it is my duty, and I will do it with honour…

5 Apr

You may remember me mocking the  airline security issue a couple of days back…with the self reporting  ‘tick-a-box’ approach to ‘I’m a terrorist’ ….or  ‘I’m not a terrorist’.

Well our airport experience actually proved two things about the move to online, self serve check-in, and security screening.

1/ people lie (now that’s a surprise)

2/ the security guys are annoyingly slow …. but good at their job.

We arrived with a comfortable buffer of time before our flight and a plan to fill that time relaxing with a coffee, however, that was clearly not going to happen. As we decanted our metal bits, liquids and laptop  into the plastic trays,  and threw our carry on onto the conveyer belt, the security guy is like a broken record repeating his mantra about removing all aerosol cans for inspection. Yeah yeah we get it ….

‘Mr 50Something’ got pulled aside for an extra swipe of the metal detector after setting off the walk through screening with his brand new titanium knees (a brief explanation and he was free to go)… then as I walk through I notice the conveyor belt has stopped and MY suitcase hauled aside for a closer inspection.  Everything was being done systematically and in frustratingly a thorough manner…so I’m left standing while they complete the inspection of the previous luggage (by now I’m thinking  ‘bugga I’m thinking there goes my coffee’).screening

Feeling very smug about the contents of my bag, and knowing they would find no contraband  I was  amused by the fuss (at first)… but then started to get a little irritated as the clocked ticked and I could see we were no longer early.

The search of the other passenger’s bag was taking forever. He was very defensive and ‘daring’ the inspector to find anything illegal, as the contents of his backpack were systematically spread across the counter, however, the inspector calmly and forcefully insisted that there was a knife secreted in there somewhere.

THEN  on the third run through the contents…there is was…a knife alright! With a 25cm long blade, tucked away inside a cardboard sleeve and wrapped in a t shirt.  The passenger just shrugged and said ‘OK you win’…as if to say it was worth a try.

So by now our boarding call is happening,  and I’m very politely suggesting that they just ‘have a quick look and let me go because there is nothing irregular in my bag’… the response (read with Indian accent) was ‘Madam it is my duty, and I will do it with honour , I will be as fast as I am able but I must be thorough’. To which I’m thinking yes that’s great but I’m going to miss my plane. Then he pulls out a can of hairspray ….an AEROSOL can..oops ….now look who’s  embarrassed!

Oh dear, that’s what happens when you pack in an absent minded rush.  I completely forgot about the hairspray (that I probably won’t even use)

I wonder if that was the same excuse the ‘knife man’ used ??  Somehow I think his packing was a little more deliberate.

Yes we made the plane …JUST !!!



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