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What you need to know about airport security

Published July 30th, 2014

In an ever-changing world, major events impact how we travel around the globe. Even if it’s your first big trip overseas, you know that making jokes about bombs on planes isn’t going to fly with anyone (pardon the pun), let alone at the boarding gate. But even if you’ve racked up more frequent flyer miles than Richard Branson, it pays to know the latest info before you check-in. Also, be aware that every country has different security regulations, so while we’re listing the main requirements for Australia here, make sure you check out the airport security rules for your destination too. Here’s an update about what you need to know about airport security before you fly.

 

 

Flying with electronic devices

Hot off the press, travellers flying overseas will now have to prove that your electronic device functions before you board your plane. If your tablet, mobile phone, e-book reader, laptop computer, digital camera, MP3 player or other digital device (especially those with lithium batteries) doesn’t turn on during airport security checks, you could have your gadgets confiscated and also be denied boarding, even if it’s only a flat battery. You’ll also need to stash your electronic devices in your hand luggage. To avoid losing your gadgets and missing your flight, make sure your electronics devices are fully charged before flying and that the battery power will last for your journey.

 

Liquids, aerosols and gels

There’s a limit to the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels that passengers can take in their cabin baggage, including drinks and duty-free items, both to and from Australia. Your toiletries must be in containers of 100 millilitres or less and carried in one transparent, resealable bag like a zip-lock plastic bag of 20cm x 20cm per passenger. Many companies now sell containers of this size so you can decant your main products into smaller bottles to take with you on the plane, or look for travel-size items. Keep your duty-free booze and perfumes in the sealed bag and show the receipt during the screening process. Any containers over 100 millilitres will be confiscated so don’t risk losing your fave fragrance!

 

Airport body scanners

For extra security, body scanner screening is in place at eight Australian international airports: Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. It’s a pretty quick process: people are selected at random and you’ll have to remove all items from your pockets, step into the scanner and stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and hands above your head. There’s no naked pics going on here; the scanner highlights areas of concern on a generic ‘stick figure’ on the screen when you walk through.

 

Dangerous goods

You’ve probably heard or read the slogan: ‘Some things were never meant to fly’. Anyone who’s watched Border Security or boarded a plane, domestic or international, knows flammable items are a no-no at altitude where atmospheric pressure can cause hazardous materials to behave unpredictably. Your plane ticket will tell you what you can and can’t carry and airlines may also have restrictions so it’s best to check out the website or contact the carrier if you’re not sure.

 

Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.