The airport is a demanding environment, especially international ones.
Seasonal traffic, last-minute gate changes and fluctuating passenger volumes mean there’s a lot of flexibility required on behalf of passengers to meet the needs of airport authorities. Security is a big issue because airports are sometimes targeted by terrorists and other criminals like smugglers, thieves and corrupt officials.
Although airport authorities work hard to maintain a high level of security, passengers should also be aware of protective measures they can take.
Whether you’re a frequent or occasional traveller, following these security tips will keep you and other passengers from becoming victims of crime.
How to Stay Safe at the Airport
Passengers at airports can be targets for criminals and terrorists. Airports are hotspots for pickpockets and theft. That’s why it’s important to be hyper aware of your surroundings when moving through an airport.
Follow these tips to travel safer before takeoff and after landing.
1) Do Your Homework
Corruption is a problem among some customs and airport security officials. If you’re travelling to a country for the first time, it’s advisable to research what customs, duties and fees are applicable to your specific airport. Not knowing could result in you paying hefty fines for lacking proper documentation or not following certain rules. If you’re familiar with the actual duties and fees, you can challenge requests for a fine or submit documents accordingly.
2) Hide Luggage Tags
Luggage tags are a useful accessory to identify your luggage. But they can also make you vulnerable to theft and robbery. When at the airport, keep your luggage address tags covered or omit your address altogether. Burglars often hang around airports checking addresses to locate empty homes.
3) Don’t Use Ride Sharing
When you disembark, you’re most likely exhausted and tempted to jump in the next available taxi or rideshare. But travelling with strangers can put you at risk. Your safest bet is to hire an Ontario airport limousine service as they’re reliable and safe, or ask a friend or family member to pick you up.
4) Get Travel Insurance
You spent a lot of time and effort planning your perfect trip, but you may have overlooked the importance of travel insurance.
Although insurance can’t prevent misfortunes, it can compensate you in certain situations, such as::
- Loss or theft of your luggage, passport, travel documents or traveler’s cheques.
- Credit card fraud and replacement.
- Cancellation fees and lost deposits for prepaid travel arrangements.
- Unforeseen accommodation and food expenses because of flight delays of more than six hours.
- Overseas emergency medical assistance.
- Permanent injury or accidental death.
5) Don’t Befriend Just Anyone
When travelling alone, it’s common to get bored at the airport. You may find a few people to talk to, to pass the time. But trusting them too quickly can land you in trouble as they may have bad intentions. Don’t tell anyone where you’re going, your vacation plans or where you live. Also, don’t leave your personal belongings or valuables for them to watch when you go to the restroom.
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6) Be Aware of Suspicious Activity
Stay vigilant at the airport to not only spot security threats but prevent them. Report anything that could indicate terrorism or terrorism-related crime to airport authorities. This could include unusual behaviour, packages left unattended, open doors that are normally closed or anyone taking photographs while hiding their camera.
7) Pack Essentials and Valuables in Your Carry-On Bag
To ensure the safekeeping of your electronics, wallet, medications, valuables and other travel essentials you’ll need access to during your flight, pack them in your carry-on luggage. But make sure you keep an eye on your bag queued for a security check. Being inattentive can result in you becoming a victim of theft. Although airport surveillance cameras can help you detect your bag, the hassle can ruin your trip.
8) Avoid Carrying Large Amounts of Cash
Although there are no limits to how much cash you can bring into Canada, (amounts over $10,000 must be declared), it can be risky. There have been cases of cash being stolen from airports by airline employees and airport workers. Better safe than sorry.
9) Maintain Your Hygiene
The novel coronavirus crisis has shed light on the importance of staying safe and healthy at the airport. Person-to-person transmission of viruses or germs at airports can spread disease internationally. It’s become so serious that the Canadian government has made a series of unprecedented travel bans to curb the spread of COVID-19.
That’s why you should be aware of these same precautions when travelling abroad. Apart from frequent hand washing, maintaining good respiratory hygiene and practicing social distancing, you should also avoid high-touch items such as railings, handles and security bins. If you have to touch them, use hand sanitizer immediately afterwards and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Being vigilant and responsible is the key to a safe travel plan. Booking an airport limo instead of sharing cabs, getting travel insurance and hiding luggage tags will help you, but try to protect others, keep problems at bay and prevent luggage theft. So, next time you go to the airport, make sure you follow these airport safety tips to enjoy a wonderful trip.