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Questions about going through airport security

(42 Posts)
Wenchelda Wed 26-Jun-19 11:55:28

I am flying UK-Australia in a few weeks on my own with my 2 DCs. I haven’t flown for 9yrs so I’ve just got a few questions about passing through airport security. I understand the liquid rules so am ok on that front.

1) Do we have to take our shoes off and put them through the X-ray?
2) I know the liquids bag has to go through the X-ray separately but do we have to remove anything else from hand luggage for screening? (Electronics?)
3) Can I wear my jewellery/watch going through the scanner thing or am I better keeping them in my bag and putting them on after?
4) The children have little torch/book light things - can these stay in their bags or do they need to go through the X-ray separately? (I’m thinking the batteries inside might be an issue?)

I think that’s all. Many thanks in advance (Nervous flyer trying to get everything sorted in my head before we go!)

Birdie6 Wed 26-Jun-19 12:06:55

1) Shoes - no, not unless they set off the alarm and then they'll just ask you to put them on the scanner.
2)Ipad and phones have to go on the tray to go through the scanner, yes.
3) Just wear your jewelry , no problems.
4) Batteries are not a problem - just leave the lights in your bag.

Have fun !

BiscuitDrama Wed 26-Jun-19 12:09:28

Oh and most airports make you take your belts off and empty your pockets. And take coats off.

They’ll tell you though. smile

eurochick Wed 26-Jun-19 12:12:13

Shoes - it depends on the shoes and the airport. Anything with a metal support will set off the scanners. Most trainers and other soft shoes should be ok. Some want them all off regardless. Just ask.

Liquids and large electronics (laptops, tablets, ebooks) need to come out at most airports.

Phones and things with batteries can stay in the bag.

Small jewellery should be fine. Any clunky stuff with lots of metal would be better in your bag.

delilahbucket Wed 26-Jun-19 12:15:37

Shoes only go through the scanner if they are heeled or have a platform, unless as pp said, they set the scanner off.
We have always had to remove watches and belts. Not had to take out my earrings before and didn't wear any other jewellery.
Children have to go through separately and if you are the only adult, they will go first and you will watch. Ds has been patted down a few times in this country and others. Staff at Manchester and Gatwick have always been very nice to him.

CanYouHearThePeopleSing Wed 26-Jun-19 12:20:55

You may have to take shoes off - depends on the airport, as they all seem to differ. If you have 'light' shoes (plimsol type) you're less likely to have to take them off than something with a heavy or chunky sole. Kids won't have to take theirs off though.

Scarves have to come off as well as jackets/coats.

Electronics (inc kindles/hand held consoles) need to come out of bags.

You don't have to cram everything into one tray - they need to be able to see things clearly, so just one layer of 'stuff' in each tray.

Which airport are you flying from? Most of them seem to have wised up now to the fact that people need a bit of space to sort themselves out before/after the scanner and it's a lot easier than it used to be in quite a few airports now.

Some now have full body scanners that you go through after you've passed through the electronic scanner. It seems they randomly select people to go through those, so don't be alarmed if you have to do that too.

Wenchelda Wed 26-Jun-19 12:59:58

Thank you. It’s reassuring to know some of this stuff in advance. Although I have flown long haul several times in the past, I haven’t flown at all for 9yrs and since having children, I have become very anxious about it. I am the only adult travelling and dcs haven’t flown before so I want to appear to them as if I am calm & know what I’m doing even if I don’t feel that way inside!

We will all be wearing light trainers / slip on shoes so hopefully they will be ok to stay on. No belts. Jewellery also minimal (stud earrings, watch, wedding ring) so will keep those on.

We won’t have coats on, probably just cardigan for me and hoodies for the kids.

Do the electronics have to be out/exposed when going through the scanner? I’m planning to have a zipped fabric pouch full of all my chargers / kindle / cables etc - can I just put that in the tray as it is or will they have to all come out loose?

We are flying from Manchester.

Wenchelda Wed 26-Jun-19 14:08:40

Oh one other thing - my daughter has some liquid medication that I know will need to go in it’s own separate clear bag along with prescription. I’ve also been prescribed some diazepam for my anxiety which I’m hoping I don’t need to take but will have with me just in case - does this need to go in the “medication bag”, even though it’s tablets & not liquid?

eurochick Wed 26-Jun-19 14:47:57

Chargers an stay in your bag. The kindle will need to be put in the tray separately. Tablets can stay in your bag.

You should probably draw the security person's attention to the liquid medication. That will probably need to be swabbed separately.

evilharpy Wed 26-Jun-19 14:58:47

In my experience some airports want all shoes off apart from the likes of sandals/flip flops, some don't.

My 4yo was made to remove a hairband with cat ears and her fleece jacket last time we flew out of Bristol and the chap was quite unfriendly. We flew out of Gatwick last week and they were much less strict and were all lovely.

Use a separate tray for your electronic stuff (phone, kindle, ipad). You can put your belt and shoes in the same tray as the electronics as long as they can see everything clearly.

Don't for god's sake leave a nice glass nail file in your handbag as I did recently, it'll be confiscated.

janinlondon Wed 26-Jun-19 15:09:22

Also remember you cant buy alcohol at duty free for an Australia flight.

Seeline Wed 26-Jun-19 15:09:28

When you get to Australia, they are very strict on what you can bring into the country. Lots of restrictions on food. If you have any in your luggage, you will normally have to throw it away - there are lots of signs telling you what to do.

chemenger Wed 26-Jun-19 16:45:55

Some airports require all shoes to come off. I would probably take a metal-strapped watch off and pop it in the tray. Everything except the electronics larger than a phone and your liquid bag can stay in your carry-on bag. Electronics usually need to be in a tray with nothing on top. Once you are through the scanner most airports have tables you can take your trays to to sort everything out, so there is no rush. There will be nearby seats to put your shoes back on as well.

BritInUS1 Wed 26-Jun-19 17:07:48

Make sure you take your prescription for Diazepam

Wenchelda Wed 26-Jun-19 17:56:51

I don’t have the prescription for the diazepam anymore - I obviously had to give this in at the pharmacy in exchange for the tablets. It was a one off prescription, not a repeat (my daughter’s medication is on going so I have a repeat prescription for hers). How are you meant to travel with the prescription AND the medication? (That’s a genuine question btw- I’m not being rude)

BubblesBuddy Wed 26-Jun-19 18:11:16

You can ask GP for a prescription or take more than you need. Speak to GP surgery.

One big tip: get to the airport at least 3 hours before you fly. Bag drop and security can take forever and check in as soon as you can on line, or even before, if you want specific seats which are chargeable.

Do not use plastic bags from home. Never flown from Manchester but I had to use a plastic bag at T5 supplied by T5. Never been told this before, or done this before, and we fly quite frequently! We always take out all electronics (phone, iPad etc) and put them in their own tray for scanning and I never take my metal watch off. Never been asked to. Never take shoes off.

Obviously you can have a drink after security and take food onto the plane. Just remember to eat it! Make sure DC have a bag they can manage and don’t have an over size bag yourself. Keep all tickets and passports easily accessible and just follow instructions or do what others do. Its pretty straightforward. Have fun!

Nemesia Wed 26-Jun-19 18:29:39

If you have hair straighteners in your hand luggage, these now need to come out and be scanned separately too!

tribpot Wed 26-Jun-19 18:34:35

Are you transiting through the Middle East on the way to Australia? I think (but do check) that you really need a doctor's letter to cover that diazepam.

Notageek Wed 26-Jun-19 18:35:28

I’m not sure whether you’d feel comfortable doing this but a couple of bits you may want to think about
1) once the kids have gone through the detector and you follow it might be easier for them to walk forward and stand together or sit in the seats provided by the far wall (normally a couple of metres) .There is often a muddle of people in a small area putting shoes on , holding trousers up, grabbing for their tray, waving heavy stuff around. If they are not sure where to go it might be less stressful/dangerous all round for them to be a couple of steps away whilst you recover belongings.
2) If you’re not sure, ask there is someone there precisely for that purpose. Just do what you’re told when you’re told ( tray on, walk, wait etc)
3) Australian customs are lovely , but have very strict rules over plants and foodstuffs (mainly fresh and dried but easier to have nothing so don’t take that spare banana from home or the plane) and soil (they went and washed hubbys grubby golf shoes just in case) . However ...if you aren’t sure just ask and they won’t hold it against you at all.

Wenchelda Wed 26-Jun-19 18:40:53

Thanks everyone. Really helpful. I hadn’t thought to ask my GP for copy of prescription so will add that to my “to do” list.

We are staying in an airport hotel the night before and our flight isn’t until lunch time so we will be there plenty early - i’d already planned to go into airport 3hrs before so I wasn’t stressed and rushing.

I’ve got a zipped toiletry bag that is see-through and meets the size limits for liquids bag. I’ll have all my liquids packed in that ready but can easily swap them to an airport plastic bag if required.

DCs just have a backpack each, same size as their school bags so should be able to manage those. I’ve got a small cabin size suitcase that will just contain spare clothes and extra bits that we shouldn’t need to access during the flight and then a longchamp le pliage style shoulder bag for my essentials to go underneath the seat.

I’m aware of Australian customs regulations and the need to throw away any food we’ve taken that hasn’t been eaten during the flight. Weirdly I feel quite ok (dare I say, confident) and passing through security in Australia, it’s the airport security here that is making me anxious! (That, and the 21hours in the air confused)

We’ve pre-booked seats already so that’s one less thing to think about.

Notageek Wed 26-Jun-19 18:44:59

Have you thought about paying for fasttrack ? Might be less crowded and a bit less stressful ?

Wenchelda Wed 26-Jun-19 20:06:52

Didn’t realise you could do the fast track thing. That might be worth looking Into.

We are transiting in Hong Kong. Only there’s a couple of hours so not leaving the airport. I will definitely ask about doctors letter though.

CanYouHearThePeopleSing Thu 27-Jun-19 21:47:47

Fastrack will probably still funnel you to the same security scanners etc, so you may cut down on queuing, but the security process will be exactly the same.

We never travel with the airport plastic bags - we always bring from home. So the ones you have as long as they're the right size and sealed. Make sure they lie flat in the tray with nothing on top.

At LGW last week they definitely wanted all electronics out (as in phones, laptops, kindles, tablets). BHX did when I flew from there in Feb. Put them all near the top of your bag, and there will be very clear instructions about what needs to come out, so you'll be prepared.

HeronLanyon Thu 27-Jun-19 22:02:36

when you queue to wait to get to the trays where you put your bags to go through scanner you’ll be able to see exactly what everyone is doing.
Sometimes they ask pretty much everyone to take shoes off, sometimes very few take shoes off (depending on type of shoe). Really good luck op. Sure the journey will be fine. Have fun!

SavoyCabbage Thu 27-Jun-19 22:12:39

You will be fine. Especially going though HK.

I’ve done that flight many times with just my dc and it’s not that bad. I tell my kids that they have to do exactly what they are told in the airport. If you are told to put your ipad in the box, you put it in the box. If you are told to stand on the x while the man looks at your face and compares it to the passport, you do it. If you have to walk away from mammy through a metal detector, you walk!

Conversely, I say yes to everything on the flight! Another snack, here you go. A story? Sure thing. Fifth movie in a row? Go ahead.

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