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Passengers and security. Not always the best combination

Passengers and security. Not always the best combination

Old Aug 19, 18, 12:43 pm
  #1  
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Passengers and security. Not always the best combination

last week while i hat to spend some time at south lounge Heatrow, i decided to grab a spot at the window while watching people go through security.
while enjoying some drinks i noticed that it can be entertaining watching people go through.
Ever seen a girl on very high heels going through security three times as she did not want to be visitised? Well eventually the thing kept beeping and she was not allowed to pass through. And then the real fun started when she appearantly was asked to take her shoes of.

it was a fun to watch DKNWIA moment and it took her almost 15 minutes before she realised that she was not gonna make her flight without having taking her shoes of and be visitised.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 1:00 pm
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Indeed, security in T5 can be rather amusing to watch (and annoying as well).

Just last week I witnessed a passenger demanding to speak to the manager of "British Airlines" as she had been asked to remove her laptop from her bag and therefore thought she was suspected of something. The poor chap kept explaining to her everyone had to do it but she felt it was only her. I wish I'd seen the outcome of this!

Conversely, I have also been made to do some extra ordinary ridiculous things before. I once took through an empty plastic bottle but not in a clear bag! When the agent told me I must put every item in a clear bag (!!!) I politely said he was mistaken. I was put to one side, had to wait 30 minute for a scan and full check of everything. They also swabbed my belongings. Security at airports is the one place you can't really argue with them!

I think the highlight must have been a story my mother told me from about five years ago. She was behind this very well to do Russian family and they put their bags through the X-ray machine. Inside one of the bags was their pet dog!
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Old Aug 19, 18, 1:10 pm
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Its not the best place to make jokes. Thats for sure.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 1:45 pm
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Please don’t think it is just passengers who struggle with security rules.

i pass through staff security up to 6 times in my working day and it can be a nightmare.

I have always got frustrated going through security in a priority lane when no one is ready for the trays etc but staff are worse. Belts still on, phones in pockets, liquids etc.

i have now bought myself a belt with no metal content, wear a watch with a wooden strap and leave my pockets empty carrying everything I need in my jacket which I just take off, it really isn’t that difficult.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 3:18 pm
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Originally Posted by stuart101 View Post

I have always got frustrated going through security in a priority lane when no one is ready for the trays etc but staff are worse. Belts still on, phones in pockets, liquids etc.
THIS

I spend 30 seconds packing my phone, watch, wallet, change, keys etc in my carry on and get my ipad and liquids out BEFORE I get to the security area and load up my tray.


Of course the worst people are the ones who hog the conveyor belt the other side ...
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Old Aug 19, 18, 3:21 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
THIS

I spend 30 seconds packing my phone, watch, wallet, change, keys etc in my carry on and get my ipad and liquids out BEFORE I get to the security area and load up my tray.


Of course the worst people are the ones who hog the conveyor belt the other side ...
Exactly - I thought this was the whole point of a security queue - get everything out of pockets, into bag, loosen belt (if wearing one) and hold ipad/laptop in hand.

Only challenge I ever have is liquids which will be in my hand luggage case (not my laptop bag).
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Old Aug 19, 18, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by MPH1980 View Post
Exactly - I thought this was the whole point of a security queue - get everything out of pockets, into bag, loosen belt (if wearing one) and hold ipad/laptop in hand.

Only challenge I ever have is liquids which will be in my hand luggage case (not my laptop bag).
about 3 months ago I would have agreed especially in a priority queue. But since starting to work at the airport seeing staff will full airside passes making such a mess of it, I will forgive the travelling public anything.

please also remember that many staff pass through security several times a day, my record so far is 8 times in a 10 hour shift so they should be getting it right more than they are!
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Old Aug 19, 18, 4:03 pm
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Many Spanish airports have a security preparation area, where you can take all the time in the world to sort your belongings into the tray. Once you're done you walk a few steps over and join the queue for the scanner.

It's a lot more relaxed, and also faster - because you don't hold anybody up.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 4:35 pm
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Most airports in the UK and larger ones in Europe have adopted parallel loading, which combines being able to take your time without holding everyone up with not having to carry things from a prep table to scanner.

Meanwhile, there are many things to remember about airport security, far more than the 6 that is the typical maximum length of a sequence of actions that most people can remember. Add in the distractions of being told to do things or not do things by the staff, trying to remember what this airport or country is particular about (is this some backward country that still wants all your shoes off, do they demand laptops out of slipcases here?), and of course you get errors even from experienced travellers.

Then there are the incorrect, vindictive, or just plain idiotic security staff to derail things further (No, you do not have to put medicines in the liquids bag especially when they are not a liquid medicine - do you even know your job?)

The entire thing is not set up well for success by the attentive and experience passenger let alone the naive and inattentive.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
THIS

I spend 30 seconds packing my phone, watch, wallet, change, keys etc in my carry on and get my ipad and liquids out BEFORE I get to the security area and load up my tray.


Of course the worst people are the ones who hog the conveyor belt the other side ...
But at NCL just last week the guy on security made us remove our phones from our bag. Laptops and iPads yes, but almost everywhere else phones are fine. Admittedly he was a real jobsworth and had no clue about how to handle prescription medication. Not sure why they had him on fast track as he was slowing down the process unnecessarily. Meanwhile I have never found fault in the first wing. Always pleasant and cheerful staff in there, and I’ve know go have a laugh at times as we go through.

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Old Aug 19, 18, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by madfish View Post
But at NCL just last week the guy on security made us remove our phones from our bag. Laptops and iPads yes, but almost everywhere else phones are fine. Admittedly he was a real jobsworth and had no clue about how to handle prescription medication. Not sure why they had him on fast track as he was slowing down the process unnecessarily.
... and there is no effective way to complain about such incompetents and people who just make up the rules on their own. They're above the law and above complaint, even challenging it with a supervisor will only get unquestioning support for the staff. They will never admit they're wrong.

Is it surprising that customers loathe or hate them?
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Old Aug 19, 18, 5:34 pm
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On a more serious note, on 25th June my husband passed through security at Glasgow Airport with a screwdriver in his pocket. We had been to the garage before going to the airport and he didn't realise he still had the screwdriver in his pocket. I wanted to make a fuss.....he wanted us to catch our flight......
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Old Aug 19, 18, 5:47 pm
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Totally agree with the comments about how annoying it is when passengers hold you up in security by taking forever to remove items from bags, taking belts off etc. Also some seemingly like having lengthy chats with staff whilst everyone else behind has to wait for them to finish their chat. However in fairness, I can't say I have never been caught out. I did recently transiting in HEL and not realising I had another security check having arrived from SVO and flying on a connecting service to LHR. Suddenly I found myself at a scanner/ conveyor belt completely unprepared and became that exact person that so frequently irritates me- mea culpa.

Next time you are behind someone infuriatingly slow also bear in mind something that has taken me a while to get used to as well, namely the fact that procedures in airports vary and what might be obvious to you from your travel patterns might genuinely surprise someone that is used to other airports/ countries. For example whilst we are all familiar with the see through plastic bag routine, my understanding is that the rules are more relaxed in ther countries, which might lead to some people falling foul of the rules here.

My overarching rule is that I always behave at security as if I was a private in the army. In other words follow instructions to the letter without question and do not give off any visible sign of irritation even if seething on the inside.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 6:16 pm
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I have an observation to make.

DYKWIAs tend to be bad with being organised at airport security.
(Maybe it should be in the DYKWIA thread)


Originally Posted by stuart101 View Post

... leave my pockets empty carrying everything I need in my jacket which I just take off, it really isn’t that difficult.
That's why handbags are good!


Aside from all that, for all their faults I often feel sorry for airport security staff. They must see some impressively absurd/rude behaviour from people.

I wonder how First Wing, non-FW Fast Track and non-FT compare at LHR T5 in behavioural stake (efficiency, politeness, weird behaviour etc.)?
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Last edited by LTN Phobia; Aug 19, 18 at 7:15 pm
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Old Aug 19, 18, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by madfish View Post


But at NCL just last week the guy on security made us remove our phones from our bag. Laptops and iPads yes, but almost everywhere else phones are fine. Admittedly he was a real jobsworth and had no clue about how to handle prescription medication. Not sure why they had him on fast track as he was slowing down the process unnecessarily. Meanwhile I have never found fault in the first wing. Always pleasant and cheerful staff in there, and I’ve know go have a laugh at times as we go through.
That is surprising and disappointing for NCL - I’ve always found the security staff there to be both efficient and friendly. Never had anyone tell me to remove my phone before?!

At AMS recently I merrily went through HBO with 2 bottles of water, and several toiletries outwith a plastic bag. I’d completely forgotten about them after a day wandering around the city. Wasn’t even flagged up for secondary screening. Only realised at the gate that I still had them with me.

Does make you wonder whether the UK approach more ‘security theatre’ than truly effective. If it were anywhere else I’d say maybe they were lax but AMS is usually distinctly on the ball...
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