Airport Diaries #2: Oops! Did I Say That?

Airplane diaries
Airplane diaries

Airplane Diaries. A travelers journal

Traveling on an international flight has its perks. One of which is the ability to have a few drinks during the long flight when everyone else is asleep. Those cute little bottles seem to add up faster than you realize. The drawback to this airtime happy hour is the arrival back on U.S. soil and the visit to immigration, and subsequently customs, for your re-entry interview. Now under normal circumstances, a trip through immigration and customs is a boring affair. However, through trial and error, we can safely say that neither department’s agents have a sense of humor.Here is a short and incomplete list of a few things NOT to say to re-entry agents.

When asked, “Where have you have been?” it is not appropriate to answer with “a brothel, too many bars to remember, and this cute little place where they package this crazy white powder.”

If you are asked if you have something to declare, I strongly discourage declaring that the agent’s breath “stinks to high heaven”. Also, you are not doing yourself any favors by offering a breath mint or piece of gum.

A standard question is, “What was the nature of your trip?” The simple answer is “business” or “vacation”. The incorrect answer would be “well, you see there are some operations that are not exactly legal in this country…”

If you find yourself asked to step off to the “little room” where an agent proceeds to don surgical gloves, you are probably in for a few intimate yet uncomfortable moments with the agent. Since we have established the agents do not have a sense of humor, refrain from comments such as “Can we go to dinner first?”, “So, do you really enjoy your job?”, and “Please remove that class ring first, I don’t want that thing lost up there”.  In addition, I would not recommend encouraging them by stating, “What you find you keep. What you don’t find, I keep.” or winking at any time.

If you see one of the female agents walking through baggage with drug sniffing dogs, you definitely shouldn’t kneel down and pet the dog while asking in a cutesy voice, “Which one of you is the bitch? Huh, come on who’s the bitch?”

Now I know these seem outlandish but like most warning labels, someone has tried them and each has proven to cause some minor inconvenience on continued travel and/or personal freedom. If you find any additional things that should not be said when entering the country, please pull off a few squares of prison toilet paper and write them down for us. We look forward to your research.

Until next time…


© 2012

Related Post: Five Winning Ice-breakers For The Office; Monday Morning Stupid Questions; Airport Diaries #1: Security Hell; TSA: All Touchy, Feely These Days

6 Comments on Airport Diaries #2: Oops! Did I Say That?

  1. Hi, carrying a gun shaped wallet and pointing at the security guard and shouting,” I’m gonna kill you all!” should be frowned upon! Wearing a crack pipe on the brim of your hate as you piss yourself, a no no! Random flailing of your arms as you scream,” I’m a human BOMB!” not encouraged more than twice! Great blog, great writing! Thank you for the follow! Find the easiest route and skip it! Nice to meet you!

    • It is very nice to meet you as well. Thank you for the comments and the follow. I look forward to hearing more from you.

      I have to admit, I have not seen the above mentioned issues on my travels, they would make for an interesting story. I once told a co-worker who was not from the US that is would not be good to say the “B-word”. His response was, “What is wrong with Bitch. Can you not say bitch in the US.” Moments later, the light bulb lit up and he said, “OH! I can’t say BOMB!”. We were in the line for security at that exact moment. The joys of traveling.

      • Hi, I was standing right behind you! And thanks for the strip search they gave me, it was a 2 minute relationship, but we tried! Oh, don’t pack your raisins in hollowed out grenades and yell,” Bitch! Thems my raisins!” because they may take offense!

      • Two minutes…I have had marriages that are shorter than that. You almost made it to your 5 minute anniversary. What gift is recommended for that? Latex?

  2. From personal experience, “I’m not THE GUY on the Do Not Fly list”. And never follow that up with “Do you know who I am?” …

  3. The non-US co-worker // July 7, 2012 at 9:29 am // Reply

    I really enjoyed this article and encourage me to post this reply. There are many wondefull and exciting things that the people from the US don’t get to experience when they visit your home country. The part I enjoy the most is the visa application form (from those south of the border is know as the DS160). Then is the special line for non US citizens that is three to five times more people on them with only 3 more inmigration offices to attend them. And then the actual interview that includes the questions that Jerry B. quoted, but for non US citizens they add a few juicy ones more like: you are coming very frequently to the US, or, you have entered 4 times to the US and you have only 3 stamps on you passport, why?
    I can make a book by now with strange things that happened either going to or coming out of the US by now.

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