View Full Version : Airport Security - a different persepctive

15th Aug 2006, 09:47
A thought occurred to me about something that seems to go against the principle of total security etc that is in place at airports (even before last weeks shambles...).

On the R&N thread several posters commented that they would never commit their laptops to the hold on the grounds that they would be stolen and they'd never see them again.

How does this happen - if security is so tight (supposedly) that one can't even [email protected] airside then how does all of this stolen gear (including suitcases and all sorts of other stuff!) get out of the airport. Is security only a one way process? If it's that easy to get 'goods' out then surely it's as easy to get 'non authorised' people out as well?

I'm not after a debate on what security measures exist (that's not for here) but it's the general point which is bothering me.


15th Aug 2006, 10:19
An interesting thought, has got me thinking too, but, how do the 'non-authorised' people get in, in the first place?

15th Aug 2006, 10:31
On the R&N thread several posters commented that they would never commit their laptops to the hold on the grounds that they would be stolen and they'd never see them again.

And also if they can take things OUT of a bag without being detected what is to stop them putting things IN as well?

Buster Cherry
15th Aug 2006, 10:50
The carousel on arrival seems a rather obvious place for something like a laptop to be stolen.

15th Aug 2006, 17:01
Perhaps passengers should sign for their luggage. Of course there'd be a system of signing for each item as it passes from person to person all the way from check-in to return to the passenger, so there'd be a trace as to where (and when) items dissappear.

15th Aug 2006, 17:20
Thefts of passenger baggage by security personnel has been and is an ongoing issue in the States. One measure employed to at least limit this ridiculous problem was the installation ~ at crushing expense ~ of video surveillance of the baggage inspectors, which of course required employing many people to sit and watch these people work on television. Still, the problem hasn't gone away.

In fact, it's such an issue that the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General has published a couple reports about it. Here's one:


It occurs to one to ask, if we can't secure ourselves against the security personnel employed to keep us safe, then how can we reliably secure ourselves against other threats?

Over the course of the last couple years I've become convinced that looking for objects alone isn't the answer. It's objects in combination with certain types of people that present threats. This raises the dreaded "P" word. So be it.

15th Aug 2006, 17:38
In order to counter thefts of and from passengers' luggage, I recommend installing an explosive device that will spray the culprit with indelible coloured dye.

15th Aug 2006, 18:41
The same thing was said by Mrs M during tonights news, with the afterthought of "why don't we just Fed Ex our luggage to the destination".
Simple, but could be effective.

15th Aug 2006, 18:46
I can recall when it was 'normal' to send your 'luggage-in-advance' on British Rail (and very efficient it was too). A small truck would collect it from your home (or you could deliver it to the station) and it would be waiting for you at your destination when you arrived.

PS 2/- is 10pence or 1/10th of a GBP!

15th Aug 2006, 18:47
I'm going to California for ten days on Saturday. This morning shipped ahead all forbidden items, my laptop (separate box, insured), some dive gear, some clothes, etc, leaving me with a purse and a minute carry-on bag. Lots of people do this. The law firm my mom works at even has someone who makes these arrangements for staff.

No doubt I'll now be selected for intense security screening inconvenience due to being profiled as having no baggage to steal.

15th Aug 2006, 18:51
I believe that went out along with steam powered locomotives tho cap'n!

Unfortunately we are so used to having things immediately and when we want them that being without our mobile phone/IPod/Laptop/PDA is a major issue!

Personally I wouldn't risk placing valuable items in luggage. If I have to travel anywhere I will just download all the important data onto my UBS pen drive and pack this carefully away in my luggage. It's not like other countries are lacking in the computer department!!!

el !
15th Aug 2006, 18:54
AcroChick but was that really necessary ? Or is that some other convenience reason had made you ship all the stuff.

Re. your conversation with the high profile security expert, you should have reported that in the SLF Forum. The majority of people kept sauing in various forms the same, still one former UK airport police kept defending the brute force method because 'profiling will never work'. There was no way he could just be convicenced that the intelligent way to things usually is the best one.

15th Aug 2006, 19:41
Convenience is equal to not having all your personal belongings stripped down by strangers with bad attitudes at airport security points, I imagine. Also, things I used to carry onto airplanes, such as toothpaste, cosmetics, perfume, shampoo, other toiletries, etc, are now forbidden. I have no intention of wandering around looking for these things once I get on the ground in Santa Cruz ~ thus, they're shipped.

At the front end, without things that need to be stripped down and reassembled, one can move around some aspects of the security bottleneck and go find a seat in the "lounge." At the back end, standing around at baggage collection points waiting for things to (one prays) drop onto the belt isn't my idea of a lunchtime activity. I have the option of routing things around the current nightmare, so, it's done.

15th Aug 2006, 20:00
Also prevents, or at least minimises the risk of, theft of or damage to such valuable items. At least if they go walkies you are likely to get the full cost of replacement, rather than the limited payout that the airlines are obliged to hand out.

I do rather get the feeling that if they weren't forced to there would be NO compensation tho!

15th Aug 2006, 20:07
Here in the States, the theft issue isn't about airlines but Federal employees of the Transportation Security Administration who inspect baggage for threats. These people are supposed to be protecting us! The Federal government is immune to claims for compensation due to these thefts. The situation is beyond absurd.

15th Aug 2006, 20:17
one former UK airport police kept defending the brute force method because 'profiling will never work'. There was no way he could just be convicenced that the intelligent way to things usually is the best one.
Isn't 'Military Intelligence' an oxymoron?
Groucho Marx said: "Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms."

15th Aug 2006, 20:20
He's also the fellow who said, "If I was standing any closer to you, I'd be behind you."

A genius.

el !
15th Aug 2006, 20:29
Eh, such is life. If you drive from SFO to Santa Cruz, I would take straight to the coast and then ride 1 south. That saves a bit of congestion and the speeding traps when going thru San Jose. It is also more more scenic and alternative. There is a couple bars in the city with the patios were I used to meet other bikers (NOT Hog drivers), everything is quite laid back. In August the beach is cold just like the rest of the year - that is pretty much all what I can remember now.

15th Aug 2006, 20:40
el !...

We've actually got a non-stop JFK -> SJC, which is great. You're right, Rt 1's a nice drive. After Santa Cruz, ending up in Monterey/Palm Grove at a supurb inn right on the water. Going to dive the kelp forests, etc. The water's cold. Dry suit! Yep, you're right again, plenty of lovely cafes, bars, and also wonderful places to dine. Looking forward to this. Been working non-stop for months and months. Truly do need a holiday.

15th Aug 2006, 20:47
i know a plant hire company that lost 100000 worth of scaffolding on the trafford centre construction contract.
they had security all over the place. but as we all know, if the guards are paid 5 quid an hour and someone gives them 50 quid to look the other way?

15th Aug 2006, 20:50
Must've been those scallies from Liverpool.

15th Aug 2006, 21:02
That's really not fair cap'n, I had to leave the works van unlocked in front of my friends house in Liverpool for a whole 20 minutes before some little oik decided to take it for a "joy ride".

Of course, the three tons of concrete in the back meant the police didn't have much of a problem catching them! :}

And I've always found them Mancs are just as much thieving little gits as Scallies, and don't even get me STARTED on London!

17th Aug 2006, 08:42
My mom is a simple American, really. So people steal the crap out of our suitcases that we must check in thanks to terrorists and their kin. But what about this?

I bought a training cd from a well known "glass cockpit" maker. I couldn't have it shipped to my address in Europe so I sent it to mom's house in the States. I told her to send it on through an expensive, freight dogger when it arrived.

She reads the label and it states "DO NOT SEND OUT OF THE U.S.". She writes me saying she is afraid to send it to me. She says that they will arrest her first and ask questions later. She says some guy in a neighboring hillbilly town got arrested for buying too many cell phones and is sure they'll come a'knockin' if she sends me a training cd and a picture of a cockpit.

My mom declares stamps on her customs forms when she is abroad. She is the epitome of the simple, average American. She is honest and hardworking. Due the f*ckers at Groanmen and their licensing woes they've put the fear of the TSA (the Stupid agency) in her. This is where we are. I have to now deal with fiddling all this mess just to have a bloody training cd. Really, is this what we pay for?

A friend of mine yesterday said that this is the Clinton administration's fault. They should have allowed more funding into the Intelligence services in the States before all the internal problems got out of hand. I say the average Joe doesn't need this headache. I won't stop flying. The buggers will keep finding ways to get around the genius minds at BAA and the TSA.

I recently did an online course with the TSA. It is a joke. I mean a JOKE! We're the ruin of our own sanity, we're more dangerous to ourselves than anyone else. This is how we will travel from now on... (http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i262/planeenglish/Boardingpassplease.jpg)


17th Aug 2006, 10:05
...She reads the label and it states "DO NOT SEND OUT OF THE U.S."...

Let's say all you want to do is perfect your knowledge of the memory items in the Collins Pro Line 21 cockpit, right? The world's been inverted and you become a criminal if you want to read up on it in London or somewhere else. Meanwhile, do we imagine that the malfactors in Saudi, Pakistan, New York City, where-ever, don't already have the very CDs we can't take with us on holiday to the Caribean to study between drinks and dives?

But, sadly, we have to take this seriously, because if we're walking through the checkpoint to our seats or cockpits, have the contents of our cases reviewed, the drooler reads the label that says, "DO NOT SEND OUT OF THE US," we'll get flagged or worse and never get a job in aviation again.

We also have to protect ourselves from ourselves. The world's gone stark raving mad.

17th Aug 2006, 13:22
TSA: "No, Captain, no keys allowed on board."
Captain Smiffy: "I sure hope nobody needs the Med Kit while we're at FL 370 ..."
:ugh: :ugh: :ugh:

17th Aug 2006, 13:27
...we'll get flagged or worse...

Don't worry, PE, just give it to the first 12 year-old you see, they'll get it through no problem... :hmm:



17th Aug 2006, 13:29
Roger, Wilco. :ok:

17th Aug 2006, 14:39
I've always wondered why standardised baggage hasn't yet been introduced with a coded security seal like that on containers, then every bag handled is scanned (like fedex/parcelforce) by each handler as it makes its journey.

Seems like a way of making life simpler, and standardised baggage would be a more efficient use of space.

eg. http://www.securityseal.com/international/steady.html