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Captain's LHR Security rant - LH4729/05Dec

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Captain's LHR Security rant - LH4729/05Dec

Old 6th Dec 2009, 19:06
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Doug Down

How would that work for those of us who report/brief landside before going through security? How would you address the FTL implications...any ideas?
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Old 6th Dec 2009, 21:27
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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How would you address the FTL implications...any ideas?
Why, certainly.
A friend of mine, a Southwest Captain, did just that with FTL implications.
On being delayed at 'Security', using his celphone, called the gate and said to the traffic staff...'flight cancelled'.
He then departed the airport, and returned to HOTAC.
The Chief Pilot?
Backed him up one hundred percent.
The flight remained firmly....cancelled.
128 passengers then descended on 'security' wondering WTF?

Next day, he was informed that the TSA individual had been dismissed forthwith, and there would be NO further problems at this station, for on-duty FD crew members.

Treated with respect, or....flight cancelled.
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Old 6th Dec 2009, 21:47
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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As a pilot, I too find airport security at best a joke and worse an insult.

But, if I were a government I'd invent an airport security industry as well; think about it. On the one hand higher unemployment figures, or, government enforced employment paid for by the SLF. No brainer!
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Old 6th Dec 2009, 22:05
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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How is your presumably accurate anecdote enhanced by
Originally Posted by rainbo
A large idiotic Somali-looking security officer with a thick accent (to match the rest!)"
Are you implying a casual relationship between his idiocy and 'Somali appearance' (and accompanying accent)?

I've been set upon by cheery rose cheeked blond school boys who did everything but strip search me while sparing nary a glance at my wife in the wheelchair I was pushing, nor did they even examine the stuff she had on her lap.

My take on the whole thing, and what I've seen, is that there are relatively few 'assholes' amongst these kids but they are operating with a very severe set of limitations.
(the least of which may be a primary school level education)

Their operating rules which I have been privy to see, give them very little operational discretion. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Courts have days and weeks to come to their decisions and no one is ever satisfied, how much satisfaction can they provide in 10 minutes?

They dont make the rules as to what to scrutinize , allow or disallow. In fact, the generally rules call for much more onerous searches than presently obtain (the illogical nature of some of the rules we are all well aware)

The people we have voted for have foisted this upon us. To direct our ire on these people is counter productive.

The best thing to do is take a common sense approach to identifying the impact the security system has on your efficiency as a flight crew and the workload.

A simple rule could simply be demanding that the time spent in the security line contributes directly to your duty time. Once this is done, you will be surprised to see how the powers that be take whatever steps necessary to make that time as short as possible.

The other approach is,as a pilot (or preferably) as pilots on a whole, simply turn up at an airport no earlier than 1/2 hr before check-in. 1/2 hr should be more than enough time to navigate any terminal end to end.
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Old 6th Dec 2009, 22:09
  #45 (permalink)  
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OK

Head goes above parapet.

I will risk a zone of elevated temperature combining gases.

1.Most of the security people are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

2.They are briefed that "Al KaSeltzer is very clever and will try to fool you by impersonating flight crew".


Yes yes El Al but profiling is politically incorrect isn't it?

Nomex on.

CW
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Old 6th Dec 2009, 23:18
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Sadly, the story about the "security morons" is not unique. I have suffered it for years also. I remember being frisked for my cigar cutter (with which I might have been able to circumcise a cigar but not much else) and hours later, commanding a half million pound jet with a hundred thousand liters of kerosene in the wings over the great cities not only of America, but the world. How will taking my cigar cutter away from me promote safety? How patently absurd. Sadly, all this nonsense distracts everyone from real safety and security issues which are obfuscated by all the hyperbole.

The problem is entropy; stupid ignorant people breed more than rational intelligent ones. And a government that not only panders to that element but employs them en masse as sentries makes it that much worse. Not to say that all of them are idiots, but it is obvious that their ranks are the Epsilons in our "Brave New World" and that most of them relish the absurd power given them. To me it doesn't matter if the thug of low intellect who compromises my freedom while brandishing a gun is government sanctioned or not. An ignorant thug is an ignorant thug.

Legitimate security aside, I agree, every time a pilot gets a hassle for the sheer amusement of someone with an IQ approximating their shoe size brandishing a badge and a gun, the flight needs to be cancelled. They can't fire everyone, but more people need to start having the courage to do this. Kudos to the Southwest Captain who did.
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Old 6th Dec 2009, 23:51
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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A few points:
-UK and US security have the most obnoxious attitude towards FD crew.
-Problem lies with the pilots themselves entirely,and their total apathy in arranging coordinated resistance.
-Very few airlines are like SWA and will actually back its crew against
security staff
-Pilots must be checked(Fedex incident unfortunately proves that)
-Alcohol-checks must be "in-house"-pilot self-tests and is released(or not) by dispatch-3 strikes and you're out-better education on how quickly alcohol
leaves the body.
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 00:00
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Legitimate security aside, I agree, every time a pilot gets a hassle for the sheer amusement of someone with an IQ approximating their shoe size brandishing a badge and a gun, the flight needs to be cancelled. They can't fire everyone, but more people need to start having the courage to do this. Kudos to the Southwest Captain who did.

OK! I fully agree the pilot should not have been treated unreasonably by the security staff. But remember his passengers may also have had less than pleasant experiences at security but thought once they got their belts, shoes, coats etc back on they were at least on their way to their destination. I would imagine if this pilot had been flying his final sector of the day and was heading home he might not have been so quick to cancel the flight no matter what indignities he suffered at the hands of security personnel. When pilots protesting in this way cancel their final sector of their duty thereby missing important dinner dates, meetings, evening hospital visits to sick family members or childrens birthday parties I'll be less cynical because by doing so they will be suffering exactly the same inconvenience as their actions are inflicting on their passengers.
Yes this pilot's actions highlighted the problems being experienced by flight crews. However, they also caused at best inconvenience and at worst real grief and distress to the passengers booked on the flight he cancelled. It's a pity he couldn't have found another way to make his point.
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 07:46
  #49 (permalink)  
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I fly in and out of JFK, EWR, LAX, SFO, MCO, MIA, LAS, IAD and other US airports and I have never seen an armed TSA operative. The only armed personnel I see at those US airports are the CBP/INS or the occasional policeman.

On the whole, the TSA are polite to crew and give us much more leeway than the pax, especially with regard to carrying water through or the removal of shoes and belts. As for UK security operatives, doing their job but complete arses when they decide to confront you or search for something.
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 08:55
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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A point to note; Most of the BAA staff at LHR are immigrants themselves and bear beards long enough to pass off as Osama Bin Laden's cousin.
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 09:43
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Completely sympathise with everyone being stopped for possessing potentially dangerous articles when you're going to be in charge of several hundred tonnes of dangerous article very shortly.
As a passenger, I find inconsistency at security the greatest annoyance, so how about...
Whenever you are stopped or questioned for what you believe is a pointless/wrong etc reason, especially where at blatant contradiction to last security concern, note the name of the officer concerned and the particular point made. Collate the responses at each location for a month or so, or possibly a day or so if my last trip through T5 was anything to go by, and get station manager to present data to security manager.
Surely any self respecting head of security would love to have such feedback to assist in getting the best from their staff and ensuring commonmality and correct application of standards.


Then again, you'd probably just find yourself in a security office for an extra hour being strip searched and accused of victimisation.
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 09:47
  #52 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FrequentFlyer2
Yes this pilot's actions highlighted the problems being experienced by flight crews. However, they also caused at best inconvenience and at worst real grief and distress to the passengers booked on the flight he cancelled. It's a pity he couldn't have found another way to make his point.
Precisely why it's the best way of making the point.

Have this happen once a day in the UK and the totally counter-productive harassment of flight crew would stop pretty damned sharpish.

Whilst, as pax, it would certainly be frustrating, some of us are still prepared to make sacrifices for the greater good. A bit out of fashion these days, I know - but that's one of the reasons the UK's so utterly screwed up. Don't delude yourself that it'll change any other way than by direct action, so that action needs support.
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 09:53
  #53 (permalink)  
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/quote("Here's the PA announcement from the PIC, explaining the delay and inviting passengers to voice their displeasure directly to the BAA.

The German announcement was biting, absolutely dripping with irony and with a barely concealed anger at the insolence and inefficiency of the BAA security process and their jobsworths.")


How many have actually listened? The announcement is in English, easily understandable, and professionally cheery. It's hardly dripping with anger.

I must say, my experiences with TSA staff have also been highly variable. And what all of these need is a course in repacking cases they after hand searching (which is still the norm at small airports). They have a knack of replacing stuff that is clearly marked as breakable and was packed in the very center of the suitcases with three layers of clothing right next to the outside skin without any padding.
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 10:31
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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A point to note; Most of the BAA staff at LHR are immigrants themselves and bear beards long enough to pass off as Osama Bin Laden's cousin
So? Casual racism doesnt help the argument. In fact it lowers us (as aircrew) towards the moronic attitude shown by some security staff
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 10:56
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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FREDA

I donít see anything racist in that quote at all.

As a additive, assured entertainment and if one had the time for the enviable delay and the front, the non indigenous could be asked to produce their work permits. Now before you all string me up for being resist, remember the Immigration service HQ cleaning contractor employed a whole load of illegal only a few years ago. No you couldn't make it up.
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 11:07
  #56 (permalink)  
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Stop looking for racism in every statement! Fact- the vast majority of airline terrorism has been committed by ME individuals. Fact- many security staff in the UK are ME individuals. Fact- their background has not been investigated like mine has as it is too 'difficult' to trace their movements, criminal history and affiliations for the last 5 years (so why the hell are they employing such people in security? It's a joke!). These are purely undeniable observations. People cannot help feeling uncomfortable, but as democracy ends with stuff like this and one is not allowed to mention it, then this post will probably go down the Swannee.

This post
OK! I fully agree the pilot should not have been treated unreasonably by the security staff. But remember his passengers may also have had less than pleasant experiences at security but thought once they got their belts, shoes, coats etc back on they were at least on their way to their destination.
assumes that pilots have the same experience at security. I'm afraid pilots are singled out for exceptional security by the security individuals! I did not see many commercial passengers standing with belts and shoes off, shirt open, trousers undone (JFK), getting repeatedly scanned and told off for what I cannot remember. I have received a body search I would describe as 'painful' (Stansted)- such a hard frisking I felt like calling it a day. Have no doubt- exceptional security is applied to male pilots in particular. I do not see the same level of searching applied to female crew. Good heavens- am I being treated differently because I am a male?

Whilst, as pax, it would certainly be frustrating, some of us are still prepared to make sacrifices for the greater good.
It's not for the 'greater good'! It is ineffective security. It is done for the benefit of showing the video monitor that this great security empire is 'doing its job'. Nothing else.

I repeat- there is no effective security for pilots. The pilots are locked in the flight deck. They have a crowbar. They have already taken control of the aeroplane! They don't need weapons- they already have the aeroplane! Now, how can security stop that? They will find a way!
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 11:07
  #57 (permalink)  
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@BRE

How many have actually listened? The announcement is in English, easily understandable, and professionally cheery. It's hardly dripping with anger.

Actually, I am aware that I posted the English PA, having listened (and understood) the preceding German one and my language skills in both languages are such that I can detect the nuances between irony, sarcasm and anger.

And it was "dripping with irony", not "dripping with anger"

The German one, that is
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 11:16
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry to intrude (flightie here).

Over the last few years, i've worked for two airlines operating out of the same australian airport - the 'airside' area is shared, however as they operate out of different ends of a 'long' terminal, the two main security check points couldnt be different.

At one end, the airport authority contracts the security - and the stories told here resonate clearly - monkeys sniffing ballpoint pens belonging to pilots, Joe Bloggs could be wearing a t-shirt that says 'I have a bomb' and they'd be too fixated on the 'uniformed ones' (as we were referred to by a supervisor one day) to notice.

At the other end, the airline contracts the security. They don't even bother with your deodorant can (if it doesn't have a cap), and not once in 2 years was I or anyone I know tested for explosives. (in contrast, at the other end of the terminal, it was almost guaranteed every single time!).

Yet - 25m away from each checkpoint - baggage handlers wander freely through wide open doors with a flash of their badge (generally at both companies, known to be the most transient of employees!)

Echo the sentiments - I too would rather see this fixed before I wake up one day, switch on the news, and see the consequences.

While i've never come across a pilot at either airline (personalities aside) that I wouldn't trust with my closest family - it's a huge risk - especially internationally.

What a wonderful idea to have the 'Satisfied - Neutral - Not Satisfied' buttons - from China of all places!?
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 11:29
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Rainboe, its not the facts I dispute, but calling a group of people big bearded cousins of Osama is probably not the most intelligent way to make a point and will probably hurt the chances of actually getting anything to change.
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Old 7th Dec 2009, 11:35
  #60 (permalink)  
BRE
 
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RevMan 2,

your first post seemed to imply that you posted a German language announcement, so I wondered how many had actually bothered to listen.

Also, the "and" puts the anger on the same level as the sarcasm, hence gramatically, the announcement was dripping with sarcasm and anger.


Would you mind posting the German language annoncement, too?

Thanks
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