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Edinburgh Airport

After arriving we were all taken out to the waiting shuttle that would take us to customs. There are several cars attached. You want the car farthest away, this will become the lead car. It will end up being closest to the building when you arrive. This means you will be at the forefront of the people getting in line for customs. Once in line, you can look back, way back, at those that were in the last car!

When leaving, I had a new experience. Not sure if this was United policy, Scotland policy or something new? Anyway, my boarding pass had a special code. This meant that I was given an additional security screening just as I was going to board. Taken to another line with others and had my hand bag and shoes searched. Then swipes taken of bag and my clothing. A residue check I suppose? My wife had no idea where I was or what happened to me! No argument with the additional check, maybe somehow inform your companion what is going on. I advise to comply nicely and don't argue. Duh!

Posted by
3091 posts

The same thing happened to my wife departing Vienna in Autumn 2016 . A random check , pain in the rear , but certainly a good justification for arriving at the airport with adequate time to spare .

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Den,

I had the same thing happen to me at Glasgow airport. I was flying American Airlines. I was really happy, as American gives priority boarding to veterans, and I was getting on the flight first. I was just about to head down the jetway when I was pulled aside for additional screening. My wife was told to keep going while I was searched. Fortunately, the security people were very apologetic, but by the time the screening was over with, I was stuck behind a mass of people boarding.

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
399 posts

We had a similar experience in Athens. Special mark on our boarding passes, pulled aside for additional screening, sequestered in a special room, with maybe 10 other people, made to wait about an hour, pulled back out for more screening, swabbing, removal of everything from our bag and run thru the x-ray machines, put back in that special room only to be allowed back to general boarding area about 15 minutes before our flight left. We had arrived about 2 hours early and as near as I can tell, it was all because we only had a backpack carry-on (because they kept questioning us if that was all we had for luggage).


Posted by
5011 posts

SSSS - aka "Secondary Security Screening Selection" (or, supplemental security screening, suckah...)

Nothing new. Part of traveling life these days. Grin and bear it (or bare it and grin).

But thanks for the heads-up about which shuttle car to head for. I'll be going through EDI next summer and will put this to use.

Posted by
2514 posts

I am surprised they had to bus you to the immigration area most times I arrive back in Edinburgh it is to an actual gate and I fly in and out of Edinburgh at least 8 times a year. There is a separate immigration area that is used at busy times,it is not a nice area compared to the main area and I have only used it once in the last year. Once you have gone through immigration you then pick up your bags and then go through Customs.

Posted by
11261 posts

Neither of your experiences are unusual.

Many airports use shuttle buses of some kind for some of their arrivals and departures, instead of jetways (the "tube" that takes you directly from the plane to the airport). In the US, we're used to buses only being for some shuttle flights on smaller planes, but in other places it can be for all kinds of flights.

I once saw a piece about shuttle buses, and how you could try to figure out if yours was a LIFO (last in, first out) or a FIFO (first in, first out). Sounds like yours was a FIFO. The catch is, it can change.

As for the random secondary screening for explosives right at the gate as you're boarding the plane, it happened to me in May 2018 leaving Paris. It was also being done a few days ago when I departed Edinburgh, but I wasn't selected that time. Yes, it is a check for explosive residue, and no, it's not United or Scotland (my flights were Delta).

I just want to say something positive about Edinburgh Airport. It's the only place where I've seen a specific large area before security where you could finish your beverages and put your liquids in a 3-1-1 bag (they had free bags for this), and a specific large area after security where you could put yourself and your stuff back together before going to your gate. I wish all airports had this.

Posted by
2514 posts

Harold Edinburgh Airport has gone through massive changes in recent years,the new security area opend about 2 years ago and did have some major teething troubles though I must admit I was not affected much as most of the flights I take are early morning.The do like to get you air-side ASAP and they seem to have got this planned pretty well.The trays they use at security are actual designed to hold the largest sized carry on bag that airlines use and there are plenty of places to take your tray/trays and get your things together,still does not stop the idiots standing there blocking the line as they get their crap together but they usually have staff on hand to get folk to move to the correct areas.
now if they could only fix the automatic passport control gates to actually work properly,always seem to be only half of them ever working.

Posted by
300 posts

Do you have to use their 3-1-1 bag like Heathrow or can you use your own?