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HKG - Water purchased in sterile area confiscated at gate!

HKG - Water purchased in sterile area confiscated at gate!

Old Nov 8, 10, 10:39 pm
  #1  
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HKG - Water purchased in sterile area confiscated at gate!

I flew HKG to DTW today. At HKG gate (yes, inside sterile area), the gate agen announced (words to this effect), "In accordance with USA / TSA requirements, no water or liquids may be taken on plane. All bags will be checked at gate". We gave attendant our boarding passes, and went down the tunnel. There were "many" white shirts/black pants agents who searched all carry on bags. They confiscated bottles of water, cans of apple juice, etc. Many of these items were just purchased inside the sterile area!

When I discussed this with a fellow passenger on my connecting flight DTW to BNA, he said the same thing happened to him at AMS this morning. His bottle of water was confiscated (which he just bought near the gate).

When I arrived in BNA and was outside waiting for a Hotel Shuttle bus (literally outside the terminal), 2 TSA blue shirts were lurking around (obviously not off duty but simply walking amongst the people waiting for buses). I asked them about the water confiscation and they said they had never heard of this. They laughed and said, "watch CNN tonight to find out if something happened to prompt this".

The logic of this amazes me; however, it seems to have happened in both HKG and AMS so someone put out the word to more than one station.

Anyone else have any examples of this or know what is going on?
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Old Nov 8, 10, 10:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Policypeddler View Post

Anyone else have any examples of this or know what is going on?
This is nothing new. Hysteria about tewwowists. I've been searched going to the US at many airports this year. SJO, EZE and HKG to just name a few.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 10:49 pm
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But it's been cleared, so why the issue? If TSA starts doing this, I can see a huge loss to the post-security vendors.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 11:00 pm
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Nothing new, but it happens from time to time - thankfully not every time.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 11:33 pm
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This is SOP in HKG, and has been for several years now.

My solution is to slip the liquids in my pockets. They do not search your person, only your bags.

Works every time. ^
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Old Nov 8, 10, 11:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Policypeddler View Post
I flew HKG to DTW today. At HKG gate (yes, inside sterile area), the gate agen announced (words to this effect), "In accordance with USA / TSA requirements, no water or liquids may be taken on plane. All bags will be checked at gate". We gave attendant our boarding passes, and went down the tunnel. There were "many" white shirts/black pants agents who searched all carry on bags. They confiscated bottles of water, cans of apple juice, etc. Many of these items were just purchased inside the sterile area!

When I discussed this with a fellow passenger on my connecting flight DTW to BNA, he said the same thing happened to him at AMS this morning. His bottle of water was confiscated (which he just bought near the gate).

When I arrived in BNA and was outside waiting for a Hotel Shuttle bus (literally outside the terminal), 2 TSA blue shirts were lurking around (obviously not off duty but simply walking amongst the people waiting for buses). I asked them about the water confiscation and they said they had never heard of this. They laughed and said, "watch CNN tonight to find out if something happened to prompt this".

The logic of this amazes me; however, it seems to have happened in both HKG and AMS so someone put out the word to more than one station.

Anyone else have any examples of this or know what is going on?
Why didnt you kick up a fuss about it when it happened?
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Old Nov 9, 10, 12:43 am
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Totally SOP for many non-US airports. Many countries do not ban liquids, so the screening at the security checkpoint would not include screening for liquids. Therefore, they have to screen you at the gate.

If they screened you for liquids at the security checkpoint then it's odd they would later screen you again at the gate, so I'm wondering which case it was.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 1:26 am
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It's just what HKG does with US bound flights. Extra screening at gate lounge for all pax, dumping any liquids.

I was flying HKG-JFK. I had picked up a bottle of water from The Wing before I headed downstairs to the gate. The HKG contract security told me I had to toss the bottle. I drank it instead.

Most countries don't ban liquids. Flights to the US aren't allowed to have liquids. If flight isn't screened to US requirements, it isn't allowed into US airspace. Thus many airports screen US bound flights at the gate for the extra US demands.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 1:35 am
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Yup. Very common in foreign airports, either because they don't limit a whole state of matter at the checkpoint or because the airline staff does not trust their screening. In my experience, if you put you kippie baggie on top of your carry-on, visible soon after opening, they don't dig in to the rest, and you can have whatever you want inside.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 2:25 am
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I've found the same thing is in effect for HKG to Australia flights, but not HKG to Canada flights. Just be glad it wasn't an expensive bottle of Scotch from the duty-free.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 2:43 am
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Originally Posted by Policypeddler View Post
I asked them about the water confiscation and they said they had never heard of this. They laughed and said, "watch CNN tonight to find out if something happened to prompt this".
"You could be in mortal danger, ha ha ha! We have no idea, so watch CNN."

That is reassuring.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 4:28 am
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I believe the Hong Kong gate check is required for both US and Australia-bound flights because both countries don't allow liquids greater than 100 ml to be taken on board whether bought in the sterile area or not. Most other countries don't worry about this, given that they've been "screened', hence no gate-check for liquids to Canada, Europe or Asia. I believe Australia has yet to come to terms with metal cutlery on planes, hence why Hong kong still has plastic knives in use in the lounges.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 4:36 am
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metal cutlery has been allowed on Australian flights since 26 December 2009 - it is the airlines which keep perpetuating this myth.

Australia has no fluid restrictions domestically either - only internationally due to some 'friend' of ours requesting it...
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Old Nov 9, 10, 5:24 am
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Water bottles are confiscated at SIN as well for US bound aircraft. nothing new.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by iluv2fly View Post
This is SOP in HKG, and has been for several years now.
And several other international airports. At ATH the shops would not sell you any liquids if you were US bound (making the biz-class lounge even more important).
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