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Things not to do at airport security

Until you manage to get past the security gates, you are officially a bad person according to The Book of Airplane Law, and its your job to prove that you are not. Here are some useful things to try and convince security that you’re actually okay.

Don’t ask too many questions

“Because!” There. All your questions have now been answered. Keep quiet.

Don’t sneeze

Try not to breathe at all, to be honest, but this “don’t” is more of a warning for those loud sneezers who can’t help but shout when they sneeze. Think about it – what would you do if you saw somebody shouting at airport security?

Don’t sing

“The hills are aliiiiiiive with the soooound of muuuuuussiiiiiiic” No, no they are not. But if you like singing, a strip search might inspire some high notes.

Don’t try to kill any mosquitoes

Yes, a sane person is supposed to immediately annihilate any mosquito that comes within range. But slapping your hands together and shouting “Got you, you b*£$^%@!” just invites security to grab you and turn your words around on you. That’s what happens when you have blood on your hands.

Don’t behave like a normal human being

Don’t fall asleep, don’t eat anything, don’t start daydreaming, don’t fall in love, don’t do your taxes, don’t shake anybody’s hand, don’t whistle, just don’t. It’ll all be over soon enough and you can get on with your normal life again.

Don’t do a cartwheel


Getting a flight might be fun but try not to do a cartwheel in delight. It’s very hard to assess a potential threat if they keep spinning upside down.

Don’t push into the queue

Down the pub you’ll happily shove the elderly out of your way to get served first, but if you’re late for your flight: tough. Shoving ahead screams “unpatriotic” and that you might need some democracy in a side room.

Don’t react if you see a wasp

It keeps hovering around your face, but if you make any sudden violent moves around security, you might get tasered instead of just stung.

Don’t mimic the security guards

Apparently when building rapport with people, we naturally tend to mirror each other. You should avoid doing this consciously though as it may be seen as parody. It’s true – the overworked guard really won’t appreciate you trying to copy their stooped gait and frowning expression.

Don’t smoke

Smoking might be your favourite thing to do in all the world. But security guards aren’t allowed to smoke when they’re on duty so they get crazy jealous if they see you puffing away.

Don’t demand the security guard takes your coat and belt off for you

Admittedly, you could try doing it in a seductive manner rather than just barking the order, but it’s just not the appropriate setting.

Don’t be medicated

Tempting as it may be to self-medicate, you’ll get into trouble due to your inability to take your shoes off without bursting into laughter – a natural reaction when you notice your feet just seem so large today.

Don’t skip a shower

You see those walkie talkies the guards are holding? They’re actually just remote controls to set off the buzzer if you walk through and they reckon you stink. To avoid this, have a shower before your flight and wear clean clothes. Maybe have a shave too, and get a haircut. We hear chemical peels are big right now actually.

Don’t take off your trousers

You may have bronzed and athletic pins, but nobody at security should have to know this – you only need to take your belt off when you pass. If your trousers don’t hold themselves up, we recommend holding them up with your hands (those things on the end of your arms).