What not to do at airport security

Some tips on what not to do when passing through airport security

What not to do at airport security

Having to pass through numerous security checks is sadly a necessary evil in this day and age of air travel. If you are prepared and follow our advice on what not to do, you should be able to breeze through with a minimum of fuss.

  • Have your boarding pass and ID (for domestic flights) or passport (for international flights) in your hand as you pass through security.
  • Take your belt, watch and jacket off before you walk through the scanner. Empty your pockets of any loose change, mobile phones and iPods.
  • For international flights, do not carry more than 100ml (or 100g) of liquid, aerosol or gel products (such as toiletries) in your hand luggage. Make sure that they are sealed in a transparent, resealable plastic bag such as a sandwich or freezer bag.
  • Keep these items near the top of your bag or in a side pocket so they are easily accessible if security staff need to check it.
  • Remove your laptop or iPad from your hand luggage before passing through the security scanner.
  • Refrain from giving the security staff a hard time, the more you argue, the longer you (and your fellow travelers) will be held up in the queue.
  • Lastly, this may seem obvious – but cracking jokes about national security or bombs is not likely to be taken in good humour by security staff!

 

Have you ever had any troubles getting through security at the airport? Do you have any suggestions or tips to offer other travellers?

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    COMMENTS

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    Mrs Hedgehog
    25th Jan 2017
    10:24am
    Make sure that nail scissors and umbrellas are in the checked in luggage NOT in carry on - my experience is that the first is confiscated ( must have thought I was going to give every one a manicure) And the second is so roughly pulled apart that the mechanisms to open and close are broken and the tines bent. In some countries you are required to remove or open a locket and remove any photos, all pieces being returned after examination.
    Charlie
    25th Jan 2017
    12:12pm
    Yes they spotted my little scissors for cutting open medications and said, "you have to put these with your checked-in luggage or we will dispose of them" That's just a domestic flight
    TREBOR
    25th Jan 2017
    10:39am
    Interestingly, I used to do security at airports. No carry on sharps, tools or anything that looks suspiciously like drugs or bombs or even remotely looks like a firearm - the scanners can identify herbal matter and metal.

    Unless you have something really nasty you are not likely to miss your flight.

    Had a Russian woman who tried to get one of those little pistol shaped lighters through - she had it wrapped up tight in foil and all, and it took a while to find. Her sneakiness nearly cost her her flight, since it took so long to find that contraband article.

    Just don't be silly and don't argue. Not worth it... use common sense about what you can take, and anything that looks dangerous will not get through and will be confiscated, including fireworks.
    TREBOR
    25th Jan 2017
    10:40am
    While I was there, the Unibomber scare was going on, and we had to body search all passengers.. nobody missed a flight, but many lost some fine wines due to the 'no liquids' rule.
    MICK
    25th Jan 2017
    11:26am
    So you got the opposite sex I hope...chuckle. Are you a yank TREBOR as unibomber was American from memory?
    Pass the Ductape
    25th Jan 2017
    11:00am
    Airport authorities need to be more aware of the problems associated with elderly gentlemen who wear braces instead of a belt to hold up their trousers. In these circumstances, Try organising yourself to replace a set of braces on your trousers without assistance from someone else! Guess we have to thank Muslim terrorists for this ridiculous inconvenience.
    MICK
    25th Jan 2017
    11:30am
    I once saw an older man put through the scanner because he had (metal) joint replacements. He said it "happens all the time" and that even the letter he carried from his doctor did not help.
    The TSA in America are pretty ruthless but given that AMericans do not have routine terror attacks maybe the system is worth it. A pity they cannot be as stringent on guns but then you wouldn't want to upset the gun industry from which substantial donations flow into the political system and re-elect senators...who are then 'owned' by their benefactors.
    Anonymous
    25th Jan 2017
    1:17pm
    Ductape

    No we don''t need to thank Muslim terrorists.... it is a lot closer to home - you first need to thank our own government heads who are now proclaimed as WAR CRIMINALS for joining the USA and illegally invading and MASS MURDERING over 650,000 ordinary innocent Iraqi citizens (that's 200kms of bodies lying side by side).
    Not to mention the supplying of $$$, training, weapons and arms to a minority nutter group called "Rebels" who fully support ISIS and have rampaged through Syria leaving death and destruction in their wake.

    So Ductape, rather than make bigoted statements, maybe you should look at some facts...... the higher security is necessary, due SOLEY to Western Countries warmongering and murdering of innocent people in their own countries, in order for Western nations to assist the USA to control the region for $$$$$$, resource and strategic positioning reasons (mostly for their megacorporations.... not their own ordinary people).

    WE ARE TO BLAME for SECURITY HOLD UPS.... no one else..... rather than whinge about the hold ups, we should have been on the streets objecting STRONGLY to our governments' gross corruption and mass murdering of innocent citizens in other nations.
    KSS
    25th Jan 2017
    1:53pm
    Bait dangled and taken!
    Rae
    25th Jan 2017
    2:17pm
    I do believe 9/11 came first.
    roy
    25th Jan 2017
    2:43pm
    KSS, I knew the bait would be taken, can't understand why it took 2 hours and 17 minutes though.
    Anonymous
    25th Jan 2017
    2:50pm
    Rae

    Except Iraq had absolutely NOTHING to do with 9/11.

    KSS & fred
    Yes, you both needed something to allow abject inanities to preside over intellectual discussion....... well, thank me!

    Got anything sensible to say? No, didn't think so.
    Anonymous
    25th Jan 2017
    3:16pm
    Rae
    Fact is... the ONLY country that could be directly connected to 9/11 was Saudi Arabia and the (high up) Bin Laden family.

    The Bin Laden family were secretly flown out of America and Saudi Arabia where (Sunni) AlQaeda and ISIS were birthed, remain unaccountable and good friends of America.

    Bit strange, don't you think.....

    Maybe that is why American Airport Security is aggressive and unpleasant?
    Rae
    25th Jan 2017
    3:47pm
    I've always found American Airport and other transport very agreeable and efficient. In fact although I travel a lot I've never had rudeness or disrespect. Then again I'm always agreeable, respectful and patient and have no racist ideology being very careful to treat all people equally. If you go into the US expecting trouble and with Attitude I'm sure you'll get some back.
    roy
    25th Jan 2017
    6:02pm
    Just keep amusing me Mussitate, you help to make my day, thank you so much.
    Anonymous
    25th Jan 2017
    8:17pm
    My pleasure fred :-)...... your so easy.
    You simply poke personal one liners that are somewhat inane at other commenters.... not much of a challenge.

    Now, as to the topic... do you have anything of sense to say? No, oh well, that ends our conversation, I guess.
    Anonymous
    25th Jan 2017
    8:39pm
    Rae

    Me oh my, who do you know who went "into the US expecting trouble and with Attitude"???? According to the following they were lucky to come out of it alive... or at least unmolested!

    Here is a LINK to some USA Transportation Security Administration (TSA) malfeasance, malfunctioning and malevolent activities:

    https://homeland.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/TSA-Misconduct-Report.pdf

    This is an OFFICIAL report & some of the Corporate Media Headings:

    FOX NEWS: TSA agent accused of helping smuggle illegal immigrants into US

    TIME: Former TSA Agent: Groping Scandal Is Business as Usual

    WESTERN JOURNALISM: Why the TSA catches your water bottle, but guns and bombs get through

    WASHINGTON POST: Another TSA Scandal: 73 Airport Workers Revealed To Be On Terror Watchlist

    NEW YORK TIMES: Dozens Punished by TSA for Whistle-Blowing Are Later Exonerated

    INQUISITR: TSA Officer Accused of Molesting Traveler in Latest Scandal to Hit Controversial Agency

    REVEAL: Besieged by misconduct, TSA sows culture of dysfunction and distrust


    All I can say dear, dear Rae..... you were somewhat lucky!
    roy
    26th Jan 2017
    10:29am
    Mussitate, I assume you mean you're so easy and not your.
    Keep amusing me please with your pontificating.
    Blossom
    26th Jan 2017
    2:37pm
    Mick, try pulling up your trouser leg and removing your shoe on your foot that you've had a complete knee construction on only a few weeks before. They could see he was pain yet refused to assist him. A friend had done hid shoes up for him. After politely asking a few times he had to demand a chair to sit on to remove his shoes - because of lot of shoes have metal in their soles. He had book and was allocated a specific seat because they were advised that he couldn't bend his knee enough to sit in some areas of the plane and his tacket was labelled. Little did they or the passenger know that a plain clothes Federal Security Officer was standing back observing and the incident was later reported by him.
    On the return trip he was just scanned with the extra wand and let straight through.
    Anonymous
    26th Jan 2017
    3:41pm
    fred, old mate.... ;-))

    Your obsessive but weak attempts at objurgating moi are mere piffles but are enough to make me chuckle.

    So, little one...... more..... for I am bored!
    roy
    26th Jan 2017
    5:34pm
    Pontificator par excellence you are Mussitate, no comment on the faux pas "your" instead of "you're", ah well.
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2017
    11:42am
    fred

    Well fred the Faux Pas is all yours mate...... no chuckle this time but an all out laugh.

    You have misused the term Faux Pas.... it is not referenced to a spelling error!!

    Definition - Faux Pas: "an embarrassing or tactless act or remark in a social situation"

    Keep it coming fred ..... your humour is magnifique!
    roy
    30th Jan 2017
    10:57am
    In my book, a brain surgeon like you spelling your instead of you're is still a faux pas, i.e. an embarrassing error. A pleb like me could be excused but you, wow. Now what is your excuse and another question, why is somebody so full of self importance as you even bothering to reply to me or does it just make you feel even more superior?
    Pass the Ductape
    16th Sep 2018
    8:14am
    Must have been something I said!
    MICK
    25th Jan 2017
    11:19am
    All of these are a given and almost everybody does them. You have enough spruikers telling you what to do anyway so no way you can get to the inspection point anyway without having complied.
    The only sensible one in this list is the last item. Border Security people have a demeanour about them and you certainly do not try to get them going about bombs, terrorists or issues of this sort. Especially in America where security takes on the mantra of fanaticism. And by the way.....if you see a person you know called 'Jack' on the other end of the plane do not call out 'Hi Jack' under any circumstances......
    Pablo
    25th Jan 2017
    11:41am
    We found in China that we had to put our passports and tickets through the scanner, and that's how my partner lost her passport, snaffled by one of the staff in my opinion! They won't let you carry it through with you!
    Mimi
    25th Jan 2017
    12:02pm
    My carry on bag was opened at Dublin airport as it had two cakes of soap in it that were in a pharmacy paper bag. I also had some personal female items in the same paper bag and it was embarrassing to have them waved about. I lost a good jacket on the outbound journey at Sydney airport, and when I went back a few minutes later to the security place to enquire I was treated rudely and told they didn't have my jacket. it was a loose jacket with no pockets, and I had put it into the basket, with all the pushing and shoving from other people and worrying about grabbing our bags etc, I must've left it there. It didn't show up in lost property either. At the Coliseum I had a tiny pair of nail scissors that showed up in the Xray machine. Police were hassling me as I couldn't find them in the bag's compartments, and I was finally allowed to go through. At Abu Dhabi my carry on bag was searched and packets opened etc, as I take a lot of medications and had to take a few months' supply with me. I am a doctor and had nothing contraband, and also had a letter from my own doctor and was eventually allowed in. Careful if you go there, you can't take a lot of drugs, eg anything containing codeine, tablets to treat diarrhoea, or women's hormones. it's worth checking on the net before you go.
    Blossom
    26th Jan 2017
    2:19pm
    There is one country that you can't take blood pressure tablets in to.
    It may have been Abu Dhabi. It was either there or another country where there is world wide motorsport activites. You can get your prescription filled in a pharmacy in that country.
    Monix
    25th Jan 2017
    12:58pm
    In 2015 at Brisbane Airport on my way to Europe, I had a total Body Scan, a small light flashed around my back, I was rudely ask if I had something inside my body , I replied that I had a metal object introduced in my column between L4 and l5 during a back surgery. the officer was not happy with my answer, she asked me to undo my pant and show her my scare. I was most embarrassed as two males officer were watching. I am an old lady and was treated as a criminal. During that time my hand bags were on the rolling map unattended with my money, passport and Bank cards, I was extremely stressed of losing sight of my belongings as it took her a while to let me go. Bad experience at the beginning of a long trip.
    Pablo
    25th Jan 2017
    1:06pm
    I'm very sorry you experienced this indignity and I'm sure most people have a bad story to tell at some time. You can't tell me that the terrorists haven't won already when we all have similar stories of being treated as a criminal by rude people who aren't even Australians in many cases.
    KSS
    25th Jan 2017
    1:23pm
    For future reference, you do NOT have to remove any clothing (except shoes and belts) in public. In cases such as this you would be within your rights to ask to be examined in a private room. Then you can take all your belongings with you.
    Anonymous
    25th Jan 2017
    1:34pm
    Pablo
    Excerpt from above, re who the real terrorists are:

    " the higher security is necessary, due SOLEY to Western Countries warmongering and murdering of innocent people in their own countries, in order for Western nations to assist the USA to control the region for $$$$$$, resource and strategic positioning reasons (mostly for their megacorporations.... not their own ordinary people). "

    In regard to those that are security guards..... yes, the security company is usually something like Serco which is one of the biggest FOREIGN MEGA CORP and have profits that are higher than many countries GDP... hence, they bring in their own workers who are on 457 visas, rather than employ Australians, cheaper and easier to control. Maybe the reason they have to steal peoples items, passports etc... they don't get paid enough.

    By Australian, I mean any person that is a permanent resident of Australia.... nothing to do with cultural background.
    KSS
    25th Jan 2017
    1:54pm
    Still chewing on that bait!
    Rae
    25th Jan 2017
    2:22pm
    It has everything to do with cultural background. If it wasn't for crazy cultural backgrounds we'd all get along together just fine.
    roy
    25th Jan 2017
    2:48pm
    KSS, he doesn't give up easily does he?

    And to Rae, hear hear.
    Anonymous
    25th Jan 2017
    3:06pm
    KSS & dear old fred
    Still bags full of non-intellectual nothingness.... must be boring in there.

    Rae
    That is blatant racism..... but I suppose gun toting Americans who support Trump and neo con fascism MAY just be a problem for Australia.... yes?

    I personally enjoy many other cultures, being 5th generation Australian, it is wonderful to see this country full of all different nationalities, their food and their culture.

    One of the few countries that is truly multicultural..... pity other colonial types that come to Australia bring their racism with them and imbue our country with hatred and ugliness.

    They rarely see the MULTI-BEAUTY of this wonderful country, keeping us BLAND and COLOURLESS with tasteless food and cultural barrenness.

    Australia wouldn't be what we are today without the help of the many different cultures that have added their special touch to it.

    MAYBE that is why Australian airport security is efficient without the aggression that is prevalent in US airport security towards certain cultures..... we are not so xenophobic.
    Rae
    25th Jan 2017
    3:17pm
    I didn't say a word about racism. I was talking about cultural differences. Half the problems in the Middle East are due to cultural differences and religious strifes over differing beliefs which led to civil wars. I spent a fair bit of time in the Middle East especially Egypt. It is currently a basket case. My son was in Iraq working with the Kurds when the problem with ISIS broke. Once again it was civil based on ideology. Had nothing to do with the US. The Kurds are over being punted around like footballs because of cultural differences.
    Anonymous
    25th Jan 2017
    9:19pm
    Rae

    No, not really, it is simply that Saudi Arabia.... a brutal dictatorship ....... is SUNNI, as is ISIS, Al Qaeda, Syrian Rebels and many other splinter groups that were birthed in Saudi Arabia, are running amok in other middle eastern countries. Unfortunately, they run amok with the latest of military weapons from the USA and other western countries who sell their military weapons to Saudi Arabia and directly to the Syrian Rebels.

    Oh! did I say.... the USA & the Saudis are very, very, very GOOD friends, even though the Saudis are run by brutal dictators and have a disgusting human rights record, for example, a teenager being beheaded and his head put on a spike for all to see, for simply attending a protest march.

    The Iraq ILLEGAL INVASION by the USA caused the MASS MURDER of over 650,000 innocent civilians.... this was for control of oil and the selling of oil in US$ and the pockets of mega corporations who fed well off this disgusting USA endeavour.

    Libya... ISIS & Al Qaeda were funded, trained, armed and militarised by the USA and the USA even gave them air cover and bombed the water pipeline and pipeline factory to ensure civil hardship of Libyans. The USA gained a basement full of GOLD and control over the OIL and stopped Gaddafi from creating a separate financial system for the whole of AFRICA which precluded the USA's financial dominance over that continent. This country is currently a BASKET CASE under these NUTTER groups, with refugees pouring into Europe.

    Syria... USA trained, funded, armed and supplied military equipment to a MINORITY NUTTER GROUP they call Syrian "Rebels" and who are aligned with ISIS & Al Qaeda and other nutter splinter groups (from Saudi Arabia). Syria was a peaceful country until the USA intervened and supported the scum called Rebels to overthrow the ELECTED President. The USA even used their air power to destroy Syrian infrastructure and people (collateral damage) to clear a path for these Rebels to forge ahead into Syria. ISIS & Al Qaeda groups were following (supplied with military arms & equipment, indirectly by the USA, via Saudi Arabia). Well, the RUSSIANS scuttled that plan and cleaned up a lot of these NUTTER GROUPS irrespective of the USA's opposing manoeuvres. All because of OIL, OIL PIPELINES, and other factors related to this STRATEGIC country called Syria. To bad about the 320,000 ordinary people that have died, aye, AND the millions that have fled their homeland.

    The Kurds are a displaced people as were the Jews before Israel was created for them and it is a very, very separate issue.

    So Rae, you don't seem to know a lot about your own countries activities in the middle east but then again I can see why you really wouldn't want to KNOW. All rather murderous and disgusting, isn't it.

    Maybe if, instead of mouthing corporate media propaganda, more of your countrymen/women stood up and OPPOSED military action on foreign soil and said NO to the bloody and mass murder of middle eastern babies, children, women and innocent men, there would be more peace and less death on this planet.

    AND NO NEED FOR AIRPORT SECURITY!!!!!!
    The pom
    25th Jan 2017
    1:23pm
    I was once stopped by security for carrying a screwdriver. I was very surprised as I was sure I had not packed one. It turned out to be one of the tiny screwdrivers used for spectacle frames which I had carried for years in my wallet. I allowed them to confiscate it as I know how to kill someone with a ballpoint pen which I was allowed to carry
    JAID
    25th Jan 2017
    5:47pm
    :-) Fortunate that Pom
    KSS
    25th Jan 2017
    1:25pm
    One more tip, empty out any water bottles and re-fill them after passing through security. That way the bottle will not be confiscated.
    Mimi
    25th Jan 2017
    5:20pm
    I did this in Dublin and was made to empty the bottle again while waiting to board. All other airports in Europe I had been able to fill it/buy a new bottle of water after clearing security.
    The pom
    25th Jan 2017
    1:34pm
    My wife has a lot of bother at airports as she has had a knee replacement which is a very large lump of metal. I suppose she must look like a typical terrorist with her walking frame and 80+ year old appearance. On one occasion she had to take her stockings off and be subject to lengthy checks
    KSS
    25th Jan 2017
    1:55pm
    They scan the walking frames, crutches, walking sticks as well now just in case they are stuffed full of 'contraband'.

    25th Jan 2017
    1:37pm
    I checked in for a flight from Maroochydore in 1997 wearing a shirt my brother-in-law gave me with the name of his pistol club on the pocket. Not only was I scanned and searched, along with my carry-on bag, but also had to wait to be seated until my luggage was taken from the cargo bay and x-rayed. The staff were doing their job, and very well, which gave peace of mind.
    KSS
    25th Jan 2017
    1:57pm
    I'm with you Fast Eddie. I'd much rather be minimally inconvenienced with a search properly conducted than risk a possible incident at 30,000ft!

    25th Jan 2017
    1:47pm
    I must have been extremely lucky because I have never had any problems going through security in Australia, Asia or Europe.

    Everyone was courteous and amicable.

    I am a tad disorganised so maybe they just had a bit of a giggle at my fumbling about.
    Rae
    25th Jan 2017
    2:13pm
    Yes I had to strip down in Bankok once as I had neglected to remove the large hair clip securing my hair and it had a lot of metal in it. Security hadn't noticed it either. It was a really tricky spot as the next move was a full body search which I wasn't real keen on.

    Lost a great pair of hairdresser scissors once flying out of Brisbane. I should have paid to have them shipped but I panicked a bit. Always slow down and consider options if a problem develops at airports.

    25th Jan 2017
    2:47pm
    KSS
    You have given some really good advice, thank you.
    JAID
    25th Jan 2017
    5:44pm
    Travel with young kids. I am almost always waved through with a smile...the Thai are so unofficious it doubles as a welcoming wave. Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia a little more careful, Singapore oddly enough and New Zealand nearly has casual (or, preferably, perceptive) as Thailand. Australian experience has been a little mixed but never disruptive. [Not that a little disruption is a bad thing when you contemplate the gains]

    About the worst that ever happens is that every now and then if my partner gets distracted and does not wander through with us I have to wait outside for a half hour while they catch up.

    26th Jan 2017
    11:17am
    Anything that has to be removed from your person my husband and I put in our carry on bags "before" we get up to the scanner.

    No way will we put our jewellery,watches, money into one of those trays. Too easy for others to steal and it does happen.
    Mimi
    26th Jan 2017
    12:34pm
    Good idea!
    Blossom
    26th Jan 2017
    2:26pm
    I know a Mum who was charged for excess weight which was the water in her baby's bottles for feeds before, during and after a long flight. The plane was delayed so she had used 2 full bottles before they got on the plane. She would not have been overweight by then.
    Mez
    28th Oct 2017
    12:40pm
    Keep your eyes on your hand luggage AT ALL TIMES whilst and after being scanned!
    DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE DISTRACTED AWAY WHILST GOING THROUGH BODY SCANNERS AT THE SAME TIME!
    Reason being that these are the ideal times for ANYONE TO STEAL YOUR HANDBAG OR DEVICES.
    This almost happened to me at Dubai airport by a tall black African in white clothing who said to me that I need to take off my shoes whilst going through the body scanner and then he moved over to the conveyer belt of scanned personal items and stood there in front of mine forcing me to say "Excuse me" before he got out of my way.
    I later read that this is how personal items are stolen and airport can do nothing about it so keep your wits about you!
    SuziJ
    15th Sep 2018
    9:46am
    Here's my experience after having bi-lateral knee replacements.

    Albury always have to have 'wand down' as the x-ray always alarms, of course. Explosives Detection Test always carried out. As if!

    Sydney Domestic - same hassle. In December 2014, I was 'accused' of having a pair of scissors in my carry on bag - had metal knitting needles attached to cables which were 'crossed' to look like scissors. It took them over 20 minutes trying to find the 'scissors' when I asked them to take out my knitting in a plastic bag and uncurl the cable and then re-x-ray everything. Nothing came up. Never again will I have metal pins, only bamboo ones.

    Sydney International - was able to go thru the scanner - through in a matter of seconds - like this system :)

    BTW, I only carry nail clippers rather than scissors in my knitting kit.
    Pass the Ductape
    16th Sep 2018
    7:59am
    I would have thought bamboo knitting needles might just as deadly as metal ones - and as far as scissors versus big needles goes, it does make you wonder why there is a distinction between the two when it comes to using either as a weapon - or did they confiscate your knitting needles?
    SuziJ
    6th Oct 2018
    7:50am
    Ductape, I was talking about cicrular needles - they're the KnitPro & Knit Pro Symfonie systems, not the 30cm 'ordinary' knitting needles (can't use them - always lose one then I can't keep going with the project). The main difference is the Symfonie system has bamboo pins, not metal.

    No, they didn't confiscate my needles - they couldn't as the pins were attached to the ends of the cable and the project I was working on.

    Next time, I'll take off the pins and attach 'stoppers' which come with the cable.
    Roy R
    6th Oct 2018
    2:22pm
    Years ago, I could not get into Brisbane airport to buy an interstate newspaper. Apparently, they picked up a really old meta pin in my leg. The silly thing was, this was at the entrance to the terminal, not a concourse. They then lost my custom to Qld. Rail and I have never set foot into Brisbane Airport since.
    Wendyloo
    12th Oct 2019
    10:37am
    If you have had any joint replacements be prepared to be held up at security. I have had two knee replacements and every time I fly I get pulled aside, asked to take my shoes off and they go over me with the scanner, it's becoming quite tedious.


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