In my entire flight history, there’s only been one time I was 100% sure an air marshall was on my flight. Â Mostly because the air marshal identified himself during an altercation. Â (It sounds more exciting than it actually was).
However, there have been times when IÂ strongly believed there was an air marshall on my flight. Â There are some signals that suggest that someone is an air marshal–signals that are notÂ quite as telling as the air marshal literally announcing himself.
There was a whole thread of conversation on Quora about identifying air marshals.
1. A lot of people seem to know who he is
Is he getting a lot of slight head nods from the crew? Â Do they seem happy to see him? Â Chances are, he’s an air marshal, and they are glad to see him.
Of course, there’s also a chance he’s a very well-loved frequent flyer who they want to be very subtle about greeting, but those chances are lower.
2. She’s wearing clothing inappropriate for her destination
If she’s wearing a coat and headed to a warm, beach location, she’s probably not planning on spending that much time there.
Though, she could just really love that coat.
3. Start a disturbance and see who gets up to stop you
Here’s a sure-fire way to find out. Â Start making a disturbance and see if anyone else besides the crew gets up and runs after you shouting, “Stop! Â I’m an air marshal!”
Ultimately, if the air marshal is doing his job correctly, you shouldn’t be able to spotÂ him on the plane. Â But the items above were ones identified by frequent flyers as key giveaways.