What if my passport does not have my preferred name/name I used to book a flight?

Passengers on an airplane must provide proof of identity when they check-in for their flight. Your name must match that on your passport or government-issued photographic ID. If you do have different names and genders or different documents however, you might be able to choose which one to use, provided it meets airline ID requirements and matches the name used on your reservation. You should check with your airline/travel agent before booking.

Can I request a private search in airports if I don’t feel comfortable having it done in public?

At any point in the process of being searched in airports, you may ask to have a search done privately. If you do so, you will be taken to a private area, out of view of the public and other members of staff. You will then undergo a full body search both by hand and by the use of a hand-held metal detector. The officer conducting the search will be accompanied by a second officer of the same sex who will act as a witness.  You may also take a witness with you (of any sex).

Who can search me at the airport? Can I request to be searched by someone of a particular gender?

Airport procedures will vary but most UK airports use full-body scans in the security area. You can request that the scanned image is viewed by a someone who’s gender you feel most comfortable with.

If the full-body scanner is triggered, you may be scanned again using a hand-held scanner which only takes a few minutes.

If a contact search is required it will be carried out in the open by someone of the same legal gender as you, but you should be able to request a search by a member of your preferred gender if it would make you feel more comfortable.