Airport security for dummies(20 Posts)
Right - haven't flown for a long time, and never with all dcs.
Am off to the states on Friday and am looking for top tips about making the security run as easy as poss for the children. I hate holding up queues and would like to just breeze through.
Obviously all liquids for the flight in the clear plastic bag and less than 100ml for each.
Do I get the kids to take off their shoes as we approach, or do I wait and see whether they are picked out for shoes off. They will have no liquids in their carry ons, I will be the keeper of the liquids. Should I get each of them a tray and do they go through individually - is fine - they're under 10, not babes in arms, no pushchairs and stuff.
I know I probably sound rather needy - but I am a bit of a planner and like to know what will happen and how it's organised. Sad really - used to fly loads but that was before kids and lots has changed over the last 10 years.
Shoes stay on, they will walk thru individually. When the bags go thru the scanner it depends on how big the bags are, if they are small and don't have alot then use one tray.
Well I find Heathrow one of the seven circles of Hell but don't let that put you off
I am also the keeper of all liquids and electronic devices until after security. In case you didn't know they usually ask you to put out all iPads etc. I also use a fold up reusable supermarket bag and scope up all fleeces/coats and put them through in one go.
Each kid is responsible to get a tray, put their bag in and walk through and get their bag at the other side. I send them first, in case of problems.
Usually fine - mine travel a lot but have been doing this since 5ish more or less unaided. Unless they are wearing huge boots or those sneakers with flashy lights should be ok with shoes on. Oh and if any of them wear necklaces/bracelets you may want to remove them should be ok but for your peace of mind
After security we regroup and I hand out electronics and fleeces back again so I don't have to carry everything.
When we get to the tray bit, we each have a tray or two and take off coats, belts and shoes as well as any jewellery that might make the machines go. Liquids and electronics go in the trays too alongside any change from DH's pockets.
I put all the liquids in one case so we only have to open that one put split them between the trays to keep the people happy as you're only allowed one each.
That's about it really. Enjoy your holiday
iPads and laptops need to come out of bags. Coats and jackets need to come off. Shoes depends on the type and the airport. I tend to just take mine off then it's done with.
Thanks so much!
Yes - electronic devices: check. Good plan.
Will take a couple of plastic carrier bags for rounding up of hoodies and stuff into one bundle.
They each have a small back pack for their stuff for the journey (iPad, phone, earphones, snacks, spare t shirt/jumper). I'm trying to gradually withdraw from being the keeper of every-bloody-thing!
I think Heathrow is going to be interesting on Friday (given news today). I do love an airport though (once have gone through the security stuff). There's something about the security checks that make me look/feel guilty. Bit like when you're driving perfectly reasonably and see a police car and go into driving test mode.
Have a separate pocket in your hand luggage just for anything that is screening separately at security eg liquids bag and electronic equipment.
All wear easy to remove shoes. Don't wear heavy necklaces or belts. Make sure pockets are entirely clear put coats into handluggage if possible so you don't have to deal with them
Explain ahead of time that favorite cuddly will have to go through special xray machine and that's ok.
Explain that sometimes they check over either mummy or daddy or them with a hand held metal detector too and that's no big deal either. Remind them of this again last thing before you go through the the metal scanner
Your child will have to go through separately
If you have two adults Have the adults go through first and last so there is always an adult on the same side as the children. First adult looks after children through security , second adult looks after stuff.
If just you have your child stay with you until the stuff is in the xray machine they go over to the metal scanner together. Child through first. There more likely to stop an adult and if they are already through they are less likely to freak out about going through.
Not that I've given this much thought mind....
Thanks for advice all of you. Will be lovely when we get there (and actually enjoy a flight and an airport post-checks).
I always take my shoes off anyway (I clearly have shoes that present an issue) but will leave boys trainers on unless asked. No belt for me.
I've also had lighthearted discussion with ds1 (middle child) about leaving dark/macabre sense of humour in taxi and not picking it up again until we're clear and free. As well as planning to frisk before we leave the house for contraband.
This probably more relevant with older children but:
- if they have their passport on them make sure they don't absent-mindedly put it down whilst putting stuff in/out of the trays and walk away from it <looking at you DD>
- make sure they haven't packed something without your knowledge that could be a problem if not "declared" eg. liquid in the form of a hand lotion <looking at you again DD>
- be aware that they're really hot on things like tweezers, nail scissors, pointy metal items not being in hand luggage (sometimes you get these on keyrings for example). It's a major PITA if you have to unpack to find the item and then hand it over <not DD this time >
On the basis of today's attacks at Brussels I would envisage much tighter security, possibly even the introduction of security before check-in, plus delays and long queues/waiting times as these things are implemented. And would therefore look to arrive in plenty of time (normal guidelines are three hours for US, I would look at four hours minimum as Friday will be one of the busiest travelling days of the year so far.
I've been flying for all eternity and never thought of the notion of preparing children beforehand etc, unless they are particularly anxious children I would just make it all a big adventure, put this stuff in the trays, go through and away.
Just go as light as possible. I travel yearly from the UK through Amsterdam to the States with two children, including one with ASD and we all have just one small rucksack. That's it. I have a round the neck holder for passports (we are dual nationals so each have two) and money. No jewellery. Easy to remove shoes (they may step things up now due to Brussels).
Security at Gatwick already been tightened according to 5 live. I would imagine that by Friday it will be much, much tighter everywhere.
In the wake of the unfolding Brussels emergency any advice we give will be unreliable. The FCO, airports and airlines will update their advice in a day or two.
Last time I flew, they wanted all laptops, kindles etc in one layer, rather than piled up on top of each other, so bear that in mind when putting them in trays.
Shoes off or on depends on whether they contain metal. Trainers, loafers etc usually OK, high heels often have metal posts and obviously zips on boots.
Thanks for all advice. It's not so much about preparing them, but more about me being on top of it. Have brought forward our ride to the airport so leaving time+++ for tighter security.
Remember, watches also have to be removed and put on a tray.
"Remember, watches also have to be removed and put on a tray."
I didn't know that. I have never been asked to remove my watch.
I don't bother putting jewellery (watches/necklaces) on until we are through security checks - saves faffing about taking it on and off in a queue - the same with belts. I just keep them in my hand luggage until after I'm screened. Keep iPads/phones on when going through security. I've been behind people who had them all turned off,then had to wait and turn them on to be checked that they weren't dummy ones.
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