Home Opinion Airport security: the need for rationalisation

Airport security: the need for rationalisation

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Yesterday’s comments on airport security checks by British Airways CEO Martin Broughton were spot on. While everyone agrees that checks are necessary, it is the arbitrariness and the differing standards that annoy passengers. Some experts would say this is a good thing and keeps the bad guys on their toes, but I sometimes think passengers are delayed and inconvenienced for the wrong reasons. Belts of here, belts on there; shoes off here, shoes on there…..

When the iPad was introduced earlier this year it sailed through security checks inside bags and no one said a thing. Then someone noticed and decided that iPads were computers. The same with my Amazon Kindle. Initially, no one noticed, then security staff started asking if I had a book reader in the case and asking for it to be put in a separate tray (on one occasion I had three trays – laptop, iPad and Kindle).

Now, according to reports from the USA, the TSA has decreed that the 11in MacBook Air can remain in the bag while the 13in model must be extracted. It’s all to do with size and thickness, I suppose, but the rules do sound very arbitrary.

It’s good news that the British authorities have agreed to look at the system and decide how it can be rationalised and made less onerous on passengers. But don’t hold your breath.

1 COMMENT

  1. Oh the woes of security checks when traveling by air. I do this all too often, and it is frankly a nightmare now, one is herded in slow moving queues from check to check – frequently several, if one is going to Australia or the US, and as you say, totally random as to what they demand…… Also they randomly introduce new regulations, with no warning signs at the check in to enable one to place the newly forbidden terror weapons in one’s Hold baggage. This last cost me a dearly loved Chinese umbrella that is always tucked into my hand baggage when traveling. Apparently umbrellas are the newest weapon of choice for international terrorists.It has gone completely mad. I only wish I had the foresight a few years ago to buy shares in companies who provide security at airports.. I would be a millionaire by now!

    As to checks on laptops and ereaders, I use an Asus EeePC, which I am never asked to take out of my back pack, and a Sony ereader, also never required to be taken out of my bag…. As you say, it appears to be a matter of size. Silly, as I could certainly conceal God knows what sort of offensive weapons in those two cases…… Never forget those crazies on 9/11 apparently used Stanley Knives only to do their work….If the airlines can finally force the various airport managers to introduce a standard and rational system, then we will all be much happier, but I don’t really believe this will ever happen – too much money to be made from it all, sadly.

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