Meet The Woman Behind The Funniest, Wittiest TSA Instagram Account

Meet The Woman Behind The Funniest, Wittiest TSA Instagram Account

Airport security isn’t fun.

The anxiety about what transpires between the time you’re waiting online and getting through the other side is real. T.S.A. agents barely crack a smile, but apparently, the bureau’s social media director Janis Burl and her team are filled with endless puns and dad jokes to ease anxious travelers on the road to their final destination.

According to The New York Times, Burl started as an airport Transportation Security Officer (T.S.O.) and now leads the social media team from her home office in the Washington, D.C., area.

She told the newspaper that her six-person Instagram team “posts odd finds, information about what you can and cannot bring through T.S.A., and travel-related answers to questions we may get” daily.

With one million active followers, the T.S.A.’s Instagram account describes the agency as the “Princess of Puns,” “Teller of Travel Tips,” and “Admirer of Alliteration.” It’s no wonder why the social media posts receive thousands of comments from people enamored with the caption writing. In 2021 alone, the page reached 54 million users on Instagram.

“My team does their own research, searching hashtags and trolling social media,” Burl said.

“I give them freedom to roam. They are often looking on their personal social media accounts to see what’s trending. Ideas are then shared among the team to determine if there is something we can do with it. We are constantly looking for an interesting post that’s trending on any platform and we also use photos that our followers share.”

One recent post about packing food in a suitcase featured outstanding puns. The caption read: “Taco-bout a corny way to travel! It a-maiz-es us how many tortillas could fit in this bag. So lettuce spill the beans on how to best travel with food items. In queso you were wondering, solid foods are good to go with no quantity limitations! We may however, ask you to remove your food before screening.”

Burl said her favorite post thus far is the guy who goes by @dudewithasign guy holding up a sign that says ‘Let me bring my toothpaste on a flight.’

“Well, you can bring your toothpaste on a flight so we answered him with a post in the same manner in which he asked the question,” she said.

“We spend each morning collaborating to determine what is trending and whether there’s an opportunity for an educational moment,” Burl said.

In addition to the hilarious Instagram page, 12 social media members work on Ask T.S.A., “answering questions pretty much ‘Johnny on the spot’ on Ask T.S.A. Twitter and Ask T.S.A. Facebook,” Burl said. They typically answer within two minutes.