Friday, August 18, 2006

Securit Check This...

The latest “terror scare” in the UK brought airport security to the tightest it has ever been. Even though the critical security measures resembled fascism, airport security has not been lax for years.

While the UK and the USA are panicking over baby’s food and other harmless liquids, security around Europe is very different to the one the UK is experiencing. Countless of people on various message boards and blogs have been talking about their experiences with the Mediterranean airport security.

An anonymous writer told a story how an attractive brunette was let through security check by just a touch up from ankles to the back side. The woman in question was carrying a small handbag, the contents were not checked and apparently her belt had set off the metal detector.

Don’t you just feel safe?

The writer then continues on his/her troupe’s own experiment. They decided to go to the café that they had spotted before security. No one asked a thing when they exited the departure area.

When the party returned fifteen minutes later they told security that they had been checked already, they were let through with out any security checks what so ever.

Despite the Nazi like security policies, the British airport security is not airtight. During the height of the strict security measures, a twelve year old boy managed to get through check in, security and boarding without a pass port or a ticket. No one paid any attention.

Or then there is the case of the woman who had a panic attack on the plane and reportedly she had hand lotion and a screwdriver on her person. I really do trust the security, honest!

It has been quite common in both the British and American news papers that reporters have been able to get knives and guns through security. These stunts not only provide great front-page news, but also feed potential terrorists new ideas.

Now that the security has been eased and passengers are allowed to take luggage on board a plane, save for creams, lotions and liquids. What makes the liquids and creams bought from the tax-free area safer? In my opinion if a terrorist wanted to bring down a plane they can acquire all the necessary items from the departure lounge. And here’s a point, what is stopping a crazed businessman to use his tie as a way of strangling an airhostess.

Air lines have, for years, tried to stop people from taking hand luggage on board due to the benefits it would bring them in terms of fuel consumption, they have definitely seen their window of opportunity with the strict security measures.

Once more, at the height of the bomb scare people were not allowed to take magazines or books on board, because you never know how deep of a paper cut you might cause. The strict rules made it possible for the shops inside the airports to operate a monopoly market, as their products were rubber-stamped as “safe”.

The British media treated the bomb plot as if a plane had actually been blown up. I for one was dazed and confused when I read the news and a lot of people at the office thought that a plane had exploded. The media created mass hysteria and wide spread panic and airport operator BAA were ill equipped to deal with a threat such as this. Their contingency plan was flawed beyond belief and truly deserves to be sued by airlines and passengers alike.

Holidays have are not holidays. In the past a holiday started when you arrived at the airport but now you are not in that relaxed state of mind until you arrive at your hotel, lock the doors and draw the curtains. People working at the airports have no sense of humour what so ever, which they used to do. Long gone is the banter with the check in officer. If some one even utters the word bomb, the whole airport is shut down.

People need not be afraid of terrorists blowing up a plane, but really be aware of the true terrorists of the events that began on August 10, the British media and the BAA.


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