What do firearms, doggies and a potload of weed all have in common? I’ll let you take a guess.
Everyone loves to hate TSA agents. But you know what? It really isn’t fair to them. That’s something I’ve always known that in theory like some nebulous physics concept, but found hard to remember that when queued at those airport stress points (security checks). I could always feel my pressure slowly rise…until, one day, I stumbled across the TSA’s Instagram account. It’s humanized—or canine-nized—the agency and what they do.
The posts run the gamut from stunning portraits of bomb-sniffing pups to confiscated cat-shaped brass knuckles, with just a bit of cheeky humor. When what’s plucked and posted is two throwing daggers nested in a hollowed-out “book” to a chapter entitled “Ninja Equipment,” it’s a joke that been dying to made. They take their jobs seriously but at the end of they get to laugh at how ridiculous this is, too. And their approximate 150,000 followers are in on it.
Other than finally fully developing empathy for the TSA, there’s a lot to learn following their Instagram.
They’re up against some tricky bastards.
A dagger hidden with a comb? How does that even show up on the screen?
They’re not looking for drugs.
But if they find them… duty calls.
#TSACatch: (Left) 80 pounds of marijuana was discovered last Friday in a checked bag at the McClellan – Palomar (CRQ) airport in #California. (Right) Several vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana (about seven pounds) were discovered last Saturday in a check bag at the #Oakland International Airport. TSA is not looking for contraband, but it is reported to local law enforcement when discovered.
They don’t want your passports.
First thing’s first once through that body scanner: Check for a passport.
Their dogs are just the best.
Look at that guy!
#TSAOnTheJob – This is explosives detection canine Ozzie and his handler, Tim Webb, while they were in training at the #Lackland #AirForce base. Ozzie is receiving a toy as a reward for finding the explosives. The team is currently based out of the #LasVegas #McCarren International airport. For the record, these canines are not trained to find narcotics.
TSA agents are talented and participate in the community.
It doesn’t get much more patriotic than this.
Kids are cute and can keep their shoes on.
We all should see TSA agents through the eyes of a child.
#TSAOnTheJob: TSO Karissa Stover and Supervisory TSO Joel Garcia are seen here at the #Seattle Tacoma International Airport checking the ID and travel documents of a Seattle area family. Did you know that children under 12 can keep their shoes on? Visit TSA.gov for more information on traveling with children. #TSA
What’s art to one person is suspicious to another.
This definitely is getting hung on any family fridge.
#TSACatch – This is a notebook cover that was discovered yesterday in a carry-on bag at the #Albany International Airport. On the X-ray however, it looked like an improvised explosive device. There was no malicious intent here, but it’s important to remember that homemade #DIY projects can often look pretty ominous to our X-ray operators. #TSATravelTips
Fireworks — no.
Even if it’s the Fourth of July.
Tasers — also no.
Even when it looks like lipstick.
But not everything is forbidden.
Cheers to that.
#TSATravelTip: Corkscrews/Bottle openers (like the one pictured) ARE permitted in carry-on bags. However, If your opener has a knife blade, pack it with your checked baggage. All knives are prohibited from being packed in your carry-on. Visit www.tsa.gov for more information on permitted and prohibited items.
No one has time for replicas.
This table full of inert/replica bombs shows exactly why security lines can be so long and slow. Case-in-grenade point that it’s not the TSA’s fault—it’s our fellow travelers’ fault.
#TBT – This is a portion of the inert/replica ordinance that was discovered in a year’s time at the #StLouis International Airport in 2010. If an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, etc., it’s prohibited. Items such as these can cause significant delays while the explosives detection professionals resolve the alarm. #TSACatch
They’re not looking to take your belongings.
Whether it’s a pretty guitar or even a lampshade.
These are a couple of items that were left behind at the #Newark Liberty Internal Airport TSA checkpoint. Each airport has a TSA Lost & Found center for items left behind at checkpoints and you can find the contact info for each airport here: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/airport-lost-found-contacts
Not sure? There’s an app for that.
Between the Instagram and the app, other agencies could take some coolness lessons from the TSA. Add a blog to the impressive list of their digital media offerings and proof that they’re really just trying to help.
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