The checks and scans for illegal or dangerous items required at aiports for passengers and baggage.

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104
votes
13answers
14k views

Prohibited item forgotten in hand luggage: what to do with it?

I guess it happens quite frequently: you have already checked in, and at the security check you realize that you have in your backpack your grandmother's Klingon bat'leth blade, an item that has been ...
101
votes
7answers
9k views

Passing through airport security with autism

I am a young adult with autism (Asperger's to be precise). While there are many resources on how to travel with kids with autism, resources on how to do so if you have it yourself are rare to ...
83
votes
7answers
25k views

How to convince airport security that I am not dangerous when having metallic parts in my body?

I had an operation some time ago and now I have small screws in my shoulder which will not be removed anymore. When I decided to fly for vacation, I supposed that these will may bring me into trouble ...
47
votes
7answers
31k views

Can growing a beard cause problems in crossing borders?

I just recently renewed my passport with a picture taken just after I shaved. I haven't shaved since (>3 weeks) and I kind of like it. I am even looking into how to maintain a beard, but that is a ...
44
votes
3answers
17k views

Can I wear a bulletproof vest while traveling on British Airways from Heathrow?

I'll be wearing it all the time anyway once I arrive at my hostile destination but how about wearing it during the flight? It makes sense to wear it in case someone try to hijack the plane.
41
votes
5answers
7k views

Can I take an AVR development board on a plane?

I'm travelling to the UK and while I'm away, I have a university assignment due, and I'm concerned that I might not be able to get it finished before I leave, and would therefore need to work on it ...
40
votes
7answers
24k views

How do I get an engagement ring past security/customs in an airport without alerting my significant other?

A related post, made me wonder how you can hide a ring from a "special one" traveling with you to a place where you will propose and yet get it legally through security or customs? You don't want the ...
40
votes
4answers
10k views

Why did airport security swab my hands with wet paper?

Before entering a commercial plane, I had to go through the usual security check at Prague airport (PRG). When I passed the metal detector, it went off. I assume it was because I forgot to take off my ...
39
votes
7answers
7k views

Air travel with white powder in little transparent bag

Instead of plain old coffee, I sometimes like to get my daily caffeine ration from other drinks, e.g. fruit juice. For this purpose I have bought some pure caffeine, which takes the form of white ...
39
votes
7answers
13k views

What to do if drugs / a bomb are planted in your travel bag?

So the scene: You're flying from Bogota, Colombia to New York, USA. You arrive, pick up your bag from the carousel, and figure you'll stuff your netbook you used on the flight into your bag now ...
37
votes
7answers
4k views

How did security checks at airports change after September 11th, 2001?

I’m quite young – young enough that I have never flown before the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York. I have doubts about the movie United 93: Was it possible to enter an ...
35
votes
3answers
11k views

What are the exact reasons why one cannot take a bottle of water on the plane?

So what exactly are the reasons: policy by the airlines? slowing down security? What if it's 100mL of water filled in one of those tiny travel bottles that people use to downsize their toiletries? ...
33
votes
3answers
29k views

What does “SSSS” on my boarding pass mean?

When I checked in for my American Airlines flight from Costa Rica back to the States, I noticed that my boarding pass had "SSSS" printed across the top left corner. Nobody else in my party had this ...
32
votes
2answers
29k views

What does this sticker on the back of my passport mean?

I am currently travelling in the USA and when checking in on the boarding flight to enter the country, the security personnel attached a small yellow-white sticker to my passport (see a somewhat ...
29
votes
3answers
5k views

DIY computer in hand luggage - what to expect on security checks?

I have a DIY computer which looks like a 7" tablet, only thicker. The case is plastic, and the whole device is about as thick as a laptop. There are no scary wires popping out and no ticking noises, ...
29
votes
6answers
106k views

Are battery packs allowed in hand luggage?

When flying, are you allowed to bring battery packs / power banks? I'd like to bring my ACC 10400mAh Power Bank on several flights.
29
votes
3answers
119k views

How much electronics and other valuables can I bring duty-free when going to India?

I am planning to travel to India (COK airport, Kerala) from United States. I want to take my laptop as well as my tablet (iPad). Am I allowed to take both in my backpack with my documents related my ...
27
votes
4answers
14k views

My name has “Mr” appended on airline ticket reservation. Would that cause problems at the airport?

I recently booked tickets to travel by plane from the UK to Greece. The website I booked through (airfasttickets.co.uk) lists my name correctly, as "Mr Georgios [My surname]", exactly the same as in ...
27
votes
7answers
6k views

Airport security: what if I carry an item with traces of explosive?

One day I was travelling from UK to Switzerland, the security officer at Gatwick airport check (with a kind of swab) all my electronic devices (mainly phone and camera chargers + cables) to see if it ...
27
votes
2answers
6k views

Can TSA open regular suitcase combination locks? How?

I just flew back from the USA, and found a TSA notice in my suitcase that it had been inspected. I could tell that they checked a couple of items, but thankfully nothing was removed or damaged. Now ...
26
votes
3answers
4k views

How many smartphones can I take on an airplane?

I'm a software developer and I need multiple different mobile devices for testing and debugging purposes. I also work on-the-go sometimes, so this is important. Furthermore, not everything can be ...
26
votes
3answers
22k views

Why do you need to take out your laptop from your bag during airport security checks?

Why do you need to take your laptop from your bag during airport security checks? Why can't they just x-ray check the whole bag together with the laptop?
25
votes
2answers
5k views

Can you freeze liquids to pass security checks?

Once I read a suggestion saying that frozen "liquids" are not subject to the 100 ml restriction of security checks in airports. I've found other references of this googling, but they all refer to TSA ...
24
votes
5answers
4k views

What items are forbidden to take when traveling to the US that would be OK in most other countries?

I am aware of a couple of items that are not allowed to take when traveling to a US destination (from abroad), even though they would be OK in most other countries: Kinder Eggs 6 or more "obscene ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

Utili-key “knife” and airport inspection?

I own and carry a Swiss Tech Utili-Key 6-n-1 Multitool: I love it and carry it with me everywhere. My concern is: Would it be officially allowed in cabin (inside Schengen)? If not, what are the ...
21
votes
5answers
38k views

Can you bring an empty water bottle with you on the plane?

I know you can't bring bottled water and such with you on the plane. However, is it safe to bring an empty bottle with you to fill up later? Or do you risk losing your possibly expensive/fancy/awesome ...
21
votes
3answers
8k views

Is the TSA Lock acceptable in European Airports?

I understand if you travelling in or to the US, you can lock your luggage using the TSA Luggage Lock. (Immigration is still able to open your luggage using their own special keys) How about Europe? ...
21
votes
2answers
15k views

Can others in my party go through TSA PreCheck?

If I have TSA PreCheck (i.e. I have a KTN from TSA and the "pre-check" logo gets printed on my boarding pass) and a travel companion does not, can they go with me through the PreCheck security lines? ...
20
votes
3answers
6k views

Can I pass through the airport security with a de-activated Bazooka?

My flight is from Washington, D.C. (IAD) to London Heathrow , with British Airways. Important Details The Bazooka will be bought legally from a shop in Maryland British Airways' website explains in ...
19
votes
5answers
14k views

Travelling with beach sand in carry-on

I'm making a trip back home (to the coast) shortly, and I would like to bring back sand from the beach with me as a keepsake or memento. It's just a short weekend trip, and I won't be checking any ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the law about body scanners in EU? Am I legally allowed to refuse?

There are a lot of EU laws about travelling through airports. We've all seen the signs about asking for your rights. So is there any EU law about body scanners? Is there an EU law that says I am ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I not get electrically shocked when handling my laptop in an airport?

I traveled by plane for the first time in my life 3 months ago. It was 4 trips, which meant 4 hand luggage inspections. I have a huge problem: I am asked to remove my laptop and tablet from my bag ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Tent in hand luggage?

Can I carry a tent in hand luggage on a flight? Do poles/pegs present a threat? I mean, they could but they're going to be tightly packed and actually attempting to get them out would draw a lot of ...
17
votes
6answers
9k views

Am I allowed to take a GPU in my carry-on luggage?

As I will be travelling to the US in July, I was thinking of buying two graphics cards (R9 390X) over there and bring them back to Switzerland, as computer components are mostly a bit cheaper over ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

What measures are taken to prevent bombs being smuggled onto planes via insider jobs?

Especially as pertains to US airports? Is baggage checked at all once it has been loaded into the cargo hold? Otherwise, is there anything that prevents an airport employee from slipping something ...
17
votes
4answers
6k views

Can I drink stuff bought in duty-free shops onboard a plane?

I have to go into a trip while being slightly ill - doctors say I have to drink a lot. Can I buy water at a duty-free shop, bring it onboard and drink there?
17
votes
3answers
11k views

Are parachutes allowed on airplanes as cabin baggage?

On the Ryanair website, I came across an FAQ entry on whether parachutes are allowed on planes. (So I presume it must be asked frequently enough to be added to the FAQ page of a major low-cost ...
17
votes
1answer
11k views

can I put 3.4 ounces of liquid in a 4 ounce bottle?

Is the restriction on the amount of liquid in the container, or the size of the container itself? The 3-1-1 page says: Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

How to dispose of a broken suitcase at an airport?

Recently I had to catch a flight from New Delhi to Frankfurt. On arriving at the airport, I realized that my suitcase was broken at the bottom near the wheels. Probably due to its rough handling ...
17
votes
2answers
9k views

What happens if you miss a connecting flight?

What happens if you book tickets through an airline or travel agent, but on the travel date miss a connecting flight (either because the first flight was delayed, or because immigration/security took ...
17
votes
3answers
520 views

Is it OK to dress as a stewardess on a flight?

My client is not a stewardess. Her man has a stewardess-attraction, and normally it's no problem, but when they fly together she feels jealous. I'd like to advise her, "the attraction is part of him; ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Carry on cheese grater on domestic U.S. flight?

Will I be permitted to pack a cheese grater in my carry-on bag for a domestic U.S. flight, or will this be considered a "potential weapon" and prohibited?
16
votes
1answer
7k views

Why is security screening done at the gate in some airports?

I've noticed that when taking non-Schengen flights at AMS (Schiphol airport, Amsterdam), there is no centralized security check after you enter the airport and go through passport control. Instead, ...
16
votes
1answer
444 views

Which organizations are/have been effective at lobbying against invasive airport security?

I've been selected for additional screening the last 5 times I've flown and I'm getting tired of it. Not flying is not an option. I want to donate money and time to a larger group that can represent ...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

Is it possible to avoid being sniffed by dogs at Heathrow airport and possibly other airports?

I am Muslim, getting sniffed by a dog is sort of prohibited in my religion. My family are coming to Europe next month and we are discussing all the tiny details as they haven't traveled outside their ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Can I bring a shoebox PC in my carry-on bag?

It's a shoebox PC that I custom built and I'd like to keep it in carry-on. It has wires hanging out and the top is removable so they can see it's actually a computer not something like a bomb. And ...
15
votes
4answers
7k views

Is it OK to take a disposable safety razor on a plane?

I'm travelling soon with cabin luggage only and I was wondering if I can take a disposable safety razor with me? This page says it's OK, but it also says it's OK to take small scissors and I've ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

Peacock feather a prohibited item?

I'm spending the summer in London and recently took a trip to Kew to visit the botanical gardens. While there I found a beautiful peacock feather that a friend of mine back in the US would love. ...
15
votes
3answers
14k views

If I don't declare a not-yet-used engagement ring at airport security, am I smuggling jewelry?

In How do I get an engagement ring past security/customs in an airport without alerting my significant other?, MikeV posted a pertinent question which is worth asking: If I buy a ring in the US, ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Why are there no courier services or box-rentals near airport security?

It would be helpful for people not to just throw away their unsafe-for-flight things. I am talking about pocket knives, razors, scissors etc. not haz-mat substances. For example, a new Victorinox can ...