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-   -   Which Countries Require Shoe Removal? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/practical-travel-safety-security-issues/1221200-countries-require-shoe-removal.html)

exbayern May 31, 11 8:36 am

Which Countries Require Shoe Removal?
 
In my experience I can only recall:

- US all shoes, all checkpoints (with exceptions made for certain travellers)
- Canada, for US destinations only
- UK only for certain shoes (generally boots or bulky shoes)
- ICN (for US bound flights)
- Phillipines
- various airports for US bound flights

I did a search but cannot find a thread about this topic. Does any other country require shoe removal for all passengers? I cannot recall any in my somewhat broad experience.

Also note that I am asking for actual requirements, not people who voluntarily remove their shoes when not required to do so.

Summer travel season has begun, and I can tell you that there were jams at FRA over the weekend thanks to people removing their shoes when they are not required to do so (even after being told by security and by certain 'helpful' fellow passengers)

Edited to request that if you are going to post a country which required you to remove your shoes if you could also provide information including if you were flying to the US, and if on a US carrier. Thank you.

OrlandoFlyer May 31, 11 9:32 am

Shoe removal is mandatory at Dublin & Shannon Airports if traveling to the USA only. This shoe carnival is held at the second screening point after US C&BP pre-clearance facilities in these airports. It must be mandated by the US TSA.

Caradoc May 31, 11 9:56 am


Originally Posted by OrlandoFlyer (Post 16478316)
Shoe removal is mandatory at Dublin & Shannon Airports if traveling to the USA only. This shoe carnival is held at the second screening point after US C&BP pre-clearance facilities in these airports. It must be mandated by the US TSA.

Goodness gracious me.

Those poor other countries must have aircraft being blown out of the sky left and right if they're not using the Ultimate SSI TSA Shoe Protocols.

(This post closed-captioned for the sarcasm-impaired.)

exbayern May 31, 11 10:01 am

It's actually really sad to see little American children conditioned to shoe removal in Europe. Last year at LHR a little boy was almost frantic because his mother didn't remove her shoes. (She didn't need to)

In Germany last week there was a mother with five children in front of me; the oldest was about 8-9 and asked 'Mommy, do we need to take our shoes off again?' and Mommy said 'Yes'. I piped up with 'actually, here you do not' but Mommy ignored me. The little girl turned around and I pointed out several people going through the WTMD without removing their shoes.

Just then Bob and his wife cut the line in front of Mommy, and Bob promptly removed his lace ups and ordered his wife to do the same, even though security told him it wasn't necessary. This caused a chain reaction of shoe removal and Mommy had the child help remove four other pairs of shoes.

I felt really bad, but I walked through as I do every time without taking off my shoes.

bajajoes May 31, 11 10:57 am

Shoe Removal?
 

Originally Posted by exbayern (Post 16478473)
It's actually really sad to see little American children conditioned to shoe removal in Europe. Last year at LHR a little boy was almost frantic because his mother didn't remove her shoes. (She didn't need to)

In Germany last week there was a mother with five children in front of me; the oldest was about 8-9 and asked 'Mommy, do we need to take our shoes off again?' and Mommy said 'Yes'. I piped up with 'actually, here you do not' but Mommy ignored me. The little girl turned around and I pointed out several people going through the WTMD without removing their shoes.

Just then Bob and his wife cut the line in front of Mommy, and Bob promptly removed his lace ups and ordered his wife to do the same, even though security told him it wasn't necessary. This caused a chain reaction of shoe removal and Mommy had the child help remove four other pairs of shoes.

I felt really bad, but I walked through as I do every time without taking off my shoes.

==================================================
:eek: IF you travel in Mexico you can usually tell the USA folks as they are always removing their shoes. And if you do not remove them chances are someone may comment. I love to tell them its NOT required.
To be treated with more respect and civility than within the US I always used to fly from Tijuana to SJD, GDL, PVR or wherever and back.
It is sooo much more pleasant!:)

Majuki May 31, 11 11:16 am

I believe any preclearance facility requires this as a condition of entry to the secure side upon landing at a US airport.

I think it's more amusing to see my fellow Americans in security checkpoints around the world, shoeless, while everyone else waltzes through. The US air travelers are indeed conditioned to remove their shoes as well as everything else: belts, scarves, jackets, etc.

I don't know why the hysteria with shoes started at the same time as the war on water. Remember, shoes had been 'dangerous' since December 2001. Before August 2006, TSA recommended shoe removal but didn't require it. My experience was that it was more of a 'requirement' at larger airports than smaller ones. TSOs at small airports would never say anything, but I remember the TSOs at DTW and ORD would bark at everyone "SHOES OFF! SHOES OFF!" Perhaps they used the war on water as an excuse to unify the policy across all airports.

I think the TSA shoe fetish is the thing I like the least behind the war on water. I know where I walk throughout the day, and do you really want to place your laptop neoprene case, your kippie bag, or your jacket in the same bins of shoes that were walking around in a dirty restroom floor 5 minutes earlier? Of course, I guess that's why there are those "SHOES ON THE BELT!!!" airports... ;)

exbayern May 31, 11 11:27 am


Originally Posted by Majuki (Post 16478897)
I think it's more amusing to see my fellow Americans in security checkpoints around the world, shoeless, while everyone else waltzes through.

The problem though is that they cause back ups at security where there usually are none. MUC usually has very short lines but these can back up if one is behind several shoe-removers (which always seem to be lace up shoes)

I did ask the security guard at FRA on the weekend why she wasn't more forceful but she rightfully so said that I could see it had little impact. People just were not going to listen to her (or to me), just like they disregard the signs at LHR.

rove312 May 31, 11 11:53 am

It was recently required at BRU at the entrance to the non-Schengen concourse.

Darkumbra May 31, 11 12:03 pm

Hmmm... Would it be unreasonable to state that ONLY the USA requires shoes off, and everyone else is merely submitting to this requirement?

I could have phrased this more rudely.

Chrisinhouston May 31, 11 12:10 pm

My wife flew out of Calgary several times this year and they did not ask her to remove her shoes. However she did have to remove her laptop from the new open flat bag that the TSA lets you leave your laptop in here. :rolleyes:

We flew out of CDG in Paris in February and shoes were not removed.

YuropFlyer May 31, 11 12:15 pm

Sri Lanka / Colombo, for any flights apparently shoes-off

exbayern May 31, 11 12:25 pm


Originally Posted by rove312 (Post 16479145)
It was recently required at BRU at the entrance to the non-Schengen concourse.


Originally Posted by Chrisinhouston (Post 16479240)
My wife flew out of Calgary several times this year and they did not ask her to remove her shoes.

Were these flights to the US?

alexb133 May 31, 11 1:07 pm

Generally speaking, if you depart form Canada, you are not required to remove your shoes, unless you fly to the USA.. Not sure how inter-European flights are, but I was asked to remove my shoes during security for a MAD-JFK flight.

rove312 May 31, 11 2:02 pm


Originally Posted by exbayern (Post 16479323)
Were these flights to the US?

Yes, from BRU, I was going to the U.S., but it was required at the entrance to the concourse for all non-Schengen flights.

BubbaLoop May 31, 11 3:23 pm


Originally Posted by alexb133 (Post 16479583)
Generally speaking, if you depart form Canada, you are not required to remove your shoes, unless you fly to the USA.

This is true even for flights from Canada to South American destinations, which spend many hours in US airspace. Scary to think of all those plane-fulls of passengers who did not remove their shoes flying over the US, isn't it? :rolleyes:

phedre May 31, 11 3:30 pm


Originally Posted by alexb133 (Post 16479583)
Generally speaking, if you depart form Canada, you are not required to remove your shoes, unless you fly to the USA

Yeah, I only have to take my shoes off if I'm flying to the US. Any other destination, shoes stay on unless I think they'll set off the alarm - I have a number of sets of heels like these that will set the WTMD off, so I take those off regardless.

ArizonaGuy May 31, 11 5:03 pm

AKL-SFO 29 May: No shoe removal. No belt removal. My netbook stayed in its neoprene sleeve.

Contrast with the domestic route:

SFO-PHX 29 May: Shoes and belt off, I was reminded that US air travel is insane. :) And Team SFO asks a stupid question which I didn't answer.

father_ted May 31, 11 5:55 pm

The DUB secondary shoe removal point in US preclearance is especially funny, as you're not required to go through a WTMD or remove coats/belts etc. at that time.

Mimi111 May 31, 11 6:04 pm


Originally Posted by exbayern (Post 16478473)
It's actually really sad to see little American children conditioned to shoe removal in Europe. Last year at LHR a little boy was almost frantic because his mother didn't remove her shoes. (She didn't need to)

In Germany last week there was a mother with five children in front of me; the oldest was about 8-9 and asked 'Mommy, do we need to take our shoes off again?' and Mommy said 'Yes'. I piped up with 'actually, here you do not' but Mommy ignored me. The little girl turned around and I pointed out several people going through the WTMD without removing their shoes.

Just then Bob and his wife cut the line in front of Mommy, and Bob promptly removed his lace ups and ordered his wife to do the same, even though security told him it wasn't necessary. This caused a chain reaction of shoe removal and Mommy had the child help remove four other pairs of shoes.

I felt really bad, but I walked through as I do every time without taking off my shoes.

Saw the same mess in YYZ on Saturday. A group from Florida, flying to YVR made a mess of the checkpoint. No real fault of their own, mind you they were told several times...All in running/tennis shoes, took a while to get them off, then back on since they weren't required to remove them in the first place, pockets full of items, didn't know what they could leave in/on or not...caused quite the delay.

Himeno May 31, 11 8:22 pm

Shoes off in Australia only if they alarm when going through the WTMD.

A few times I've seen American's going through AU checkpoints automatically take their shoes off when they are putting everything else into trays.

mulieri May 31, 11 8:28 pm

At ZRH, the LX flights to the US have a segregated area where you have to go through security again, including removal of shoes.

Also, they have a bunch of small rooms in that area for pat downs (not used as primary) for those suspected for smuggling Swiss chocolate :eek:

exbayern May 31, 11 8:32 pm


Originally Posted by mulieri (Post 16481759)
Also, they have a bunch of small rooms in that area for pat downs (not used as primary) for those suspected for smuggling Swiss chocolate :eek:

Are you sure that isn't to check for US bound Kinder Surprise Eggs? :D

So it sounds like US bound flights, (except for Sri Lanka and possibly a few more) and in places like BRU perhaps all flights leaving from that area. I wonder if that is an airport design issue which necessitates that.

SFOSpiff May 31, 11 9:12 pm


Originally Posted by exbayern (Post 16481773)
Are you sure that isn't to check for US bound Kinder Surprise Eggs? :D

Just take the toys out first. The chocolate is awful anyway. :p

guflyer May 31, 11 9:18 pm

At ICN, it seemed that everyone was expected to remove shoes. There, they gave us special sandals to wear under our socks as we went through the WTMD. I could not tell whether this was required, but it appeared that everyone going through my security line was doing this. I was actually surprised that I did not find more about this on Flyertalk.

Mabuk dan gila May 31, 11 10:06 pm

Philippines is pretty much 100% shoes off, belts off, pockets completely emptied followed by a WTMD and a cursory non-sexual pat down performed by a polite security guard. Security lines are segregated by gender so women and children go through the women’s line and men go through the men’s line. That's for all flights. Varying secondary gate checks including secondary WTMD and bag checks are randomly applied. PAL departures nonstop to the USA of course go one step further with a secondary gate check with 100% serious bag checks, laptops sometimes need to be powered up to prove they are functional laptops but no intrest is paid to the data, a 100% "drop your shoes off and pick then up later on down the line" shoe checking station, another WTMD and secondary non-sexual pat down and a document checking station.

All in all, even if it is over the top it is not time consuming and at least the employees are polite and good natured even if they are prone to making up weird rules.

phedre Jun 1, 11 10:17 am


Originally Posted by Mimi111 (Post 16481160)
No real fault of their own, mind you they were told several times...All in running/tennis shoes, took a while to get them back off, then back on

I don't get that - if you KNOW you're going to be taking your shoes off, why wear lace up tennis shoes that take a while to put back on? I can understand some confusion over rules if you're an infrequent flyer, but if you "know" (as they did) that the shoes have to come off, make it easy on yourself!

I always wear shoes I can drop on the floor and slip on, at most I have to adjust a strap.

BubbaLoop Jun 1, 11 12:48 pm


Originally Posted by phedre (Post 16484539)
I don't get that - if you KNOW you're going to be taking your shoes off, why wear lace up tennis shoes that take a while to put back on? I can understand some confusion over rules if you're an infrequent flyer, but if you "know" (as they did) that the shoes have to come off, make it easy on yourself!

I always wear shoes I can drop on the floor and slip on, at most I have to adjust a strap.

Sometimes when flying very far and long, convenience for the TSA pass is not as important as long-time comfort or convenience of transport (such as wearing your bulkiest shoes to get more packing space).

Besides, why should we be forced to change our travel attire for a stupid rule? Change the rule!

Mimi111 Jun 1, 11 4:48 pm


Originally Posted by phedre (Post 16484539)
I don't get that - if you KNOW you're going to be taking your shoes off, why wear lace up tennis shoes that take a while to put back on? I can understand some confusion over rules if you're an infrequent flyer, but if you "know" (as they did) that the shoes have to come off, make it easy on yourself!

I always wear shoes I can drop on the floor and slip on, at most I have to adjust a strap.

Shoes are not required to be removed for domestic flights in Canada. I can't assume they knew. But if they "assumed" they would have to remove them, then yes, I agree with your statement. I, like you, when flying into/out of the US, wear easily removed shoes.

They were a large group of older folks on a fun trip. Couldn't be bothered to say much about it aside from "Really, you don't have to take them off" but they were so conditioned, I guess, that they did anyway. :)

edit: On the flip side, perhaps those were the most comfortable shoes for travel. Very good point BL.

Mimi111 Jun 1, 11 4:49 pm


Originally Posted by BubbaLoop (Post 16485582)
Sometimes when flying very far and long, convenience for the TSA pass is not as important as long-time comfort or convenience of transport (such as wearing your bulkiest shoes to get more packing space).

Besides, why should we be forced to change our travel attire for a stupid rule? Change the rule!

^

DAL4550 Jun 2, 11 5:07 am

Shoes stay on in Hong Kong and Shanghai even when traveling to the US.

cordelli Jun 2, 11 8:29 am

Belize required it, though the rest of the screening process was a total joke.

phedre Jun 2, 11 10:33 am


Originally Posted by BubbaLoop (Post 16485582)
Sometimes when flying very far and long, convenience for the TSA pass is not as important as long-time comfort or convenience of transport (such as wearing your bulkiest shoes to get more packing space).

Besides, why should we be forced to change our travel attire for a stupid rule? Change the rule!

I guess I'm one of those odd people that don't find sneakers comfortable. I wear them to run, but my shoes of choice for any kind of distance walking or travel situation will always be Fluevogs. I pack my sneakers in my travel bag. But then I have tons of room as I pack very lightly and use compression bags for all my clothing.

And yes I fully agree, it's a stupid rule.

bajajoes Jun 13, 11 1:25 pm

Bagged Shoes?
 
:confused: Does anyone think tsa would have a problem with shoes being inside a clear plastic bag and then put on the belt or in a bin?:)
My wife would like to do this not only to protect her shoes but to help keep bins & belt clean.^

exbayern Jun 13, 11 1:31 pm

I have no idea, but I have been blissfully keeping my shoes on for several weeks now.

I happened to say to an Australian last week that I was enjoying this, and he looked at my feet clad in ballet flats with an extremely puzzled face. I had to clarify that in the US, one is required to remove shoes. As he travels even more than I do to more 'Supposedly Super Scary' places than I, he was baffled as to why the US required shoe removal.

I gave up trying to explain; the discussion just seemed so absurd.

Majuki Jun 13, 11 6:22 pm


Originally Posted by bajajoes
Does anyone think tsa would have a problem with shoes being inside a clear plastic bag and then put on the belt or in a bin?:)

Seeing as though shoes inside a carryon bag don't come out, I don't see a problem with this. However, the bins have already been contaminated by thousands of other pax with their shoes in them. Imagine people walking around the bathroom floor just minutes before and placing those in the same bins as your kippie bag is placed.

I think if anything the shoe removal requirement should be removed itself for sanitary reasons. It's disgusting when you consider where people's shoes have been. :td:


Originally Posted by exbayern
I happened to say to an Australian last week that I was enjoying this, and he looked at my feet clad in ballet flats with an extremely puzzled face. I had to clarify that in the US, one is required to remove shoes. As he travels even more than I do to more 'Supposedly Super Scary' places than I, he was baffled as to why the US required shoe removal.

Australian domestic flights are great. No ID checks. No boarding pass to get through security. No scanners. No LGA 100 mL restrictions. No shoe removal. Friendly people.

gobluetwo Jun 14, 11 3:23 pm


Originally Posted by guflyer (Post 16481961)
At ICN, it seemed that everyone was expected to remove shoes. There, they gave us special sandals to wear under our socks as we went through the WTMD. I could not tell whether this was required, but it appeared that everyone going through my security line was doing this. I was actually surprised that I did not find more about this on Flyertalk.

My recollection is that they asked your destination and, if you said US, shoes were requested to come off. They did provide the sandals and actually put them on my feet for me (nice touch). There were others who did not have to remove their shoes because they were not heading to the US.

At MUC (flying MUC-ORD), I did not have to remove my shoes, but they did wand the soles.

N830MH Jun 14, 11 4:07 pm


Originally Posted by mulieri (Post 16481759)
At ZRH, the LX flights to the US have a segregated area where you have to go through security again, including removal of shoes.

Also, they have a bunch of small rooms in that area for pat downs (not used as primary) for those suspected for smuggling Swiss chocolate :eek:

Yes, I have been there in ZRH for 3 times. I have no problem for me at all. When I flew out ZRH back on December 2009. I got alarm with my watch and he & I were escorted me in the private room. He wand me and some patdown. I told him that I don't have anything at all. When I hear the beep and that was my watch when I walk through metal detector. When I clear at secondary screening in the private room. I walks to x-ray that I retrieve my personal items.

When I flew back home to USA and I required takeoff the shoes. I kept my belt & watch on when I walks through metal detector. I have absolutely no problem for me at all. I have been experience went through at security in ZRH for 3 times.

janetdoe Jun 15, 11 1:14 am

When I flew LHR-ORD in March and April, I was not asked to take off my shoes. But the metal detector went off both times. I assumed the underwire in my bra or the zipper on my jeans caused the detector to go off.

I mentioned this to the screener the second time, and she said it was because my shoes were bulky. (I usually wear slip-on clogs during air travel.) But there is no metal in my shoes.

So I guess my question is: how can a metal detector can detect bulky non-metallic shoes?:confused: :D

RadioGirl Jun 15, 11 1:51 am


Originally Posted by janetdoe (Post 16563588)
So I guess my question is: how can a metal detector can detect bulky non-metallic shoes?:confused: :D

Not quite serious answer: this is the country where a screener famously claimed that pasta is a liquid because you have to add liquid to cook it. Where do they get these people, by advertising on pizza boxes or something? ;)

Serious answer: non-metallic shoes - bulky or otherwise - can't set off the WTMD but she decided you weren't a threat and she couldn't be bothered to figure out what was really causing the alarm. Count yourself lucky. (I guess you didn't subsequently blow up your plane with your underwire bra? :D)

Q-STO Jun 15, 11 2:28 am

It is not very consistent in France.

CDG and ORY (European and domestic flights): Only some types of footwear e.g. boots, thick-soled shoes, clumpy shoes must be removed.

No shoe removal at other French airports I've been through (MRS/MPL/NCE).


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