These normal behaviors are considered red flags at airport security

Editor's note: This story was originally published Nov. 12, 2019. It has been updated.

We're midway through a busy and chaotic late-pandemic summer travel season, and the lines at airport security reflect that. If you're hoping to breeze through TSA screenings, you likely already know to whip off your shoes and belt, unpack your laptop and leave the pocketknife at home.

But there are probably a whole host of seemingly innocent things you may not know to avoid. Like yawning.

Here's a little backstory:

It started back in 2007, when the Transportation Security Administration introduced the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program. SPOT was meant to train certain TSA officers to identify people going through security that pose a security risk.

But for years, it wasn't clear exactly what SPOT-trained officers were even looking for. That is until the Intercept obtained a confidential TSA document detailing the 92-point checklist of supposedly suspicious behavior officers are supposed to be keeping an eye out for.

The agency says the program was designed to identify people who exhibit "high levels of stress, fear, or deception," but critics say it lends itself to racial and ethnic profiling of travelers.

At the time of the Intercept's 2019 story, it was unclear how many officers are trained in SPOT or using its techniques at American airports.

Here's a list of 12 behaviors that will earn you an extra look from the TSA. 

Alix Martichoux is the former SFGATE digital editor. 

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