9 tips for getting through airport security checks faster and more conveniently

  1. Preparation

If you want to avoid stressful situations and save time, it is recommended that you make some preparations before you arrive at security:

  • Wear suitable footwear (see point 3),
  • Take off belts, watches and large jewellery and stow them in your bag,
  • Empty your trouser pockets and stow your mobile phone, wallet, etc. in your pocket,
  • Store all liquids, no matter which size, in a transparent plastic bag and keep it handy (maximum capacity 1 litre, max. 1 bag per passenger),
  • Keep a laptop and all other electronic devices larger than a mobile phone (tablets, cameras, drones, navigation systems, etc.) at hand.


  1. Liquids
  • Liquids of any size must be stowed in a plastic bag with a maximum capacity of 1 litre,
  • One plastic bag per passenger is allowed,
  • The container size of each liquid must not exceed 100 ml. As a general rule, the information on the label is decisive,
  • Creams, gels and the like are also liquids (including honey, cheese spread, hair gel, e-cigarette liquid, etc.),
  • Exceptions apply to the following liquids:
    • Mandatory liquid medication, which can be carried in containers larger than 100 ml and does not need to be stowed in a plastic bag but must be shown separately.
    • Baby food, which can be carried in containers larger than 100 ml and does not need to be stowed in a plastic bag but must be shown separately. Baby food includes breast milk or baby porridge, for instance.
    • Duty free liquids, which can be carried in containers larger than 100 ml and do not need to be stowed in a plastic bag but must be shown separately. Duty free liquids must be stowed in the undamaged, sealed, official duty-free bags. The receipt must be enclosed.


  1. Shoes

If you want to avoid taking off your shoes you are advised not to wear the following types of shoes:

  • Boots
  • Shoes with heels (high heels, pumps…)
  • Shoes with excessive metal (e.g. hiking boots, very high-quality business shoes)


  1. Power Banks

Mobile chargers, so-called power banks, always belong in hand luggage and must not be transported in checked luggage! If a power bank heats up too much and catches fire this would cause far fewer problems in the aircraft cabin than in the hold.

For power banks over 100 mAh it is important to note that a maximum of two pieces may be carried. Power banks with more than 160 mAh (which are rare) are forbidden and are not allowed on an airplane.

The following blog article describes this topic in more detail and shows what happens when a device explodes.

Air-Blog – Power bank in your hand luggage?


  1. Medicines

cancelled.ch repeatedly provides advice to customers whose suitcases were completely lost, arrived several days late or were destroyed. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you carry the products necessary for your destination in your hand luggage. This usually includes medicines. If it is a liquid medication that is necessary, it may also be carried into the aircraft cabin if the container holds more than 100 ml.


  1. Pacemaker and Artificial Hip Joints

Persons with a pacemaker must not pass through the metal detector in security. For this reason, they must be scanned by a security agent. The shoes must be taken off and x-rayed during this process. The whole process may take a few minutes longer.

The same applies to people with an artificial hip joint. However, it is advisable to wear shoes without metal, as these do not have to be removed.


  1. Going through Security with Children

Children are often scared of situations they don’t know. While loading the plastic boxes in front of the metal detector is usually not a problem, many parents send their children through the arch alone. Many children are afraid because, among other things, there are security officers in uniform behind the detector. Instead, parents are advised to precede their children. Generally, children will follow their parents without further thought.


  1. Lighters

A single normal lighter or a Zippo lighter is allowed per passenger. Storm lighters and electric lighters are not allowed. In many countries (e.g. South America) lighters are completely forbidden.


  1. Avoiding Theft

Many passengers deposit their valuables directly in plastic boxes, including expensive watches, cash, jewellery, credit cards or valuable electronics. If they are distracted or have to go to a follow-up check (e.g. for explosives sampling), their valuables remain unattended for a longer period of time and numerous subsequent passengers could steal them.


For this reason, cancelled.ch recommends that all valuables that do not necessarily have to be deposited individually be stored in a passenger’s suitcase or handbag during the X-ray process.


Note: The above tips apply to Zurich Airport and refer to the 2018 regulations. Even though numerous regulations have been harmonised in the Schengen area, it cannot be guaranteed that some of the tips listed above also apply to other airports. cancelled.ch assumes no liability for the accuracy of the tips.

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