Glasgow Airport Security

Airport security header for glasgow airport

Don’t let security add stress to your journey, Glasgow Airport security is there for your protection and you’ll be through and on to Duty Free in no time!

Glasgow Airport’s had improvements in their body scanners and added security measures so it’s worth keeping up to date with our social media and blogs for the latest.

How long to leave for your Glasgow Airport Flight

To leave plenty of time to check-in your luggage, clear security and find your gate, you should leave plenty of time. For more tips on planning your journey, see our advice to get you on your flight in time.

Here are the Glasgow passenger deadlines:

Glasgow Airport Guide recommends leaving 3 house for International Departures
At the Glasgow Airport Guide, we recommend leaving 2 house for European Departures
Please leave at least 90 minutes to catch a domestic flight from Glasgow Airport

Here’s what we advise on getting to the airport. How long you should leave to clear check in and security.

To check when your flight departs, check our Flight Arrivals and Flight Departure sections.

For International flights, check in 3 hours before your flight. It sounds like a long time but it’s important that Glasgow see all the right checks go through – and that means there’s more time to have fun and browse Duty Free! European and Domestic Flights should be given 2 hours before departing to clear security.

Getting through security in four easy steps

What can I take with me?
Liquids, toiletries and make up

  • You can take these things – make-up, toiletries, perfume and aftershave – through Glasgow Security – but make sure it’s packaged correctly to see you through security. You’ll need a clear resealable bag (max-wize 20cm x 20cm) but Glasgow usually offer these from stations before security. You can only take a maximum 100ml with you on the flight.
  • Can I take razors with my toiletries? Some airports will let you take razors set in a plastic mould in your hand luggage but generally, do not pack razors in your hand luggage through Glasgow Airport. Keep things simple and pack it in your main hold luggage.
  • Security officers won’t hesitate to stop you taking large bottles on the plane – no matter how expensive it was. So when packing, consider whether it’s worth taking your expensive perfumes and make-up products in your hand luggage. Again, we recommend packing it safely in your hold luggage.

Electrical items – such as mobiles, kindles.

  • If taking your electrical items in hand luggage, remove them from your bag when at security check, before you reach the security x-ray area. These items can include things from hair dryers and straighteners, to laptops and large cameras and tablets.
  • Any small electrical items can be stored in your hold luggage except for e-cigarrettes which must be presented with your hand luggage. See the government guidelines if you’re worried on what you can take through security.
  • Can you take batteries through Glasgow Security? The answer is… it depends. Small batteries for phones, cameras etc. can be carried in hold or in hand luggage but you might find security guards have to check or query any medical or lithium batteries. If in doubt, check the Civil Aviation Authority Guide on what you can and cannot take.

Laptops and other large electrical items (e.g. hairdryers)

  • These have to be removed from cabin baggage and screened separately.


  • Before reaching security area, remove coats, jackets, belts, jumpers, high heel shoes, watches, metal jewellery.

Loose items

  • Empty your pockets and if in doubt, it goes into the trays! You’ll have to remove anything from your trousers and shirt pockets: keys, mobile phones, coins, other metal items. Sometimes you may be asked to remove any belts or shoes with metal eye-caps or toe-caps.
  • The airline you are flying with will have their own size and weight restrictions applied to cabin bags (hand luggage). Please ask your airline for more details. EasyJet, as an example, allows 1 item of cabin luggage per passenger, with the size limit set to 50cm x 40cm x 20cm, including handles and wheels. It’s worth checking security measures before you fly.
  • All items of luggage which do not fit in the permitted cabin baggage size must be checked in to be placed in the aircraft hold.

X-Ray of passport through Glasgow Security

Musical instruments

  • Instruments which do not fit in the permitted cabin baggage size are allowed as a second item of cabin baggage. You’ll need to let guards screened them seperately and passengers should check with their airlines if they have special requests/requirements (e.g. purchasing an extra seat for larger instruments).

Other large or specialist items

  • Pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs are permitted but will be screened.
  • If items are confiscated at security control you will not be compensated and, with the exception of unusual circumstances, the confiscated items will not be returned.
  • Syringes that are needed for diabetics and other medical reasons will only be allowed in hand luggage if you can prove the medical necessity. You may wish to phone the airline in advance to find out what they require as proof of your medical condition.


Essential medicines and baby food may be permitted in larger quantities above the 100ml limit, but will be subject to authentication.

Duty free / departure lounge purchases

  • You may take on board liquid items of any size that are purchased after the security check in the Departure lounge.
  • Most duty free or similar purchases will be given to you in a special sealed bag. Do not open this bag until you have reached your final destination. You should also retain your proof of purchase throughout your journey. You will be required to show it at all transfer points.
  • See more about Duty Free and Glasgow’s Airport lounges.
Taking sports equiptment through Glasgow Airport? Hints and Tips
Don't pack these items! Razor blades and more through Glasgow
Airport Guide's advice on taking medicines through Glasgow
Travelling with a baby? What you need to know when taking young children through Glasgow Airport
Which liquids, creams and gels you can take to Glasgow Airport
What are your ideal bag measurements for hand and hold luggage at Glasgow

All Luggage – What Not To Pack

Here are a number of other items that must not be taken on board an aircraft or through security, either as hand luggage or in the hold. Please do not pack the following anywhere in your carry on or check in luggage:

Prohibited Items
Flammable liquids and solids Oxidisers
Organic peroxides Gas cylinders
Infectious substances Wet car cell batteries
Instruments containing magnets Instruments containing mercury
Magnetrons Fireworks
Non-safety matches, fire lighters, lighter fuel Paints, thinners
Poisons, arsenic, cyanide, weedkiller Acids, corrosives, alkalis, caustic soda
Creosote, quicklime, oiled paper Radioactive materials

Page last updated 31st October 2017.

How does Glasgow Airport Security work?

What are the steps for body scanners, what to do if you’re patted down or called to one side, what are they looking for and how to prepare.

Security guard on airport escalator: Glasgow Airport

In short, they’re looking for any illegal/undeclared items.

Before going in, you’ll need to seperate any liquids and put them into a clear plastic bag (Glasgow Airport Security can usually supply you with these). Place this bag with any hand luggage and anything metal into one or more trays provided to go on the conveyor belt and through the security scanner. It’s nothing to worry about, they’re just checking you’re not letting undeclared or illegal items onto the plane.

The body scanner, again, is looking for undeclared/ illegal items. One thing you may notice is that it picks up large amounts of metal. Earrings are usually ok (and easy to explain if asked) but if you’re wearing a belt or boots with large eye-caps in them, you may be asked to take them off.

Is it damaging to go through a scanner if you’re pregnant? Tests have shown that you’ll be fine, but if you are worried, you can always ask for a physical pat-down rather than electronic scanner.

Picking up your items on the other side of security. If you’re travelling with a large group, it’s often a good idea for the person who gets through first, to collect everyone’s items as they come through the other side.

Often some members of your party may be spot checked or pulled over for forgetting to take their belt off through the scanner – this can cause blockage in items or for some things to go missing.

In short, no-one enjoys going through security so the important thing is staying calm and answering any questions as best you can. Unless you’re carrying something you shouldn’t be, you’ve got nothing to worry about. So long as you follow our handy security guide here, you’ll be fine.

What to do if a Security or Immigration guard is rude at the airport.

Unfortunately, passengers are in a rush and security have an important job to do… often they don’t go together well.

It’s difficult to judge because airport security officers have to perform pat-downs, it’s part of their job. And often they may be ruder than your average customer service representative because they’re doing an important job and need to be authoritative.

However, if you have experienced unneccessary rudeness or wish to make a complaint, you can contact their complaints body.