Luggage And Airport Security Requirements

By: Victor Epand

No one who has kept even half an eye on the news in the last couple of years could fail to be aware of the increasing need for airports and airlines to be ever more vigilant regarding security. Luggage remains one of the most scrutinized aspects of this security, and information is widely publicised regarding general advice and ways in which the public can help airports to maintain this level of risk reduction.

One of the most obvious requirements which people are now aware of are the limits on what you can carry in your luggage. Specifically liquids, and even gels. Toothpaste perfume and even medicines are tightly restricted, often to a maximum of 100ml. Two options to overcome this problem are either to purchase smaller bottles, or buy an empty set of bottles and transfer your liquids into them. The second is to plan to purchase your necessary cosmetics at the other end of your journey. This may be more expensive, but it does remove the limit, and free up space in your luggage.

It goes without saying that luggage must at no time be left unattended. It is remarkable how, even in today's climate, people will still allow a relative stranger to keep an eye on a bag whilst a passenger gets a drink, pops to the toilet or makes a quick call. Seconds are all it takes to either remove a bag, break into a bag, or add an item to a bag. Remember, if someone has the chance to add an item to your bag which later, you are found to be in possession of, it will take a great deal of persuading that you are innocent. It really is better not to take the risk.

All airports will require your luggage to be labelled, and there are two tips to help with this. The first is to make sure that the label stub is kept very safely on your person at all times. If anything happens to your luggage, your stub will become vitally important. The second tip is to place a duplicate of your contact and destination information inside the bag. If the exterior label is damaged or missing, having some form if identification inside the bag may well rescue it for you.

Carryon luggage is strictly limited by weight and size. It isn't possible to go into specifics here as the rules are constantly changing, and vary between airlines in any case. However, as a general rule, it is always best to have a flexible, fabric based material bag, since these can be slung over the shoulder conveniently, and wedged into smaller gaps and spaces, even if the overall contents exceed the general limit.

If you notice one of your bags has either gone missing, or been tampered with, report it immediately. The sooner you report it, the more likely it is that something can be done about it.

Above all, plan for an emergency. Although we always hope it won't happen to us, luggage does sometimes go missing, either through theft or mere chance, so be prepared. Take spares in separate bags, divide up your important items, and label whatever you can. For the sake of a little extra planning, you could make the difference between a holiday to remember, and one you'd rather forget.

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