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Airport security

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:40 pm
by TimG
Has anybody had any trouble carrying a Raspberry Pi through UK airport security in hand baggage? Just a Pi, in a transparent case, not connected to anything.

Of course the law doesn't forbid carrying electronics. I bought a Pi Zero from the Gatwick newsstand in December, though the lady at the counter thought that such things should not be allowed and said so loudly. But certain airports have thuggish security guards who don't care too much for the law and take any excuse to make passengers miserable. Liverpool, for example, is so hateful that I now go out of my way to avoid it whether I'm carrying anything or not.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:48 pm
by Pithagoros
viewtopic.php?t=13243&p=141461

It might cause some questions though, because the security staff are not properly trained.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:18 pm
by alexeames
TimG wrote:Has anybody had any trouble carrying a Raspberry Pi through UK airport security in hand baggage? Just a Pi, in a transparent case, not connected to anything.

Of course the law doesn't forbid carrying electronics. I bought a Pi Zero from the Gatwick newsstand in December, though the lady at the counter thought that such things should not be allowed and said so loudly. But certain airports have thuggish security guards who don't care too much for the law and take any excuse to make passengers miserable. Liverpool, for example, is so hateful that I now go out of my way to avoid it whether I'm carrying anything or not.
I fly in and out of Stansted several times a year. They are not usually overly interested in Pi. But if you are concerned, make sure you take some Pi literature with you to prove what it is. They are usually much more interested in my lipos than my Pi. But even then they're not usually bothered as long as you play by the rules.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:48 pm
by aelsas
Just returned from Cambridge via Heathrow with a Zero and a Pi3 in hand luggage - no problem at all!

Re: Airport security

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:53 pm
by DougieLawson
I've had no problems at all flying Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow. I had a bareboard RPi, phone, laptop, four way socket strip, PSUs / chargers for everything, keyboard, mouse and more varied cables than you can shake a stick at. My colleague who only had an iPhone and a Macbook (and the gubbins that go with those) got the full scale pat-down.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:50 am
by clive
On several occasions I've flown with 20+ uncased/unboxed Pis--plus LEDS, sensors, leads, chargers etc-- as hand luggage. I've only ever been pulled up once because the UK Border Patrol think that the luggage of choice for gun-runners is a bright orange Pelicase :roll:

Re: Airport security

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:08 am
by ShiftPlusOne
I've been flying in and out of UK every other month with boxes of electronics, wires everywhere and everything. Haven't had any problems in stansted or heathrow.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:23 am
by Heater
I have been through Heathrow and Standstead a few times in the last year with bags full of all kind of "suspicious looking" PCBs, cables, tools. Usually stuffed willy-nilly into whatever bag I have for hand luggage. None of this ever caused issues.

What has got me pulled aside was:

A half empty bottle of Coke. "Would you like to drink that now sir?"

Two cigarette lighters instead of just one.

A solid cylinder of marble that the X-Ray machine could not penetrate. "Do you mind if we open your bag sir?". It was a marble candle stick from the Natual History Museum.

The security guys have always been very polite and chatty with me.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:46 am
by r3d4
TimG wrote:Has anybody had any trouble carrying a Raspberry Pi through UK airport security in hand baggage? Just a Pi, in a transparent case, not connected to anything.
Not yet! ,
... i doubt you will have any problem =P

All though i was only leaving with a modle A and B boxed unopend in main lugage ,..
i also sent a pi2-b with relatives dont know where they paked it !

Re: Airport security

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:19 am
by LetHopeItsSnowing
I took a Pocket PiGRRL through Birmingham Airport. I had my hand luggage searched (not because of the Pi apparently, just because it was tightly packed), the security took some interested in my handmade games console, not for any other reason other than that she thought it was cool. So after a quick demo of sonic the hedgehog I was on my way!

Re: Airport security

Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:47 am
by TimG
Thanks everybody. Sounds like there'll be no problem.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:51 pm
by mahla2012ir
I’m going to Heathrow tomorrow and carrying Pi2Go robot which consists of a Raspberry Pi 3 and an interface for it sit on. I’m also carrying 6 Energizer batteries and an Ethernet cable. I was wondering if they might take it away from me thinking that it might be a dangerous robot or something.
Should I take it away or not?

Re: Airport security

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:23 pm
by DougieLawson
I've carried a RPi through Heathrow with no problems (LHR/EGLL to EWR/KEWR on Virgin Atlantic).

Re: Airport security

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:45 pm
by Heater
You would not believe the bag fulls of electronic parts, boards, wires, batteries I have got through security all over Europe and a few trips to the States.

I always expect some problem about it as it disappears into the X-Ray machine but no.

One time I was dragged off the line for an unidentifiable thing in my bag. It was a marble candle stick from the British Museum.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:22 am
by beta-tester
years ago (5 or so), i was flying back from thailand to germany with a metal tool box in my hand luggage, with fixed installation of an ATX power supply, a 5 port network switch, 4 RPi, everything was wired up. from the outside of the metal tool box you saw a power plug, ventillation holes, 4 BNC connectors for Video output and a network connector port.
the only thing i had to do at security control gate in thailand was, to open the metal box.
the only thing, what the security man was asking then, was:
he: "is it really working?"...
me: "yes"...
he: "aha!... "ok"...
...nothing else.
even my constuction was looking a litte bit like a bomb with all the wires, stacked installation and so on.

i can't beleave that i was doing it. today i never would do this again. too big the risk to not pass the security gate.
but at that time on the way home, i hadn't enough space in my baggage anymore.

but i beleave a single RPi in a nice looking case (or even in a crappy) can still pass the security control gate without problems.
i was passing airport heathrow months ago two times with my backpack full of computerstuff, extra cables, power adapters, battery power bank.
(they did a wipe test against explosives - but that had nothing to do with the stuff i had in my backpack. they do this randomly and takes only few seconds)


PS: i am always worried or scared about losing my data of mobile phone, SSD, SD cards and USB memory sticks over the time, when they pass the X-ray over and over... :shock: :o :lol:

Re: Airport security

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:48 am
by Cancelor
I think tools are more likely to get refused, pliers, screwdrivers etc.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:17 pm
by beta-tester
by the way.
when i was at the airport heathrow, i missed to see a shop that is selling RPis there - i thought an Raspberry Pi is a UK product that should be sold at eack airport in UK as souvenir ... :lol:
and free of VAT

Re: Airport security

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:59 pm
by DougieLawson
You've got Currys PC World as the Airport tech retailer, they're only interested in selling electric plug adapters, tablets, cameras and expensive headphones. They don't sell small board computers.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:32 pm
by Burngate
Cancelor wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:48 am
I think tools are more likely to get refused, pliers, screwdrivers etc.
Some years ago, had to fly Heathrow to Glasgow for the racing on one day, then return the following day.
One way, I wasn't allowed to carry my tool bag with me, it had to go in the hold.
The other way, it couldn't go in the hold, I had to carry it with me.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:19 pm
by mahjongg
Not an RPI perse, but at one time during a flight from Rotterdam-airport to londen-city- airport I was not permitted to carry a prototype in my hand luggage that had a lot of loose wires. I had to transfer it to my normal luggage because the airport security were unable to understand what it was.

Note, it was an ion propulsion system for micro satellites, so yeah... :mrgreen:

Re: Airport security

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:32 pm
by dickon
A mod necroing. Not a common sight...

(I swear I've seen this board surface ancient posts to the top before, for no obvious reason, but a refresh always disappears them again)

Re: Airport security

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:57 pm
by jcalvarez
For some reason I'm often selected for a random drug test at Frankfurt Airport. They always have an issue with my laptop screen, they take it to the small room with the machine that checks for drug traces. Then they apologise and that's it. The last time the guy doing the testing advice me to clean my laptop more often :D

Re: Airport security

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 1:48 pm
by hippy
dickon wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:32 pm
A mod necroing. Not a common sight...
Probably deleted a spam posting which had been reported then failing to resist the temptation of adding to the thread.

Re: Airport security

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:46 pm
by mahjongg
yeah, sorry.... :mrgreen:

Re: Airport security

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:52 pm
by cleverca22
jcalvarez wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:57 pm
For some reason I'm often selected for a random drug test at Frankfurt Airport. They always have an issue with my laptop screen, they take it to the small room with the machine that checks for drug traces. Then they apologise and that's it. The last time the guy doing the testing advice me to clean my laptop more often :D
ive found that if my carry-on contains a giant rats-nest of spare cables, they are more likely to swab every interior surface of the bag and test it for explosive residue

the xray is too much of a mess for them to tell if its a bomb or not, so they opt to instead test for chemical compounds, rather then root about in the bag