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Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006, 11:45 am

Re: The whole "you can't bring stuff on planes to the UK" thing.

Do I have this right - the security forces FOILED a plot to blow up a plane, proving that existing secutity measures are at least acceptable. This therefore means that airport authorities feel the need to severely curtail what you can bring on the flight?

This list includes
Prescription medicines, not in liquid form unless can be verified as authentic - what the hell does that mean? you need to bring a chemical batch analysis machine?
Essential medical items such as diabetic kit - containing a needle
Glasses and sunglasses, no cases - I knew a nutter once who made his glasses so they could be used as a weapon, you'd pull off the plastic earpiece covering and underneath he'd made a shiv. Bit of an oddity that guy.
Baby food and milk for those with infants - contents of each bottle must be tasted by accompanying passenger - Good luck with volunteers there if you're not with someone. Furthermore, how does having an accomplice... taste your chemical catalyst make it any less of a catalyst?
Keys, but no electric key fobs - Your determined psycho can make a weapon out of anything, even keys. Theres a reason they're used in self defence classes - you can absolutely maul a person with them.

Now, it may seem as if I'm being picky and looking at mad obscure ways some of those items could be used but the point is simply this - a sophisticated criminal could easily use any of these to hijack a plane. A completely inept criminal could fashion a pretty lethal blade from a coke can sold on the plane. None of these restrictions make anyone any safer. This is nothing more than yet another attempt to keep everyone afraid and angry. Please note that these measures do nothing to improve on the chances of detecting ceramic /polymer composite blades hidden in shoes or belts or under wigs or garottes anywhere around the body.

Never mind what they're allowing - they're banning things like laptops and other gizmos. What? are the terrists going to HaX0r the plane? Use the laptop as some kind of super advanced cudgel? Allah Allah MAcbar? And books! What the hell?

Female sanitary items, unboxed - someone explain to me how having them boxed makes them more dangerous? Does the box prevent the X-ray machine from seeing the explosives inside? How does forcing passengers to keep the damned things in their pockets (no hand luggage remember)where the packaging can be pierced thus rendering them unsuitable for sticking where the sun does not shine make anyone safer? Imagine a lady's surprise when she goes to the toilet to do the essentials and discovers that OH NO! someone has replaced her tampons with a live hand grenade.
Everyone duck! She's got tampons in a box!

Tissues, unboxed, or handkerchiefs Whoever came up with this list had a strange childhood I bet. I can't think of any other reason for this box terror.

Ridiculous, once more some pathetic little fool has a chance to show some common sense and instead acts like someone slipped him an ounce of speed and shot him in the head. Thing is, this will end eventually and it'll all go back to normal (or so the news would have us believe) so if the measures won't be necessary in a fortnight (I guess) why are they necessary now? If someone could sneak a bomb on board in a box of tampons then you can be damned sure they'll be just as able to sneak it abord in their colon. I mean if you're going to blow yourself up, whats a little anal virginity between you and your God?

Y'know, now I think about it some more, if I was on a long flight stuck (as I invariably seem to be) right in front of a surly child who in this instance has been denied the use of his gameboy or whatever toys are typically used to keep a kid quiet during a long flight and I in turn were denied the use of the various devices I use to keep the noise of surly children out then I'd be giving some serious thought to getting obnoxiously drunk.

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 11:33 am (UTC)

I like the fact that you can bring keys on board, but not a paperback book. Presumably, this is because of the preponderance of people hollowing out their paperbacks in an attempt to smuggle illegal things on board...

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 11:40 am (UTC)

I thought about that but again - metal detectors and X ray machines will catch all that. The worse thing you could do with a book is pick a really really bad one and reccomend it to people.
(Deleted comment)

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 11:54 am (UTC)

Fair point, though the explosives were gotten through because security measures were not being followed (as I recall) rather than being insufficient. Surely giving the guards MORE pointless crap to deal with will increase the odds that something will slip past on the fifty seven thousandth occasion the guard has to watch someone sipping on bottled breast milk?

They're only human and they'll slip up if you give them enough stupid, pointless, soul-destroying tasks.

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)

Paper cuts can be really serious! I think this one is valid. Yay airport nazis!
No, thats not right.
Sorry. I meant security.

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 11:41 am (UTC)

I wonder what next step will be? Everyone flying naked, after complete body scan and search? "Sorry, you've got a filling in your second molar. If you just step this way, we will remove it for you."

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 11:42 am (UTC)

Specialist carriers like S&M airlines are going to lose a lot of business real soon I reckon.

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 12:16 pm (UTC)

I gave up on airport security about 2 months after 9/11, when I accidentally brought a scalpel on board an airplane . After having my bag go through the x-ray, be hand searched and swabbed for explosives. And this was at Belfast International...you'd think they'd be up on security stuff. I wonder if Dublin Airport are going to start the no shoes/no belts shite again now.

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 12:24 pm (UTC)

Like I said to olethros, the measures they have should be fine, it is their terrifying inability to actually enact those measures that creates the problems.

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC)

I think it's the should that's worrying...stuff can and will slip through, be it a scalpel that an architecture student forgot to take out of her bag before travelling or something more malicious. Making people drink breast milk or take stuff handfulls of tampons and meds into their pockets isn't really going to help either way. I'm just glad this happened after I had my weekend in London!

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)

I accidentally brought a disposable razor on the way here last week (I'm in Zurich for work for a few days), but a scalpel's much more impressive.

Fri, Aug. 11th, 2006 10:56 am (UTC)

In their (and my) defence, it was in my kitchen-sink handbag that doubled up as my materials bag for college and we'd been model making the week before. I didn't remember it was in there until the security woman asked if she could search my bag. What frightened me was that she hand searched the bag and gave it back to me without having spotted the scalpel!

Fri, Aug. 11th, 2006 07:26 am (UTC)

Dublin already do the no shoes/belt thing

Fri, Aug. 11th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC)

NOt anymore they don't. unless they have started it sionce the middle of July which was the last time I flew. I have also flown 3 previous times in the preceeding 2 months and was never asked to remove my shoes or belt.

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC)

Wow, a scalpel is pretty impressive to bring through security.

I don't know if I have you beat, but it's close - you win on obviousness, but I win on sheer amount of materials.

The end of July I took a trip, and apparently left a craftsman multi-tool in my backpack - it's like welding together every prohibited item in one compact package. It has a BIG FREAKING KNIFE on it, as well as pliers, screwdrivers, a LEATHERPUNCH, can opener, metal file, etc...

(granted it was folded up so slightly less visible, but.. it's a large hunk of metal with a flange at the top. it's unmistakable. and see the following, when...)

...I was on my return trip when TSA dragged me aside and said "we think you have a thing in your backpack" and i said "huh?" they said that I left a multitool in there, and sure enough, they pulled it out and I had to post it back to myself (still haven't received it... wonder if i'll get it back.. but i've got a receipt somewhere).

The screener lady looked a bit shocked when I told her this was a return trip and I'd already passed through another major airport, but I don't think anything came of it other than that - she went back to sitting at an x-ray machine.

Thank you airport security. You guys are a bunch of goddamn douchebags.

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC)

btw for what it's worth, i checked the mail and i got my multitool back today, hoorah.

Thu, Aug. 10th, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC)

but i'd just liek to add what a GOD DAMN RIPOFF the service is.

i didn't look at the post label until just now. They sent it regular US mail in a small bubble envelope. Postage: $2.07. They list their price as $9, but I only had a $10 and no way to change it - and they sure didn't slip an extra $1 in my envelope. So they made off with $7.93 in pure cream. Bastards.

Fri, Aug. 11th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC)
followthebird: tripod

I haven't accidentally taken anything sharp onto a plane yet but I was made search my bag twice: the first time airport security searched my bag it was for my umbralla; the second time they searched my bag they couldn't find what made them suspicious so I had to go through the bag myself...it was a blummin' portable tripod. I was allowed keep the offending umbrella and tripod.