244 votes
Accepted

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

Sorry, it's a valid idea but it's not going to happen It's tricky to find passengers who will be on your flight before you pass through security. You would have to catch them at check in, before they ...
user avatar
  • 62.4k
161 votes

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

Sensible people will call security on you and you're probably going to get arrested. You may find a "mark" but you'd be placing a naive and people-pleasing person in a very bad and nerve-wracking ...
user avatar
  • 1,381
131 votes
Accepted

How do I identify an airport’s official free Wi-Fi network?

Unfortunately, you cannot. Nowadays anyone can use a small portable device to create a bogus Wi-Fi network, so even if you know SSID (network name), you still cannot be sure you are connecting to the ...
user avatar
127 votes

Carrying a handgun in other countries with a US concealed carry permit

Every country has their own laws governing handguns. Your license is for the US, under US (or state-specific) laws. Firstly, you'd have trouble at the border, as you generally need permission or a ...
user avatar
  • 157k
110 votes
Accepted

Smartphone taken from baggage while on layover

The airline is liable. According to the Montreal convention the airline cannot disclaim liability via their contract of carriage or other terms and conditions. As in this analysis by the US DoT (not ...
user avatar
  • 28.2k
103 votes

Carrying a handgun in other countries with a US concealed carry permit

Mark Mayo's answer is the best answer to this question; it is an appeal to common sense. I simply wanted to add some legal context for the UK. There are intersecting regulations for the EEA as a ...
user avatar
  • 83.5k
102 votes
Accepted

Personal security during a business trip to Moscow

Update: as of March 2022, travel to Russia is unsafe for anyone. The country is not even safe for its own citizens. Anyone — regardless of whether you're a Russian national or not, no matter what ...
user avatar
  • 2,564
92 votes
Accepted

How to get rid of the men who ask for money in Milan?

Answer by a local here. I work 200 meters from Duomo of Milan, so I find them at the underground exit every morning. First and foremost, remember that most of the people doing this are pushed by a ...
user avatar
  • 1,204
90 votes

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

Even ignoring the practicalities, it's a terrible idea. Without being too paranoid, I don't know what you have done with that knife. I don't want my finger prints on it, I don't want whatever ...
user avatar
  • 1,237
81 votes

What's the safest way to protect your valuables from theft at the beach?

Invest in a Dry Egg/Box My suggestion is to take as little valuables as possible, and carry them in the water with you when you go for a dip. What I usually do is I take some form of plastic ID, a ...
user avatar
  • 51.7k
71 votes

Do North American banks have a key phrase that allows customers to disable all security checks for using the card internationally?

No. Since the bank is the one that has to assume the risk of unauthorized charges (by law, your liability can't be more than $50), it doesn't matter that you are "okay with taking the risk," because ...
user avatar
  • 84.6k
71 votes

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

Forget the fact that it's a knife for a moment. Would you accept a deal where you risk arrest just so a stranger can save (say) $30? If you're like most people, your answer is no. If you're not, ...
user avatar
  • 1,725
68 votes
Accepted

Why are there ashtrays in the bathrooms on nonsmoking flights?

Asked and answered on Aviation.SE. Summary: They're required by US federal aviation regulations. The apparent rationale is: a desperate, or unscrupulous, smoker might (illegally) light a cigarette in ...
user avatar
66 votes

How to get rid of the men who ask for money in Milan?

You have to be assertive, just say NO! (or BASTA! or any other local equivalent ) loud and direct. That is how most locals deal with them. Don't interact with them, don't engage; turn/move away. If ...
user avatar
  • 14.1k
60 votes

What happens if you swab positive for a drug sample at Canadian airports even if you don’t have anything on you?

Just because your bag is triggered doesn't mean you will be in trouble. I bought a backpack at Heathrow duty free while in transit to the US which triggered a positive hit on the explosive wand - ...
user avatar
58 votes
Accepted

Why are balloons prohibited at Amsterdam Schiphol?

I found this article. Loosely translated: Station Schiphol disallows balloons since recently. The reason for this is that it has happened a few times last year that a kid's ballon hit the overhead ...
user avatar
  • 3,356
58 votes
Accepted

How to safely store my locker key in a hostel at night?

In places that I've felt to be a bit dodgier than usual I have done a few things: Sleep in shorts with a pocket and keep the key in my pocket. Thread the key onto a string and wear it around my neck. ...
user avatar
  • 75.2k
58 votes

How to safely use password-protected websites on internet cafe computers

If the security is password only, the answer is that you can't: if they're logging your keystrokes, your password will be compromised, period. However, the best two-factor authentication system while ...
user avatar
  • 99.3k
57 votes

Carrying a handgun in other countries with a US concealed carry permit

Travelling with a firearm (in general) I've actually seen this scenario, where there has been an assumption by the (US) traveller that they would just be able to enter another country with their ...
user avatar
  • 663
57 votes
Accepted

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

Sometimes. At least in the TSA Precheck lanes in the United States, the metal detectors (Precheck lanes use metal detectors, not body scanners) can alarm randomly to alert the screeners to perform a ...
user avatar
  • 84.6k
56 votes

Are cheap "programmable" combination padlocks known to change their own combinations?

Here's a trick I learned many years ago when I used to work in a stationary/office supply shop, it always helped me unlock ANY padlock with a combination. You'd be surprised of the number of people ...
user avatar
56 votes
Accepted

Are you protected in an untrusted embassy in a country you trust?

Assuming that your friend is in a conflict with the bureaucracy of his home country, a much more likely problem is that the consulate will simply refuse to extend the passport and your friend would be ...
user avatar
  • 79k
55 votes

Are you protected in an untrusted embassy in a country you trust?

An embassy's premises are "inviolable" by the authorities of the host country, so the host country couldn't prevent the embassy from detaining anyone there. The embassy would have a hard time getting ...
user avatar
  • 116k
50 votes
Accepted

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

In my experience, having a positive detection at the swab testing station is not a problem. The testing machines only give an indication of possible explosive residue, and are not conclusive. Several ...
user avatar
  • 36.1k
50 votes

How do I identify an airport’s official free Wi-Fi network?

I work at an airport in the UK. I would say that, unless the name of the public wifi is stated on advertising signage, the best thing to do is the ask a member of airport staff if there is anyone ...
user avatar
49 votes
Accepted

Why did airport security swab my hands with wet paper?

Often at security they swab my backpack and some of my possessions with a small piece of damp paper. It is supposed to pick up traces of the materials I've been handling. Then they put it in a machine ...
user avatar
  • 72.9k
48 votes

Tips to avoid forgetting a bag

Put everything which isn't physically attached to you in one place. You're less likely to leave all your luggage behind than forget one item, so it's a bad idea to have your gloves are on the seat ...
user avatar
  • 3,534
47 votes

Smartphone taken from baggage while on layover

Not sure about Quatar but in other jurisdictions (e.g. USA, India) you can complain to the airport authorities. They will review CCTV footage (after some pushing) and if they catch a handler filching ...
user avatar
  • 2,026

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible