back to article BA slams stupid security checks

The chairman of British Airways has said it is time to stop kowtowing to US demands on airport security. Speaking to the UK Airport Operators Association Martin Broughton said it was time to stop making people take their shoes off and remove laptops from bags for security checks. He also criticised US authorities for demanding …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Duty free is banned?

Surely duty free was allowed anyway, as it's purchased after going through security?

6
1
Flame

hmm

yes. and no. No when you have a connecting flight at an airport which demands you go through security again before boarding. Schipol comes to mind.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Duty Free

It's an issue if you change planes and end up land side as part of the connection, you then have 1L of duty free you can't then pass back through with.

0
0
WTF?

You'd think so

Though having been stupid enough to buy AA cell batteries air side in O'Hare airport, I got the third degree for having them, and it took a very long time to convince them to let me take them in my hand luggage.

1
0
Silver badge
Happy

No

If you fly out of the UK into the US then they will impound your duty free liquids when they re-screen you in Atlanta.

0
1
Silver badge
Unhappy

You get screwed at HKG and BKK

If you transit through either HongKong or Bangkok your duty free is lost on US flights.

A spot of cash will sort the problem out in BKK, but HKG rules coupled with the Chinese mentality is a real pain as they slavishly follow US security rules.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

@Version 1.0

That's why they tell you several times on the plane, when you leave the plane and just before the re-screen that you must put all duty free into your bags. (Or at least they have every time I've been to Atlanta.)

They're making a new terminal at Atlanta anyway, so international flights won't have to go through the rescreen.

0
0
Silver badge
Pint

In your checked luggage

"That's why they tell you several times on the plane, when you leave the plane and just before the re-screen that you must put all duty free into your bags. "

That's to make it easy for the baggage handlers to get their daily liquor allowance.

About time someone called for some sanity regarding these security checks. Otherwise, we'll all be flying nude. While this may initially seem like an excellent idea, I have flown with many more people I would not like to see nude, than people I would enjoy seeing in that condition.

2
1
FAIL

Re: hmm

"No when you have a connecting flight at an airport which demands you go through security again before boarding. Schipol comes to mind."

Yes, shitty Amsterdam airport introduced extra "airside" security because the idiots responsible for the design of the place seemingly don't know who has been through security already, because they've just got off a plane from a country that actually does the checks, and who hasn't, because they've either just wandered in off the street (as far as we know) or arrived on a plane from a country that waves people through if they're chummy with the "security" people, and because the idiots responsible for deciding which routes should be served by Schiphol (Shitpol, more like) can't muster the backbone to tell various airlines and aviation authorities that it's "surface transport for you from now on" after the Nigerian bloke who connected via Amsterdam tried to blow himself up over the US, instead making everyone go through another search/pervscan and act out a scene from Uncle Sam's Security Theatre.

Yes, it's all queues and impromptu screening equipment at Amsterdam Shitpol airport. Fly via a decent airport instead if you can.

1
0

Depends

Flying CLT->EWR->BFS this summer, we stayed air-side all the way, passing through security only at CLT. In fact our arrival gate in Newark was right next to the gate we would depart from.

On the return journey, we exited the secured area after arriving at Newark, then had to go back through security again to get to the connecting flight.

0
0
FAIL

Re: hmm

"Yes, it's all queues and impromptu screening equipment at Amsterdam Shitpol airport. Fly via a decent airport instead if you can."

My last experiance there, I got pulled because there was a non existant one litre bottle in my jacket. Blows belief...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Peter Simpson 1

For those who haven't traveled through Atlanta:

You get off the plain, you pick up your hold luggage, you walk a little bit across the airport, they then do another security scan on you (this is where you need your duty free in your hold bagage) they take your hold bagage, you go through the security check and then are re-united with you hold luggage what seems like ages later.

0
0
Grenade

war on flab

How dumb. Anyways - in my experience you DO have to take your shoes off at every US airport routinely and are subjected to over officious idiots at the airport asking if you have eaten a bomb for breakfast and racially stereotyping anyone with even a nice tan. When i fly out there from Schiphol there is no shoe business or degrading treatment at the Amsterdam end.

I do think we should make all yanks go through the same ESTA bollocks that they make all of their ancestor nations go through. Tit for tat etc.

And re the war on terror - maybe they should start a war on flab as their gluttonous and endemic obesity is killing far more yanks than Osama/Obama could ever hope to.

27
3
Anonymous Coward

The iPad?

Tablet PCs have had to be taken out of bags since the rules came in. Admittedly the iPad is a bit of a special case, being essentially an oversized iPod, but still- it's a Lithium-battery equipped bit of computing hardware and has a 10" screen. It definitely comes under the "remove it" category.

Saying that, given that they're being scanned with x-rays surely there isn't much need to remove it from the bag unless it's lead lined?

0
0
FAIL

you're expecting logic from the TSA?

SFO says you can keep laptops in bags if there's nothing else in the bag, but wants shoes off. Schipol wants the laptop out of the bag, but doesn't care about shoes. Heathrow isn't even consistent between adjacent scanner positions. Neither SFO nor AMS even noticed the iPad-sized e-reader that was in my main hand luggage.

None of those plonkers could find a bomb even if it was big, round, and had a spluttering fuse attached.

1
0

But...

Cameras don't need to be taken out of your bag. Nor do eBook readers.

It's a complete farce and sadly it's spreading. Until now Iceland has been entirely sane about screening passengers, but last week it was shoes off and laptops out at Keflavik.

2
0

Cameras don't need to be taken out of your bag?

Um, depends. Though "farce" is an excellent word to describe it overall. My last trip out from the US and back showed all kinds of inconsistency here too.

Charlotte security heading out did not require the camera out of the bag at all and hand-inspected the film I was carrying on request (I will praise TSA here; they are really very good about this and have consistent, logical rules that they do follow. Of course it's not something they have to do very often these days, which probably helps.)

Going through re-screen at Newark on the way home the film was hand inspected as requested but they required the same "all gear out of bag, into trays, rescan" on the camera equipment itself.

Belfast International scanned the camera bag, insisted on scanning the film when I requested a hand inspection, then proceeded to take every piece of camera equipment out, load it into trays, rescan it and the film (a second time) and then swab it for explosive residue. With hindsight, I probably should have just said "OK, fair enough" when he told me the scanner was safe for film, instead of my actual response of "it bloody well better be".

Mind you, this is with a camera that was built when these things were made mostly of metal and on top of that it was equipped with a motordrive stuffed full of 12 AA cells. Who knows what it looked like on the X-ray! I've also seen someone almost get in trouble while carrying a small digicam housed in an underwater enclosure.

The film, incidentally, survived the over-zealous BFS security.

1
0
FAIL

except ...

Except in Dublin, where a "film" camera caused some confusion and had to be re-screened twice!

0
0
Bronze badge

Wear disposable socks...

I wear TWO pairs of socks for this security theater BS of having to take off the shoes. It's creepy enough sitting in a plane seat that could have bedbugs or head lice (STD or grade-schooler variety). But, i'll be DAMNED if i'm going to stand barefoot on a pad that could have fungus amongus transferring to my feet. After passing the shoe-scan, i didtch the exposed pair of socks into a rubbish bin. And, no, i don't carry those socks out with me. Sometimes, i use hand sanitizer on the tubs before putting my stuff into them. Actually, TSA should be sanitizing those things in case someone walked into urine or fecal matter in the airport toilet rooms.

On one flight, i went through a whole-body scan, I think in Dallas. No need to remove shoes. It puffed air out at me (anyone in the "chamber/threshold") and suckers pull in some air and analyze it. It probably is quite expensive. Something like that could be made for shoes, where the passenger stands into a weight-strengthened tray that wraps a seal (think of the blood pressure band wrapped around your arm, or some sort of photo bellows) around the calves (for boots wearers) or ankles (low cut shoes), and let it sniff feet. Of course, SOME funky fliers (non-bathing/non-showering types, like a few i had to endure in Tokyo some years back who arrived unclean at the hostel-- no, not a day or two missed shower, but like hiked and didn't bathe a WEEk kinda odor-- fungaloid-cheesaloid type of odor) will probably crash the machine because SOME engineering genious may not think to do a foot-funk-anti-fail test...

Security theater is a waste of money, especially when travelers have to redundantly purchase items already at home or when they pump up sales at local stores such as Walgreens, CVS, etc.). But, it's definitely a way for airliners to force people to travel lighter...

0
2
Anonymous Coward

RE:Wear disposable socks

Okay... Id go and see a Dr about that level of OCD. You probably don't want to be flying at all if you are that worried. Have a look at cabin air recirculation...

2
0
Silver badge

Security theatre

Bruce Schneier calls the gratuitous, obvious, unbending application of security checks "security theatre". They look impressive and reassuring but do they do actually justify themselves in terms of cost, inconvenience and increased security?

For example, if everyone has to fish out their laptops, liquids, shoes, belts etc. at the airport security gate it creates huge delays and expense. At peak times the result is a huge, tightly packed queue of people all waiting to pass through the scanners. This is a rich target for a suicide bomber and it isn't hard to imagine how a couple of suicide bombers could cause carnage and shutdown a country without having to pass a single security check.

So by imposing all these extra checks airports have replaced one risk with arguably an even worse one. Perhaps the answer is to allow officers to randomly screen people to keep the line moving. How screening is done "randomly" is open to debate but let's be honest here - there are certain kinds of people who are going to fit the profile of terrorist more than others. Therefore it seems appropriate to have some level of random selection by machine and then further random screening and threat assessment based on a security officer's discretion. At the end of the day it's no worse than screening everyone, even for the people randomly selected.

29
0
Anonymous Coward

Is there?

"there are certain kinds of people who are going to fit the profile of terrorist more than others" What would that be then? I realy want to know, as I get the feeling your wrong.

4
2

The only statistically valid answer I've seen...

...is 'engineers'. I'm not sure how you determine that at a glance, though.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Engineers

Time for any software engineers out there to become software developers then.

0
0
Coat

Time for common sense?

There is an unbelievable amount of hysteria over air transport, particularly amongst septics that are due to fly outside of the continental USA. The reality is that each one of them is at far greater risk of being killed in an auto accident on the way to the airport, than they are of being in an terrorist related event on board of a plane.

Most of the passenger security is pretty pointless - it has been proven by numerous journalists that most airport security can be breached by fairly determined criminals that just want to steal your luggage. (And this happens a lot more often than we hear about)

But no doubt the agencies that are employed off the back of the implementation of these security systems will want to maintain that they do a good job and will try to frighten people into accepting yet more ridiculous "security controls".

/soapbox

16
0
Bronze badge

By Jove, I think he's got it

However, I suspect that some people are going to start pushing hard for "everyone gets perv-scanned".

2
0
Thumb Down

W@nkers

I got perv-scanned at the weekend going to Dublin. And metal-detected. And frisked. And had to take my shoes off. And got a wand waved all over me.

After all that, I still beeped (probably button fly on my jeans) so they just gave up. I was inclined to take my trousers off right there to make a point. Jobsworth turds.

3
0
Big Brother

Dblspeak

> However, I suspect that some people are going to start pushing hard for "everyone gets perv-scanned".

They say one thing that implies understanding (and even common sense) but in reality do the opposite.

To some, airport secutiry was never about catching terrorists. Rather it's about control - and conditioning the population to accept more of it. The more demeaning the better, so to these people perv scanning is perfect.

/tin-foil-hat

2
1
Bronze badge

Doesn't the TSA prohobit silicone-rubbery-like objects?

I'd love to read in the news about someone inserting a rubber adult toy into an orifice and going through a "perv scanner". Even if the object is not made of prohibited material, it'd be funny to see if the flier is rejected because some human inspecter becomes offended (or, off-ended)...

Come to think of it, as the perv scanner takes off, more and more DARING people should fly with fly-safe sex toys inserted. (For some of you en(d)terprising types, this could be a tidy little short-term business opportunity...)

Just don't confuse silicone and silicon...

0
0
Silver badge

The entire "security theatre" is a joke.

For a start, there are no "terrorists". So-called "terrorists" are a weapon of mass distraction.

Time to get real, people ... Wasting money in the name of 9/11 is just that ... wasting money. It does absolutely nothing for the safety of the traveling masses ...

... but it does keep 'em cowed. Which is kinda the point, methinks.

It's an election year here in the USofA. I am reading up on the issues, figuring out how they will affect me & mine, and I will be voting. Hopefully most of my fellow citizens can say the same.

16
3
Anonymous Coward

USoA elections always annoy me greatly

I understand that the most important part of the elections in the land of the free, home of the brave, is the entertainment part. Mostly consisting of flinging poo and making promises everybody knows will be broken within the hour after the swearing-in ceremony. The positions are rarely more than a couple of milimetres apart and put in terms of a world-view that, when not incomprehensible to the rest of the world, shout "we know you're not going to vote on this anyway", because too many people vote for their fave colour and that, as they say, is that.

Worst of all, the people it'll likely affect worst don't get to vote. They will be bombarded with "news" about the events yonder like it would make a difference, but really, it doesn't. These are the people that are just about invisible and therefore incomprehensible aliens to most of the people that do get to vote, because they're across the borders and overseas.

And then there's the thing so poorly hidden under paper trail futzing justified by computerising the process, that is the election fraud. And then there is that the system is gerrymandered and otherwise manipulated into complete ruin.

It's a far cry from the founding fathers' ideals and has absolutely nothing on the so-called "better educated voter" they envisioned.

So why bother? Wake me at the end of the show and tell me whether we're fscked black eye purple or gangrene green. It really doesn't matter this way or another.

0
0
WTF?

Erm, what?

"For a start, there are no "terrorists". So-called "terrorists" are a weapon of mass distraction."

What do *you* call people who destroy large buildings full of civilians, marketplaces full of civilians, public spaces full of civilians (hello, Mr. McVeigh) or try to blow up airplanes with bombs in their shoes, then? Accountants?

Fair enough to be annoyed by security theatre, but saying 'there are no "terrorists"' is really pushing it a bit.

2
0
Silver badge
Big Brother

False Flag Operation

"What do *you* call people who destroy large buildings full of civilians, marketplaces full of civilians"

I call them "Government operatives"

See Loose Change 2nd Edition

0
1
Silver badge

What do I call 'em? Pseudo-random paranoid fanatics.

"What do *you* call people who destroy large buildings full of civilians, marketplaces full of civilians, public spaces full of civilians (hello, Mr. McVeigh) or try to blow up airplanes with bombs in their shoes, then? Accountants?"

I also call them statistically meaningless events brought about by politically & religiously intolerant xenophobic nutcases. I do not view them as a sound base with which to format national security measures.

But if you want to live in fear that Bin Laden's few educated loons who were capable of actually learning to fly big jets *AND* were willing to die for the cause not only can be, but SHOULD be lumped under the same umbrella as McVeigh, right-wing Republican Catholic, and decorated Desert Storm veteran that he was ... Well, I personally don't want to live with what I perceive as your paranoid world-view. Life's too short.

(Before anyone says it, yes, I feel for the friends & families of the deceased. I'm not a monster. Nobody should have to go thru' what they did ... And for the record, everyone I know in the offices of Sun Microsystems got out of the WTC alive ... Would my opinion change otherwise? Quite honestly, I don't know. But I seriously doubt it. Random events have rarely riled me up emotionally.)

2
1
Silver badge

Yes

more accurate to say, "direct effects of terrorist activity are insignificant to the population en masse." Of course that sort of attitude pervading society would counter terrorism - who wants to be a two-years-later-forgotten pointless drop in the ocean for a cause?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

@Goat Jam

Your an ideot. Go walking down the falls road some time and then tell me its the Government.

That will show you real evidence, not some conspiricy rubbish.

0
0
WTF?

duty free

Has always been allowed in hand luggage. Where else would it go when you can't purchase it until after your hold baggage has been deposited.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: duty free

and then the wonders of EasyJet / RyanAir come in... two bags sir? That'll be another £60.

0
0

And there you find the flaw...

Most duty free is bought after check in, but if you transit through Heathrow for instance (as I was from Jo'burg to Dublin) the only way you'll be able to keep your booze is if you go ground side and come back through security. The annoying thing was, I actually asked if this was going to be an issue when I was in Jo'Burg and they said it wouldn't be.

Its great to see the likes of BA and BAA calling shenanigans on all this shit; even if they do have a vested interest in doing so.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Maybe the chairman of BA...

... would be willing to put his money where his mouth is and pay millions to anyone and everyone injured as a result of a bomb or terrorist on a BA flight? Can we have a line just for terrorists and let them fly on the chairman's plane?

0
51
Silver badge

The airport security

Is the responsibility of the airport operator and not of the airlines.

1
1
Thumb Down

Does it hurt?

You can't be that stupid and not feel a thing, or?

7
0
Silver badge

Please

don't feed the troll

3
0
FAIL

It's not just the Yanks..

I was coming through Leeds?Bradford on my way to Dublin with 2 pieces of speaker cable (12" in length each) in my carry on, when they were confiscated. They could be used for binding, I was told. The two trouser belts, phone charger, laptop power adapter and shoe-laces were all ignored.

Thank goodness they're so eagle-eyed.

4
0
Silver badge

Laptop security cable

I went through US security soon after 9/11. I got the random screening treatment and a security officer took issue with a laptop security cable I had packed in the bag. Unusually he applied some common sense and let me through after demonstrating that it might be used as a garrotte. I suppose it could too but then again a regular power flex would probably do the job adequately. Or a pair of tights (if questioned just say you feel a little bit kinky).

Interestingly, the seat belts in aircraft are easy to detach and expect these could make a handy weapon in a pinch.

3
0

Consistency would be nice...

@Owen Sweeney

I can better that...

I had 3 boxes of batteries confiscated at an airport on the Indian Subcontinent on the grounds that they could be used to power a bomb. The security screener told me I could keep all the rechargeable batteries I had because they were too expensive and he wasn't allowed to confiscate them. I guess they haven't thought of terrorists using NiMH/phone/laptop batteries...

At a Middle-Eastern airport a screener took the Kensington lock for my laptop off me on the grounds I could use it as a noose. I kicked up a stink and he said it was the airline's policy, not the airports. I persuaded him to give it to the flight crew so I could collect it from them when I got off the plane. After a long flight I forgot the lock. I put in a lost property report to the airline and was told they had it. I was flying the next week and they said they would return it to me at the airport. I called and a nice guy brought it to the terminal and proceeded to hand it over to me at the airside customer service desk. This kind of makes a nonsense of the airline saying I shouldn't have it on the plane.

2
0

totally arbitrary

My laptop security cable was confiscated in Dubai, but only on the second time I went through security that day (had to "leave" to get a new boarding card). This after approximately 200 flights over four years with it in my hand luggage.

Essentially, security screening is arbitrary depending on the airport/screener - there was even a story the other week from Norway where a woman was asked to remover her bra because of the under-wire. The airport accepted that 'their scanner was very sensitive" - so which airports have less-sensitive scanners?

At the same time, US domestic is as bad as anywhere else so this is just an anti-american rant from the chairman of BA. Security concerns have completely taken over day-today life. Did you know that the Eurostar trains from Paddington now have a 45 minute check-in time so that you can go through the same security screening? This removes half of their supposed advantage over the flights to Paris and Brussels.

2
0
Bronze badge

Garrotte? Meh, nevermind using a belt or charger or seatbelt

Just whip and swing it around like Jet Li or some star/dagger-wielding martial arts expert. Of course, headrests and overhead bins will limit the twirl & whirl diameter, unless you can heli-spin and knick a few skull tops hear and there. But, really, how far can one go before being tackled?

In Feb 2001 i was denied brinking a pair of plastic handcuffs. These were red with Valentines hearts stampled on them. They were KID-SAFE. And still, the security checker stopped me from bringing them aboard. Keep in mind that this was BEFORE 9/11. I asked here what prospective hostage would go along with "imposed" captivity by plastic, kid-safe handcuffs. They were a gag for a girl i was flying out to meet. But, still the checker said no. I think she called a supervisor to parrot the airliner security statement. They let me keep the cons and the mini-packets of lube. But, since 9/11 i've not brought those onto a flight, hehehe... Might be able to salve one up and stretech it over the heads of fliers and suffocate them or worse, humiliate them in undo fashion...

1
1

No mention of perv scanners, I notice

I guess once you're nuking us until our junk glows in the dark, everything else really IS redundant.

3
0
Unhappy

Manchester Airport

I was at Manchester Airport last week, the security checks although a bit wierd didn;t last long. The thing I was annoyed about was having to turn up two hours early for my flight only to have to wade through a zig zag of shops with the airports synical attempt to grab more money off me.

Do we really need to turn up two hours earlier, for the sake of security?

8
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums