3 Things you should never do at the Airport

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After 9/11, air travel underwent some fairly radical changes. Nowhere was this felt more than the airport itself which was forever impacted by the events that day. Soon travelers airport experiences were radically changed. In today’s modern world, travel is still commonplace and airports are where many people spend large chunks of their time in while traveling. Here are 3 things you should NEVER do at the airport.

Be sure to check out our entire “Never do this while traveling” series, including fan favorite, 3 Things to Never, Ever do in a Hotel

Never, ever do this at the airport!

You’ve probably seen the slogan “But first, Coffee!” Well, traveling is often a lot of fun. New destinations, new experiences, new memories, and more. But first…the airport!

No matter where you are heading, you are gonna have to get through that airport.

We’ve assembled a list of the top 3 things you should never do at the airport. Sure, you might disagree with some of them (and if you do, please drop us a comment, or tweet us). We’ve also added a few other suggestions on what to avoid doing while at the airport at the end.

Here’s a quick summary, before we dive in. Happy reading (and happy traveling!).

  1. Joke about bombs
  2. Not get TSA PreCheck
  3. Check a bag

Alright, let’s dig in.

Joke about bombs

Joke about Bombs
Never Joke about Bombs

This first one is something that has always baffled me. Why do people still do this!? For some reason people occasionally do still do this. Joking about bombs, or weapons / harm in danger (but particularly bombs) is sure to draw the ire of the Transporation Security Agency.

They take their jobs pretty seriously and if an extended pat down followed up by some stern looks from a displeased TSA Agent is how you want to spend your time before you get on the plane, just make a little bomb joke… You might even get arrested.

For example, as recently as December of 2019 a Marine was arrested for cracking jokes about bomb as he passed through security in the Charlotte Airport. He was arrested.

The list is long of fools who’ve thought they were being cute. TSA don’t play. In early 2019 a woman was arrested in the Fort Lauderdale Airport after boarding her flight and joking to a flight attendant that there was a bomb in it. The pilot evacuated the plane and the TSA evacuated the entire airport. Talk about a joke falling flat.

In every case we could find, the joker was arrested. Not fun for anyone…

Many airports even post placards and signs reminding travelers to keep their airport humor firmly out of the bomb zone…

Bottom line? Don’t joke about bombs at the airport!

Not get TSA PreCheck

Not Get TSA PreCheck
Be sure to get TSA PreCheck

Speaking of airport security, if you like standing in long lines or taking your shoes off while trying to yank your laptop out of bag while a gaggle of other passengers glare at you, then don’t get TSA PreCheck. If you like zipping through security without a care in the world with barely any meaningful wait time, then get TSA PreCheck!

TSA Precheck - a must do for your first business trip

TSA PreCheck is a paid service sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security that pre-screens travelers through a background check and interview. Once approved, travelers get access to a special airport security line and do not have to remove their shoes or take electronics out of their luggage. Plus the lines are usually faster.

Not getting TSA PreCheck before your next airport visit? Big mistake!

Check your bag

Check a Bag
Never Check a Bag!

This is a controversial topic. The amount of hate mail, comments or other general discontent we get from bag-checkers is pretty surprising, really. Who knew people who checked their bags were also dicks? Just kidding, now. Settle down…

In all seriousness, we are NOT fans of checking a bag here at the CBoardingGroup.com and we’ve covered this subject extensively and lampooned it a bit as well. We remain convinced, despite the loud protestations of a few, that checking a bag is one of the things you should NEVER do at the airport.

That said, there are a few good reasons not to check a bag so we get it: this approach isn’t for everyone. And that’s ok.

A Few Extras to Avoid

Obviously, the list above is somewhat subjective (although, that’s not the case for the first one…never joke about bombs…). However, we’ve added a few more things to consider not doing while at the airport!

  • Forget to learn the rules. If you’ve not traveled in a while it might be a good idea to peruse the TSA rules on airports so you don’t look like a goober when TSA doesn’t let you bring that 48 ounce tub of mayonnaise through security.
  • Never buy water at the airport. $5.25 for a bottle of water seems legit…wait, what!?!?! Avoid buying water at the airport. Instead, bring a collapsible travel water bottle instead and fill it up on the other side.
  • Leave your bag unattended. Want to get the airport locked down? Wander off and leave you bag alone. It probably won’t end well.
  • Forget to use the bathroom before you get on the plane. This is a rookie mistake. We see this almost every trip. Immediately after boarding (and WHILE the plane is still boadring someone will make a bathroom run, them swim upstream to get back to their seat. Don’t be that person. Always go before you get on the plane..
  • Not use a firewall when connecting your PC to Airport WiFi. As noted in our 7 Cyber Security Tips for Travelers, not using a firewall when connecting to free wi-fi (like airport internet) is just plain dumb.

How about you? What things do you NEVER do at the airport?? Drop us a comment below, or tweet us!

Thanks for stopping in

There you go. Now you know what NOT to do at the airport. If you are interested in learning what TO do while traveling considering poking around our website for more great travel advice and content. For example, we’ve stuffed over 147 Travel Tips in the largest collection of travel tips on the Internet. Check it out, and level up your travel game.

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Author Biography

We. Do. Business Travel. The CBoardingGroup.com is a leading business travel focused travel blog. The principal author has over 18 years of consistent & frequent business travel. Over the years, he has developed various travel habits, travel tips, advice and more that he shares with fellow travelers of all skill levels. From hotel life, to airplane tips, to the weekly grind of frequent travel, plus a little travel humor, this blog is a haven for business travelers. Read his full bio here.

Advertiser Disclosure: CBoardingGroup has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. CBoardingGroup and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. “Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.”

7 comments on “3 Things you should never do at the Airport

  1. Bandmeeting

    The post landing scrum that results when all of the hand luggage people grab for the overhead bins has all of the dignity of a big box store on Black Friday.

    Reply
  2. DaninMCI

    Checked bags can be a necessary evil. Like when you need to transport a gun that can’t be done in carry-on bags.
    My top 3 are:
    1. Don’t yell at airline or airport employees
    2. Don’t get drunk at the bar waiting on a flight
    3. Don’t joke or talk about terrorists, bombs, etc.
    Bonus: Don’t name your phone wifi tether something stupid like Terrorist911 or whatever.
    All these can keep you from flying that day whereas checking a bag or not having precheck won’t.

    Reply
    1. The C Boarding Group Post author

      Totally agree about getting drunk at the Airport. I am always ASTONISHED at the number of people who drink in the morning. It can be 5AM and people are pounding booze at the airport bar. I don’t know if I am impressed or disturbed!

      Reply
      1. Teri Gee

        It might be 5am to you, however some people have been traveling many hours, and it’s possible it’s 10pm for them. please don’t judge .

    2. Bandmeeting

      We all have our own story but for me there is no evil too it. I’m emancipated from dealing with my bag which allows me to stroll all over the airport unencumbered. The line here at Cboarding is that the wait for your bag is too long. Not for me.

      Reply
  3. Henry Evans

    I don’t understand people on early morning flights showing up at precheck with full pockets. Massive brackets, huge belt buckles. Where did they think they were going at 4am getting ready. I’ve had precheck since the start I have everything for my pockets or that even might need to take off in a compartment in my carry bag. Throw it on the belt and go. Also with two metal knees I must go through the scanner every time still quick if you’re prepared before you get to the line.

    Reply

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