Travel News

‘Sporrans off’ – Edinburgh airport warning to Scotland football fans heading to Germany for Euro 2024

Simon Calder’s Travel

The biggest airport in Scotland has a warning for any Scottish football fan heading for Germany for the opening match of Euro 2024: “Those sporrans will need to come off.”

The month-long tournament kicks off in Munich on 14 June with the hosts taking on Scotland in the city’s Football Arena.

Edinburgh airport expects to handle 20,000 fans during the group stage of the competition, in which Scotland will also play Switzerland in Cologne and Hungary in Stuttgart.

If Scotland progress to the knock-out stages, thousands more will be booking flights to Germany, coinciding with the start of the Scottish school holidays.

With the capital’s airport expecting record numbers of passengers during the summer, chief executive Gordon Dewar is seeking to ease pressure on the security search operation.

A significant number of fans are expected to wear kilts, which traditionally include a sporran – the small bag worn around the waist, over the kilt, whose name is Gaelic for “purse”.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the festival of football, Mr Dewar said Scotland’s national dress was “not particularly great for the screening process”.

The sporran must be detached from the kilt before the passenger goes through the security checkpoint. The leather and fur pouch should be placed in a tray to go through the scanner.

The concern is that some passengers will be unaware of the requirement until they reach the checkpoint – holding up the queue while they remove the diminutive Caledonian hold-all, and slowing the flow of passengers.

In addition, pat-down searches by security officers are more time-consuming to conduct on men if they are wearing kilts rather than trousers.

Sporran watch: the leather and fur pouch must be detached before passing through airport security
Sporran watch: the leather and fur pouch must be detached before passing through airport security (Penny Ritchie Calder)

The airport also says: “You might need to factor in a wee bit more extra time just to get everything reattached and repositioned.”

The ceremonial dagger, known as a sgian dubh, which normally sits in the kilt hose, will not be allowed into the aircraft cabin. The ornamental knife should be packed in checked baggage or left behind.

Edinburgh airport has also published a list of key German phrases for football fans.

The handy translations include:

  • Wo ist die nächste Bar? (Where is the nearest bar?)
  • Das war nie Abseits (That was never offside)
  • Wir sind die…

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