though, don’t all jeans have little metal rivets at the corners of the pocket seams?

The other things I learned (and I went through several different checkpoints), no matter that TSA’s website says, at all the checkpoints they wanted everyone’s laptop out of the cases and in a different bin from the cases. They want your belt off and in a bin. They want your shoes off, but just placed on the scanner belt, not in a bin.

Don’t wear a long, flowy skirt. Sometimes they get excited about that and pull you aside. I made that mistake once, never again.

I’m supposed to crawl around the airport? That might raise a few eyebrows! :eek:

Darn, you too?

When I show up at security in my wheelchair they treat me as if I have a machine-gun hidden in the frame.