Airport Security Tips

Page Updated: May 2020

These airport security tips, with a little preparation ahead of travel, will smooth your way through most of the world's airports.

  • The main advice is allow plenty of time to check in (especially at busy times) as increased airport security screening may mean long queues and delays.
  • Expect to have your bags searched - do not get stressed or belligerent with airport security staff.
  • Know exactly what you are carrying - never agree to carry an item for someone else.
  • Do not joke about 'bombs' or other contentious issues. Be sensible with reference to your firearms and ammunition and ensure they are packed correctly.
  • Know your airline's regulations regarding 'hazardous' items and the carrying of these items in checked or hand luggage. For example the latest rules on spare lithium batteries require a maximum of 2 to be carried in hand luggage only. Knowing these facts will prevent delays.
  • Get your checked and hand baggage allowances correct regarding the number of pieces allowed, weight and size - including for any onward flights with different airlines.
  • Get the liquid restrictions correct in the permissible amounts and packaging in plastic bags.
  • Don't overload yourself with jewellery and other metal items which along with shoes, coats, jackets and cellphones require stripping off before going through metal detectors, holding you and others up.
  • You may be asked at anytime for ID so have your passport and travel documentation at hand, including any doctor's letters regarding prescription drugs and metal implants.
  • Make use of the airport plastic wrapping services for check-in baggage. They are available at most large airports for a small cost but is well worth it as it certainly deters thieves.

Before heading for the airport check the Transport Security Administration (TSA) for their policies and guidelines for Permitted and Prohibited Items in the US.

Also read the Transport Security Administration (TSA) guidelines for travelling with firearms and ammunition in and from the US.

Hand Luggage

There are some differences between airlines and airports regarding what constitutes permitted hand luggage and what or what is not permitted in the bags. Some airlines strictly adhere to 1 item of hand luggage only, where as others permit a lap-top bag or small ladies handbag in addition to your main hand baggage.

Check with all the airlines you may be using for your whole journey. You won't be able to do a hasty re-pack if your hold baggage has been checked through to your final destination.

If you do get caught out with a questionable amount of hand luggage, make sure your bag is of a type that can be properly secured before it's relegated to the aircraft hold. If you are at the gate when requested to relingish any hand luggage, check it is tagged correctly before you leave the desk.

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