How To Get A Secret Engagement Ring Through Airport Security

Photo by Barry Bahler

It's "proposal season," as much as such a thing exists. And if you plan a surprise proposal during your next trip, you don't want to expose the engagement ring to your partner while you both go through airport security. So you need to pack it carefully.

The UK's East Midlands Airport established a little system to make sure you and your partner go to separate security lines. Call them (here's their number) and they will give you a code word to say to security personnel.

It's not as fun in Australia, where airport security take quarantine very seriously, so acting suspicious about a hidden item in your baggage is not going to fly. Over in the U.S. they also have some strict security rules, with the TSA on high alert for suspicious activity, so the best way to go is having a sly word with your officer to get some help either distracting your partner or having it whisked through the scanner in your carry on.

A TSA representative told Lifehacker that there's no code word, but that you can easily get your ring through security without your partner seeing. Here's what they suggest:

Keep It in Your Carry-On

Don't keep the ring on your person. While a ring in a carry-on bag doesn't trigger a bag check, a ring in your pocket might trigger the alarm, and you'll have to take it out in front of everyone.

The TSA also advises against putting valuables in your checked baggage, where they're more likely to get lost or stolen.

Pack Conservatively

Don't put anything else in your carry-on that could trigger an alarm. Now is not the time to test the limits of the rules on nail files or liquids. If you've packed anything else that might trigger a bag search, pull it out of your bag before you run it through the x-ray. That includes all your electronics and anything heavy and metal.

None of this guarantees that the TSA won't single you out for an extra search. Travel + Leisure suggests you add a note to the box you've stored the ring in.


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