Don’t wear lotion at the airport!

Who knew that wearing lotion at the airport could cause so much trouble?

Tamara Gane certainly found out the hard way. In an article published on Fodor’s, she reveals her story.

“I was running late for a flight out of Las Vegas. Luckily, the TSA lines were short. I put my shoes and belongings in the security bin and walked through the sensor. Next, I was politely asked to step to the side and the TSA agent waved an electronic wand over my hands. I didn’t think much of it until she radioed her supervisor to ask for assistance – that’s when I learned my hands tested positively for explosives,” she wrote.


Ms Gane was asked if she’d handled a gun or gunpowder that day, to which she replied ‘no’.

After being taken to a private room where she was “subjected to a polite, but thorough, search”, she was later informed that some soaps and lotions containing glycerine set off airport security sensors.

Glycerine is a very common ingredient in cleaning and hand care products.

This knowledge came too late for Ms Gane, who missed her flight. She was told that it’s a common occurrence, with passengers missing flights every day under similar circumstances.

So, follow these simple tips to avoid this happening to you.

BYO soap
Don’t trust airport soaps. Bring your own glycerine-free soap bar.

Rinse your hands well
Whatever soap you use, ensure you rinse off any sign or feel of soapy residue.

Don’t wear lotion to the airport
Unless you’re confident of the contents of your hand lotion, don’t use it at the airport.

Leave extra time
Even if your lotion and soap are glycerine-free, leave some extra time to get through security – the person in front of you may not have read this article!

Have you ever been pulled aside for an extra-special security check? How was your experience?

Related articles:
13 airport mistakes we all make
Aussie airports ramp up security
New Aussie airport security rules

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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