View Full Version : What are we being protected against?

Self Loading Freight
15th Jul 2004, 12:17
As I pass another perspex container loaded with penknives... what, exactly, are we being protected from?

Assault on a plane? No. Everyone knows - and I mean everyone -that you can fashion perfectly serviceable weapons from the stuff you find onboard.

Another 9-11? No. There is no conceivable set of circumstances that this will repeat itself, even if penknives are passed out with the gin and tonics.

Lockerbie-style bomb? Taking my scissors away stops this how?

What does that leave? Confidence that 'something is being done'? Hardly. Working out that it's all a farce doesn't require Einstenian levels of brains. Do you know anyone who thinks differently?

I cannot see any possible justification for the continued high level of personal searches and confiscation of restricted items, apart from the fact it is a new Eden for the jobsworths.


15th Jul 2004, 13:23
Totally agree SLF . So does, I suspect, 99% of SLFs and crews. Unfortunately, we are ruled by morons and we just can't seem to find a way to send them all packing. Yet!!! :E

15th Jul 2004, 14:18
It doesn't bother me.

Final 3 Greens
15th Jul 2004, 15:38
Don't dry your poodle in a microwave oven.

Rwy in Sight
15th Jul 2004, 16:27
A very wise guy told here in PPRuNe that all the security measures are used to protect against the previous attack and not the next one....

I have a feeling that the power of abuse given to security people is part of the salary for those people searching bags and confiscating stuf from pax's bags.

I strongly belive that nothing would stop a determined terrorist to hijack a plane while a lot is done to annoy pax in the airports.

Rwy in Sight

B Fraser
15th Jul 2004, 16:59
If I needed to obtain a "blade" on board, I'd smash the mirror in the khazi or rip a metal strip off the side of the seat. If you fly some airlines, you may even find that the metalwork conveniently falls apart as soon as you sit down.

Removing all the litter bins at railway stations didn't stop the IRA... "Sweet holy mother Patrick, there's no fekin bin on the platform so oi've been foiled by those crafty fellers so I have ....... and now oi'l have to take me bomb home".

Perhaps passengers should be knocked out on pushback and revived after touchdown, it would certainly make SYD - LAX bearable

Wot No Engines
18th Jul 2004, 10:25
Sorry, the only thing that will make SYD-LAX more bearable is to knock out LAX.

19th Jul 2004, 17:44
The sort of things that are being confiscated by the jobsworths are highly unlikely to cause any harm, particularly as others have said, as there are plenty of better things provided on board such as bottles. Similarly we are no longer allowed metal cutlery on flights in to or out of the UK. The whole situation is crazy and yet it is sustained and I don't think likely to be reversed, possibly ever while Teflon Tony and his band of power mad anal retentives remain in power.

I think it is more about keeping people aware of a preceived threat and the control that allows, particularly when there isn't much of a threat around. We all know, after the Butler report how unreliable intelligence is!

The security and immigration at LHR is well over the top and yet there is nothing individual travellers can do about it if they want to fly. From time to time the level of security is stepped up so that everyone is frisked and more carry-ons are searched and then it is reduced again. We pay extra security charges to wait in longer and longer lines. Just who are the mugs here? On balance, I'd prefer to take my chance than submit to the jobsworths one more time. Sadly, I can't. It's not like we didn't have good security before - like when the IRA were active and when it wasn't needed in other places. We have nothing to learn from the farce in the US but then Tony must think we have, I heard him refer to the UK as the homeland recently - all we need now is a department of homeland security just like his pal George created and the cloning will be complete!

19th Jul 2004, 18:25
Sorry, the only thing that will make SYD-LAX more bearable is to knock out LAX.
Spoken like a person who'd never been to ONT. :D

19th Jul 2004, 20:51
There was a programme on ITV tonight depicting horror stories concerning the treatment of British tourists stopped at US airports either in the mistaken belief that they had done something wrong or for minor transgressions.

They were routinely shackled, placed in holding cells with the riff raff of American criminal society, detained for many hours (28 hours in one case), held incommunicado, deprived of any food or drink and eventually deported.

One businessman said that if the officials had been wearing red arm bands with swastikas he would not have been surprised.

The response of the US authorities to the programme makers was that the US was combatting terrorism, with the clear inference that civil liberties would have to take a back seat where necessary.

Following accounts on PPRuNe and in the press I made the decision several months ago not to visit the USA again. This programme confirmed my decision. I will take my chance with terrorism but not with power crazed, jobsworths intent on inflicting as much humiliation on the public as they can get away with.

20th Jul 2004, 08:53
I watched that programme also. While an appropriate pinch of salt was taken through being "Tonight" it was interesting how all the individuals concerned related being shackled hand and foot and being denied food and water for extended periods. The authority's response was that "wasn't true." Yeah right.

I visited the US in 1999. I'm pretty sure I got my passport checked on exit but would be genuinely terrified to return in case some idiot has stuffed up the system and there is no record.

The behaviour of the United States in the examples given in the programme was nothing more than despicable. As the businessman said "if the officials had been wearing red arm bands with swastikas he would not have been surprised." I think that was easy going! America may be the most powerful country on earth, but in terms of human rights it is positively 4th world.

20th Jul 2004, 10:52
Think some are getting confused between US immigration officials (generally unfriendly and officious) and the people who man airport security barriers (generally courteous and efficient). IMO of course.

eal401, the only time you would have your passport checked on exit back in 1999 would be by the airline. If you were travelling on a visa waiver, you would have also handed the exit part of your green I94(W) into the airline, the airline were responsible for passing this to the INS. Unfortunately this didn't always happen. I also know of people who would overstay their 90 days visa-free welcome, and hand in a new I94(W) which deliberately didn't match up with the I94(W) kept by INS at entry. I suspect decent people are now being treated quite badly by over-suspicious US immigration because of these mis-matches, or because there is a record of entry in the INS computer but no exit.

As for lines at security checkpoint, I think they should have a special line for those travellers who unload their pockets of metal at the latest possible moment, take their jackets off at the last possible moment, put things in their luggage which they have been warned several times are not allowed, or make some stupid protest to security about how ridicuous it is that they should be checked when they could make a weapon out of an airline seat. Let them waste their time but don't waste mine when I'm behind you.

Those of us who know the score should have a special line which moves quickly and efficiently through the very unburdomsome security requirements and lets me get to the free booze in the lounge ASAP. Fortunately "fasttrack" does this to a degree. If I ever needed a penknife on a plane I guess I might see somebodies point, but seeing as I never have (although I remember a pretty tough slab of meat on XX once) I don't have much sympathy for those who think they might.

Carnage Matey!
20th Jul 2004, 18:08
Isn't it obvious? You're being protected against guns, bombs and knives. Boy Scouts with pen knives. People with wonky spectacles and screw drivers to fix them. Children with plastic swords. Suicide ice lolly lickers. Crazed cup of coffee holders. Mad old ladies with knitting. And crazy airline pilots with bombs in their shoes. Don't you feel safer?

Of course you're not being protected against jihadis because to single them out for scrutiny on the basis of their ethnicity would be racist and even worse than a terrorist attack.