Tips To Stay Safe in an Airport

A man walking in an airport terminal, along with his suitcase behind
A man in an airport terminal

Security is a major common issue in many airports worldwide. In 2012, the Daily Mail revealed that JFK (John F. Kennedy International Airport) had over 200 checked luggage thefts daily. In addition, the airport claimed that their employees were involved in the theft. To avoid damaging its brand, the airline tagged the incident as misplaced luggage.

Most airports are highly demanding environments. This is evident due to seasonal traffic, fluctuating passenger volumes, and last-minute gate changes, which require lots of flexibility.

Corrupt officials and individuals, thieves, and smugglers often target airports for their nefarious activities. Even though airport authorities do their best to maintain high levels of security 24/7, travelers also need to take some precautions.

If you are on a short-distance or long-distance trip via air, we’ll provide tips to keep you safe at any airport.

Quick Answer
To stay safe in an airport, you need to practice self-hygiene, get travel insurance, avoid sharing rides with strangers, hide all luggage tags, refrain from carrying large amounts of cash, stay vigilant, and do your homework about your destination.

8 Tips To Keep Yourself Safe in an Airport

Here are some airport safety tips:

1. Always do your homework

Airport security and customs officials in many airports worldwide can be corrupt.

According to CNN, 30,621 cases of missing valuables were observed from a study of lost property claims filed with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from 2010 to 2014. Over 25,000 of the reported cases were from checked luggage. 

If you are traveling to a particular country for the first time, you need to do your homework before take-off.

Go online to research what fees and duties usually apply to the particular airport you will visit. If you don’t know this, you could inadvertently subject yourself to paying hefty and unnecessary fines due to a lack of proper documentation or not following some specific rules.

Get familiar with the official fees and duties. This will encourage you to challenge any request for fines or submit essential documents accordingly.

2. Take pictures of your traveling companions

If you are traveling with your family, especially your kids, it’s best to take pictures of everyone once you arrive at the airport.

The picture will show their outfits and faces and help the authorities find your kids, should any get lost. No one hopes for the worst scenario, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

3. Get travel insurance

According to a 2016 research by Statista, around 40% of European respondents stated that emergency medical transport was among the top three benefits of travel insurance. In addition, 50% of the respondents stated that medical coverage is another top benefit. Furthermore, 47% believe protection against trip cancellation is another essential benefit of travel insurance.

Therefore, travel insurance is essential. Insurance cannot prevent misfortunes, but it does compensate you in situations such as:

  • Accidental death or permanent injury
  • Unforeseen food and accommodation expenses due to flight delays lasting over 6 hours,
  • Theft or loss of your passport, luggage, travel documents, traveler’s checks, etc.
  • Lost deposits and cancellation fees for pre-paid travel arrangements
  • Trip cancellations
  • Credit card fraud/replacement
  • Emergency medical assistance overseas

These are just some of the issues travel insurance covers.

4. Avoid sharing rides

Traveling with strangers via rideshare can put your life at risk.

In 2018, The Sun revealed that Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamud, a former terrorist suspect with several convictions, gained access to Heathrow Airport’s runway and baggage-handling areas through a temporary security pass. 

Therefore, if you feel jet lagged and only wish to get to the nearest hotel for a shower and a nap, don’t be tempted to jump into the nearest or next rideshare or taxi with a stranger.

You can always ask a friend or family member to pick you up at the airport. You may also hire a vehicle that helps keep you safe.

5. Hide all luggage tags

Luggage tags are essential accessories that make it easy to identify your luggage readily. However, tags can also make you susceptible to attack, theft, or robbery.

In 2012, the Daily News revealed that less than 400 TSA officers had been sacked for stealing from passengers since 2003.

Therefore, cover your luggage address tags or omit your home address at the airport.

6. Stay vigilant

Always be vigilant at any airport you find yourself in. This is crucial, especially if you are on a long-distance trip and you need to endure several hours associated with long stopovers.

Your vigilance will help you spot and prevent any security threats on time. If anything looks remotely suspicious, find the closest airport security official to make a report.

In 2017, The United States Department of Justice reported that twelve current and ex-TSA and airport employees were charged for trafficking close to 20 tons of cocaine from 1998 to 2016.

Therefore, watch out for packages seemingly left unattended, unusual behavior from any passenger, anyone taking random photographs with a hidden camera you can spot, and open doors that are usually closed during busy hours, etc.

7. Do not carry large amounts of cash

Experts strongly advise against carrying large amounts of cash on your person since this can be risky. Several cases of airport workers or employees stealing cash in airports are all over news blogs.

In 2018, five armed robbers from a Lufthansa cargo plane invaded Viracopos International Airport in São Paulo and ripped off $5,000,000 (About GBPb£3,511,000) cash in six minutes.

Therefore, you should consider using interbank transfer services if you need to move considerable amounts to the location you’re headed.

8. Watch your hygiene

The recent coronavirus pandemic has shown the importance of keeping good personal hygiene and staying safe at an airport.

An airport is a place where people from different walks of life meet. You might never know the kind of diseases or viruses looming in their bodies. Several diseases can easily be transmitted by air or through physical contact. You’re at even more risk if you have a pending health condition. 

Therefore, observe social distancing, use hand sanitizer, wear a face mask, and avoid touching handles, railings, security bins, or other metallic objects. Prevention is always better than cure!


Being responsible and highly vigilant is the primary responsibility of any air traveler.

Many airports and airlines hardly disclose negative reports about the traveling space to protect their business and investment. But we’ve provided undiluted information on tips that will help prevent luggage theft and keep you safe while traveling.

Therefore, follow these tips to protect yourself and those around you at the airport. This will also help lower the risk of nefarious schemes unscrupulous individuals plan and execute from time to time. 

Have you traveled before? If you have, have you experienced luggage theft or any bad experience? Did you get your belongings back? How did you resolve it? We’ll be expecting your comments.

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