Questions tagged [airport-security]

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

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141
votes
8answers
15k 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 ...
116
votes
11answers
31k views

How can I convince airport screeners to stop asking why I prefer pat-downs?

At a London airport, a security screener ordered my granddad to the full-body scanner. As a Luddite, he requested a full pat-down. But this screener, and 3 others, kept rebuffing him: Screener: Why ...
115
votes
13answers
19k 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 ...
104
votes
8answers
58k 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 ...
82
votes
5answers
46k views

Can I safely eat whatever goes through the x-ray machine?

This might be an odd question, but I often take a sandwich or fruit to eat while waiting for the airplane. This means that my food goes through the security x-ray machine. I don't understand much ...
79
votes
13answers
31k views

Asking same flight customers if they would agree to put my knife in their checked luggage

Issue When flying with only a carry-on allowed, I am often bothered by not being allowed to carry a small knife that I will need at my destination (backpacking trips). So far, every time I faced this ...
67
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7answers
20k views

I was allowed to enter the airport terminal by showing a boarding pass for a future flight. Should I be concerned about “security”?

I take the same flight with the same company between two European neighboring countries once a month. My boarding passes are on my smartphone, but as I book my flights months in advance, I often ...
66
votes
4answers
8k views

What rules govern forced removal from flights (due to overbooking)?

I was recently surprised to see a man roughly and forcibly physically removed from an overbooked flight by three police officers because his flight was overbooked. He was reportedly a doctor who ...
65
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7answers
32k 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 ...
60
votes
8answers
86k 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 ...
60
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6answers
22k views

Do airport metal scanners occasionally flash a false alarm on purpose?

I've noticed that occasionally when passing through the metal scanners I am getting flagged despite not having a single metal thing on me. This usually results in a manual search or a hand swipe on ...
59
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6answers
341k 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.
53
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5answers
98k 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? ...
50
votes
4answers
213k 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 ...
48
votes
4answers
297k 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 ...
47
votes
3answers
23k 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.
47
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6answers
15k 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 ...
45
votes
6answers
93k 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 ...
44
votes
7answers
39k views

Can I fly with white powder in a 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 ...
44
votes
7answers
64k 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 ...
43
votes
7answers
10k views

Who to complain to about the speed of airport security at Frankfurt?

Usually I'm flying several times every month or two in Europe, and in the last few years I have seen that the situation at security check is worse and worse. One week ago I had a flight via Frankfurt....
42
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3answers
56k 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 ...
41
votes
5answers
59k 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 ...
41
votes
2answers
141k 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 ...
38
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
37
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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 ...
36
votes
9answers
17k views

What can I wear to avoid getting frisked and crotch searched by TSA at the airport?

A year ago, traveling through an airport in the United States, I did the usual removal of belt and shoes to get through the TSA checkpoint to enter the terminal. I typically wear relaxed fit jeans. ...
34
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7answers
12k 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 ...
34
votes
3answers
30k 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?
33
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
33
votes
6answers
5k views

Will TSA allow me to carry a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)/sleep apnea device?

When traveling with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) medical device (commonly used for sleep apnea), will it need to be removed from your carry on bag when going thru security with TSA Pre-...
33
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3answers
9k views

How is it possible to buy a knife after security?

Leaving from Geneva, I remembered after security that I didn't had any gifts... Amongst the usual chocolates, I found the perfect gift: a Swiss knife that I proudly bought. Few minutes later I ...
32
votes
6answers
7k views

Air travel with refrigerated insulin

In a couple of weeks I'll be travelling by air on 2 separate airlines with insulin for my dog that must be kept refrigerated else it spoils, and I have no idea how to go about this. I'll probably be ...
32
votes
2answers
15k 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 (...
31
votes
6answers
6k 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 was asked to remove my laptop and tablet from my bag ...
31
votes
5answers
193k 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? ...
31
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...
30
votes
3answers
6k 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
4answers
76k 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 ...
29
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
28
votes
7answers
39k views

How do airports differentiate supplements from drugs?

I was just packing for an international flight, and realized that my little plastic bags of protein powder and creatine look an awful lot like the bags of cocain I see on tv. Does the airport have ...
28
votes
4answers
24k 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? ...
28
votes
4answers
7k views

Who pays for increased security measures on flights to the US?

When I flew to the US from Australia I was briefly interviewed by a private security contractor - asking about my plans in the US etc. Other passengers were interviewed at the gate. I was wondering - ...
28
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
26
votes
7answers
48k 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 ...
26
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6answers
330k views

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

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 ...
26
votes
4answers
41k 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, ...
26
votes
2answers
16k 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, ...
25
votes
7answers
9k views

First aid scissors confiscated by Dubai airport security

I am travelling with a first aid kit in carry on bag like this: NZ to Australia: bag X-rayed, no issues at all Australia to Dubai: security opened the kit, checked the scissors and allowed them ...
25
votes
5answers
6k views

Is it common for humanitarian flights to lack security control for the baggage?

Last week I took a flight from X to Y. Since Airport X is closed, they took us to the Military Airport. All the process happened outside of the building. However, they haven’t checked our baggage. I ...

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