First new security filter operational at AMS

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Old Dec 6, 17, 4:25 pm
  #451  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
The trays???

What the heck was wrong with the trays? Wrong shape? Wrong size? Wrong color? Too heavy? Too light? Radioactive? Do they run on lithium batteries?

Johan
Good question, I should have asked.

If you allow me some speculation, I would say that the trays are labeled, or have some kind of a sensor on board. For the belt to decide which tray should go in which line and for the person doing the secondary inspection to tell on his computer screen what the reason is that that specific tray went into secondary. Such a system labels each tray so that it either goes into the 'cleared' zone or in the zone for secondary inspection. My wild guess is that the sensors do not properly recognise the tray and when that happens, it is programmed that it by default sends the tray to the secondary inspection zone. I guess they are struggling with the software or the sensors, instead of false positives or overly cautious security personnel.
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Old Jan 27, 18, 3:26 pm
  #452  
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I went through Schengen security on what I expected to be a relatively quiet Saturday afternoon. It was, but . . .

- There was only one checkpoint open for priority pax. (As far as I could tell, about half the regular checkpoints were closed as well. So much for keeping them all open).

- I found fifteen pax ahead of me in line. Not sure where they came from, but agent at the entry point opened the gates manually for the four pax who arrived just before me. That must have been because they did not have eligible boarding cards, as I had not trouble opening the gate with mine.

- Peering over the heads of those waiting in line in front of me, I could see at least as many waiting at secondary. It was so bad that some were sitting on the tables where you can repack your bags, presumably tired of having to stand around for God knows how long.

- I drew the obvious conclusion, and made a beeline for the nearest regular checkpoint. I had to walk past six or seven closed ones to get there, but ended up with only five pax ahead of me. I was through pretty quickly, and my stuff was not sent to secondary. That was a miracle, because so many other bags were that they had to call for an extra agent to help clear the backlog. While waiting for my belongings, I time to observe the agent at the scanner. He peered at the screen intently (a good thing, I suppose) and took his time with every single tray. He was so slow that by the time I had been through the body scanner and the unavoidable patdown, the first of my trays had yet to enter the scanner. I watched in trepidation as one tray after another went straight to secondary, but having had the foresight to carefully distribute most of the contents of my two small bags over no fewer that four trays, I managed to escape unscathed. Repacking the bags was a pain, but much faster than secondary. Had I remained in the priority lane, I would still have been waiting.

All in all, AMS priority security delivered another sterling performance today. Making life miserable for frequent flyers is their forte, not to mention their pride and joy.

Oh boy, do they ever suck!

Johan
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Old Feb 27, 18, 5:56 am
  #453  
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Another fantastic experience:

- as I stepped out of the elevator from the Privium lounge I saw a whole gaggle of regular pax being fed into the priority line.

- Secondary at both priority checkpoints was jammed.

- the agent who had just fed all those pax into the priority queue motioned me over to (regular) checkpoint 4, where the line was much shorter.

- there were two vacant tray loading stations, but to reach them I had to pass a second agent, who proceeded to give me a lengthy lecture on belts, liquids, cameras etc., presumably on the assumption that I was flying for the very first time.

- I made sure to remove not only my liquids, but also all sorts of other items I leave in my bag at every other airport. I carefully placed them in a tray of their own, neatly spaced.

- After the body scan I got frisked. At AMS this happens 99% of the time, everwhere else 1% of the time.

- The sole agent at secondary was working meticulously and very slowly. As a result, bags backed up all the way to the scanner, and everything came to a shuddering halt. I had plenty of time to look around, and noted that at all the checkpoints for as far as I could see on either side at least half the bags were being sent to secondary.

- After a long wait the belt started moving again. At first I thought that my efforts had paid off, but no, the tray containing only my winter coat was sent to secondary.

- The agent was dealing with a lady whose three trays had all been selected for secondary, but after another long wait a second agent showed up to assist.

- What, was I asked, did I have in my coat pockets? Well, the usual stuff: cellphone, passport, wallets. Did my wallets contain any coins? Unsurprisingly, they did. Might she inspect my wallets? Yeah, fine by me. The various coins in both wallets were then subjected to a careful examination. Now I know that coins can pose a threat to babies if swallowed, but in what way exactly they can endanger an aircraft or its passengers eludes me.

- the coat was for good measure subjected to a explosives trace test.

Only at AMS!

Good grief!

Johan
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Old Feb 27, 18, 6:58 am
  #454  
 
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Wallets full of coins are known to trigger secondary inspection in AMS, honestly I can't recall the last time I used coins anywhere in Europe so not a big issue, but it's always fun when flying to CPT
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Old Feb 27, 18, 5:01 pm
  #455  
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Thanks for the colorful recollection Johan. Par for the course. What a joke.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 6:01 pm
  #456  
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Dear all,

After numerous occasions of the above mentioned issues which I too experienced on various occasions, I decided to write a complain letter which is handled by the Royal Marechaussee. I was surprised that they responded and even requested to discuss with me on the phone which i did. I explained the different experiences I've had and noted especially the much too often secondary bag check, and I was told that they will look into this and took this complain seriously. I learned that for both T1/T2, they have one security company and for T3 another one. At least form my experience, the T1/T2 company seems to be more into this secondary check compared to T3 and more inconsistent with the person behind the monitor.
There were a couple of other points which I pointed out which only happens at AMS but not at other main airports, e.g LHR, FRA, CDG, etc and was informed that they will look into this including the training at these companies.

Anyway, at least my complain did not fall on deaf ears, which I hope will indeed be followed up.

Cheers!
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Old Feb 27, 18, 10:43 pm
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"We will look into it" in the Netherlands is a popular phrase for saying we'll get someone to ignore it right away.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 2:30 am
  #458  
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
Wallets full of coins are known to trigger secondary inspection in AMS
That still begs the question: why?

Can they be used to bludgeon airline pilots? Don't think so. To spike their drinks? Not likely. Jam the throttles? Sounds like a challenge.

Also, how many coins does it take to trigger a secondary? I had six in the one wallet, twice that in the other. Small ones, not 2 heavyweights.

I also have very little use for coins, except for in those truly backward countries where you need one to use a supermarkt trolley; or in countries where it really speeds things up if you have correct change at toll booths.

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Old Feb 28, 18, 2:43 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
That still begs the question: why?
No idea
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Old Feb 28, 18, 4:00 am
  #460  
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Originally Posted by nldogbert View Post
I decided to write a complain letter which is handled by the Royal Marechaussee.
I've fired of yet another e-mail, to the Privium manager this time. I await her response with bated breath.

Originally Posted by nldogbert View Post
I learned that for both T1/T2, they have one security company and for T3 another one. At least form my experience, the T1/T2 company seems to be more into this secondary check compared to T3 and more inconsistent with the person behind the monitor.
Anyway, at least my complain did not
If I'm not mistaken, G4S is in charge of T3. They are the ones with 20+ years of experience at Schiphol, the other outfits are the new kids on the block.

I believe all the security companies have problems hiring and retaining staff. In the peak summer season they rely on inexperienced temps (think college kids) to keep the show running.


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Old Feb 28, 18, 4:20 am
  #461  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
I also have very little use for coins, except for in those truly backward countries where you need one to use a supermarkt trolley
If you ask nicely at Gamma they'll give you a keychain with a 50c equivalent metallic token; while at Hornbach they have 1 equivalent made of plastic, which might be even better when going through schiphol.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 4:42 am
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AH also have free plastic coins they are happy to give away, kinda defeats the purpose for which the coin system was introduced
But one or 2 coins is never an issue, I still carry around a 50c coin even though all public toilets now charge 70c and accepts an NFC debit card, as well as the metallic AH coin and it was never an issue, the only issue is when I travel with a wallet full of Rand coins, unclear what's the threshold.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 5:42 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
I also have very little use for coins, except for in those truly backward countries where you need one to use a supermarkt trolley
You mean Sweden?
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Old Feb 28, 18, 6:07 am
  #464  
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
the only issue is when I travel with a wallet full of Rand coins, unclear what's the threshold.
I had coins to the value 36 Swedish kronor in the one wallet, and 16 Rand in the other. The former were fewer in number, though.

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Old Feb 28, 18, 6:15 am
  #465  
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Originally Posted by pepe C View Post
You mean Sweden?
Yeah. Not exactly the most customer friendly of countries.

Some years ago they even introduced coin-operated luggage trolleys at ARN.

To their surprise and amazement, the airport authorities soon discovered that most foreign tourists did not have Swedish coins in their pockets!

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