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Captain's LHR Security rant - LH4729/05Dec

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Captain's LHR Security rant - LH4729/05Dec

Old 8th Dec 2009, 19:43
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Until the CAA stand up to the DfT this problem will not go away. Look how all those Chirp reports are totally ignored.
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 19:52
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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Security twits

I believe only those folk who do this for a living, day in and day out, are qualified to comment. As per usual, IMHO.

The idiots in security have removed so many pairs of plotting compasses from my flight bag that I now go to work unable to accurately plot ranges from ERA's, hence making a mockery of that aspect of the job. (I know there are other solutions to be invented by ourselves). The issue is, with ID, and in uniform, why should we be subject to ignorant and uninformed staff "checking" us as security risks? They simply know too little to do their job, but they succeed in impeding us from doing ours.

I have been allowed to proceed safely to my A330 once nail scissors, anti-perspirant, a fork, a 120 ml bottle of anti-malarial insect repellent or many plotting compasses have been brusquely taken and visibly disposed of.

These security people and their managers represent the worst of the UK, and they are at the sharp end of "dealing" with all our foreign visitors. It is a disgrace.
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 19:56
  #103 (permalink)  
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F3Gs

Neither she, nor the LH captain were in possession of the full facts, but presented a clear opinion.
What on EARTH are you talking about.

Of COURSE the LH captain was in possession of the full facts.

He and his operating crew were held up at a security checkpoint for 45 minutes.

Those are the only relevant facts.

His passengers weren't delayed to the same extent- as I stated in the OP, the processing at Concourse K in Terminal 1 was as smooth as anything I've encountered and we were through in 5 minutes.

A 45 minute wait for operating crew is NOT acceptable and the captain doesn't need to ask security management why.

It's security management's job to ensure a smooth functioning of the airport within the regulatory constraints and that means prioritising operating crews.

Or do you seriously think that an airline can operate a reliable schedule with 45 minutes for crew security clearance factored in for each newly joining crew?
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 20:11
  #104 (permalink)  

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Until the CAA stand up to the DfT this problem will not go away. Look how all those Chirp reports are totally ignored.
Indeed.

Chirp is an utter disgrace. The CAA is bullied by government into submission. BALPA refuse to do anything other than talk, and get ignored. The Airlines have marked it as all too difficult, and hope it will go away.

Until people die, nothing will change.
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 20:27
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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FWIW and hard to believe, since the government took over screening at U.S. airports from the private contractors and their minimum-wage staff (paid in bananas) the process is as close to pleasant and efficient as one could reasonably hope for.

I realize this thread is mostly about London, but a couple of posters have thrown some wider nets and I think it's worth speaking up.

The big difference is that the operator (i.e. the government) isn't trying to keep wages down to maximize profit. As a result this is probably costing us several times as much as before, but imo clearly worth it.
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 21:55
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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As has often been stated on these threads, if security staff or procedures at a UK airport causes a reduction in safety, the correct report is not CHIRP, but an MOR.
By its very nature, a report with all the details removed for confidentiality cannot be used for corrective action. Airlines comply because they can be subject to pressure from Flight Ops Inspectors etc. Airport operators (many of whom still think of themselves as airport "authorities") need something more formal.
MOR it!
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 22:19
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Until (people die) every professional pilot doesn't go to work on Monday, and the Monday after that, and after that until this daily farce we endure is changed then nothing will change.
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 22:23
  #108 (permalink)  
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Hold on though. What if Mr Terrorist didn't give me anything to take onto the aircraft, and simply said "Fly your plane into location X?" I guess I could do that without the aid of my shoes, belt and yoghurt.
Not accurately though. Low blood sugar is known to cause poor performance.
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 22:28
  #109 (permalink)  
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I agree with the LH Cpt's intent.

After all, his pax might think the airline or crew are to blame when they are not. They deserve to hear the truth (and the truth is your best friend in such pa's)

However, I'd have kept it a lot shorter and less prejorative (have I spelled that correctly).

Simply explain that the LHR security are a bunch of half-wits and leave it at that.

Good luck with your next attempt at MacDonalds selection guys!
 
Old 8th Dec 2009, 23:21
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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Something doesn't seem right here.

I am not aware that LH have any LHR based crew. Correct me if I'm wrong but, surely LH usually operate into LHR on short haul and turn straight around and operate right back to Germany.

So why would they need to clear through LHR security in the first place?

Just wondering really, whilst I'm fully aware how useless BAA Security are!
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 01:11
  #111 (permalink)  
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OOT,

A lot of European airlines operate an inbound which arrives at about 21:00 ish. The crew then stay the night in the UK and operate one of the following day's flights out.




S78
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 02:55
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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I would not call it a rant

Personally, I would hardly even call it a rant. Seemed fairly reasonable to me.
They are delayed by some thing that should not have happened. We are not talking a flat tire, lightning strike or act of god but just a bad operation.
What really ticks me off is when they lay it off on someone else for no good reason.
What I would suggest is everyone print little cards saying, got delayed by Neanderthals, here is the the office and better yet home number of the director of BAA Heathrow. Call him.
It is BAA's shop. They certainly have no problem screwing everyone, airlines and punters for plenty of cash, let em take the heat.
20driver

PS - I have at least twice being on flights when FD have suggested delayed passengers contact higher ups directly and provided numbers. (As they should, when they are on solid ground)
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 03:30
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe a security expert could get on board here and explain what is the purpose of the "security" check. I still haven't worked it out.

When I and every crew other crew member arrives at the aircraft they still have weapons. What have we?

On person:

-shoe laces

-even the shoe. (Ask G Doublya)

-belt (buckle)

-Pens, pencils.

-Socks (nasty when a foot is replaced with a weight!)

To Name a few.


In the aircraft, all obvious to someone with half a brain:

-Axe

-First aid kit (plenty in there to make trouble)

-Fire extinguisher

-Cutlery, plastic or otherwise.

To name a few.

So that said, security are not doing their job if they think they are relieving us of potential weapons, are they?

Will security tighten up to the extent, vital safety equipment will be removed from the aircraft, or continue to make fools of themselves?

Who said the terrorist haven't won? They have us all running around like headless chickens.

P.S., We are reading a lot about the IQ levels and probable lack of education among the front liners at security. The idiots who have implemented these stupid rules for crew would probably have a university education. Just goes to prove you cant buy or study for intelligence. You are born with it. We are seeing the results of the academics who are "running" the UK.

Last edited by doubleu-anker; 9th Dec 2009 at 04:35.
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 05:17
  #114 (permalink)  
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Notwithstanding that I agree with Double Ankeur's post, let's try this another way.

If a passenger is delayed by security, it is no excuse for being late at the gate and offloading is the sanction.

If a crew is delayed by security, it apparently justifies the captain blaming their lateness on a third party.

As far as I am aware, no airport in the UK makes any particular promise to process anyone through security in any particular time.

It is therefore encumbent on the airport user to allow sufficient time to be on time.

So the posters expending a lot of hot air here are being hypocritical.

Life involves constant change and no matter how ludicrous the current security rules in the UK may be, they form part of the operating environment and people who chose to be involved in air travel must accept that as a constraint.

As easyJet says "If you're late, we won't wait."

This LH captain was late and then chose to blame a third party for his crew failing to allow enough time, when his airline might well have firmly rejected a similar excuse from a passenger.
 
Old 9th Dec 2009, 05:28
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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This LH captain was late and then chose to blame a third party for his crew failing to allow enough time, when his airline might well have firmly rejected a similar excuse from a passenger.
Except that the crew are governed by flight time limitations which will provide for a standard reporting time. Within that time they are required to complete all of their pre-flight duties including passing through airport security. Where that procedure is delayed it is either a matter for the operating companies to increase the standard reporting time to reflect the probability of the inefficiency of the airport operator, or for the captain to delay the flight should that be necessary in the interests of safety.

Passengers are subject to an entirely different set of contractual criteria concerning their recommended and latest report times, so your argument is irrelevant to the subject.

This crew were reportedly delayed 45 minutes in a security line. Up until that point they were not late at all. I cannot imagine any flight not being delayed where the crew were subject to such a lengthy holdup. Had it been a very longhaul flight, it might well have resulted in the crew being unable to operate the flight within their FTL with either a cancellation or severe delay being the end result.
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 06:17
  #116 (permalink)  
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Passengers are subject to an entirely different set of contractual criteria concerning their recommended and latest report times, so your argument is irrelevant to the subject.
I don't think it is irrelevant.

The fact is that both passengers and crew have criteria to observe, even if they are different.

Blaming security is okay if the airlines are whiter than white, but what about an aircraft arriving late as it had a MEL item that needed attention?

Should we blame the airline for complying with regs and fixing it?

Equally, should one blame the security people for complying with their regs? (however we may feel about those and my thoughts are well documented on other threads)

There must have been a reason for the delay and I woudn't be surprised if it was not similar to a MEL incident.

At the end of the day, all I am saying is that I do not like to hear people blaming in public, I don't find it professional.

Be factual by all means, "we were delayed at security and this was out of our control", but then going on to 'name and shame' and incite people to complain is, IMHO, quite unprofessional.

Behind closed doors, give them both barrels, but in public keep a straight face.

People are not stupid and will put 2 + 2 together, especially on an early morning LHR departure that is likely to be full of regular travellers.
 
Old 9th Dec 2009, 06:39
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry but you are torturing logic. As far as I am aware this situation had nothing to do with an MEL? Nobody is blaming the security people for doing their job, but the BAA (in this case) for the length of delay it caused to a crew operating a scheduled flight.

There must have been a reason for the delay and I woudn't be surprised if it was not similar to a MEL incident.
I am sure you wouldn't, but in this case it was reported as a delay caused by a security delay. Perhaps the reason given doesn't entirely mesh with your own agenda, but within this forum we presume the report is honest.

At the end of the day, all I am saying is that I do not like to hear people blaming in public, I don't find it professional.
You may not, but passengers often want to know the reason for the delay, and if comments have already been made that the "crew were late arriving at the aircraft" it is certainly not unreasonable for a brief explanation to be proffered as to the reasons behind that singular observation. As in this example you are only too quick to jump on the captain for his perceived "lack of professionalism" when the reason seemingly lay elsewhere.
If the cause of the disruption lay with an outside agency, it is was at the captains discretion, perfectly reasonable to say so.

People are not stupid and will put 2 + 2 together
Or like yourself they are unsure of the real integers to be added, but rework them to come up with an answer that they want. The captain tried to provide the factual integers to anybody who was interested or concerned. Even so, for a few the answer would still have been 3 or 5 in some cases. To be honest this is an argument best conducted in the Passenger and SLF forum, because it was neither unprofessional, nor was it a rant. Few professional pilots who are subject to this as part of their working lives would think otherwise.
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 08:08
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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Grrr

I think that we as a professional community, either through IFALPA or constituent bodies, should petition the DfT to rescind BAA's licence to operate airport security.

BAA's performance at all of its sites is woefully inadequate, right across the board. They are almost entirely responsible for Heathrow's recent discription as the worst airport in the World. As an all too regular user of Heathrow, from both sides of the flight deck door, I have to agree. I wouldn't counsel any of my friends to use it, and if you're connecting, then go to FRA or AMS.

Heathrow is only symptomatic of a general malaise in the UK today. Many critical functions have been filled by unacountable agencies dreamed up by ministers to avoid having to take responsibility themselves and building a firebreak. Those agencies have filled front of house operational jobs by people off the street. Taking the average level of skills and literacy in Britain today, they are only ever going to be bottom feeding.

One survey this month by the Literacy Commission estimates that 1,000,000 Scottish people are unable to read or write.

The BAA are making a mockery of the United Kingdom. They are primarily a facilities contractor, who would rather be running shopping centres than public transport infrastructure. They are neither suited to, or competent at security. It's high time that the Police or UK Border Agency (although I have my doubts about them too) took over airport security, and let these gnomes get on with picking up litter and cleaning the toilets.

Funny how the UK's most serious terrorist attack of recent times happened at probably the worst UK airport for crew? (a closely tied race)
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 08:51
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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Scrap the whole lot - just what is the point ? We all know that the bad boys will do precisely what they want to do, when they want to do it, whatever obstacles are place in their path.
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 09:19
  #120 (permalink)  
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To be honest this is an argument best conducted in the Passenger and SLF forum, because it was neither unprofessional, nor was it a rant. Few professional pilots who are subject to this as part of their working lives would think otherwise.
That is a fair point Beazelbub.

Just to be clear, if the gentleman has said "the crew was delayed for 45 minutes at the security point and this has knock on effects........", I would have considered that an entirely reasonable statement, .unimpeachably based on fact.

It was the extension beyond that I don't like.

Anyway, I'll stop now, as you have convinced me not to push the point further.
 

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