Airport security – is it really making us safer?

Do you want to know how to identify terrorists? They buy in bulk and large containers. Terrorists never buy items below 100mls. Even 120mls and that’s likely to be your man, anything else and you’re safe. Well that’s what it seems to be when you’re entering an Airport anyway.

See we didn’t realise that the liquid ban was still enforced, and when we checked the website the previous night we didn’t pick up that we weren’t physically allowed these items on the flight, seems that we didn’t read them carefully enough.

We had thought that the images meant anything over 100mls should be in a plastic bag to be viewed, and I remember when I was filling my plastic bag, wondering if I should be putting the larger ones in the bag or just leaving them in my hand luggage. So I clearly had the wrong impression.

Come the flight we fitted our items into plastic bags and went through security. My bag was picked up and they went through all the containers read to throw out anything that looked over 100mls. I had to point out to the guard that my aftershave was in fact 100mls because he couldn’t find it and it was going to be binned.

The half filled 125ml £25 bottle of hair product for my fiancée was binned and my shower gel was chucked out too.

Never mind the sharp keys, the pointed biro pens, or the windows handheld I carry which doesn’t look like a phone at all.

I wonder what these current rules are really protecting us from. Liquids of over 100mls, can explosions not be created with five containers with 100mls in each? Why do the items need to go into clear plastic sealable bags when the luggage goes through x-ray?

Let’s put to the side the fact I don’t understand what is being stopped by these procedures, and why terrorists can’t simply work around them.

I can’t help but feel that this is more a public show for the latest high profile event. Why, like in Israel, aren’t all electronic items switched on to prove that they aren’t covers for something else? Why can my phone and digital camera gear with all the electrical accessories all go through unchecked? Why did my fiancée walk through with her belt and watch on without beeping and yet I was asked to remove both?

The answer for terrorists is simple. Pack liquid explosives in under 100ml containers, hide anything else in electronic or electrical equipment.

Personally I just can’t understand what these measures really are protecting against, because it seems simple to get around them. Are they really there just to ease the public’s minds and give them the sense that something is being done?

The nightmare didn’t stop on the way home either. The departure queues were unbelievably long, all round the check in desks and back, so long that it seemed to be the check in queue. Unfortunately not and we took an hour to get through it all, luckily the plane was late anyway.

Security was tight. Shoes off, belt, bag of liquids out in the open, the same question regarding the slightly oversize aftershave – no it says 100ml on the bottom – and on the other side no facilities for such an amount of people to deal with getting their clothes back on and their bags repacked.

Was all this making travelling safer or the public feel safer travelling?

1 comment on “Airport security – is it really making us safer?”

  1. pablo Reply

    nail on the head. It will NOT stop a determined individual. Its more a case of, “look we are doing something aren’t we?”. Its all a load of horseshit.

    As far as i can tell the only way they are stopping anyone is by the queue lengths, i.e. make the queue length so long so nobody can be bothered.

    as for the machines that go beep. I think i will make a pair of undies out of metal. Then when i go through the beeper i will have to remove them and dance the jig of victory starkers. That’ll clear a space.

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