10 Things to Never Say in an Airport


Like renewing your license at the D.M.V. on the last day of the month or getting a prostate exam from Luke Skywalker's cybernetic hand, visiting the airport can be a stressful, painful experience. Especially if you've endured lengthy flight delays, had your luggage lost, or stood in epic lines while TSA confiscated breast milk and Buzz Lightyear toys, you may feel compelled to let out an expletive-ridden tirade.

But be careful what you say at the airport. Speak the wrong words, and you're liable to be mocked, detained, removed, or forced to ride on the wing (not really). To ensure your experience is as swift and smooth as possible, hold back from saying these 10 ultra-taboo things at the airport:

The "B" Word

Are you the type who instinctively sticks his finger inside the lion's cage for the sheer, idiotic thrill of it? Then you may also be tempted to sneak in a "B" word in the presence of TSA.

You'd think by now it would be common knowledge that doing so will get you into serious legal trouble. But every year, passengers ranging from jokesters to NFL Pro Bowlers are arrested for uttering the word "bomb" (or "dynamite") at the airport. It may be your idea of a joke, but those humorless authorities call it something else: A terrorist threat.

[RELATED: Surviving America's Busiest Airports]

The "W" Word
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Why do you have to remove your shoes at the security checkpoint? Why can't you bring a 3.5 ounce bottle of aftershave on the plane? Why do liquids and gels need to be put inside a one-quart zip-top bag?

Reasonable questions, but believe it or not, the TSA agent working the full-body scanner on the midnight shift wasn't involved in the drafting of these rules. Chances are, his life would be better if he or she didn't have to look inside so many smelly loafers anyway.

If you have a legit complaint or would like to debate the merits of airport security protocols, contact the TSA brass directly. But while you're at the airport, keep the why questions to yourself.

"Is there a Panda Express at this airport?"

We love the Panda as much as the next guy, but before a flight, you're better off sticking to foods that don't top the 1000 mg sodium mark. Even on the ground, salty foods have a bloating effect; 30,000 feet in the air, the bloating increases exponentially. For your belly's sake and the sake of your fellow passengers, stick a carrot or something in your mouth instead.

Other goodies that trigger a Boeing 747-sized case of "jet bloat" include Volcano Nachos from Taco Bell, Dr. Pepper, and much of the Starbucks drink menu.



The "D" Word

Enjoy a libation or two at the airport bar, but don't dare let the word "drunk" escape your lips. If you do, there's a good chance you'll be left behind to sober up and try again. Many airlines, like US Airways, even have contractual clauses that prevent inebriated passengers from coming aboard.

[RELATED: Seven Ways to Travel Like an Adult]

"Can't you just behave yourself?"
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Don't be silly. Of course your kids can't behave themselves at the airport. Airports are dull places. Once kids realize that flying isn't nearly as adventurous as it looks on the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, they're even worse. Just accept the fact that your children will be the bane of the flying world's existence until your plane touches down.

"Hey! It's a moving walkway! Let's stand on it side-by-side and block anyone who's in a hurry to pass. Later, we can press our knees against the baggage carousel and block everyone's view, so they can't tell when their bags arrive!"

This one pretty much speaks for itself.

The "F" Bomb

It doesn't matter if your luggage got mis-routed to Tanzania or you've spent the last hour convincing TSA that your insulin pump is not a "b" word. Don't be a potty mouth. Passengers have been kicked off flights for dropping too many "F" bombs. Spew too many expletives, and the airline may deem you a public nuisance and not even let you on board.

"Mr. Officer, can I pet your dog?"
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This is a tough one to swallow. Dogs are cute. If they're wearing those K-9 goggles, they're downright adorable. Try to pet one at the airport, though, and the dog's "partner" flips out like you just dropped a series of "B," "D," and "F" words.

Note: Especially if you're carrying illegal drugs on your person, don't pull a Ralphie May and pet a police dog. And if you really can't hold back from rubbing Sargent Fido's belly, at least be smart and send your drugs separately, the old-fashioned way — via FedEx.

"Is there an outlet around here I can use?"

Nope. The average airport in the world provides (slight exaggeration alert) one outlet for every 23,000 passengers. Bring your own rechargeable phone case, or resign yourself to a screen-free existence for a little while.

"Are you in the Mile High Club?"

Whether you're still at the airport or soaring through the skies, refrain from asking a flight attendant or fellow passenger this king of creepy flight-related questions. You'll probably just get slapped or called a different "D" word (ends with "bag").

Marcus Whelchel lives, works, and writes in St. Louis, Missouri. He believes that if you will it, Dude, it is no dream.