Security theatre is out of control
Last year I witnessed a polite, nervous, old man ask a stewardess if he could be moved as his seatback would not stay upright. She started screaming at him, and a few minutes later the captain came back and said he would not tolerate passengers behaving like that, and that the police had been called. I immediately gave him my business card, saying I'd heard the whole thing and would stand by him if he were prosecuted, or chose to sue for defamation. Half a dozen other people joined in.
When the police arrived he was arrested in front of all of us under security legislation, although there had been no mention of any security matters before, and he was hauled off. The police later took a statement from me by phone, and when I got back to the UK I was interviewed - not about his 'offence' but about my behaviour in offering support to a terrorist subject. I just laughed at them.
I had already written to the airline about this sham, and got no reply at all.
In other incidents, I have had my 'kensington' cable confiscated at the bag search, because the loop meant it could be used as a garotte. They also took my RS232 and Allen Bradley cables 'in case I strangled someone with them', but left the power cable for the PC 'because you need that for the computer'. Last week I had a roll of PVC insulating tape confiscated 'because you can restrain someone with it' I pointed out that someone would have to be remarkably compliant, and it would be much faster to loop my belt through it's buckle and use that. Blank confusion.
In January I was on a plane with an armed passenger, who was merely asked to surrender the gun to the chief steward after it was discovered. No-one called the police or had him arrested. Oh yes, that was a flight from Washington to Dallas. They gave him his gun back as we got off.
My last flight from Aberdeen to Humberside was delayed 'for security reasons'. I quizzed the cabin staff who admitted that the spelling of someone's name on the boarding pass did not match the passport, and they had been taken away by the scottish police.