We all like a smooth check-in, a quick passport and baggage check so you can get to the departure lounge quicker and really start enjoying your holiday. By reading up on our top tips on baggage and security, you'll be sipping on a cocktail or shopping till you drop in duty free before you know it.
Your airline will let you know what your luggage allowance is, it will either be on your ticket, electronic ticket (e-ticket) or on the airline's website. Information about hand luggage allowance will also be available on your ticket or the airline's website.
Overweight Baggage: Packing everything but the kitchen sink? Be prepared to pay that little bit extra. If your hold baggage is heavier than the allowance, the airline is entitled to charge an excess baggage charge. If your cabin luggage is overweight or too big, you might be asked to check it in to the hold. If checking in your cabin luggage takes your hold luggage above your hold baggage allowance, you might have to pay excess baggage charges. Before you start packing your suitcase it's worth checking your luggage allowance with the airline. That way you can pack, check-in and fly without any luggage problems.
Hand luggage: Don't go crazy in the airport shops as most airlines only permit one item of hand luggage through the airport search point. The maximum size of your hand luggage is 56cm x 45cm x 25cm. However, some airlines are now allowing more so you may wish to call them in advance to check.
Liquids Restriction: Need to take liquid in your hand luggage? Passengers are able to take liquids through security check points but some restrictions still apply. Hand creams, make-up, and individual containers of liquids must not exceed 100ml. If you want to take larger volumes of liquids then pack them in your suitcase.
All containers must be presented for examination at security in a 'single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag'. The re-sealable bag must not exceed a capacity of 1 litre or 20cm x 20cm.
Please Note: Essential medicines or baby food can be carried on in larger volumes than 100ml, however, these items will be subject to authentication.
Some of the items not to pack in hand luggage:
Arrive early: we all know that saying "it's better to be safe than sorry", it couldn't be more true when checking-in. It is important to give yourself plenty of time for your check-in at the airport, roughly 2 to 3 hours prior to your flight. Tighter security measures, delays, long queues and screening can all have an effect on your check-in. Come prepared and you'll breeze though.
Be smart with your luggage: weigh your luggage before you leave home and make sure they are within your allowance. Choose your hand luggage wisely, be sure that they meet the required dimensions. Carry-on and checked bags are subject to being hand-searched, particularly if the contents can't be seen by the X-ray. Don't wrap gifts until you get there. Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.
Locked suitcases: When you are travelling from the UK it is generally accepted that you lock your suitcase. You may be called upon open up a bag where the contents are unclear.
If you are flying from the USA the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) asks that bags be left unlocked to make the job of security screeners easier and quicker. The TSA has recently listed on its website ( www.tsa.gov ) a number of brand names- that have "accepted and recognised locks". These are locks that airport security screeners can open and relock. The list also contains the names of several makes of travel padlocks that screeners can open and relock.
Be aware of what you're wearing: you can avoid setting off the metal detectors by not wearing jewellery clothing, shoes, and accessories that contain metal. You will be asked to remove any metal items and place them in a tray before you walk through the detectors.
Security staff may ask to search you as well as your luggage. These searches are carried out at random so do not be alarmed or offended if you are chosen for searching.