How to make sure airport security doesn't ruin your secret engagement plans 

How to to sneak an engagement ring through security

Ding dong! So, you'd like the wedding bells to chime for you and your other half? Congratulations!

What's more, if you're reading this, chances are you've decided where, when and how you'd like to propose. Call us Detective Inspector Claimscore if you like, but it looks to us like you've decided to ask for your beloved's hand on a holiday. 

So, how do you travel with an engagement ring concealed safely in your luggage, without airport security ruining your carefully planned surprise? 

Well, don't worry. Follow the advice below and you'll be just fine.

8 tips to sneak your engagement ring through security checks

  1. Don't put the ring in your hold luggage unless you want to risk it getting lost or stolen.
  2. Don't keep it on your person. If the alarm goes off when you walk through security you don't want anyone to find it when they pat you down. Jason found this out the hard way. You'll find out how his proposal went, a little later on.
  3. Don't wrap it up. If security find the box they will ask you to unwrap it and that will be hard impossible to hide from your partner.
  4. Do put it in your cabin luggage. In a shoe, your wash bag, a packet of tissues. At the very least, make sure it's well covered or buried (just make sure there's nothing in your bag that will set off the alarm as it's goes through the X-ray machine. We've compiled a list of confiscated cabin luggage items for you below.
  5. Do write a little note to accompany it. Not to your (hopefully) soon-to-be fiance, but to the security staff. If they find the ring, they'll also find your note telling them you're planning to propose. 
  6. Do keep the ring in its box. This will protect it and make it easier for you to find.
  7. Do try to enter a different security queue to your other half. This will reduce the chances of your partner spotting anything suspicious happening if you or your bag get checked.
  8. Do remain calm.

What NOT to pack in your luggage if you want to sail through security

Making your way through airport security without being checked or setting off an alarm can be quite a feat.  Sometimes it feels like there's a new banned item every time you fly.

There are confiscated hand luggage items in the following categories.

What's banned in baby food and milk? Frozen milk.

What's banned in personal items? Knives, corkscrews, scissors with a blade over 6cm, non-safety matches...

What's banned in work tools? Tools with a blade, drills and drill bits, Stanley knives, hammers, pliers...

All chemicals and toxic substances

All ammunition (doh!)

And finally... which liquids are banned? 

Liquids deserve their own little section, as these are the items which most often catch us out. You CAN take most liquids in your hand luggage, BUT only in containers up to 100ml. And you must be able to fit them all in one clear plastic bag, no bigger than 20cm x 20cm.

Liquids include all drinks, perfume, makeup items, creams, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, contact lens solution and lots more.

Of course there are always a few exceptions:

  1. Medicine (remember to include the relevant documentation from your doctor)
  2. Special dietary items
  3. Baby food and milk

See the complete list of what you can and can't put in your airport hand luggage at

What if your luggage goes missing (with your engagement ring inside)?

Failing to conceal your engagement ring from your partner at the airport is one thing, but losing it is a whole lot worse.

If you've not considered insuring your precious ring, do it as soon as possible. As the saying goes; better to be safe than sorry. 

So, do you insure it on your travel insurance or your home insurance?

Let's start by looking at Home Insurance

Most insurance companies put a limit on what each item in your home is worth. Often this is about £1,500. This means that if you lose, damage or have an item stolen that's worth more than £1,500 you won't get its full value back. Unless you add specialist jewelry or valuables cover to your policy.

The other critical thing to consider is whether you have 'away from home' cover. If you don't have this, you can only claim for items that were lost in your home. i.e in a burglary. Not ideal if you lose your engagement ring whilst on holiday. Or even on a regular trip to Tesco!

How does Travel Insurance compare?

The only way to claim for lost jewelry on travel insurance is if it's lost or stolen from your luggage. This means you can't claim if you lose it on the beach. Or at the airport.

If the ring is lost or stolen from your luggage, you will get some money back, but the limit per item on travel insurance is in the low hundreds rather than the thousands.

So, in answer to the question; 'do you insure your engagement ring under your home or travel insurance?'. Definitely home insurance. Make sure you add it to your home insurance immediately and that your policy includes 'away from home' cover. And if it's worth over £1,500 get it insured as a special item on your policy.

It's easy to call your insurer to make the change. Just remember to get the amendments confirmation sent to you rather than your partner, as that's another sure-fire way to blow your secret proposal plans.

Continued... the one about Jason and the engagement ring

This may sound like a cliche but we promise it's true. Jason was flying to Rome with his girlfriend Sarah and he was feeling pretty smug. He was planning to pop the question and was confident he'd thought of everything. He even had the blessing of Sarah's Step Dad.

He wanted to get down on one knee at the Trevi Fountain. Why the Trevi Fountain? Because legend has it, if you toss three coins into it's water, you will get married. So he was going to ask the big question immediately after he and Sarah had tossed their three coins. He really had done his research.

Sadly, his plan to get the ring through the airport, and more importantly, undetected by security, wasn't so well thought out. He took it out of its box (first mistake). And put it in his pocket (second mistake).

He passed through the body scanner no problem, but luck wasn't on his side and he was selected for a random search. You guessed it, security found the engagement ring. And his girlfriend Sarah saw the whole thing.

He ended up proposing in Gatwick Airport's security area. Not the idyllic scene he'd pictured. But his girlfriend was still overjoyed and she said yes. To a round of applause from onlookers.

Useless Trivial Alert. Did you know that €3,000 are thrown into the Trevi Fountain every day?

When love was in the air(port)...

In 2018, East Midlands Airport contacted passengers travelling around Valentine's Day asking them to let them know if they were planning to have an engagement ring in their hand luggage. Customers intending to propose were sent a secret word to say to security staff so that they could be put in a separate security queue to their partners. This meant that if a ring was found, their other halves would be none-the-wiser. Imagine of all airports were that thoughtful!

Now that we've shared our tips on keeping an engagement ring concealed safely in your luggage, the rest is over to you. Go forth and conquer that proposal! Good luck.

Read next: What to do if you've lost your engagement or wedding ring in your house or elsewhere?


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