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Tissues and hooded tops: Some of the most common mistakes passengers make at airport security

Last updated Apr 13, 2023

By now most of us are very familiar with the obvious dos and don’ts of airport security.

Don’t wear your belt or jacket through the scanner, make sure your liquids are all bagged up and in the tray, and ensure any jewellery has been carefully removed.

Our fantastic security staff will, of course, do their best to keep you right on the day, but the better prepared you are the easier it is for us to get those queues moving faster.

That’s why we’re sharing some of the most frequent mistakes we see people make – and some are very easily done - so you can avoid doing similar.

Empty your pockets, even if you’ve only got tissues in them!

Pockets have to be completely empty when you’re passing through our security scanners. And that’s not just of phones, wallets, keys and coins.

If you’ve got anything at all in there – including a pack of Kleenex – you can expect to be stopped in your tracks. An important rule, and one not to be sniffed at.

Don’t go through the scanner wearing a hoodie

This might come as a surprise, but what you’re wearing can make a difference. Our scanners are designed to pick up any anomalies on your body, and so if you’re wearing a big hood that’ll show on our system and we might need to stop you.

If you’re wearing a hoodie pop it in the tray. If you’re not wearing a hoodie, even better.

Shiny reflective tops can also cause confusion and may lead to a search. One to keep in mind.

Make sure there’s nothing covering electronics such as iPads and laptops

One frequent mistake our security teams see is people removing electronics such as iPads and laptops from their bags and placing them in the tray – only to then cover them with items such as jackets or tops.

Please don’t do this. All large electronics have to be uncovered. Otherwise there’s little point in removing them from your bag.

Fall foul of this rule and you can expect your tray to be looked at – and your trip through security to take longer than it should.

Check no loose bottles have fallen down into the bottom of your bag

You need to make sure all liquids are under 100ml and packed away in a sealed, clear bag.

You’ll be amazed at how many times we see people thinking they’ve packed everything away properly only to be surprised to find make up or toiletries sitting at the bottom of their bag.

Give your bags a double, and maybe even a triple check to make sure nothing unexpected has fallen to the bottom.

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