13 Things You Should Never Say to TSA!


Thank you to Lindsay Tigar for including me in her Reader’s Digest article: “13 Things to Never Say to TSA Agents.”

“Are you looking for a bomb in there?”

Jet-setter and travel blogger Lisa Niver reminds travelers that a TSA agent’s number one priority is safety. It’s a job that most people take seriously and definitely one that should be respected. So while it’s annoying when your bag is searched, remember why it’s being done—and never joke about anything that could put others in danger, like insinuating you have a bomb or a gun. Niver explains that TSA agents have to take every comment into consideration, and since they don’t know you, your “joking” comment may prompt them to investigate to make sure you’re not actually a terrorist.

“Will a twenty help me get through this line faster?”

When you have only ten minutes to board your flight and the next one isn’t until tomorrow morning, thanks to augmented schedules during the pandemic, you may feel desperate to make it. But winking at a TSA agent and slipping him or her a twenty? Niver says that tactic won’t be effective—and it could land you in mega trouble. Much like police officers, TSA agents can’t take any cash in exchange for leniency, and they raise an eyebrow at those who think they could be so easily persuaded. In fact, if you try to bribe them, you could end up getting arrested! 

The curse word of your choice

No matter how many laps around the sun we take, it’s important to remember the golden rule our parents taught us from the start: Treat others as you want to be treated. All too often, frustrated or exhausted passengers will curse at TSA agents when the line is moving too slowly, which is obviously disrespectful. Niver says any type of aggression, even verbal, can send you packing and cause you to miss your flight—or even be put in a holding room for questioning.

“This is ridiculous!”

What would you do if someone told you that your job was ridiculous? You’d probably be offended, right? And if you ever suggest that you could outsmart a TSA agent, they won’t take it well. That’s why Niver urges passengers to put themselves in the agent’s shoes and to try to have patience during the screening process. “They are paid to make sure that you are safe, that they are safe, and that all the passengers in the terminal or on the plane are safe,” she says. “And that may take longer than we would like.” Your outbursts won’t help the situation—and could delay things even further.

Read the full Reader’s Digest article: “13 Things to Never Say to TSA Agents.”

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel. From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.    Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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We Said Go Travel

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