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Liquids at gatwick

Just want to throw this out there - all is not (necessarily) lost if you inadvertently pack your full size creams etc in your carry on. My mom somehow didn't realize that her large tubes of toothpaste and some other thing she had (she had three large tubes of something) should have been in her checked bag, not her carry on (really mom, pretty much any toiletry needs to be under the limit and in your 311 bag...sigh). Anyhoo, they of course caught it going thru security. They just took them out, ran them back thru the machine and put them back in her bag. They didn't throw them out (now - of course I'm not saying they wouldn't do that to someone else). On the flip side, they never noticed the full size face cream in her purse (which apparently she always carries in her purse every time she flies, and no one has ever caught it!!).

Posted by
1068 posts

Goes to show the inconsistency, and not just abroad, of security checks. I have been checked for things designed for TSA specs and passed with things that were not.

Posted by
2081 posts

Nicole P.

Did you notice that they didnt make you take off your shoes, whereas in the USA its done.

Also, at PDX they had me toss my partially used tube of toothpaste. its one of the reasons i buy that once i land overthere and i won't bring it back either. Just not worth the hassle.

happy trails.

Posted by
3936 posts

I noticed some people did take off their shoes, but while flying from Canada, when I asked about taking off shoes, they say only if they will set the detector off. I've worn the boots before and never had an issue. I am trying to remember when we flew home from California last year what happened...I do know we had to go thru the X-ray scanner thing. I most likely did remove my boots. But for some reason my mom (she was the instigator on this trip at the airports...lol)...even tho she removed her belt, watch, emptied her pockets in venice, she still somehow set the detector off and had to have a quick pat down.

One thing that did happen that would have gone wayyyy differently in the US, I'm not sure what was going on, but after some older mans bag went thru the X-ray at Gatwick, I don't know if he went to take it and dropped something or what, but he hollered Jesus f'ing Christ at the top of his lungs and very one kinda froze. I think they said something to him and he got his stuff and went on his way, but probably in the States that would have earned him much much closer scrutiny.

Posted by
715 posts

As I was leaving Milan and heading back to the US I was pulled aside to have my bag checked because there was something suspicious in it. They asked if I had any liquid in my bag and I said "No, not to my knowledge." The Italian security told me that did not appear to be the case but could not find anything as he searched through the bag. I then saw my bottle of fish oil gelatin caps and said, "Could this be it." He laughed and said, "Probably." I was on my way.

Posted by
2081 posts

Nicole P,

just an for your info.

the security status has been upped. So now any of your cameras and computers/phones will need to be switched to on to show they work. Also any charges, extra batteries and cables will need to be removed and shown.

on my way out of the USA, my bags were rescanned a couple times. I had brought some Euros and Pounds coins back to use up and the scanners didnt like the density. I had to remove the money (all in white letter sized envelopes) and they were scanned separately. I told them if they we're worried about the coins, i could open up the envelopes and dump the coins in the bins for them. I had brought spare envelopes too. I had also forgot to bring out my contact lens solution. It was in my bags. They didnt say anything about that.

on my trip back into the USA i was patted down even though i had passed the scanner. I was wearing some cargo pants i bought for replacement while my clothes were in transit. the pants were baggy with more pockets than the TSA likes, so they patted me down. I had also lost weight (again) so they were more baggy than normal.

when it comes to TSA, nothing is "normal" for them, so just expect anything to happen.

happy trails.

Posted by
3936 posts

Flying in and out of Canada and within Europe (at heathrow, Gatwick and Marco Polo) I did not have to turn on my iPad, nor my husband his iPad Air. I asked when going thru security and didn't have to at any point. Don't have a phone so can't speak for that. I think people maybe had to power up laptops, but I was paying attention to my stuff. No issue with my camera either...they didn't even open that bag...
PS. I'm so glad I fly from Canada...

Posted by
1829 posts

Flew last week from Gatwick and set the alarm off when walking through the scanner thingy. They made me take my shoes off and put them through the x-ray machine. I think it depends on the type of shoes you are wearing eg people wearing boots seem to be targets or if you set off the alarm.

Posted by
4741 posts

There is no routine removal of shoes for everyone in the UK but you might be asked to take them off either because you have set off the barrierv alarm or at random.

Posted by
3936 posts

Some shoes do have metal shanks. I think a lot of them now are going carbon fibre or some other material...when I sold shoes, we'd get people come in periodically who worked at the airport or flew a lot and would ask for shoes without metal shanks. We even had one company promote the shoes as 'airport security friendly - no metal shanks'!