Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 11 Sep 2014
Total posts 1
We all know that there is a random explosives test done after the x-ray screening. However can this be carried out as one test for three people? Have the rules changed? Normally I have been tested as one person at a time.
Member since 12 Mar 2014
Total posts 115
If the test had come up as positive, wouldn't they then have to swab each person individually anyway?
Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club
Member since 19 Mar 2016
Total posts 53
Member since 18 Jun 2015
Total posts 81
Ive only seen it in Melb. Seems ridiculous. But i guess its a way of swabbing more people and cutting down consumables.
I've never seen, nor heard of anyone testing positive.
Member since 24 Aug 2017
Total posts 21
I get tested 90% of the time I go through the security checkpoint, both locally and overseas. Never seen multiple people swabbed at Melb, but I have only gone through Melb twice in the last few years.
Member since 17 Aug 2012
Total posts 1,285
Using the same explosive trace detection swab on multiple people appears to be a Melbourne thing.The idea basically goes like this:- Most people turn up negative;- Most of the time spent on the test is waiting for a result from the analyser;- There is no real difference between x people turning up negative on x swabs and x people turning up negative on the one swab;- The probability of x people turning up positive on the one swab and thus needing to be further tested individually is very low;- Therefore, using the same swab on multiple people is a more efficient use of resources.Generally, you'll only be picked up if you've been using firearms on a farm or something, so there's rarely any cause for concern.
Member since 24 Apr 2012
Total posts 1,115
I've tested positive once, but it was a false positive (the machine gave a positive reading for semtex, which is a form of plastic explosive, which I certainly hasn't been touching). Procedure was to repeat the test three times across different machines to confirm the accuracy of the result. All three tests came up negative and that's all there was to it. No details required or further examination of baggage: was free to continue with my day. Imagine (and you'd hope) it would have been different if the further tests also resulted in alarms, but seemed like a common sense way of resolving a false positive without wasting too much of everyone's time. :)
Member since 04 Feb 2016
Total posts 8
I am told that it used to be reasonably common in airports with a high number of FIFO mine staff as it is quite easy to be contaminated (especially shoes and other gear which is rarely washed) while on mine sites.
My experience in Melb was/is the one time i have gone through it on international.
Member since 20 Oct 2017
Total posts 3
wonder what explosive tests are like in Afghanistan airports, the country is so messed up. Has anyone ever travelled there?I don't know anyone ever found positive, only saw this in movies
Member since 28 Aug 2015
Total posts 64
Just got pulled in for a multiple person swab test (with non accompanying passengers) departing Hobart. First time I've seen it happen. Makes sense unless one person in the group tests positive, then everyone has to wait around for everyone to be individually re-swabbed
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on
Already have an ET account? Log in below.
Signing up with Executive Traveller only takes a second and lets you
interact with our community. It's completely free and we'll never pass your information on to
Didn’t receive an activation email? Resend one to yourself here.
If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address
below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.
If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.
Subscribe to our free newsletter and get the latest news, reviews, tips and more sent straight to your inbox