Airport security is increasingly stringent these days, which can lead to tail backs at the security desks. When you’re travelling as a couple in can take even longer to get through security. There’s a few things you can do to speed up the process for your next active holiday in Europe (UK airports) …
Pre-pack all your liquids in clear plastic bags
Don’t be that person at the front of the queue who has to ask for a clear plastic bag to put all their liquids in. Nip down to the store before you travel and pre-pack everything. For your hand luggage, all liquids must be under 100 ml and the clear plastic bag can’t contain more than 1 litre in total. The bag must also be 20 x 20 cm and with enough room that it can be sealed at the top. You are only allowed one bag per person. Contrary to popular belief, you can take small aerosols on the aeroplane, as long as they are under the 100 ml limit.
Put all electronics in handbags or to the top of your case
It’s best to check with the airport for this one, but to be safe remove all electronic devices from your bag. Straighteners are not necessary to remove in some airports, whereas others will insist on re-scanning your bag if you do not remove them. Electric razors and shavers are allowed in hand luggage. As for tablets, laptops and anything with a screen, this must be removed from your bag and placed in one of the trays; that includes children’s hand-held games consoles. If you are travelling with these, make sure they are charged as on occasion the security staff may try to turn them on to ensure their legitimacy. When packing electronics, make them easily accessible.
Have your boarding pass at hand for arrival at security
The first thing you will need to present before even getting through to security is your boarding pass. Make sure you have this handy so you can zoom through to join the queue. Some airports will have electronic devices that also take a scan of your face. If you wear glasses, make sure you remember whether or not you took them off for this first scan, as you will need to scan your face again to gain access to your gate.
Don’t wear lots of jewellery/belts/boots
You need to remove all coats, belts and chunky boots before going through the body scanner, so try and dress with this in mind. Same goes for jewellery that is not easily visible – belly button rings etc. In generally watches and rings are allowed as they can easily be seen by the attendants.
If you’re not sure ask
So sometimes when we’re travelling, we want or have to bring things with us that may not fit the “normal” profile of items you would pack. For example, I once had to bring a candle home (gift from my partners’ mum), and was stopped by security for a bag search as they couldn’t identify the dark mass in the scanners. The woman who was beside me at the search station was trying to take some corned beef home with her to Spain. If you’re not sure about an item, just ask the attendant on that security belt and they will tell you whether or not it needs removed from the bag. Could save you the hassle of a bag search and an extra 10-15 mins of waiting for a re-scan.