Millions of holiday travelers are on the move, but not everyone is packing their patience. That's especially true for those antsy travelers whose airport antics end up getting them arrested.
With more than 3 million Americans traveling by plane this Thanksgiving, according to AAA, it's a good time to review what types of behavior aren't going to fly when you're dealing with the TSA. Not following the rules can ruin your holiday plans.
After you pack your bags and before you get to the airport, take a minute to review this "won't-fly" list:
- Don't bring a replica bomb. Explosive devices aren't allowed in the airport, and even if you bring something that looks like one (like a watch that looks like a bomb), you could be stopped. Save yourself the hassle by leaving it at home.
- Don't carry a gun. Firearms and other weapons are also on the "don't pack" list when you get on an airplane. Even if you have a permit to carry it, you can't carry it onto a plane, as many people have learned first-hand.
- Don't carry gun-shaped accessories. It may not be a real gun, but if it looks like one you may still be stopped. If you want to take off on time, an airport is not a good place to carry your gun-shaped purse.
- Don't smuggle drugs. When you get to the airport you're going to have to empty your pockets and go through a security scan; even checked luggage gets X-rayed. That means your drug stash is more likely to be caught, and then you're in trouble -- unless a lenient TSA agent decides to just leave you a note instead.
- Don't get naked. It may not be illegal (depending on your intent), but taking off your clothes to go through the scanning device can only get you negative attention and may lead to a costly court battle. If you don't agree with the scanners you can always opt out and accept an over-the-clothes pat-down instead.
Dealing with TSA officers may be a bit frustrating at times, but try to show respect and be polite. Still, remember that TSA agents aren't police officers. They can deny you entrance to the airport, but they can't arrest you or detain you for longer than necessary to call police.
If you do get arrested at an airport or run into other legal turbulence this holiday season, take notes about your experience and share them with your attorney. Don't check your legal rights along with your bag.
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