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Our guide to airport security: The best ways to ensure a stress-free experience

Last updated Sep 26, 2023

This article was first published on April 11, 2022

When somebody says holiday what do you think? You think lounging at a beach bar with a cocktail, seeing the sights in a new city, that feeling of take-off. You probably don’t think standing in line airport security (well, most of us don’t).

We’re not going to kid you, this isn’t designed to be the fun part of your trip. It involves queuing, unpacking and the nagging feeling you might end up having to take your shoes off.

We’ve all got to do it because your and our staff's safety is a non-negotiable.

So with that in mind we’ve put together five top tips you can follow if you want to navigate airport security like a pro.

Bag your liquids and let the queue flow

You’re best getting this sorted long before you reach the front of the queue. Clear plastic bags can be found at the tables near Caffe Nero and you can use these to pack up any liquids under 100ml.

You can also use the bins here to ditch anything you’re not going to be taking. Unsure of what you’re allowed to take? Check out our handy guide here.

When should I arrive at Edinburgh Airport for my flight?

Don’t waste time, get in line

We appreciate you’d rather be doing something else but getting in line early can make a world of difference. Plus, the sooner you’re in the queue the quicker you’re through security and enjoying that well-deserved refreshment.

For families with children under 12 there’s a dedicated Family Lane so little ones aren’t faced with a wait.

And don’t forget you can book fastTRACK if standing in line really isn’t your thing. This can be accessed from level two of the multi-storey, or from the designated fastTRACK doorway at the start of security.

Check out your check-in desk opening times at Edinburgh Airport

Just have a little patience

You can rest assured airport staff will be doing their very best to help things run as smoothly as possible.

We’d suggest factoring in any potential waits to your journey prep – particularly in the summer months when we’re processing tens of thousands of passengers each day.

Why not play a game of eye-spy (if it starts with Q then we know what it is...) when in the queue, or ask the person behind you where they’re off to. Don’t forget you can also check the live security wait times on our website.

Pockets emptied, belts off – prep is the key

Prep is the key, but there’s no reason for it to be a secret. Airport staff will be on-hand reminding passengers to ensure they’re ready when their time comes at the front of the queue.

That means belts and jackets are off, pockets are emptied (yes, even your tissues), phones and electronics are visible in the tray, and you’re ready for that slightly awkward walk through the security scanner.

Will we ask you to take your shoes off? There’s every chance.

Is there a chance we might pass comment on your odd socks? Absolutely!

Oh, and if you’re travelling with kids don’t forget to empty buggy and pram pockets, and put rain covers in a tray.

Hand luggage rules explained: Items you can and can't take through security

Do your bit, help us help you!

That’s all we can ask. We’d love you to work with us to quash those queues.

Remember to be prepared (pockets emptied, belts off), follow any instructions from our trained security staff, and help us out by returning your tray to the correct place once you’re through the other side.

You’re then free to browse duty free, along with the shops, restaurants and cafes, before catching your flight.

For a full list of shops and restaurants through security – click here.

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