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A look at how to fly through customs

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Travel Channel's Airport 24/7: Miami

Not so long ago we read with horror the story of a young student from Johannesburg who was arrested in Thailand after being found with cocaine in her hair.

In hindsight, the stunt that Nobanda Nolubabalo pulled was genius for a movie script – but in reality she gambled with her life and she lost. She is now serving her 15-year sentence while her peers complete their studies and prepare to reap the fruits of their education.

While the Nolubabalo case is of national, if not international, interest, to anyone working at customs it’s just another day at the office.

Airport 24/7: Miami takes you to one of the busiest airports in the world, and gives you glimpses of the days of the men and women in border security, the border protection and their first responder operations.

So maybe you won’t be landing in Miami this holiday – but wherever you might find yourself, you might want to learn a thing or two about what to travel with or how to behave.

Due to the rise and rise of terrorist activities over the years, in most international airports it is now illegal to even joke about terrorist activities. Don’t act like you have never been tempted to say you are carrying a lot of heat to blow up Chernobyl again whenever the airport security asks you what is in your bags.

Airport 24/7: Miami gives you the do’s and don’ts of air travel.

Most of us are now aware that items like lotions and alcoholic beverages can not be carried on board as hand luggage.

The docu-series explains why some commodities are not welcome on the plane and what happens to those who decide not to follow this rule. In most cases, if airport security personnel are suspicious about your luggage, they can legally hold on to you for at least 24 hours to ascertain if you pose a threat or are carrying illegal substances.

Below are some of the simplest things you can do to get through an airport hassle-free or at least with little trouble.

• Carry small hand lugggage – this is less suspicious and less time-consuming to go through at search points.

• Dress well – although unproven, people who are presentable are generally treated better than those who are not; it’s supposedly a psychological thing.

• Be nice to airport staff – this is not to be confused with overzealous chatting, which is a red flag to them. Just be pleasant, listen and respond and you will be on your way.


• Find out more on Airport 24/7, which airs from today at 9pm on Travel Channel (DStv channel 170).

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