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Avoid a TSA pat-down during holiday travel


icon blurbs

— tips from top travel experts

BY Rosemary Black

Tuesday, November 23rd 2010, 2:28 PM

Wearing snug clothing can help passengers avoid a TSA pat-down. 


Wearing snug clothing can help passengers avoid a TSA pat-down.

Want to dress for success at avoiding intrusive patdowns before hopping on a plane? Skip the bulky sweaters and ankle-length skirts (they’re red flags to airport screeners), leave your underwire bra and earrings in the suitcase, and consider wearing tight slacks, according to The Associated Press.

Choosing the right outfit can make getting through security less mortifying, according to travel experts.

“It’s difficult enough to fly right now, so let’s be sensible about it,” Susan Foster, author of “Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler,” told AP. “Let’s minimize all the hassle.”

Reducing the time spent getting screened might be possible by not wearing items that can set off the metal detector, according to TSA information. No-nos include clothes with metal buttons, heavy jewelry, cuff links, lanyards, bolo ties and belt buckles.

Another passenger suggests dressing as you would to go to Disneyland. “And by that I mean dressing comfortably, with a good pair of shoes,” Aliise Becker told The AP. “The days of dressing to the nines to travel is a thing of the past.”

Some travel experts say it’s sensible to get to the airport two hours in advance of the flight, and to have carry-ons look organized for scanning by TSA agents.

“If your carry-on bag goes through the machine that they’re looking at and everything is in its place … it’s going to go right through. You’re going to go right through and you’re going to go through to your gate,” Denver travel expert Andrea Shpall told 9news.com.

Laptops have to be removed from their case to be scanned and liquids must fit into a 1 quart container and be less than 3 ounces, Shpall said.

As for what to skip wearing? Resist T-shirts sold online that make fun of patdowns. One of the shirts that purports to offer advice to TSA officers says to “firmly grasp” the buttocks. Other shirts make fun of the “don’t touch my junk” line that became an Internet sensation when a California man told a TSA officer, “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.”

Another T-shirt sold online – definitely worth avoiding if you’d like to streamline your security screening – is for “Fondle Airlines” and proclaims, “Fondling junk since 2010.”

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