Gatwick Airport announces 400 new security staff starting ahead of busy summer season and reveals top five hand luggage items rejected in scanner

After a busy few weeks, Gatwick Airport is working to reduce security delays ahead of the busy summer holiday period with more than 400 new security staff having started in recent weeks, with more still being recruited.

To further help make airport security a smooth process, Gatwick is urging passengers to prepare ahead of time by placing all liquids, creams, gels, balms and pastes in one resealable, transparent bag – separate to hand luggage – when going through airport security.

To help passengers prepare, the airport has also today revealed that the top five items’ passengers most frequently forget to remove from their hand luggage before security screening are toothpaste, Vaseline, cigarette lighters, inhalers, and hand sanitiser.

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In recent weeks, around 10,000 hand luggage items going through the scanner are currently rejected and need to be searched every day – which adds an average of five minutes to the time taken to pass through security. At peak times this can contribute to delays.

After a busy few weeks, Gatwick Airport is working to reduce security delays ahead of the busy summer holiday period with more than 400 new security staff having started in recent weeks, with more still being recruited. Picture by Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Since 2006, UK passengers have been required to place all liquids, creams, gels, balms and pastes up to a maximum of 100ml (with the exception of medication accompanied by a doctor’s note or prescription) in one resealable, transparent bag, separate to their hand luggage, as they travel through security.

More advice on airport security can be found on the Gatwick Airport website and, ahead of the school summer holidays, Gatwick has also today joined other VINCI Airports by promoting five simple travel tips on its social media channels for passengers ahead of busy summer period.

These include getting ready for airport security, keeping travel essentials handy, staying friendly to airport staff, and arriving at least two hours before the flight (see full version of travel tips below).

Gatwick’s recovery has seen the airport re-establish its extensive short-haul network to destinations across Europe and grow its long-haul network, which now serves 40 routes, including across the USA Canada and Asia.

To further help make airport security a smooth process, Gatwick is urging passengers to prepare ahead of time by placing all liquids, creams, gels, balms and pastes in one resealable, transparent bag – separate to hand luggage – when going through airport security

The school summer holidays will see several million passengers travelling through Gatwick, with top short-haul destinations including Barcelona, Malaga and Dublin, and top long-haul routes including Dubai, Toronto and Orlando.

Adrian Witherow, chief operating officer, Gatwick Airport said: “With passenger numbers rapidly returning to 2019 levels, we expect to be busy, particularly at peak times such as weekends and the forthcoming school summer holidays.

“We are doing everything possible to make the airport process as smooth as possible, including recruiting and training hundreds of new security staff, many of whom have already started or will be in coming weeks.

“It’s also important however that we do what we can to help passengers prepare for security before reaching the trays.

”We understand many already do this, but by publishing the list of top items that are currently being forgotten, we hope to get even more people through airport security quickly, so they can go on and relax ahead of their flight, enjoy a drink or sit down for a meal.”

Travel tips being promoted by Gatwick

Get set for security

Before reaching security, remove your laptop, tablet or similar electronic devices from your hand luggage to be inspected separately.

Coats, jackets and belts should also be removed and remember, you can only take liquids in individual containers with a maximum capacity of 100ml on the plane.

Each item should be removed from hand luggage and placed in a transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of not more than one litre capacity per passenger.

Check travel requirements

Double-check travel requirements to and from your chosen destination before you leave for the airport and make sure you have the correct documentation ready at check-in.

Arrive on time

Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport as soon as check-in opens for their flight. Typically, this is three hours for long-haul and between two and two-and-a-half hours for short-haul

Keep travel essentials handy

Make sure your tickets and boarding pass, travel insurance, driving licence, currency and credit cards are safe but easily accessible, carry a charger for your smartphone and have your airline information ready.

Let’s stay friendly and take it easy

Let’s always treat others how we would like to be treated. Our teams are really going to great lengths to make your airport experience as pleasant as possible.

Please be mindful to interact with them with kindness and courtesy. We are at your entire disposal and here to help!