You shouldn’t let the challenges of air travel and airport security scare you away from vacationing on our beautiful planet. Let the folks from DOGTAG help you navigate your way through the first part of your journey.
Checking your large bags into the hold
After 9/11, airlines don’t want anything in the cabin that could be used as a weapon so if you’re carrying any type of say, martial arts weapons or tradesman’s tools (crowbars, hammers, drills, pliers, saws, etc) you’ll have to pack them in your checked-in bags. If you pack any sharp objects in your checked suitcase, wrap them to ensure safety for the baggage handlers and transportation security officers.
For fairly obvious reasons, nobody wants guns on board a plane so firearms will have to be packed in your bags and go in the hold. In the USA, where gun ownership is fairly common, this might not raise many eyebrows but elsewhere, such as in Europe, traveling with a firearm is extremely unusual. In Europe, just about the only firearms that people will travel with will be sporting or hunting weapons and these must be carried in a locked and secure case designed for the purpose.
Plainly, the best thing wherever you are traveling from or to, will be to check with the airline and find out what their rules are before you pitch up at the airport armed to the teeth. Indeed, some airport police, if they’re not expecting you, might want to interview you before you even enter the building.
The other fairly obvious thing to note is that the firearms legislation in the country where you’re going might be radically different from your home country. Unless you get the paperwork sorted out before you even turn up at the airport, you could be saying goodbye to you much loved Winchester.
Baggage weight limits
Not all airlines have the same baggage weight limits and not all of them have the same rules regarding carry-on luggage so do please check with your airline what the limits are. This might save you some expensive extra charges for being over weight or the embarrassment of opening cases up to re-distribute things so that the bag is a bit lighter.
All in all, the best pan is to travel light, pack loose and check the weight of your bags before you go. Hand-held bag weighing gadgets are available on Amazon for a few pounds and are worth their weight in the gold of excess baggage charges.
Don’t panic about your bags
It’s worth remembering that in these days of airline anxiety, some airline baggage handers and security staff may occasionally make spot checks of bags, they may be checked by dogs and they may be x-rayed. An airline is legally (by international statute) responsible for your checked in baggage and for getting it (and you) to your destination safely so don’t be too scared simply to leave it to security staff to check your bag.
Security and what you can take with you.
Airports can be impersonal and apparently unfriendly places. We all want to get on an airplane where the only passengers are those with legitimate reasons to travel and that there’s nobody onboard that could do us harm – even if they wanted to – and that means, we have all have to go through the security process. So the answer is, just grin and bear it, it won’t take long and once you’re through security, you can enjoy the travel (and shopping) experience that most international airports have to offer when you get ‘air side’.
In order to get through security at the airport, you can only carry liquids, aerosols and gels in three-ounce or 100ml (0.1Ltr) containers. This includes common personal items such as toothpaste, shampoo and food. It also includes personal hygiene items such as lotions, creams, liquid soaps and perfume and the total amount of these liquids must fit into a 1-quart zip-top bag. You’ll get the chance to grab a free zip-top plastic bag before you go through security but it’s best to be ready with your stuff in such a bag before you go. And don’t bury that plastic bag of bottles deep in your carry-on bag because you’ll be asked to bring it out for inspection before you even go through security.
Along with your personal items, you are also permitted to bring corkscrews, cigar cutters, common lighters, nail cutters, safety razors and travel-sized or blunt scissors in your carry on baggage. If you are carrying any types of martial arts weapons or tools — axe, crowbar, hammer, drill pliers, saw, etc — you’ll have to pack them in your checked bags.
Laptops and Mobile Devices like iPhones and iPads
The security staff will generally want to see that these devices out of your bag, so make sure you can get them out from your handbag easily.
By the way, at some airports you might see the odd sniffer dog. These dogs are friendly and well trained but they’re at work looking for suspicious materials so say Hi! but don’t try to pet them, it’ll be their handler that growls at you.
The Dreaded Body Scanner
Not so long ago, the only thing you had to walk through after you’d deposited you carry-on stuff on the scanning conveyor was walking through a metal detector. Nowadays many airports’ security zones, and most security at major international airports will ask you to stand in a booth with your hands raised so that an automatic scanner can whizz around you. If you don’t want to go through it you may be able to opt to be searched by hand by a member of your own gender but refusing any kind of search will prevent you from continuing your journey.