Passengers & SLF (Self Loading Freight) If you are regularly a passenger on any airline then why not post your questions here?


Old 26th Sep 2015, 09:37
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: essex
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Went through London Stansted on 15th September. My wife has had two hip replacements so always gets pulled over at Security. (Her shoes were stolen a couple of years back from the conveyor whilst she was being 'examined'.)

This time, she was taken aside, after going through the X-ray machine, and 'patted down' in what she felt was an intrusive manner. This led to the discovery that she was wearing a money-belt which she was asked to remove so it's contents could be inspected. This on the grounds that it was being used for 'concealment'.

Meantime, I had sailed through without impediment, complete with money-belt with identical contents.
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 09:41
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If men are asked to remove belts surely it's not unreasonable to ask someone to remove a money belt which has compartments that can potentially conceal prohibited items?
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 09:51
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 1999
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One thing most of us have learned is that there is absolutely no consistency with security. I guess it comes down to the efficiency and concentration of the individual security person(s) on the day. Both my wife and I have sailed through with bottled water (having totally forgotten we had them in our bag). I have gone through 4 security systems with the same bag and exact same contents on the same day and passed through with no problem except for the 1 time. Of course this can also be due to the random checks which are automatically selected by the machines.
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 10:54
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Paxing All Over The World
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The make of boots that I usually wear may, or may not, set off the metal detector. It tends to be pot luck as it's clear that they are set at different levels of sensitivity and manufacturing differerence.

UK airport staff claim that all UK magnetic detector arches are set to the same level. I doubt that.
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 11:03
  #5 (permalink)  

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On the last three occasions I've travelled from the same South West England airport and returned from the same major Scottish airport the metal detector arch in England has not actuated but the Scottish one has.

Each time I was wearing exactly the same clothes and shoes outbound and inbound and took care to have nothing in my pockets.

Last week I mentioned this to the security officer at the Scottish airport. He was perfectly polite and friendly about it but could not or perhaps chose not to offer any explanation.

Like you I suspect the arches are set at different levels at various airports.
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 11:14
  #6 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
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The most sensitive one I have encountered was the Isle of Man. My mother used to live there and I visited regularly over 25 years. It was ALWAYS triggered by the boots that the LTN or LGW arch ignored. [If there was a 'smiley' for a Gallic shrug of the shoulders, I would insert it here]
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 11:33
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: London
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I have often noticed this at Aberdeen - doing an out & back from LHR day trip buying and changing nothing

As you say i think they have the gain turned up to keep them busy - the same setting at LHR would have queues back to Slough

Even at LHR I also believe they only allow a certain number of people to pass through each gate without checking someone/anyone - maybe a fixed number, maybe a random STOP generator

If you're in a long queue you often see maybe 5 passengers waltz through and then someone being stopped
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Old 30th Sep 2015, 13:19
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Location: Wor Yerm
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I believe the detectors at all airports are probably calibrated to activate above a certain threshold. But that will be in the factory. In situ, other machines, chairs, handbags, people, "Tensabarrier " stands etc. all contribute to the activation threshold. I pass through these wretched machines all over Europe wearing exactly the same clothes (funnily enough a uniform) and believe it or not, some machines activate and others do not. It's not worth a discussing the activation, you just play along with the pointless charade. After all, as long as I don't have nasty pointy stick or an aggressive yoghurt they'll give me a plane full of people and which I can fly where ever I wish at lickety-spit speeds. You couldn't make it up.

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Old 1st Oct 2015, 01:53
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Asia
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I go through security every time I go to work, always dressed exactly the same way in uniform. Sometimes it beeps and sometimes it doesn't. Been here long enough to know which gates are less sensitive.
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Old 1st Oct 2015, 21:15
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Midlands
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When I pax I always wear my shooting jacket so I can put all my possessions in the pockets and drop it into the tray. I also have a belt with a plastic buckle to avoid the undignified walk while holding my trousers up.

The thing that concerns me is that being a naughty boy I always rub my shooting jacket around the floor on the firing point at my range to ensure it has lots of nice fresh GSR and unburnt propellant on it. Never been stopped.
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Old 8th Oct 2015, 08:35
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Sensativity of security gates

a few years ago I wrote to the CAA about this. I was informed that there
is a standard, but that all UK airports set their gates to the maximum
sensitivity. Hence the queue's.
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Old 8th Oct 2015, 17:02
  #12 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
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Interesting, esa-aardvark, and that would not surprise me. None of them would want to be "the managers that let them through". That's an ass covering SOP.
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 10:50
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: UK
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Shuffle through the detector arches - if you keep your feet flat on the ground, the metal strip in the soles of your shoes stays under the scanner so to speak.

No idea if thats always true but it works at DXB T2 and Doha airport.
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 13:25
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: London
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Passing through security at a large continental European airport this week, the lady in-front of me was carrying a small dog with lead attached.
She placed her handbag and coat in an x-ray tray, uncoupled the lead from the dog (the lead was then added to the tray), then passed the dog to a security officer beyond but around the detector arch. The security officer duly made a fuss of the dog, it's owner passed though the detector and the dog was returned to her.

I watched closely and with interest - the dog was not checked. Surely this can't be right?
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 15:59
  #15 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
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Was she going on a commercial flight? Perhaps, if she was on a private flight, there are different rules? Just a thought as I've never seen a dog in ANY airport check-in.
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 21:16
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 239
@Reverserbucket: No dogs have yet been implicated in terrorist plots, therefore dogs are not checked.

On the other hand, the general rule is that if it is not allowed, it is forbidden. And don't expect consistency.

On a recent flight I had an adjustable spanner ("wrench" for some of you) confiscated. This thing was all of three inches long and about as offensive as a ballpoint pen. However, a new ruling said that "tools" were no longer allowed in the cabin.
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Old 11th Oct 2015, 20:03
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Dang! No tools? The missus will have to stay at home then.
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Old 14th Oct 2015, 12:15
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2009
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Small dogs can go as cabin baggage in many airlines, larger ones can go as hold luggage excess baggage.. at least when leaving the UK. My sister 'exported' her Irish Setter to Holland and it flew KLM as excess baggage (35 fee IIRC as opposed to 1700 going air freight). Bringing it back to the UK would require it to go freight, as 'baggage' import not allowed into EDI at least
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Old 24th Oct 2015, 23:44
  #19 (permalink)  
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Location: Kerry Eire
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I regularly carry a back pack around the world which contains three DSLR cameras, three lenses of various sizes, lens cleaning tools, batteries, flash, chargers and a number of leads. The back pack fits Ryanair cabin bag size rules,as I have to use them sometimes, and weighs just under 7kgs which more and more airlines are now imposing for cabin bags.

The reaction of security around the world is interesting. Irish airports sometimes ask me to open it after x-ray, in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil it normally just goes through without comment. Some US airports ask for it to be opened and some UK and European airports ask for the bag to be opened. Whenever it is opened a cursory examination usually follows.

I have had two exceptions, both in the UK, one acceptable if over zealous, the other totally objectionable. The first was at Aberdeen some years ago when I was politely taken aside and the contents of the bag were swabbed for explosive traces. The second was last year at T5 Heathrow when the bag was spotted prior to x-ray on the belt by a young total jobsworth who introduced himself by saying "that bag is too big and heavy for cabin baggage". When I pointed out its size and weight and that it had been through T5 security dozens of times without incident, he made me completely empty every last item into 4 trays stating that camera lenses don't show up properly in x-ray machines. Delaying the already long queue I then delayed it longer by slowly and carefully repacking the items as close to the machine as possible as I wanted to keep everything in reach and view as the total value of the bag's contents is in excess of 4000.

The supervisor and I then fell out as she wanted me to move the trays off the shelf. Given that there were two other trays belonging to me containing shoes, belt, wallet, passport, change, jacket and phone, I asked for help which she refused. I stood my ground and stayed where I was until I had repacked and got my other belongings back where they should be. I then complained about having to unpack the bag and was replied to with a shrug of the shoulders.

I have no problem with inconsistent levels of scanning or having the bag hand checked after x-ray, on one side from the main line, but the attitude that day, the lie about lenses and x-ray machines and the attitude of the supervisor unfortunately highlights the standard of security employees at Heathrow and Gatwick which, given their regular attitude to passengers, this example apart, seem to have garnered the most obnoxious staff I've come across anywhere.
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Old 25th Oct 2015, 15:23
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: London
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A lot of it is in the attitude of the staff - one of the longest "shakedowns" I had was at Madrid - it took 5 goes to get my bag through the machine - I hadn't had any problem

Something to do with the computing kit I had - we kept unpacking the bag and dividing the contents into more and more trays and rerunning the scan until they could "see" whatever it was that was causing a problem

But the staff were cheery, it wasn't busy & they diverted everyone behind me to the adjacent security scanner and there was a lot of joking and laughing - I had plenty of time and TBH didn't mind

Not an experience I've ever had at LHR.....................
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