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Former TSA Officer Gives Tips and Tricks for Airport Security on TikTok

News Airports + Flying
by Olivia Harden Jun 25, 2021

If you’re a frequent flyer, you should, at this point, know the basic rules of TSA carry-on screening: Your liquids can only be 3.4 ounces or less, your shoes need to come off, and don’t forget to take your laptop out of your bag before it goes in the X-ray machine. But you might have some lingering questions that are just not listed on the government website. Former TSA officer and TikToker Jaime Cooper has taken it upon herself to answer some of those burning questions you might have.

Although current TSA officers are banned as of February 2020 from using the social media app, Cooper no longer works for the agency. She’s decided to share some of her knowledge from working in domestic terminals in New York. Her first video on the topic has amassed over two million likes.

“Number one: the dogs in the airports don’t smell for drugs, they only smell for explosives. Number two: all of the tips and tricks that you’re using to try to conceal and hide the illegal things that you’re bringing? Just stop, because it’s an X-ray. It can literally see through everything. You’re not hiding it in a toothpaste tube or whatever it is that you’re doing. Number three: it makes more sense to put it in your checked baggage because that way if they find it they’ll just throw it out, whereas if you’re in the security checkpoint and somebody finds it and they decide to be an asshole, they’re going to call the cops and that’s just going to lead you to issues and missing your flight,” Cooper explained.


tsa tips.. let me preface this by saying if you got your stuff through, congratulations to you #fyp

♬ Bundles (feat. Taylor Girlz) – Kayla Nicole

In later videos, Cooper talks about flying with warrants, flying with expired identification (apparently you can do so for at least a year), and what items you should check and what’s okay in a carry-on like pepper spray (checked bag), vape cartridges (apparently no one will know the difference between nicotine and THC), and edibles (she recommends packing them in a Ziploc bag). She even addresses racial profiling and random search selection. And while you might think the weirdest thing a TSA agent might find in security is your sex toys, try a dead body.


#stitch with @nurse.lizbeth this still haunts me 😭 #fyp

♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists

Cooper prefaces all this by saying these come from her personal experience working as a TSA officer in airports in New York City, so follow her tips and tricks at your own risk.

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