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Eureka: Advice for dealing with airport security
by Joseph Gatt
2018-09-18 08:17:31
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I've heard more than one person rant about border security and airport security. Yes, they can be tough, but once you figure out how they work, they become a lot more easy to navigate. So here are some tips, in no particular order.

-For men. Airport security sees hundreds of men come and go and knows more or less what the travel purpose is. If you're  traveling for business purposes, you want to wear pants or at least jeans and have some kind of professional demeanor. You also want to look a little confused when you go through security gates, especially if it's your first time travelling to that country.

-If you're a man and are traveling with a tourist visa, airport security tends to know what tourists look like. Tourism is an anxious affair for families, who tend to have a mix or responsibility and fear of the unknown. For single men, tourism is something of an ego booster and men tend to groom themselves rather well before they travel. If you're being a tourist and look humble in your dress or your demeanor, they will think you are trying to get a job in the country. 

sec01_400-If you're a single man on a tourist visa and have some kind of anxious look on your face, airport security will tend to find that suspicious. Men who fear the unknown tend not to travel. Airport security might ask you who you are staying with. If it's a family member or an old college or high school friend you're safe, or maybe they'll try to find out if you're not looking for a job. But if you're a man, and you're single, and you're anxious and shaking, and you're staying at a hotel or resort, expect perhaps being questioned by authorities. They'll let you go once they check you're really staying at a hotel.

-If you're single, and you're over thirty, and you're traveling alone, and you're in shorts and flip flops trying to backpack your way through a country, expect a few questions. By the time you're nearing thirty, you should probably be traveling with a boyfriend or girlfriend, otherwise airport security might think you're traveling for the wrong reasons.

-Women. If you're young, pretty, “sexy” and travelling for tourism purposes, and that you're alone or with a group of equally young, pretty, “sexy” women, expect to be taken aside at the airport. Don't worry, they're just trying to make sure there's no pimp or that you have not been fooled into human trafficking or prostitution. They are questioning you to protect you. By the way, your “African” or “Middle Eastern” or “Asian” passport has nothing to do with that, “Europeans” and “North Americans” also get checked. To be safe at the port or airport, wear something that covers your legs at least up to your knees, and at least partly cover your shoulders, and take it easy on the makeup and hair style. 

-Bloggers, op-ed writers, people active on online forums, people who spend an unhealthy amount on pornographic or violent or political websites. Local security teams have identified you as a potential threat, especially if you have “violent” or “highly politically incorrect” tendencies. They wonder if you're doing business or tourism, or if you're trying to shake things up politically. In many countries, political rebellion or “terrorist sympathies” or “Nazi sympathies” are viewed with suspicion, in some cases considered a crime. Same goes if you spend hours watching or downloading pornography, or if you have an unusually big collection of downloaded pornographic materials.

-Metal detectors and hyper-sensitive. Before you travel, make sure there's no hidden metal in your pant's fabrics or shoes. Shoes with metal in them will have to be removed, and unfortunately, I know a couple of people who went through this, pants with debris of metal in them will have to be removed. Make sure there's no metal in your pants, shirt or underwear. Some high-end fashion designers put debris of metal or gold in pants or shirts. Remember gold is also a metal.

-Finally, if you've visited strange countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen or other countries few people would visit, you will probably be taken in for questioning. Were you there on a trip with an NGO, or are you trying to break the world record for most countries visited, or are you trying to visit countries that are on the news, or do you have family or friends there? Security is worried you might have contacts with terrorist groups.

In sum, if you're the average John Doe or Jane Roe traveling with family or friends, or alone, with clear purposes, not too ostentatious or showy, discreet, looking for a good time in a foreign country or to seal a business deal, you will pass airport or port security in no time. If you do get asked questions, don't worry, they're just trying to protect you, or in some cases trying to make sure you don't pose a threat to their country.

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