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stephanier.1765

Air flight in a dress or skirt

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As someone who is still newish to air travel but will be doing a lot of it in the future, I like to read tips written on blogs from more seasoned travelers. One tip I've seen is not to wear a dress or skirt because that increases your odds of a more thorough, hands-on search. Have you (seasoned travelers) found that to be the case? I like the idea of the free flowing comfort a skirt or dress provides but I have no desire to have an up close and personal search done in one. On my first flight, I was wearing capris and got flagged for an extra search and it wasn't pleasant even then wearing clothes that would not possibly expose any under garments. On the other hand, I like to wear sneakers while flying and I'm not sure I'm the sort who could pull of the skirt and sneakers look. LOL

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yes - it's easier to hide things under a skirt than under pants.

I wore one once - I was patted down to make sure it was only my legs under there, and they also used a wand.

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I prefer to fly in a skirt; it's more comfortable in the long run. That said, I haven't noticed any difference when I fly with pants or with a skirt, as re: the search thing.  

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This depends on the airport. Lately all of the machines I have gone through are doing full body scans and it hasn’t mattered what I have worn. I prefer a dress because I swell a bit on flights > 4 hrs.

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I was searched at a MUCH higher percentage when I wore long skirts and a small head covering every day. Some of it I'm sure was profiling, but I did once have a TSA agent tell me, "You could be hiding a gun under there." I always just wore something under the skirt--capri-length long underwear if it was cold or pettipants / a culllotte slip / knit shorts if it was warm. 

The type of "searches" performed by some agents should be classified as sexual assault. 😡

Edited by MercyA
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I have been wearing skirt/dress on planes for at least 15 years and have never received any special attention at security.  Don't remember ever being touched.  Skirts ranged from just below knee to midcalf.  I fly about 3x/year.

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I always wear dresses. I almost always get patted down because I can never remember to take my Kleenex out of my pocket! 😉 

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I haven't noticed a difference, though I'm only an occasional flyer. I think they're all using the full body scan things now, so unless your skirt has unusual looking pockets that show up on the scanner or something, I think it's probably not that much more likely to flag you as a few years ago when fewer airports were using those. But that's just a guess.

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If you're going to be flying so much just go ahead and get the trusted flyer thing with the govt'. It will get you the shorter lines, the lower power metal detector, and they'll just zip you through. 

If for some fluke reason you were in a skirt and needed a pat down, I would ask for a private room (they always offer) and they would then have two TSA workers present. I get pat downs every time I travel and I have NEVER had a problem with anything inappropriate. It's always a woman (because I'm female) and it's just over and done. If you get a massage, that's way more touching than TSA. And like I said I've probably had 20 pat downs the last few years. I even got patted down for going into a political rally. It's 3 minutes of your life, not fun but not a big deal. And I always have my bud with autism with me, so they're wrangling what happens if they take too long or flip out the kid, lol.

And yes, I get a lot of looks because I send my kid through the radiation and not myself. :biggrin:

 

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2 hours ago, stephanier.1765 said:

I like to wear sneakers while flying

You might rethink that. Slipon loafers would be way more practical. Or velcro Tevas. Something. Those shoes are coming off for security. Well I don't know about the Pre-Check line. Maybe you keep shoes on in the pre-check line? You might. Like I said, you should definitely go for that.

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When I last flew, I wore an ankle-length silk skirt made from an old sari (you can see the style here).   I wore it because it’s thin, but long.  I figured I would be neither too hot nor too cold on the flight.  It worked well for what I wanted.   However, I was pulled aside and checked more carefully, and I thought in the moment that it was because a lot can hide under a skirt that voluminous. 

I wore sandals with bare feet until I got on the plane, and then I popped on a small pair of socks under the sandals because my feet get cold when I’m sitting still for a long time.  But since they were sandals, my feet could swell if they wanted to without getting uncomfortable in shoes.  I never noticed whether they got swollen or not, though. 

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I had never heard that.  I have a friend who always wears a loose skirt on flights, while I always wear jeans; and I am pretty sure I've been given "extra searches" many times more than she has.

Once in my old job, I wore a skirt suit and did get patted down; but I thought it was because the buttons on the top were partly metal.

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15 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

You might rethink that. Slipon loafers would be way more practical. Or velcro Tevas. Something. Those shoes are coming off for security. Well I don't know about the Pre-Check line. Maybe you keep shoes on in the pre-check line? You might. Like I said, you should definitely go for that.

Yes, you don't have to take your shoes off in the pre-check line.

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2 minutes ago, edelweiss said:

Yes, you don't have to take your shoes off in the pre-check line.

You don't have to take your shoes off at a number of different airports now. Same as taking food out of your bag. At some you have to and at others you don't.

But yeah, anyone flying regularly should do the pre-check.

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Here's my thing- how on earth do people just wear sandals, no socks, in airports when they have to take off their shoes. I cannot imagine allowing my bare feet onto that floor! With thousands of peoples bare and socked feet touching it. 

 (Note I usually dont allow my bare feet on hotel room floors either). 

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3 minutes ago, theelfqueen said:

Here's my thing- how on earth do people just wear sandals, no socks, in airports when they have to take off their shoes. I cannot imagine allowing my bare feet onto that floor! With thousands of peoples bare and socked feet touching it. 

 (Note I usually dont allow my bare feet on hotel room floors either). 

Me either, but it usually moot, because I always wear my hardest-to-pack shoes for the flight, so that is never sandals or flip flops.

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Definitely get precheck if you will be flying more than a couple times in a year. It’s something like $75 for 3 years. The lines move quicker, no taking off shoes, no taking electronics out of your bag. Plus everyone in the line travels regularly so they know what they are doing and don’t bog down the line, it’s way easier. I don’t fly enough to have precheck but my husband has it and when I fly with him I usually end up with precheck too.  Even if I don’t get precheck, the kids can go through with him and I get through the regular line more quickly.

I wore a dress on my last flights, no pat downs. I’ve only ever been patted down once (I don’t fly very often so that doesn’t mean too much) and it wasn’t horrible. I mean it felt a little weird but I didn’t feel violated or anything. I was wearing pants that were a bit big and they made me take off my belt so I was worried my pants would fall down, but that was the worst of it. 

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I’ve worn skirts for years and never had a personal search at all.  I’ve had the wand once

DH on the other hand has never worn a skirt and always gets searched 

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I have never noticed a difference either way. I wear what I want. Some of my underwire bras often lead them to use the wand, but that's about it. 

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4 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

DH on the other hand has never worn a skirt and always gets searched 

Love this! 

8 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

Here's my thing- how on earth do people just wear sandals, no socks, in airports when they have to take off their shoes. I cannot imagine allowing my bare feet onto that floor! With thousands of peoples bare and socked feet touching it. 

I wear those slip-on sock things, but I agree. Walking barefoot on that disgusting floor grosses me out. I'll tell you what is the absolute most disgusting thing ever. We were flying to the U.K. and the amount of people walking barefoot around the plane and to the toilets ... unbelievable! That was four years ago and I still cringe every time I think of it. So dirty. Now that you've shared that about hotel rooms, I think I'm going to have to rethink that! I'm going to start having to pack slippers. The older I get, the more OCD I get about these things. 

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I haven't noticed it in other people, although I don't wear dresses myself.  My priority is being warm enough on an airplane.  (Now and then the temperature is cooler than I'd want it to be.)  So, I think I'd be warmer with a pair of even loose pants than a dress.  I have one pair of jeans that always set off a red flag when I walk through the body walk-through scanner (whatever those machines are called!);  it's always in the same place on one leg.  Very weird!  So I'm always pulled aside when I wear those jeans so they can examine that area closely.  It happens even after washing in-between.  There must be some weird thing that got into the fabric there.  Occasionally I'm patted down for one thing or another because we do a lot of flying, probably 20/times a year.  I've never minded being patted down.  It's always been a woman doing it, and they're always respectful -- just doing their job.

My dd is sometimes patted down in her hair area, because she has thick long wavy hair and I guess it looks like she could hide things in it!

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I get cold easily, so I wear leggings with my dress. Sometimes I put the leggings on at the airport. 

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17 hours ago, PeterPan said:

You might rethink that. Slipon loafers would be way more practical. Or velcro Tevas. Something. Those shoes are coming off for security. Well I don't know about the Pre-Check line. Maybe you keep shoes on in the pre-check line? You might. Like I said, you should definitely go for that.

 

You get to keep your shoes on in the pre-check line. And your computer stays in it's case. Plus the line is typically much shorter.

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If you're going to be flying a lot in the future, definitely pay the $85 for Precheck, which is valid for 5 years. You can leave your shoes and jacket on and leave all electronics, food, and liquids in your bags. At all of the airports I fly through, the Precheck line uses a basic metal scanner instead of the full-body scanners. Not only are the lines shorter, but it's so much faster on the other side, since you don't have to put your shoes back on, put all your electronics/food/liquids back in your bags, etc. — just grab and go.

If you think you're likely to do any international traveling in the next 5 years, it's probably worth it to go ahead and get Global Entry instead of Precheck. It's only $15 more, and it lets you skip the lines at Customs & Immigration when you return to the US. The Global Entry number also counts for Precheck on domestic flights, and is valid for 5 years.

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23 hours ago, PeterPan said:

You might rethink that. Slipon loafers would be way more practical. Or velcro Tevas. Something. Those shoes are coming off for security. Well I don't know about the Pre-Check line. Maybe you keep shoes on in the pre-check line? You might. Like I said, you should definitely go for that.

My sneakers are slip ons. Well technically they have laces but I never undo them. I have a pair of keds (also easy on/off) that look cute with dresses and skirts but not so much with socks and it makes me feel gross just thinking of walking on that floor barefoot. Now that I think about it none of my slip ons look great with socks. I wish they'd invent a no-show sock that actually stays in place rather than slipping off my heel.

re: pre check: I've thought about this especially after a I scored a free one on my last flight. It was so much easier and less stressful. As a vegan, I like to carry my own meals and snacks so not having to unpack all that was wonderful. I was wondering if getting it is complicated and stressful. It's also a 35 mile drive through busy city streets to get to the office so that was kind of a turn off. Still I'm going to investigate some more. Zipping through security was awesome.

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The lines at our big city airport are almost never bad, so precheck would be nice but not worth a TON of hassle. But in other major cities I've flown into, the difference with precheck vs. regular can be HOURS. No joke. Orlando is a really bad one for that. Sometimes it's maybe 30-45 minutes (short) and I've waited upwards of 1:45 to 2 hours in line there. Precheck would have been a breeze, super short, dedicated lines. Denver was astonishing too. Now they kept it moving. I'm just saying if you're going to fly regularly, you'll be glad to have it. If you're at all running late, it may save your butt.

Yeah my dd wears those no show socks. Do you have big feet and need the next size up?

Edited by PeterPan
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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Yeah my dd wears those no show socks. Do you have big feet and need the next size up?

No but maybe it's the way I walk??? My DIL has the same size feet though and when we were talking about this subject she said she has the same problem. I came across some in Old Navy that have a gel/rubber/thingie to help keep them from slipping but she said those didn't work either. Should have known because they don't work on the underwear I bought with the same thing to help keep them from riding up.

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I do have big feet and have to buy the large socks but some "no show" cuts have a little tab shape at the heel and that can help. 

Like this 

Cycling Socks, Gmark Comfort Athletic No Show Running for Men and Women with Seamless Toe Daily Fashion Training Sock with Arch Support(3 Packs) Large https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K8QTH6Z/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_aP6mDbVAZ0ZRD

 

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2 hours ago, Corraleno said:

If you're going to be flying a lot in the future, definitely pay the $85 for Precheck, which is valid for 5 years. You can leave your shoes and jacket on and leave all electronics, food, and liquids in your bags. At all of the airports I fly through, the Precheck line uses a basic metal scanner instead of the full-body scanners. Not only are the lines shorter, but it's so much faster on the other side, since you don't have to put your shoes back on, put all your electronics/food/liquids back in your bags, etc. — just grab and go.

If you think you're likely to do any international traveling in the next 5 years, it's probably worth it to go ahead and get Global Entry instead of Precheck. It's only $15 more, and it lets you skip the lines at Customs & Immigration when you return to the US. The Global Entry number also counts for Precheck on domestic flights, and is valid for 5 years.

I agree with all of this.  We got pre-check for the whole family 5 years ago.  It has been so great.  It makes everything so much easier.

I've decided to upgrade all of us to Global Entry this time.  I actually spent today setting up accounts for all of us and submitting the online applications. Now we just need to wait for approval to set up our interviews.  I am sure that we are going to appreciate it when we go back to Europe next year!

 

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2 hours ago, stephanier.1765 said:

My sneakers are slip ons. Well technically they have laces but I never undo them. I have a pair of keds (also easy on/off) that look cute with dresses and skirts but not so much with socks and it makes me feel gross just thinking of walking on that floor barefoot. Now that I think about it none of my slip ons look great with socks. I wish they'd invent a no-show sock that actually stays in place rather than slipping off my heel.

re: pre check: I've thought about this especially after a I scored a free one on my last flight. It was so much easier and less stressful. As a vegan, I like to carry my own meals and snacks so not having to unpack all that was wonderful. I was wondering if getting it is complicated and stressful. It's also a 35 mile drive through busy city streets to get to the office so that was kind of a turn off. Still I'm going to investigate some more. Zipping through security was awesome.

I think you basically fill out an application online but you meet with someone in person for fingerprinting. My husband said it was no big deal, 15 minutes at most.

I agree that at some airports it isn’t that advantageous. But sometimes the airports you think you will breeze through take awhile. 

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16 hours ago, edelweiss said:

I agree with all of this.  We got pre-check for the whole family 5 years ago.  It has been so great.  It makes everything so much easier.

I've decided to upgrade all of us to Global Entry this time.  I actually spent today setting up accounts for all of us and submitting the online applications. Now we just need to wait for approval to set up our interviews.  I am sure that we are going to appreciate it when we go back to Europe next year!

 

 

We love having Global Entry!

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I’m a beeper. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing or what kind of scanner, I beep. I had back surgery 20 years ago and I’m convinced that’s the reason. I wear leggings, shirt and slip on sneakers.

I have been patted down, wand, have them feel inside waistband. 

I fly around in/out of huge airports and have never paid for pre check service. I always give myself enough time to account for long lines.

I’ve flown twice this summer and overheard them say that every person with food in carry on will be stopped. They were even writing down persons name on a sheet.

Edited by gingersmom

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20 minutes ago, gingersmom said:

I’m a beeper. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing or what kind of scanner, I beep. I had back surgery 20 years ago and I’m convinced that’s the reason. I wear leggings, shirt and slip on sneakers.

I have been patted down, wand, have them feel inside waistband. 

I fly around in/out of huge airports and have never paid for pre check service. I always give myself enough time to account for long lines.

I’ve flown twice this summer and overheard them say that every person with food in carry on will be stopped. They were even writing down persons name on a sheet.

I always take a lot of food and I mean a lot.  We have been starving on international flights before so I don't risk it anymore.  

What is wrong with food?  Is this a new thing?  I flew to Europe and Australia last year without any issues.

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