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Airport Safety Tips
An airport is a busy and bustling place. Lots of people rushing around trying to make their flights. But not all those people are going on vacation or a business trip. In fact, some of them have no intention of flying anywhere. Airports are busy and the people in them are often distracted. They make an ideal hunting ground for criminals. Thieves can blend into the background, pounce, and then disappear into the crowds again. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to protect yourself against airport crime. As always, staying alert is the first step. Here are some more airport safety tips to help keep you safe the next time you travel by air.
1. Keep Your Personal Belongings with You All the Time
Thieves will be on the lookout for unattended baggage. So, keep your bags with you and keep your eye on them. If you go to the bathroom, take your bags with you. If you eat in a restaurant or have a drink in a bar, keep your bags where you can see them. Never leave your bags with a stranger. It could be a thief waiting for just such an opportunity. As well as the risk of theft, unattended baggage might also trigger a security alert. Then, your bags may be removed, and possibly even destroyed.
2. Don’t Drink Too Much!
It may be tempting to have a few drinks before a flight, but don’t get carried away. If you drink too much, you may become careless and let your guard down. Should you look like you are drunk, thieves will make you a target. If you are very drunk, security may stop you boarding your flight.
3. Hide Your Luggage Tags
If you have your name and address on your luggage tags, keep the tags hidden while you are at the airport. It has been known for burglars to get the addresses of people going on vacation from their luggage tags at airports.
4. Carry Money and Cards in a Money Belt
Don’t wander around an airport with wallet in your back pocket. Pickpockets operate at most major airports. The best way to keep money and credit cards safe when you are travelling is to wear a money belt. They are cheap and they keep your valuable items out of the reach of thieves.
5. If It’s Very Valuable, Carry it With You
As a rule, it is advisable to leave very valuable items at home when you travel. If you do take something valuable with you, it is better to keep it with you rather than putting it in your checked in baggage. Bags do go astray at airports, and not all baggage handlers are as honest as they should be.
6. Keep an Eye on Your Valuables as You go Through Security
When you go through airport security keep an eye on the small items that you place in the tray. It has been known for light-fingered security staff to steal watches and wallets. It would also be quite easy for another passenger to help themselves to your belongings. So, keep a close eye on your belongings as they pass through the X-ray machine.
7. Use an Anti-theft Backpack for Your Carry-on Luggage
When you are walking around the airport, shopping or just waiting for your flight, don’t forget to keep an eye on your carry-on luggage. A backpack makes carrying your carry-on luggage easy, but it will be a target for pickpockets. Play it safe. Invest in an anti-theft backpack. They stop pickpockets and they prevent thieves slashing your bag open with a knife.
8. Don’t Carry Large Amounts of Cash
Credit cards can be stopped, but cash can only be spent. Don’t carry large amounts of cash with you in an airport. If a thief spots it, you will become an instant target. There have even been cases of cash being stolen by security staff at airports. When security personnel pat you down, they have the perfect opportunity to help themselves to your cash.
9. Don’t Make Friends Too Easily
Waiting for your flight can be boring. Starting a conversion with a fellow passenger to pass the time is natural. Be careful what information you give to a Stanger, though. Don’t talk about where you are going, what your itinerary is, or where you live. That friendly stranger could be a criminal fishing for information about you.
10. Steer Clear of Deserted Areas of the Airport
If you are taking a very late flight, the airport may not be very busy. That will mean that some areas of the airport will be deserted. Avoid going to places like the bathroom if there is no one else in it. Go in with a friend or wait until someone else goes into the bathroom. If you hang around somewhere where there are no people, someone may try to steal your belongings or attack you.
11. Keep Your Phone Calls Private
Try to find a quiet spot to make and take phone calls at an airport. Move away from the crowds and be aware of who may be listening. While you are telling your friend that you are going on a three-week vacation, a criminal might be listening in. Then all they need to do is get your address from your luggage tags. They will then have your address and they will know that they have three weeks to burgle your home.
12. Don’t Ask a Stranger to Take Your Photo
If you are traveling alone, you might want a photo of yourself at the airport. Don’t give your phone to a stranger and ask them to take the picture. They might step back from you, get you to pose, and then disappear with your phone!
Millions of people travel safely through airports every day. But airport crime is more common than most people realize. With so many people in one crowded space, some crime is inevitable. If you stay alert, though, and you follow these airport safety tips, you can avoid becoming a victim of airport crime.
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