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

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71
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
40
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
39
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
37
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
28
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
27
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
26
votes
3answers
16k 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 ...
26
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
7k views

Name has “Mr” appended on reservation, airline will not reply

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 ...
23
votes
5answers
3k 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
3answers
4k 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? ...
20
votes
5answers
18k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
51k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
14k 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?
17
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
3k 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
6k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
3k 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. ...
16
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k 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
1k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
598 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
3k 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
2answers
2k views

US and Canada Border Crossing and Computer Privacy: What do I need to know?

I've read stories about border officials searching laptops when crossing the border in one direction or the other. Does this really happen, typically speaking? As a US citizen, can I be forced to ...
14
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Correct reasons for opting out of millimetre wave scanners

Having travelled through SFO a few times, and each time been asked to go through a millimetre wave (or backscatter) scanner, and each time 'opted out' and gone for the search (in public), I'd like to ...
12
votes
3answers
32k views

Can I bring my desktop computer as check-in baggage on a flight?

I am moving from Malaysia to the US, and planning to bring my desktop computer with me. I plan to pack it in my checked-in luggage. Will the computer risk being damaged? Any precaution should I take ...
12
votes
1answer
815 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
7k views

Why police didn't even block me once at the airport arrivals?

First of all, I'm not a terrorist or a drug courier. Starting in June 2012, I began flying from Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to Falcone–Borsellino Airport (PMO) for personal reasons. ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Can one carry an internal hard-drive in cabin-luggage?

I'm currently in the process of moving from France to Canada. I have plenty of computer equipment that I just put in boxes and that will be sent by naval transport. One thing I'm scared off though, ...
11
votes
3answers
17k views

How do I prevent damage to electronic devices at airport security?

I have travelled with a laptop before with no problems (not recently), but for an upcoming trip I will, for the first time, be carrying a smartphone and a Kindle (not the Fire but the older e-ink ...
11
votes
2answers
550 views

Are the TSA rules legally binding?

A user asked How do I minimize the chances of TSA agents confisticating liquids larger than 3 ounces? My question is - are the TSA rules legally binding or not? Whether or not you get charged if ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What's a good substitute for a pocket knife that can be carried on-board a plane?

I always used to pack a pocket knife in my checked luggage when travelling, but now that I'm travelling with carry-on bags only, security restrictions prevent me from bringing a pocket knife. Is ...
11
votes
1answer
455 views

Is mozzarella liquid affected by the no fluids policy on planes?

Recently I heard a story of a friend who was flying from Rome to Berlin. He tried to carry a big mozzarella cheese with him. Mozzarella cheese is generally layered in a milky liquid. At the security ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why there is passport check at the check-in counter, immigration and even at the gate?

I was wondering, why there are passports check at the check-in counter, immigration and even at the gate. For example, I was at Istanbul flying to either UK or US. There's a security check at the ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I take my liquid medication on a plane?

If I am taking a liquid medicine, but is over the ounces for a flight, will they still let me take it on a plane?
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Camping stove on a plane?

Can I bring a camping stove (without fuel) on a (domestic or international) jet, either in checked baggage, carry-on, or some other means?
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Electronics in sealed box as carry-on luggage: issues at security?

We are going to a conference and we are taking a new ipad with us to give away but we don't want to box to be opened. Will they just run it through the scanner or do they have to open it?
10
votes
1answer
9k views

How early can you go through airport security for an International flight?

I'm not sure if this is airline or airport-specific? (assuming airport) I know that if I have an early morning flight and show up the night before, I'm denied because the date on my ticket is for the ...
10
votes
1answer
240 views

Inspection of over-packed bags

On the TSA website, their "tips for packing your checked baggage" twice emphasizes that you shouldn't over-pack your bags: Avoid over packing your bag so that the screener will be able to easily ...
10
votes
3answers
19k views

Can I take two laptops to India from United States? One bought in India and one in US

I will be landing at New Delhi airport. The worth of new laptop (Lenovo Yoga Idea Pad 13) is about $1000 and old one (Macbook Pro) is > 1 lakh INR. I want to leave the new laptop in India. I have a ...
10
votes
1answer
133 views

Flying from Canada with art supplies

I always fly with just a carry-on and this time I'm thinking of taking some art supplies with me on my trip and I'm just wondering what the rules are. I'll be taking pastels, china ink and nibs, a few ...
9
votes
2answers
974 views

How can I make my boots less of a nuisance in the airport?

I wear boots for business wear due to some foot issues, but they can be a pain when going through airport security. Airport security often requires you to remove your shoes before you pass through ...
9
votes
1answer
342 views

I stamped my passport before international departure, but I want to cancel now!

If I stamped my passport for an international flight as we usually do before international departures and then I changed my mind for any reason, for example a family emergency reason. What's the ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Is a chest X-ray / report required to enter the UK?

I remember that two years ago, passport holders of non-EU nationalities were required to present a chest X-ray along with accompanying report on arrival at Heathrow airport. (And if you didn't have ...