Can we get some consistency at security, please?

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  • Anonymous


    I know I shouldn’t get stressed by it, but the inconsistency of airport security drives me nuts.

    Take my recent Frankfurt trip – coming back, I got stopped for having a zippo in my pocket. Not entirely unreasonable, you might think, except that on the outward trip, they’d let me onto the plane with it at LHR – which is surely a higher security risk.

    The lighter was a birthday present, so I didn’t want to lose it, & had to go back to check-in, where a huge party of passengers had just arrived with three pieces of luggage apiece. So what should have been a quick 10 mins airside took me the best part of 45 mins, just because there’s no consistency on what you can & can’t take through security.

    The worst thing is, you can’t get any answer on any of this – security is just considered too holy to discuss by both airports & governments. One excuse I’ve heard is that this inconsistency keeps everyone on their toes, which is just cr*p – if lighters could be dangerous then ban them completely, we’d all know where we stand & this sort of rubbish wouldn’t happen. At the very least, couldn’t we have some consistency within Europe?

    (p.s. is it just me, or are the security staff at FRA complete rottweilers?)


    I fully agree, and had a similar experience in New York 3 years ago where the airport and FAA website said I could take my lighter and the airport security said I could not. Further there was a veiled threat that if I dared to argue I could be held and interrogated! I still wonder what happened to this lighter as even Alex McWhirter could not get a reply from the Americans. It was an expensive lighter and I have the feeling it ended up as “booty for the boys”.

    This of course raises an important point. If security officials are confiscating items and keeping them, they are being dishonest, this has many serious implications for security. The authorities in my view should tell us exactly what happens to these items. Are they destroyed, or sold, or do they end up as booty?

    PS. Yes they are Rottweilers. I never hesitate to tell them that they could do with a few lessons in charm school. Sometimes they smile, mostly they scowl. What is that old adage about giving a man a uniform?


    Last month I flew MAN – Brussels for a 2 night stay, and stupidly took some shaving cream in my hand luggage. This was confiscated at Manchester. I bought another in Brussels used it twice and left it for the chamber maid. On the return flight at Brussels the man in front of me was found to have shaving cream and I heard security tell him …… ” You know you’re not supposed to take this, but I will let you go this time!”
    Oh the joys of travel!


    I agree it is all very frustrating but it seems simple to me. Obvously don’t take a lighter or a knife or sharp objects – they’ve said it for a couple of years now so why don’t people just listen? I agree the toiletries / liquids aspect is very annoying but nothing to bust a gut about.

    Why not just pack properly and accept you may have to buy things on the otherside? Then you can sail through security laughing at everyone else who has to give up precious items becasue they think they are somehow going to get away with it…no wonder security are grumpy they have to say the same thing over and over again. Anyone would think half of us have never been on a plane before.

    Also the best form of attack is the element of surprise so inconsistency may be the way forward to stop any potential security breaches. Softly Softly catchy monkey…


    Well yes, up to a point. But if you are hand luggage only, you breeze through, buy stuff airside or at your destination, but then have to throw it all away before the return, not very green, or economical


    That’s one expensive travel bag PPowolny! My advise is always assume the worst – i have two sets of travel bags made up at home – one normal one if i’m taking checked luggage, and another “hand luggage” one with generic 100ml screw top bottles i’ve collected over time, in to which i decant my favourite toiletries once in a while when they run out – simple.


    Travel through T3 at LHR and stand in the left hand queues for Border Control and you get to take your shoes off immediately afterwards for secondary screening. Stand in the far right hand queue and you get waved through. When I questioned the security staff about this they said that they only need to screen the shoes of 1 in 3 passengers. Wheres the logic?


    Fra are in fact stupid anyway. I had a stand up with one of them who after I had removed my laptop from the case then proceeded to try and place the case back on top of the laptop in the tray – until I objected on the grounds of damage. He then turned from a German into Frenchman and threw his hands up in the air.

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