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Travel tips on getting though security at airports

April 22, 2024

More than 50,000 people a day are screened at Melbourne airport.  

For those travelling with a Guide Dog or a white cane, getting through security can be a little daunting.  

Guide Dogs Victoria and other charities including Diabetes Australia and Limbs4LIfe came together on 9 April for a workshop hosted by Melbourne Airport to discuss the complexities of getting through security for people with added needs. 

Erin and Guide Dog Jet are guided through a scanner at airport security.

Erin and Guide Dog Jet are guided through a scanner at airport security.

Because of the number of ways you can be scanned, from body scanners to walk-through scanners, the handheld metal detectors and the hand frisk, your security check isn’t always standard. 

There are also changes that occur with airports (things are different at Tullamarine to Avalon) or with what airline you’re travelling with. 

For people with Guide Dogs or those using a white cane, the experience also changes. 

Here are some tips to help you at airport security:

Using a Guide Dog 

  • Guide Dog Handlers will be walked through a scanner, guided by the airport security staff.
  • They will use the handheld metal detector to scan both you and your dog, then do a bomb swab.  

Note: Dogs can’t use the body scanner, it’s only designed for humans. That’s why the security staff will use handheld metal detectors and frisk by hand, especially to check under the collar.  

Using a white cane 

  • You’ll be asked to hand your cane to security, and you’ll be guided to the body scanner or the walk through scanner, whatever is available at that security stop.
  • Once the scan is done, you’ll be guided out by the security staff and given your white cane.  
  • If you need it, just remind the staff to guide you back to your belongings. 

GDV’s own Erin Goedhart was walked through the process with her Guide Dog Jet. 

“I learned that the best thing I can do to make the process quicker and easier for myself and them is to speak up and let them know what kind of assistance I need,” she said.  

Guide Dog Jet getting frisked (VIDEO)

As the airport has more than 900 security staff, Guide Dogs Victoria has offered extra training on top of the regular course work that security staff have to undertake to make sure people who are blind or have low vision are treated with respect and are assisted well.  

For times where there is a problem, the airport welcomes feedback via their online complaints form 

For Clients who are travelling soon and would like some assistance in navigating the airport, Guide Dogs Victoria provides personalised orientation and mobility (O&M) training. 

To book in a time with an O&M specialist, contact our Mobility Service: 

Phone: 1800 804 805 


Our Adult’s Mobility Services are available to people of all ages, regardless of whether you have access to government funding.  


You can change a life. Support Guide Dogs before June 30.

It’s estimated almost 70 Australians a day will be diagnosed with a severe vision condition by 2030. With your help, we will be able to provide the support to meet this growing need.