Asthmatic forum members should avoid LCY!

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  PeterCoultas 4 Apr 2018
at 13:08
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Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

  • DavidGordon10
    Participant

    That may be a bit of an extreme title, but…

    On one previous occasion I have met the extraordinary notion at London City Airport security that the inhalers used by asthmatics to deliver bronchodilators or anti-inflammatory steroids to the lungs are “liquids”. Finding this astonishing the first time round, I tested it again today and, sure enough, my bag was pulled and the inhalers taken out for “testing”.

    Leaving aside the lack of knowledge of the physico-chemical makeup of the contents of such inhalers, this is just crazy, I know of no other airport in the world that thinks they are “liquids”. I have probably been through a couple of hundred other airports in the last few years, admittedly not every airport in the world, but if they are a risk at LCY, they must be a risk everywhere. Or do LCY asthmatics have special exploding inhalers? Does security at have to be tighter at LCY than in, say, Moscow or Ho Chi Minh city or Brazzaville?

    On a serious point, if airports do not have reasonably uniform security policies, then they will just p*ss off frequent flyers, creating a risk for all.

    Other reasons to avoid LCY?

    • I could not post this item while at the airport, only 10 minutes free wifi is now available;
    • The gate for our flight was changed from 6 to 23 after most pax had already trekked down to 6 (do you know how far it is from gate 6 to gate 23?); and my favourite:
    • On the stairs down to the apron from the gate, there was a sign “pedestrians should us the handrail”. Who or what other than a pedestrian is going to use those stairs? A motorbike? A horse? I rather like the idea of boarding a flight seated on a horse….


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    It’s not the airport’s fault

    https://www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions/essential-medicines-and-medical-equipment

    Essential medicines and medical equipment

    You’re allowed to carry essential medicines of more than 100ml in your hand luggage, including liquid dietary foodstuffs and inhalers.

    You’ll need supporting documentation from a relevant medical professional (for example a letter from your doctor or a copy of your prescription). The same applies for gel packs.

    Airport staff might need to open the containers to screen the liquids at the security point.


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    Sorry FDOS but that is not the point. UK airports are entitled to inspect any medicine we are carrying (for example, my inhalers or my supply for emergency use of oral steroids) but the inhalers are not containers of liquid in any ordinary sense of “liquid”. They contain an aerosol, a suspension in a gas of very fine particles. I cannot conceive of any way they could be used to make a bomb, although they could explode if thrown on a fire.

    The X-raying of liquids in containers of <100 ml is to see if we are carrying liquids that could be used to make a liquid explosive. No other airport that I know treats inhalers as liquids in this sense. So why is LCY different? In the absence of any reasonable explanation, my conclusion is that they have someone in charge who is too bone-headed to realise that an inhaler is not the kind of liquid container they should be looking for.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Sorry FDOS but that is not the point. UK airports are entitled to inspect any medicine we are carrying (for example, my inhalers or my supply for emergency use of oral steroids) but the inhalers are not containers of liquid in any ordinary sense of “liquid”. They contain an aerosol, a suspension in a gas of very fine particles. I cannot conceive of any way they could be used to make a bomb, although they could explode if thrown on a fire.

    The X-raying of liquids in containers of <100 ml is to see if we are carrying liquids that could be used to make a liquid explosive. No other airport that I know treats inhalers as liquids in this sense. So why is LCY different? In the absence of any reasonable explanation, my conclusion is that they have someone in charge who is too bone-headed to realise that an inhaler is not the kind of liquid container they should be looking for.

    David, the UK government mandates that inhalers are treated as liquids, end of discussion – the airport has to implement this rule, it is not discretionary.

    It is you who is missing the point – I suggest you lobby your MP, who can make your argument to Dft, the airport has to follow the rules or it will face penalties if caught by covert inspection.


    Reeferman
    Participant

    My experience of LCY – which, likewise, has been different to every other airport I’ve used – is that LCY insist the inhalers are included in the plastic bag of “toiletries/liquids” etc. Again, I presume this is on the basis they think they’re liquids! They’ve never taken them out for testing.

    They told me this was a new regulation (not aware if they meant UK reg, EU reg or world-wide reg) but it certainly didn’t apply at AGP a few days later. Will see what happens at LHR on Monday – and a variety of Far East airports over the coming few weeks.


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    No, I am sorry but the UK government does not “mandate that inhalers are treated as liquids”. The government website that you provide lists “Essential liquid medicines” on a completely separate line from “Inhalers” and nowhere does it say that inhalers are liquids.

    If the UK requires all airports to treat inhalers as liquids then why do LHR, LGW, STN, MAN and EDI (all of which I have passed through recently) not treat them as liquids?

    (And, incidentally, why did LCY ignore the dry powder inhaler that I also carry, if “inhalers” are “treated as liquids”?)


    SouthernOcean
    Participant

    I have had exactly the same experience at LCY but only at LCY. It must have been about a year ago that my bag was pulled and I told that asthma inhalers had to treated as liquids. Since then I have used LHR and LGW multiple times and always left my inhalers in my hand baggage without incident. So if this is a new regulation and if the UK government mandates that inhalers are treated as liquids, then both LHR and LGW are ignoring this requirement.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    No, I am sorry but the UK government does not “mandate that inhalers are treated as liquids”. The government website that you provide lists “Essential liquid medicines” on a completely separate line from “Inhalers” and nowhere does it say that inhalers are liquids.

    If the UK requires all airports to treat inhalers as liquids then why do LHR, LGW, STN, MAN and EDI (all of which I have passed through recently) not treat them as liquids?

    (And, incidentally, why did LCY ignore the dry powder inhaler that I also carry, if “inhalers” are “treated as liquids”?)

    If you read the overview on the site I quoted, it is quite clear about what the sub category of ‘liquids’ your suspension inhalers are scoped into – ‘sprays’ – obviously a ‘dry’ inhaler (powder based) is not caught:

    sprays, including shaving foam, hairspray and spray deodorants

    Whether making bombs is the greatest concern when dealing with sprays, is a matter of opinion, but the government policy is clear.

    As to why other airports do not follow the rules, that is a little like saying that it is okay to speed, because lots of other drivers speed.

    In this instance, as annoying as it may be, LCY are just following government guidance.


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    Well FDOS, we are not going to agree, so we should not go on any longer and I will not reply after this, my last post. I think it is stretching a point a very long way to say that inhalers are included in “sprays, including shaving foam, hairspray and spray deodorants”. They are different in volume and in the physical form of the contents of the container: they differ in the method whereby the contents are released

    You suggest that other airports are not following the rules: I think that they have interpreted the rules as meaning that medical inhalers are not “sprays” as defined above, and every other airport I have met worldwide does not treat inhalers as liquids. If other UK airports are going to be “caught by covert inspection” then a giant airport like LHR is going to have plenty of covert inspections – and they have not started to treat inhalers as liquids.

    To go right back to my original post, the serious thing is that security procedures should as far as possible be the same in every airport and in every airline, because those of us who travel a lot (like most users of this forum) get irritated by inconsistency, and an irritated passenger is potentially a dangerous passenger.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    David

    It isn’t me disagreeing with you, I am just pointing out the regulations, which you are trying to salami slice.

    Let’s try a different approach, here is the guidance from Heathrow, an airport you cite specifically (reference is https://www.heathrow.com/more/help-with-this-website/faqs/security-and-baggage)

    Can I take my asthma inhaler in my hand baggage?

    Yes, but please see the requirements surrounding the carriage of medicines.

    Medicines expanded
    Can I take medicines in my hand baggage?

    You can take enough essential liquid, aerosol or gel medicines in your hand luggage to cover your flight plus a reasonable amount to cover any delays. Any liquid, aerosol or gel medication not needed on the flight, together with any spares must be packed in your hold baggage.

    There are no security restrictions on the carriage of powder or solid based medicines.

    Liquid, aerosol or gel medicines in containers of 100ml or less should be either:

    Placed inside your single transparent, resealable plastic bag no larger than 20cm x 20cm, along with any other liquid items; or
    Carried separately together with supporting documentary proof of authenticity such as a prescription or letter from your doctor.

    Liquid, aerosol or gel medicines in containers over 100ml must be carried separately, together with supporting documentary proof of authenticity, such as a prescription or letter from your doctor.

    At security, you must present all liquid, aerosol and gel medication for inspection. Following x-ray screening, security officers may also need to carry out additional checks on these items.

    The rules above apply equally to homeopathic and children’s medicines.

    There is no requirement to contact the airport in advance of your travels.

    I carry an aerosol inhaler – they do not show up on the scanner at some airports, but do at others – so one will not be stopped in some airports, but will be in others.

    There is a variation in capability of scanning equipment in the UK and the rules are based on the lowest common denominator – some equipment does not need liquids to be removed from bags, but the rules do in the interests of consistency across airports.

    But then, as you point out, there is no consistency, so as I said earlier I’d encourage you to contact your MP, who can actually write to the Transport Secretary.


    PeterCoultas
    Participant

    Just stick your pepper spray in with your other “toiletries” in the plastic bag and it will go through without problem….

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