Airline travel can be a major pain in the neck: Long lines, lots of waiting and being smashed together with complete strangers will stress the greatest Zen master. While there are a few things you can do to speed the process up and brighten the day of the workers who facilitate your journey, this is not a list of those things. Instead, to make some good use of your time, there are ways to entertain yourself that, while risky, could actually stump the best products of the finest forensic psychology schools and leave you feeling like a champ if you pull them off. So without further adieu, here are the top 10 ways to upset TSA agents at an airport.
1.) Bring an old Hollywood Video card as your only identification
The TSA is kind of up tight about confirming your identity. If you would rather spend the next several hours of your life in a cramped coach cabin and not a spacious, comfy interrogation room, bring along your passport, military I.D., DHS “Trusted Traveller” card, driver’s license or green card.
Other acceptable identification has been designated by the TSA.
2.) Attempt to transport your collection of vintage energy drinks via carry on
This one might seem kind of unreasonable, but the TSA hates flammable and explosive fluids. Poisonous ones are a sticking point as well. The DHS has established a 3-1-1 rule for bringing fluids and creams in a carry on:
3.4 ounce (100 ml) bottles can be transported in 1-quart-sized, clear zip-top bag. Oh, and only a single bag per customer, which will go in the screening bin next to your shoes.
3.) Get your grub on
TSA agents get hungry. It’s not fair to make them sift through pizza boxes and bundles of fruitcake all day. Besides, causing one to drool during a frisk might pose a risk for public outrage. Check out the TSA’s list of food items that need to be checked or shipped ahead.
4.) Travel with Weapons
What’s a trip to Hawaii without your favorite Samurai sword? Don’t worry, enthusiast of all things that maim, that bad boy can be checked along with your box cutters, knives, scissors and pick axe. Wait, seriously?
5.) Partake in the black market of exotic animals
If you regularly treat other living creatures as commodities, maybe it’s best for the world if you to get busted. But for the rest of you, who might stumble upon an opportunity to make some green by smuggling hummingbirds in your underwear, like this guy, please, think twice.
6.) Enlist unwitting family members to smuggle your contraband
Of course it makes logical sense to strap those 3,700 Ecstasy pills under grandma’s armpits while she’s sleeping and secretly conceal Cuban cigars in your three-year-old brother’s stuffed bear, Binkums. But in the end, you’ll only aggravate the TSA and draw a harsher prison sentence—not to mention a potential record for innocent loved ones.
The TSA has a bad enough rap as it is right now thanks to the public’s distaste for standing in a line that culminates with heavy petting. Toss in the additionally awkward factor of dramatic age difference, and you’ve got a serious PR problem on your latex-protected hands. Don’t give the TSA a reason to get inappropriately intimate.
7.) Ask someone to watch your bags
That dude who’s been playing video games on the floor by the outlet for three hours may look trustworthy enough, but the TSA and DHS frown on leaving your belongings with strangers before a flight, no matter how badly you want to run and test out the neck massager in the gift shop.
8.) Don’t worry about keeping your bags tidy and organized
The “alphabetical mountains of junk” system may work well in your home, but TSA agents have a lot of crap to screen every hour. Give them and the travellers behind you a break and straighten your things out before leaving for the airport. The TSA does not offer a free
9.) Wear too many layers of clothing
One of the best-loved tricks for carefree flying is simply wearing your clothes instead of packing them. True masters of the art can pull off a three-layover flight without worrying about whether or not their baggage will end up in the same country as they do. But in these intolerant times, when smoking cigarettes mid-flight and spanking flight attendants are frowned upon, a little courtesy is expected. Extra clothes mean extra hiding spots. That means extended search procedures.
10.) Don’t shower for the entire week before travelling
Water. It sucks. And when you add soap to the mix, it’s a downright hassle. But the rest of us brave the indignities of bathing for the sake of others. Remember that you’re likely to have a stranger exploring your nooks and crannies. Guess what: They don’t like it any better than you do.
The modern experience of flying, as miraculous as the technological advances that brought us here are, has changed a lot over the last twenty years. And while the responsibilities of travellers have increased alongside threats of terrorism, the expense of flying through the air at incredible speeds is relatively low. If you can’t play by the rules, you could always throw a hobo’s bindle over your shoulder and hitch a ride on the next freight train.