I dread going through TSA every time I fly. I know they are there to protect all of us, but I sometimes feel intimidated like I'm already being viewed as a criminal. I know that's not how TSA workers think, but they're all business and I get that. They're there to do one job and must deal with nearly a thousand different people in a day's work. I totally understand that it can be a stressful job.

To make things as smooth for TSA officers and myself as I can, I always make sure I prepare as much as possible. I carry very little onto the plane in my backpack. I take my shoes off long before getting to the x-ray belt. I remove my hat and take out my plastic bag with liquids and my tablet that I use to stream video during the flight. I of course, also empty my pockets.

When I flew to Las Vegas out of Boston last week, everything went off without a hitch as I went through the TSA checkpoint. On the way back though, I triggered the alarm for the metal detector.

martince2
martince2
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The TSA officer asked if I had anything in my pockets. I said, "No, I emptied them and put them in the bins. He asked me to step back through and the alarm went off again, not only on the way back through the metal detector but walking through it again.

"Are you sure you emptied your pockets?" he asked again. "I'm sure," I said as I patted the pockets on my cargo shorts. "I don't know what could be setting it off."

Then I felt something in my bottom left pocket and pulled it out:

Jeff parsons - Townsquare Media
Jeff parsons - Townsquare Media
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This small package containing a lens wipe set the alarm off. I forgot I even had it there, and I couldn't feel it when I patted my pockets the first time to see if anything was in there.

The TSA officer said that the little bit of aluminum in the packaging is what tripped the alarm and he of course has seen it many times. I felt like an idiot for not remembering that was there, but they were cool about it.

Lesson learned. Even something that seems harmless in your pockets can set off the scanner, so remember to check EVERY pocket in your cargo shorts!

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