What tricks do you use to get through airport security?
Going through the airport in 2011 is tough. Like, cheap steak-, Canada Post trying to get its way-tough.
But the seasoned traveller chalks up airport struggles with inexperience. Well, idiot, you got sent to the back of the line because you tried to bring shampoo in your carry-on. Of course you got pulled aside: you had your iPod headphones in in front of security. What, are you still wearing shoes?
Indeed, everyone has their ways to make travelling a little less hectic. Though could breezing through security a little faster come down to something simple – like maintaining eye contact?
That’s the contention in a new editorial from the New York Times. Jeanniey Mullen, a well-travelled exec, tells the paper that after she was pulled aside by security a few years ago, she asked the airport guards what the reason was.
“I was released after about 15 minutes, but during that time I did chat with the security agent,” she tells the Times. “I was told … one of the reasons I was pulled out for a more thorough check was that I wasn’t making eye contact with them. What can I say? It was a red-eye flight, and I was tired.”
Mullen says she always makes eye contact with airport security guards now and has travelled for years without incident. This may sound ridiculous.
But consider this 2009 feature from the Star (via the Consumerist), which details how Israel conducts its airport security. The entire, sprawling story receives insight from an Israeli security expert, who maintains his country bases all of its airport screening on human behaviour.
From checkpoints that ask benign questions to gauge the human response (“How are you? Where are you coming from?”) to interviewers trained to never look away from their subjects, it’s all in the eyes in Israel.
“Even with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave,” the expert says. “They will never look into your eyes … and that’s how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys.”
What tricks do you use to make airport travel a little more efficient? Is the eye contact theory real, or is it putting too much emphasis on something trivial?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
*Follow Jason on Twitter here.
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Posted by: Frank Marcello | Jun 9, 2021 6:53:29 AM
This shit only happens in the States. Guards as well as border crossing agents are ignorant. They think they are Gid and that is one reason I hate travelling to and refuse to travel to the states.
Long Live Canada
Posted by: Trixie | Jun 9, 2021 10:59:16 AM
I can tell Kenneth wants a job. I disagree with his comment.
As for the second comment, sorry Frank, but "shit" doesn't ONLY happen in the states. I've gotten more "shit" crossing into Canada (by Canadians) than I've ever gotten crossing into the USA.
And no, they don't think they are God, they are simply doing a very important job.
Anyway, I cross mainly by car, but I find everything very friendly and moves fast.Sometimes I even kid around with them. However, I am straight with them too, when asked a question and my family is not hiding anything, so I see it as, I have nothing to fear.
Posted by: Troy Jollimore | Jun 9, 2021 1:08:45 PM
Security at Canadian airports can be just as thorough as in the US, and just as laughable with some of the 'stupid' policies they need to enforce...
My wife (who, believe me, is NO threat to National Security) was pulled aside for 'extra screening' the last time we traveled. I was chatting up a guard that said she couldn't tell me exactly why, but added, "That's a really nice hoodie sweater she's wearing..." So, no more hoodies!
Posted by: lisa | Jun 9, 2021 3:52:52 PM
Personally, I do not visit the US due to all the paranoia that appears to rule. The last time, I traveled with my dachshund, squeaked through security (my bra under-wire), got pulled aside, they insisted on examining the dog - he bites when approached by strangers, they gave up. It's all just too idiotic.
Posted by: Shark | Jun 9, 2021 7:59:10 PM
I cross back and forth over the borders of Canada, the U.S.A. and Mexico all the time, Most times in my car and I have been pulled over and had my car inspected and spent ussually about 30 minutes being cleared. I am big, tall, strong, and look rough around the edges with long hair and most people when they meet me think I am either an undercover cop or a bad ass biker. ( I am niether ) I expect to be inspected and with all the crap going on in the world I appreciate the fact that Canada, the U.S.A. and Mexico are being diligent in their efforts to protect our borders and the people living inside them. Sure it can be a minor inconvienience and it takes a few minutes. HOWEVER I think it beats the alternative of letting terrorists and smugglers run free across our borders. These people ( border gaurds and agents ) have an important and dangerous job to do and most people overlook this importance because they find it inconvienient. Well we do not live in the 1950's anymore and there are everyday threats that we never hear of and our border gaurds are our last defense against many of them. I do not care how many times I get pulled over, profiled, or searched. That being said I do find a huge differance in road and air travel though and I find that land crossings are much more dilligent than through the airports. I give 100% suppourt to all 3 governments for thier efforts in this huge problem. People should remember it is a priviledge and not a right, to visit and enter another country. You are a guest there and as a guest you should be prepared to follow their rules. I also agree with Trixie's comments, in that if you have nothing to hide and answer the questions honestly then you have nothing to fear. As for which is the most difficult border to cross, I would have to say all are equal and it has alot to do with where you are crossing. I have crossed areas back and forth into Mexico where machine guns, flack jackets and special trained dogs are normal, but you have to remember they are there for YOUR protection.
Posted by: mardelsur | Jun 9, 2021 9:14:00 PM
I travel frequently especially to Cuba. I have little to no trouble clearing customs and immigration. The first thing I did was familiarize myself with the law (I went on the official Cuban immigration and customs website) so I would know what to expect. I also talked to relatives who travel there frequently on the customs of the people; for example, Cubans don't like to be rushed (hey how many times have you heard from your friends who travelled to the Caribbean that the "people are so laid back")n - so while we Canadians may be rushing to get our luggage and get to our resort... Cubans tend to be much more relaxed. A word from the wise... be patient and smile... you will get there. While they are generally friendly people, they do not like rudeness or pushiness. They also expect the tourists to respect them. They appreciate politeness and civility (they hear it in your voice even if they don't understand English very well) Waiting in line is a way of life for Cubans; if you come off as being pushy or if you raise your voice they will likely ignore you and serve the more polite people first. Loudness, rudeness and pushiness will also attract attention of the security personnel (usually military) which will mean even more delays for you. Cuban officials, ie. customs, immigration and security personnel, are very big on protocol and following procedure. Failure by them to follow procedure is a serious matter. Interpretation... they may ask to see your passport four or five times (or more) between getting your luggage and getting to your bus..(distance covered... about 200 yards). you may be required to show your travel itinerary (and your passport) before you are allowed on the bus and when you check into your hotel... you guessed it... you may be required to show your passport again. That's when you refer back to my earlier comment about patience and smiling. As for customs and immigration in Canada... the same comments apply (believe it or not). Being familiar with the laws and requirements for Canadians re-entering Canada will help you a lot. So will patience and a smile. For the record... in more than 15 trips to Cuba over the past two years (and of course returns to Canada) I have only had one "problem" and that was leaving Cuba. However in that case, I kept the smile on my face, spoke calmly and politely and did not demonstrate any impatience ... they did their job (remember, procedure). In the end they apologized for the inconvenience, had someone come and help me whisk through the remainder of security, found me a comfortable (cooler) spot in the airport to wait for my plane. On my next trip when I saw the customs official who detained me on the last trip, he greeted me, got a porter to help me with my luggage and got me a coffee. Since then I have never had any problem.Bottom line - if you're on vacation just relax, go with the flow... you'll be finished sooner and sitting by the pool with the cool drink before you know it... enjoy your trip.
Posted by: Jack | Jun 11, 2021 9:29:26 AM
I live in Canada and work in the US. I never have a problem crossing the border either by car or going through airport security. Like a few others have already mentioned, treat border guards with the same respect that you expect from others.
Posted by: brass | Jun 11, 2021 9:15:16 PM
Many years ago , i ventured across the Border to the USA at there check point i was pulled over and they broke my Motocycle seat , thinking i had Drugs under there , I was no Hells angel just a regular rider out for a ride ,I NEVER went back to the usa , and will never do so that was 30 years ago , they can stuff their country right up their ASS
Posted by: Jay | Jun 16, 2021 3:27:28 PM
No need for "tricks". Just follow the damn rules. DUH!