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T5 BAA security staff member shows initiative!!

T5 BAA security staff member shows initiative!!

Old Feb 23, 12, 4:43 pm
  #1  
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T5 BAA security staff member shows initiative!!

I passed through Security North at T5 this evening with my nice new TravelPro roll aboard, so I thought I would try out one of the features of the laptop shuttle bag that slots inside - namely that it is meant to be invisible to X-rays and therefore you don't need to physically remove it from the bag. As I had the iPad in there as well, all I did was unzip and place the opened bag in the tray, with the iPad on the "lid".

I then put the rest of my chattels in the other trays.

So, a young BAA security gent wandered over and I thought "Oh dear, I'm going to get a telling off here". But, to his credit he said "Do you do this in the States?" (I'm assuming he meant the laptop open bag thing at this point). I told him that the laptop shuttle is designed so that the X-rays would go straight through and he seemed genuinely interested. He then said that the rule was that the laptop had to come out of the bag, but because he wanted to see what it was like in the machine, he was prepared to let it through.

Both he and the machine operator spent a while inspecting the image of the bag on the tray and both then nodded seemingly in approval. He even then made the effort to come to the end of the conveyor and tell me that the only bit of the bag they could really see on the screen was the handle and a bit of the edge around the zip. The rest had apparently "disappeared" as far as the machine was concerned.

So, whilst my journey through security was ever so slightly longer than it might have been (there was actually no-one in front of me when I got to the tray station), at least the staff showed some initiative and, who knows, they might even talk to other staff or their supervisors to let them know that such bags exist.

^, BAA guy!
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Old Feb 23, 12, 6:19 pm
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Shock, horror Someone in airport security actually interested in their job

And well done for saying 'roll aboard' and not 'roller board'
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Old Feb 23, 12, 6:25 pm
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Originally Posted by dunk View Post
And well done for saying 'roll aboard' and not 'roller board'
Otherwise known as a cabin bag.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Otherwise known as a cabin bag.
Grown men wheeling tiny cabin bags behind them, rather than carrying them, is a pitiful sight.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 6:35 pm
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Originally Posted by paulwuk View Post
Grown men wheeling tiny cabin bags behind them, rather than carrying them, is a pitiful sight.
That all depends on what the wife has managed to stuff into it.

Mine usually weighs a ton.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by paulwuk View Post
Grown men wheeling tiny cabin bags behind them, rather than carrying them, is a pitiful sight.
Do a lot a of travelling and you'll soon take back your statement. My fully loaded backpack (laptop and camera gear) weighs around 8-10kg. It is very well padded, but with the alternative of being able to stick everything in a roller bag then it's a no-brainer for me, and it looks more professional.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 7:18 pm
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Originally Posted by matthandy View Post
Do a lot a of travelling and you'll soon take back your statement. My fully loaded backpack (laptop and camera gear) weighs around 8-10kg. It is very well padded, but with the alternative of being able to stick everything in a roller bag then it's a no-brainer for me, and it looks more professional.
I see that most businessmen on my flights carry a roll aboard rather than a backpack nowadays, too.

Also, a backpack is annoying on a crowded LHR T3 boarding bus, especially carried by a tall person in front of me - I had my face smacked so many times on an airside bus by a bulging backpack on a swaying tall person!

I vote for a roll aboard!
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Old Feb 23, 12, 9:50 pm
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Originally Posted by paulwuk View Post
Grown men wheeling tiny cabin bags behind them, rather than carrying them, is a pitiful sight.
Yours may be tiny, but mine isn't. Mine is also rather heavy too.

Seriously, if you care about your back and its well-being, you roll everything you can rather than carry!

rb211.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 11:12 pm
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A bit scary if it's possible to create materials that are invisible in the scanner, though, isn't it?

(oh and sorry to interrupt the lively roll aboard discussion :-))
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Old Feb 23, 12, 11:43 pm
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I have numerous backpacks and laptop bags at home, and problems with my shoulders now mean it's wheels for me.

It's quite a manly 18" one, if you know what I mean... Vanity case it isn't.

Anyway, back to the original topic there are actually two positives:
1. There was no queue at all at security
2. One of BAA's staff members actually applied some thought

I don't think it was completely "invisible", more that there was no restriction on seeing the contents of the laptop or iPad.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 11:51 pm
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Originally Posted by HELflyer View Post
A bit scary if it's possible to create materials that are invisible in the scanner, though, isn't it?
There are many substances that are "invisible" to the airport xray machines. The question is, can you do anything useful with them?

(Actually any substance, if made thin enough, is effectively invisible to airport xray machines!)

rb211.

Last edited by RB211; Feb 23, 12 at 11:59 pm Reason: Added parenthetical comment!
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Old Feb 24, 12, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by RB211 View Post
Yours may be tiny, but mine isn't. Mine is also rather heavy too.
Braggart.
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Old Feb 24, 12, 3:27 am
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Found this a bit confusing, but I did have a late night

Firstly, I thought the gist was that the bag rendered what was inside it invisible.
That would be quite scary.

Then I realised that it is the bag itself that is invisible to the scanners, therefore allowing unimpeded scans of the contents.

I'm not sure that this would meet with consistent treatment by security staff though. I can't see that the neoprene sleeve my netbook is in would hinder the scanners, but it always has to come out of the sleeve for screening at Manchester and LGW, although not at T5.
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Old Feb 24, 12, 3:32 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post

That all depends on what the wife has managed to stuff into it.

Mine usually weighs a ton.
Tell your wife to stop eating so much.
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Old Feb 24, 12, 7:19 am
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My netbook sleeve is a tumi t-pass, which means you can do this in the US as it is TSA approved to be put through the scanner without having to remove it.
Sadly, whenever ive tried it outside the US (including t5) it has been met with blank looks and orders barked that it must be removed.

Works very well in the states though^
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