WASHINGTON – A single stick of deodorant floating on a baggage carousel, a passenger cutting his nails in front of everyone, a bird trying to rack up frequent flyer miles flying around the cabin.
Yes, videos of these events do exist, and they bring out the humorous side of the Transportation Security Administration.
The no-nonsense agency responsible for screening passengers at the airport is showing its comedic side by using social media videos to remind passengers of the do’s and don’ts of travelling.
“While our humor may be dry, these travel tips are steeped in knowledge,” the agency wrote in its caption below the deodorant video. “It’s no secret that solid stick deodorant can go in any bag. But if you’re trying to stay fresh and clean, spray and gel antiperspirants should be 3.4 oz or less. in hand luggage.
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“Are you like a bird and want to fly away this holiday weekend?” the caption read with the video of the bird. “Be an un-picky traveler and check your luggage for prohibited items before packing.”
Other videos show ground crews dancing and a man rolling a tire – yes, a whole tire – in the airport lobby.
“If you plan to arrive at the airport with car parts, you’ll be pleased to know that most of these items are allowed to fly in checked and carry-on baggage as long as they don’t contain gasoline or oil” , said the caption read.
According to The New York Times, the agency took a humorous approach to social media two years ago when Janis Burl became director of the social media arm.
“No one remembers what was on the morning news, but they will remember the joke you told them,” she told the outlet. “If humor is needed to help you remember what you can and cannot do when going through security, then humor is what we will provide.”
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The airline industry has been crippled by flight cancellations and delays.
Air travelers not only face the burden of high flight costs, but also delays and cancellations reported across the country in the weeks leading up to the July 4 weekend.
Last week, more than 600 US flights were canceled and more than 4,200 were delayed on June 24. It was better than June 23, however, when thunderstorms on the East Coast contributed to more than 800 cancellations and 6,600 delays, according to Flight Aware.
So far in June, more than 2.2 million travelers a day on average have passed through security checkpoints at US airports. That’s up 22% from a year ago, but still down 13% from the same period before the pandemic.
The industry worries about ticket sales after Labor Day, when airlines become more reliant on business and international travel, both of which remain depressed.
However, the outlook for US leisure travel remains strong despite higher fares to cover rising fuel costs.
Daniel Miller contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.