A Former TSA Agent Debunked Common Airport Security Myths on TikTok
Take a behind-the-scenes look inside the TSA.
By now, everyone who's traveled more than a few times knows the basic rules of flying: No liquids, shoes on the conveyor belt, electronics in the bin. For frequent fliers it's routine, and for those who don't hit the airport often, the rules are posted just about everywhere you look, including online. The TSA's rules might seem arbitrary or annoying, but there are reasons for all of them, and Jai.Indi, a TikToker who claims to have been a TSA agent in New York City (though this wasn't independently verified by Thrillist), is ready to explain all that and more.
In a TikTok video that's since gone viral, the ex-TSA employee answered some of the questions she gets most often, many of which are about smuggling illegal things through security. We shouldn't have to say this but just don't even try.
She captioned the clip "If you got your stuff through, congratulations to you."
Her first revelation: That the "drug-sniffing dogs" you sometimes see in airports aren't actually smelling for drugs at all—they're looking for explosives.
Secondly, to sum it up: Don't try to smuggle any contraband.
"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," Cooper cautioned in the video.
Finally, she suggests putting anything you're unsure about in your checked baggage.
"Number three: It makes more sense to put [whatever you're trying to get through security] 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 have issues and missing your flight," she said.
Cooper has shared her extensive insider knowledge in a number of videos. Basically, if you've ever wondered about it, she's probably covered it. She's tackled everything from travel with warrants, flying with an expired ID, and racial profiling to what you can and can't bring in your checked and carry-on luggage. However, she notes in her videos that she's speaking from her own experience, so take it all with a grain of salt.