Air Travel - increased security?

Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 09:22 pm
In the discussion on travel tips, several people made mention of the problems that increased security measures in airports brings.

Shoes with metal shafts were mentioned, as well as the usual nail files, clippers, etc. On another travel forum, I saw mention of underwiring in bras (look out, Lil K!) as triggering the machines!

What experience have you had with air travel security in the last year or so?

Was this only in the US?

How widespread is it in Europe?

Are some airports worse than others?

I'll be travelling in Europe in a month, including twice through London, and want to know what to expect!
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 09:30 pm
Definately, not all airports are the same. On my last trip, I walked right through the metal detectors without a ping. Returning from Orlando, my shoulder set off alarms, so they had to check me with a wand, and examine my shoes. I was treated with a professional level of courtesy, though - unlike some horror stories I've heard.

No overseas experience to share. Well, I know we are overseas, but you aren't coming here.
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the prince
Reply Thu 1 May, 2003 02:41 am
I get patted down very freuqently at Heathrow when boarding a flight, sepcially during recent times !!

As long as it is a strapping security guard, I dont really mind Wink
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Reply Thu 1 May, 2003 05:34 am
Because of a genetic bone condition, my legs break frequently and I have metal rods inserted in both femurs.

I set off the security systems at airports--and libraries.

I find women security guards are more likely to believe my explanation than men are--although waving the little scanner convinces men.
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Reply Thu 1 May, 2003 05:58 am
Cyborgs have been having a harder time lately.
It's not pretty when after 20 years of constantly wearing hardware, it has to be suddenly ripped out.
Slashdot article here.
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Reply Thu 1 May, 2003 12:14 pm
Margo, I read about the underwiring in bras also. And it does set of the handheld screening things.

I did some travelling from Germany to Sweden and back. I'd say security was 'normal'. In Germany, the bags you are checking will be x-rayed before you get to the airline counter. You have to present your passport along with your boarding pass when boarding the plane. But that's about it.
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Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 09:39 pm
I traveled from the US to the UK in May and didn't notice that much more secureity. They do tend to check your documents more closely and I had my handbag searched at Gatwick on the way back, but I managed not to set any alarms off.

Course I did learn from a short trip where my boots set off the alarm not to wear THEM...and to always wear matching socks just in case.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 09:59 pm
Actually, the biggest complaints lately have been missing personal property from check in baggage. The airlines have reimbursed only some people missing goods from their baggage. One individual said he lost a $1,000 binocular that the airline refused to cover. c.i.
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Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 01:49 am
I think the stories about extra security were a bit of a furphy!

I travelled through 8 different airports, in 6 countries, on my recent trip, and didn't experience any problems with security, no searches, no delays, no alarms for underwires or anything else.

In each airport my hand luggage was x-rayed. Nowhere was my checked luggage x-rayed in my presence, required to be left unlocked, or tampered with in any way. The only place I had any check on my luggage was on my return to Sydney, where I had to open it because I had items to declare. Even then, my hand luggage only was checked.

Because of the reduced number of people travelling, I didn't really experience delays anywhere, except Tokyo Narita. This was more inefficiency, rather than any security check. Signs and directions were very unclear. Staff directing passengers didn't know what they were doing. Even notorious Heathrow was pretty quick - although I had only hand luggage there.

Perhaps the increased security is within USA and flights to USA only?

Well - I'm ready to go again! Does anyone have a spare ticket? Razz
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Craven de Kere
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 01:59 am
On my way stateside I was one of the lucky who got full probing, total dismantling of luggage and shoe removal at every stop.

Thing is, i coulda taken a sticker off my passport that would have stopped the incessant checks.
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Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 02:01 am
Cheated death again, huh Margo? Glad you made it safely back with no more hassle than an entrenched incompetence.
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