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Flying to get "K" on Sunday - Advice for avoiding attention ...?


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... in the airports. Okay, so if you've read my last thread, you know that there is a H1N1/pneumonic plague scare that erupted in Ukraine shortly after dh and flew home after our court date.

 

If you didn't see the last thread, here's a link to an article that questions what this scare really is: http://thebirdflupandemic.com/archives/mutant-h1n1-swine-flu-or-pneumonic-plague-number-of-people-in-ukraine-with-mystery-illness-almost-doubles-in-two-days-to-nearly-half-a-million

 

So, I'm going. I'm taking Tamiflu and an antibiotic for both K and me in case we really do get sick. As well as Motrin, Tylenol, and Robitussin should we just need to mask some mild symtoms.

 

And here's where I would love advice. Part of what I'll need to do is just avoid drawing attention so that my bags don't get searched, we don't get detained, etc. SO, what suggestions do you have to help us avoid scrutiny. Would you pack all that medicine in your checked bag or in your carry-on. I don't want it to get taken from me. Advice? TIA!!!

.

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If you don't want it searched or confiscated I would put it in your CHECKED bag. All bags for carry-on are x-rayed and/or searched and liquids are banned.

 

Of course, on international flights they may check ALL bags. They checked all of our bags on international flights, but they were military flights so I don't know if that makes a difference. (I remember sweating over the dog sniffing my bag because I left a half of a sandwhich in there. He walked right on by. Good boy!)

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Hope your trip goes well.

 

In my very small travel experience, the best way to avoid being searched/checked is to look like someone who SHOULD be searched. They check me every. single. time. I am way too average!:glare: The guy in front of or behind me who looks like and most likely has illegal drugs on his person; him they NEVER check.

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Don't wear an underwire bra. Mine set off the metal detector at the airport and I had to be wand-searched......and it was my bra! I paid big bucks for it at Nordstroms, too. :glare:

 

It was very embarrassing. I took the thing off and threw it in the trash....got an all cotton sports bra for the flight back.....no probs with the metal detector at all :D

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Grr, i just lost my post.

 

I would make sure your medicines are in your checked baggage. Do not conceal them. Pop them in with your toiletries or similar. If you are really worried get a letter from your Dr or pharmacist saying they are for you. Don't take really large bottles or amounts just enough for you and K. Perhaps you would divide the medications between 2 toiletry bags if you loose one you would still have the other. Make sure all tablets remain in their packaging.

 

We have travelled fairly extensively with our kids and always carry medications. We have never had anything confiscated but have been checked several times. They are never checking for the meds always for other things that show up on the scans.

 

Don't carry anything else that they may want to confiscate like food, wood products etc. Not sure how strick their boarder is. Coming back to Oz is tough.

 

Try to be yourself and not be concerned if they want to check your baggage. They might be looking for something else, like baby/hygiene wipes which will show up as organic.

Edited by Amber in AUS
typo
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Somewhere - New Zealand, Singapore? - I bought medicines once I had checked in, and the airport pharmacy placed them in a bag and sealed it. This would certainly bi-pass any problems, so it might be worth checking if your airport has a pharmacy, and if they would do anything similar.

 

We have travelled a fair amount over the past 5 years as expats, and I've never had any problems with typical small medicine bottles, in hand luggage or checked.

 

Coming into Australia for the first time we got checked because they thought I had plant materials, some sort of seeds, they thought. I was completely baffled, until they unearthed a bag of small jelly baby candies / sweets / lollies! So anything can set off a check.

 

In dealing with officials, particularly if you are way out of your home region, it has always been my experience that politeness, humility and respect can get you out of most situations where your "offense" is accidental. We have smiled our way through an expired visa (although did pay the fine), accidental entry into a country without passing customs, "illegally" bringing fishing equipment into a country (we had left it at luggage check, not taken it with us to the hotel) and have been allowed to enter a country when one of the childrens' passports had recently expired. I am not suggesting we take any pleasure in breaking rules, as we don't. I am saying that officials are people doing jobs, and are likely to respond to your attitude. A bad attitude can cause a lot of problems, even if you are technically innocent.

 

Good luck on your exciting trip!

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Coming into Australia for the first time we got checked because they thought I had plant materials, some sort of seeds, they thought. I was completely baffled, until they unearthed a bag of small jelly baby candies / sweets / lollies! So anything can set off a check.

:lol:

I got picked up in Heathrow just after 9/11 with what they thought was a drill bit in my carryon. We almost missed our flight over a small spiral bronze brush, kind of like a bottle brush. It went into checked luggage from that point.

 

Our baby wipes and nappies always show as organic and get checked. We took our potty to KL and the officials laughed when they saw it on the scan :lol:

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(I remember sweating over the dog sniffing my bag because I left a half of a sandwhich in there. He walked right on by. Good boy!)

 

When I was 18 and my sister was 10 we fly by ourselves. I told my sister to stay with our carry-on while I went to get our suitcases. I turn around to see a security guy with a dog talking to her. I walked over, and he asked me if it was my bag and if I'd been with it at all times. He asked me to open the bag. My heart was pounding because I thought maybe someone had put something in it while we were on the plane. I opened the zipper and the dog's head disappeared into the bag. The man opened the bag wider too see what the dog had found. The dog was sniffing my sister's cookie! The man scolded the dog telling him he'd had his breakfast and it was time for work. :lol:

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I would keep meds with me in the carry on. As long as they are in their original containers it does not matter how much is in there even liquid. They look for the label and sometimes they open the bottles, but you really should not have any trouble. Meds are one of the exceptions to the rules for obvious reasons, because if some diabetic or heart patient dies on their flight after being denied meds that would be a HUGE lawsuit. This topic comes up alot in my circle of friends lol.

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I used to be a border guard before kids.

 

Security will check you like usual. Customs and immigration people will probably not bug you. Look happy. Look excited. Tell everyone that you're bringing home your newly adopted daughter. Smile. No matter what is happening, just try to roll with it.

 

While we spent a lot of time looking for contraband & people using fake documents & illegals & refugee claimants etc etc etc, most people are just honest travellers or immigrants. Many border guards usually like a feel good story as much as anyone else. I chatted & made small talk with lots of people who were immigrating properly while we processed all their documents etc. It doesn't have to be awful.

 

Mind you, even my American friends say that the US guys are way meaner than the Canadian side.....

 

And I'm the most paranoid traveller because I know the extent of the powers that border guards have & that IS scary. Search, seizure, detention - all without warrants...... it's a good thing the power didn't go to my head LOL.

 

For liquid meds, check airline rules. For OTC tablets, a reasonable supply in your luggage is ok. Prescription should be clearly labelled with drs name etc & again in a reasonable supply.

 

best wishes

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I would keep meds with me in the carry on. As long as they are in their original containers it does not matter how much is in there even liquid. They look for the label and sometimes they open the bottles, but you really should not have any trouble.
I would NOT keep it in the carry-on, specifically if it is liquid. I had a couple of bottles of cold medicine (unopened) in a carry-on this past summer and it was all confiscated.

 

I get checked and extra-checked every single time I fly, I doubt there is anything I personally could do to avoid that. However, in the case of the kind of meds you're talking about I would pack them in checked luggage. If it was a true medical necessity that you had the meds I would have a doctor's note and carry them on board; if you can get that kind of certificate for what you're taking, I maybe would take it in a carry-on, but otherwise no.

 

I also second whoever said that you should be open and friendly (not in a weird, over-the-top manner). Even though I am always tagged for extra checking (and sometimes questioning) at least the people conducting it have always been friendly and matter-of-fact, I think in part due to my openness and friendliness.

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Try to balance this with the thought that these rumors are running high in front of a huge national election in the Ukraine. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1934946,00.html

 

There are also rumors of interrupted gas supplies from the Ukraine for Western Europe again this winter. While the flu is here in Europe, and in some places very prevelent. It is no more virelent than in the US. Bring enough medicine for the two of you, some hand sanitizer, warm clothing and good shoes and you'll be just fine. Have a wonderful trip.

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All great advice. My concern isn't during "normal" times the meds would get confiscated. They're all reasonable amounts, in original packaging, etc. My concern is that the degree of hysteria could bring an unusual amount of scrutiny. And, b/c the pharmacies have been emptied of meds and there are no face masks, hand sanitizer, etc., in the country, that mine could get taken by someone who sees the opportunity for personal gain. I have been asked by my facilitator to bring extra masks, sanitizer, etc. for the orphans and so I will have a larger supply of these than normal. I am not taking extra meds, but I am taking a larger than normal amount of the other supplies. (Now, I know that the masks don't really help, but the orphanage director has requested them. And when the orphanage director asks you to jump, the right answer is "How high?)

 

So, are these reasonable concerns, or not ...

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I would just be upfront with all security if questioned. I don't think your concern over dangerous germs should sound alarming to anyone. Just fyi, the weirdest things can trigger a search. Recently an overabundance of Hot Wheels metal cars in my son's carry-on got us thoroughly searched. If you can get the rapid-melt tablets or chewables for any of that usually liquid OTC med, that would help. If not, I'd leave it sealed to show it's new and untampered w/. Best wishes!

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Singapore is very concerned with medicine and I had even minor bottles opened and inspected. I also had a doctor's prescription with me.

 

Dawn

 

Somewhere - New Zealand, Singapore? - I bought medicines once I had checked in, and the airport pharmacy placed them in a bag and sealed it. This would certainly bi-pass any problems, so it might be worth checking if your airport has a pharmacy, and if they would do anything similar.

 

We have travelled a fair amount over the past 5 years as expats, and I've never had any problems with typical small medicine bottles, in hand luggage or checked.

 

Coming into Australia for the first time we got checked because they thought I had plant materials, some sort of seeds, they thought. I was completely baffled, until they unearthed a bag of small jelly baby candies / sweets / lollies! So anything can set off a check.

 

In dealing with officials, particularly if you are way out of your home region, it has always been my experience that politeness, humility and respect can get you out of most situations where your "offense" is accidental. We have smiled our way through an expired visa (although did pay the fine), accidental entry into a country without passing customs, "illegally" bringing fishing equipment into a country (we had left it at luggage check, not taken it with us to the hotel) and have been allowed to enter a country when one of the childrens' passports had recently expired. I am not suggesting we take any pleasure in breaking rules, as we don't. I am saying that officials are people doing jobs, and are likely to respond to your attitude. A bad attitude can cause a lot of problems, even if you are technically innocent.

 

Good luck on your exciting trip!

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I don't know how recent this is: http://adventuretravel.about.com/od/adventuretravelbasics/a/updatecarryon.htm

 

I haven't gone overseas for 3 years and when I went they were really overly concerned and not allowing anything without a prescription.

 

My parents just left for Kenya Monday and they were able to take liquid medications, my mom took her inhaler, and they had several meds with them. My father is a doctor though so they never get questioned once they find that out for the most part.

 

Dawn

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I've never flown internationally, just within Canada ~ but I just thought I'd mention, things that have magnets in them can catch the attention of the people on the scanners... or so we discovered when we flew a little while back --- dd12 had a backpack loaded with Littlest Pet Shops, and because they all have little tiny magnets in their feet, they showed weird on the scanner (I guess)... the lady was all puzzled and digging through them, wondering what they were - guess she didn't have any little girls. :tongue_smilie:

 

On the other hand, I had a lighter AND a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse on another trip and both went through the scanner and never got noticed --- lighters and liquids are supposed to be put in plastic baggies and put through *with* (not in) your stuff... I'd forgotten I had those and only noticed later on the plane when I went looking in my purse for something.

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