Another trip, another airport post…
Seriously, do we still need to strip naked and surrender all our Lucozade and organic pesto at security?
I arrived at Luton airport to catch my flight to Italy with plenty of time the other day. I thought I could browse the shops, buy myself something nice to eat, relax. After all I was travelling in the afternoon, in the middle of a working week, with schools just started. Not exactly peak time holiday season.
But of course the moment I get to security the most humongous queue materialises in front of me.
Where are all those people going?
Thing is, it’s not that there’s a LOT of people, it’s that everyone is taking a LOT of time. Why? Because, in the UK, airport control people are seriously nazi. They still insist on everyone to take off all by basic clothing, surrender any liquid container bigger than a nutshell, switch on your laptops, get rid of all your jewlellery etc.
Not only that, at Luton, unlike any other airport, your mini-containers MUST be put in the CORRECT plastic bag, no matter if you own a perfectly see-through make up bag that shows every single item inside. No, it has to be what they want, ie, what I’d call a resealable sandwich bag. They actually have vending machines selling such special sandwich bags in some kinder egg container for £1! £1 for 2 plastic bags you can normally purchase in batches of 500 for the same price.
Are you saying this is to protect our security?
Moreover, you can’t pay by credit card, or even by using several coins like two 50p coins, or five 20p coins. No, you must have a £1 coin or you can’t get your kinder egged bag.
Since I was travelling with virtually no cash on me, I had to persuade a random Spanish guy to put together my 55p and his 45p and beg another random woman in a burka to exachange them for a one pound coin so we could collectively purchase the kinder egged bags.
Bag purchased, you’re now wasting more precious time trying to convince the security people to let you through with your sandals on instead of walking barefoot on their filthy floor. In order to do that you make a joke about how many bombs could a pair of flip flops contain… MISTAKE! The main requirement to get a job at airports’ security points is the total lack of sense of humour. I suspect part of the job interview process consists in sitting candidates in front of an episode of Seinfeld. If they get to the end without as much as smiling once, they’re hired.
Yes, I know, by now we should all know we can’t bring a pint of shampoo in our handluggage, or a half a kilo pot of organic chutney, or laptops tucked at the bottom of our suitcase, or coins in our pockets. But let’s ask seriously, are these procedures REALLY making us safer? Or are they mainly satisfying the sadistic instintcs of bored security people who at the end of the day can also go home with my auntie’s pesto, your £30 Chanel body cream, and endless bottles of unopened Pepsi?
Do we REALLY think terrorists are still trying to blow us up using fake sparkling water, explosive mosturizer and banging shoes? They must be truly dumb. Unfortunately I suspect liquid explosive on planes is so 2007… Bad people must have moved on. Not that I personally know any of them, but I know that if I was a twisted horrible person planning to kill on a massive scale, I would have spent the last six years finding alternatives.
For instance I’m amazed that whilst endless checks are made before boarding a plane, anyone can board a train carrying three machine guns and all sorts of explosive and nobody would ever notice…
I’m not advocating a total lack of control, but I do believe 80% of the current checks’ only achievement is to exasperate people, subtly insulting their dignity whilst they parade barefoot, belt-less, and with raised arms through metal detectors.
Please, airports, let us keep our organic pesto. It won’t kill anyone, unless it’s badly sealed in which case it can give you botulism but not whilst in your luggage. Let us keep our shoes on and leave us our bottle of water, which we can easily taste for you if you really want. It’d make everyone’s experience so much nicer. And please, please, allow some sense of humour. It’d only do you good