LHR T3 security worst we have ever seen

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  MarcusGB 15 Jul 2019
at 02:18
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  • MarcusGB
    Participant

    Hi Martyn.

    I am sure many on here will be aware of the UAE, and Many Sharia Law Countries, where many over the counter medications from the UK, are Banned, or restricted in your destination country. It includes if you are in Transit whether carried in yr own bag, or checked in bags. This is also detailed in the British FCO pages.
    travelling to or through the UAE, therese run to over 300 over the counter medicines from the UK.
    (In Thailand it is almost the opposite, where Boots at BKK Airport the pharmacist will sell you most Prescribed drugs).

    Caffeine (in Tylenol tablets), Any form of Codeine, is unlawful. These are drugs than can be abused used in self harm, and decongestants used in manufacturing illicit street drugs even as the Australians will tell you.
    You can buy these at WH Smith but take them into the UAE, and you can be detained, likely sentenced to up to 4 years in prison
    If you had a nasal spray with a steroid in it, this would also be prohibited.
    Taking yr nasal spray into Australia with Steroid in, would also be prohibited unless declared.
    I am just stating the facts, not maralising.

    I normally take a sleeping tablet, maybe even a muscle relaxant and headache tablets with me on long haul flights, like many. True these days we all take something with us.
    I had a Previous car accident, incurred injuries with long term effects, so at times get quite uncomfortable. I travel with a Dr’s letter, Prescription etc.
    My injury claim which went through The High Court, detailed the need to carry such medications, country and Worldwide travel restrictions. It was noted and included in the Judgement and Compensation by the HC Judge!

    Better to over comply than get stopped, and searched and questioned for an hour as you would get entering Australia. Or worse elsewhere.
    Many ordinary travellers, will not even know what maybe ingredients in a tablet, headache Medications have many components. The Codeine in the UK 30mg is higher than 8mg allowed in Australia in one tablet. Melatonin used by many travellers, which can be bought as a food supplement, (your sleep hormone), Is illegal to carry or transit through some countries!

    It would apply taking say Etihad or Emirates via their hubs to Australia.
    I am not sure if people recall the regular Headlines and news, where people are detained and in custody or Prison for carrying such items.

    Here is just one of those articles, prompting great care for carrying any medications outside of Europe.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/dubai-prescription-drugs-rules-uae-medication-tourists-can-you-take-law-illegal-customs-a8143916.html

    In relation to Australia the Dept of Health and Therapeutic Drugs regulations do apply:

    https://www.tga.gov.au/entering-australia

    I lived in Australia, have practised and was a Health Services Director in Australia, travelled in and out for over 20 years, now 2-3 times a year.
    Even Interstate within Australia, regulations can vary, as set by State & Federal. I have plenty of instructions directly from Customs, and i am always thanked for being honest when i present my Declaration card at the Red customs lane. I know the policies in the UK, and Australia, and FCO advice.
    If you go through the green channel, 90% of travellers are further screened, and if ANY tablets are seen on x ray, your bags will be opened and gone through. Often this will add 1 hr+ to your experience. If you declare and detail them vie the red lane in Australia, you explain and are normally right out, quicker than the green.
    There are no queues at the red channel.

    If people are so foolish, or arrogant to feel they can take whatever they want, even from WHsmith or Boots ex UK, then you carry the risk of being importing a prohibited drug in many countries.
    What is on an unrestricted schedule in the UK, such as in the UAE, may well be on their over 300+ list of over the counter UK drugs that are Banned, without A Dr’s letter, Prescription, in the original boxes.
    This will include headache tables, decongestant nasal spray. sleeping herbal pill, let alone prescribed Medications.
    If you bought these over the counter, then you won’t have any documentation, you have imported prohibited drugs. Simple.
    What if your flight is cancelled, you are placed on another Airline, diverted, or your bag goes astray?
    Will you be covered on the new route without your documentation?

    Guidelines issued by the UK Department of Health, list Australia as one of the countries where you should declare your drugs of any type, they may well be on a different Schedule of restrictions, than the UK. It is clear which countries, but not on which Airline or Country you transit through.
    Therefore, standardised letters from Hospitals, and GPs are authorised, and highly advised.

    Australia’s Scheduled drugs (called controlled Drugs in the UK), are far more strict. Gp’s cannot prescribe as a policy, sleeping tablets or muscle relaxants such as Benzodiazepines, without calling medicare, to have them authorised and meet set criteria. GP’s mostly refuse to prescribe them.
    In Hospitals these are kept in the SD/ CG cabinet, to which The Nurse in Charge holds the keys, dispensed and the patient witnessed taking them by 2 Registered Nurses and witnessed, both sign, and a Register kept.
    They are counted and handed over between shifts, and audited by a Senior Charge Nurse / Manager, and Pharmacist daily.

    So those that think they can just take what drugs they want in, without even knowing the formula, when these same drugs are subject to the above, are simply choosing to break the law..
    As always, wherever you travel, carry your documentation, declare if medicines are and let the Officers decide (if you are lucky enough to be in a country where the systems are not corrupted), as you cannot.
    This should be standard common sense to frequent travellers these days.

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    FrDougal
    Participant

    If you ever find yourself in a situation again at Heathrow with security and for one reason or another can’t find a manager to complain, take note of the terminal, time you passed through and finally the lane you used. They are all numbered and you should see it on a pillar or post around the lane you passed through.

    Use this to make your complaint. All staff are allocated to their lanes and can be pulled up via this. They can also scan CCTV to provide further evidence.

    I not so long ago had an awful homophobic experience involving three T5 security staff. They refused to give their name or staff numbers so I went down this approach. They no longer work at LHR!

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    If you ever find yourself in a situation again at Heathrow with security and for one reason or another can’t find a manager to complain, take note of the terminal, time you passed through and finally the lane you used. They are all numbered and you should see it on a pillar or post around the lane you passed through.

    Use this to make your complaint. All staff are allocated to their lanes and can be pulled up via this. They can also scan CCTV to provide further evidence.

    I not so long ago had an awful homophobic experience involving three T5 security staff. They refused to give their name or staff numbers so I went down this approach. They no longer work at LHR!

    Good for you FrDougal and noted ….


    K1ngston
    Participant

    Hi Martyn.

    I am sure many on here will be aware of the UAE, and Many Sharia Law Countries, where many over the counter medications from the UK, are Banned, or restricted in your destination country. It includes if you are in Transit whether carried in yr own bag, or checked in bags. This is also detailed in the British FCO pages.

    travelling to or through the UAE, therese run to over 300 over the counter medicines from the UK.

    (In Thailand it is almost the opposite, where Boots at BKK Airport the pharmacist will sell you most Prescribed drugs).

    Caffeine (in Tylenol tablets), Any form of Codeine, is unlawful. These are drugs than can be abused used in self harm, and decongestants used in manufacturing illicit street drugs even as the Australians will tell you.

    You can buy these at WH Smith but take them into the UAE, and you can be detained, likely sentenced to up to 4 years in prison

    If you had a nasal spray with a steroid in it, this would also be prohibited.

    Taking yr nasal spray into Australia with Steroid in, would also be prohibited unless declared.

    I am just stating the facts, not maralising.

    I normally take a sleeping tablet, maybe even a muscle relaxant and headache tablets with me on long haul flights, like many. True these days we all take something with us.

    I had a Previous car accident, incurred injuries with long term effects, so at times get quite uncomfortable. I travel with a Dr’s letter, Prescription etc.

    My injury claim which went through The High Court, detailed the need to carry such medications, country and Worldwide travel restrictions. It was noted and included in the Judgement and Compensation by the HC Judge!

    Better to over comply than get stopped, and searched and questioned for an hour as you would get entering Australia. Or worse elsewhere.

    Many ordinary travellers, will not even know what maybe ingredients in a tablet, headache Medications have many components. The Codeine in the UK 30mg is higher than 8mg allowed in Australia in one tablet. Melatonin used by many travellers, which can be bought as a food supplement, (your sleep hormone), Is illegal to carry or transit through some countries!

    It would apply taking say Etihad or Emirates via their hubs to Australia.

    I am not sure if people recall the regular Headlines and news, where people are detained and in custody or Prison for carrying such items.

    Here is just one of those articles, prompting great care for carrying any medications outside of Europe.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/dubai-prescription-drugs-rules-uae-medication-tourists-can-you-take-law-illegal-customs-a8143916.html

    In relation to Australia the Dept of Health and Therapeutic Drugs regulations do apply:

    https://www.tga.gov.au/entering-australia

    I lived in Australia, have practised and was a Health Services Director in Australia, travelled in and out for over 20 years, now 2-3 times a year.

    Even Interstate within Australia, regulations can vary, as set by State & Federal. I have plenty of instructions directly from Customs, and i am always thanked for being honest when i present my Declaration card at the Red customs lane. I know the policies in the UK, and Australia, and FCO advice.

    If you go through the green channel, 90% of travellers are further screened, and if ANY tablets are seen on x ray, your bags will be opened and gone through. Often this will add 1 hr+ to your experience. If you declare and detail them vie the red lane in Australia, you explain and are normally right out, quicker than the green.

    There are no queues at the red channel.

    If people are so foolish, or arrogant to feel they can take whatever they want, even from WHsmith or Boots ex UK, then you carry the risk of being importing a prohibited drug in many countries.

    What is on an unrestricted schedule in the UK, such as in the UAE, may well be on their over 300+ list of over the counter UK drugs that are Banned, without A Dr’s letter, Prescription, in the original boxes.

    This will include headache tables, decongestant nasal spray. sleeping herbal pill, let alone prescribed Medications.

    If you bought these over the counter, then you won’t have any documentation, you have imported prohibited drugs. Simple.

    What if your flight is cancelled, you are placed on another Airline, diverted, or your bag goes astray?

    Will you be covered on the new route without your documentation?

    Guidelines issued by the UK Department of Health, list Australia as one of the countries where you should declare your drugs of any type, they may well be on a different Schedule of restrictions, than the UK. It is clear which countries, but not on which Airline or Country you transit through.

    Therefore, standardised letters from Hospitals, and GPs are authorised, and highly advised.

    Australia’s Scheduled drugs (called controlled Drugs in the UK), are far more strict. Gp’s cannot prescribe as a policy, sleeping tablets or muscle relaxants such as Benzodiazepines, without calling medicare, to have them authorised and meet set criteria. GP’s mostly refuse to prescribe them.

    In Hospitals these are kept in the SD/ CG cabinet, to which The Nurse in Charge holds the keys, dispensed and the patient witnessed taking them by 2 Registered Nurses and witnessed, both sign, and a Register kept.

    They are counted and handed over between shifts, and audited by a Senior Charge Nurse / Manager, and Pharmacist daily.

    So those that think they can just take what drugs they want in, without even knowing the formula, when these same drugs are subject to the above, are simply choosing to break the law..

    As always, wherever you travel, carry your documentation, declare if medicines are and let the Officers decide (if you are lucky enough to be in a country where the systems are not corrupted), as you cannot.

    This should be standard common sense to frequent travellers these days.

    Thank you MarcusGB I had absolutely no idea about any of this and I am a seasoned traveller. I recently was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer which has since been removed but I have a whole load of tablets that I have been prescribed I guess I need to go through them carefully when travelling …

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    BrotherJim
    Participant

    If people are so foolish, or arrogant to feel they can take whatever they want, even from WHsmith or Boots ex UK, then you carry the risk of being importing a prohibited drug in many countries.

    https://www.tga.gov.au/entering-australia

    I assume this may well be directed to me, in which case I find the personal (but well hidden) attack a bit uncalled for. Whilst I agree with the overall sentiment of your post, that one should have appropriate documentation for their medicines, and especially liquids at security which is where this thread started, having said documentation and declaring at customs in countries are two different things.

    In relation to declaration in Australia, the link you provided gives the answer quite clearly. In summary it says (para 5) “…check what medicines need to be declared”. It doesn’t say declare every single pill or potion that you are carrying, which is exactly the point I was making. You do not NEED to declare ALL medications on arrival in Australia. It is up to you to check what needs to be declared, and if in doubt declare it. Which is the same as taking medications into any country, you should check first.

    As for what happens if you don’t declare, what you describe is not the reality I am afraid. I understand you had one bad experience, but the reality is don’t declare anything then yes there is a good chance you bag will be x-rayed, but just because you have pills you will not necessarily refereed for a manual inspection. Customs know full well what they are looking for and what they see on a screen. So even if you were pulled aside for a manual inspection it would be a case of showing them what they saw and all would be good provided the medicine fulfilled. It would take all of 2 minutes rather than 1 hour of interrogation.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    It’s an interesting point about looking through the ingredients of medication to check.

    I must say I never have, and if searched, would probably be in trouble for something or other (sleeping tablets, I suppose, and some pain killers for my back) though they are in very small amounts (number of pills, not strength, which is pretty high).

    I suppose I must be one of those medically illiterate people MarcusGB refers to (‘foolish and arrogant’ in his words).

    Getting back to the more general point about T3 security, I went through Fast Track there yesterday, and I can see why people complain. I had no run in with them, but the dismissive attitude bordered on contempt in the way I was waved through security by one with a whisk of the hand and then told to ‘Stop’ in no certain terms by another only a second later, and the searching of my wife’s bags, though of course a matter for them, was done in a way that left a very poor impression of them all, and the airport.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    PeterCoultas
    Participant

    How things have changed…. I remember a RTW trip from the UK continuing from a USA stop via New Zealand, Australia (Sydney, Darwin, Melbourne & Perth), & several SE Asia stops. My carryon ruck-sack had minimal clothes but camera gear, a main toilet bag plus an emergency toilet bag. This last contained my spare contact lenses, large numbers of melatonin tablets (some for Aussi friends) and my small anti-bear pepper spray carried when hiking in the USA. Not once was the pepper spray noticed despite me have searches in Auckland and Darwin! I still have it but I’ve not dared to take it with me on recent trips..


    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    I would like to ask a question again which although posted earlier has not attracted a reply. Do we as passengers have any come back on security personnel who carry out inappropriate searches bordering on what some may determine is a sexual assault? Are there protocols security staff have to follow and what disciplinary action can they be subject to?. Are we able to call the police?


    K1ngston
    Participant

    I would like to ask a question again which although posted earlier has not attracted a reply. Do we as passengers have any come back on security personnel who carry out inappropriate searches bordering on what some may determine is a sexual assault? Are there protocols security staff have to follow and what disciplinary action can they be subject to?. Are we able to call the police?

    CathayLoyalist2 I got into it many years ago with a female security person at T5 who was completely and totally out of order and it became so heated that her boss recommended we called the Police to deal with the issue, they came and they listened and surprisingly they agreed with me so the situation was defused. So in short if you feel inclined I would insist the police are present to show you mean business

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Hi Tom.

    I have tried in this post as the matter moved on, to outline The facts for travelling to or transiting through many countries.
    Sire of the FCO advice can be seen, and these are from guidelines issued by The Department of Health UK, given to GP’s, and Hospital Consultants.

    The carrying of medications outside of the EU (and this may change post Brexit even for those destinations), is subject to the law of these other countries.
    I work with some very eminent Professors in various specialist fields of Medicine. I would say at least 10, and they are Leads in The UK, some in Europe, experts regularly called to advise The High Court in many cases. They are also (as many Professors and their caricatures are!), rather wild and individuals with great character. But highly aware of medications their speciality prescribe and very hot on this issue.
    These words are blatently repeated to many of their patients, if they “Choose not to carry such letters, prescriptions copies and in original boxes”.
    Once advised, many patients get a letter from them, but Tom, Many GP’s are not well trained and have no clue in the UK on these travel related issues.

    So if we as traveller do mot check, we make false declarations, and these are not acceptable when you travel, transit or arrive i another country, then i and they, believe this is foolish. It is an arrogance stated on this forum, that you can import what you like regardless of local Customs regulations and laws.
    IT IS OUR responsibility to check the medications, or simply even in doubt, get a standardised letter from the Hospital speciality, but ignorantly not known to GP’s as well.
    Please do not take this as a personal insult, my comments are based on Legislation, Regulations, and FCO and Government Departments to protect us.
    Look at the case of the woman carrying in medications of a strong painkiller given often to people post a car accident, and re-prescribed, when she was importing these drugs to Egypt?

    More corrupted countries, will not hesitate to slam down on people carrying such drugs, the UAE which we hear every few months another person detained. The Consulates have instructions to advice and give minimal support where you have broken the Regulations, importation of drugs laws, so you simply have No defence! , and should have been more responsible.
    One Professor last week when we discussed this, said drugs for pain at the higher grade when people have such high levels of pain, actually require a HOME OFFICE CERTIFICATE to carry these drugs. Australia have customs machines that can identify tablets of any manufacturer from a database, anywhere in The Worl.

    My point is, DO NOT get placed in this position, ask yr Consultant/ Hospital Specialist to supply a standard print out letter which is non specific in detail to print and sign the letters for you.
    I have not had “Bad experience”s travelling into Australia. Informative ones. But the Ibuprofen alerted me and i was told frankly,ALL medications need to be declared. It is for the Customs Officer to decide fro then on, but by not declaring them, you have breached The regulations. They will be confiscated, you can be fined, or The Federal Police can be called and that means a Court appearance in Australia.
    I also sit with a Deputy Chief Magistrate in Sydney for professional reasons when there, and you will get no sympathy from her. She described ignorant and arrogant, if you think you can do what you like, just as Consultants in the UK..She holds no sympathy for not checking. She gives out band so you cannot enter Australia for 2-3 yrs, breaching of the law and convictions, if you are not sentenced. ANY form of mind actions drugs, or addictive or abusable (many are), is a very serious matter.

    Many people take seriously important medications for their condition, and were these to be confiscated, you have no right to have them re-prescribed them in even a Reciprocal Healthcare country such as Australia, without letters and prescriptions.
    Then the supply maybe unavailable, as some drugs are not on the subsidised list, and are simply not available.
    What do you do then, when you don’t have yr medications for some weeks or a months?
    These are facts, and all i conclude is simply get a Dr’s letter, copy of the Prescription, and carry then in original boxes.
    If you feel you cannot be bothered, or are so exceptional you do not need to, then i agree with the Clinical Lead Professors in this country, and it would be foolish and arrogant to proceed to travel.

    You have been informed, you are advised by the FCO, so what else can it be when you breach regulations, or lie on yr Declaration s= forms.
    That’s how it is. If you feel you don’t need to comply, then do not enter countries or transit through them. If you do, then without a defence you do deserve to face the full impact and be responsible for yr behaviour. This will also result in a several year ban and a record equivalent to a criminal record for entering with Prohibited drugs.
    These are Facts for Australia, and can be more stringent State to state, but a Federal offence. We are guests, signing a legal declaration, and if you enter disrespecting that you are subject to the full clout of the law. The Consulates will have no sympathy and do the minimum in informing you family, but provide no other assistance. They come across this every day Worldwide, and you will be left to be dealt with by the local laws.

    I hope this puts matters into context Tom, but these are today’s regulations that vary in every country. If you do not comply , then these are the consequences.
    All these professionals have been asked by me in the last 10 days, and state my information is highly accurate, and advisable to comply with.
    We all need to be informed, and it our responsibility to find out and check. There are in some countries no difference in illicit drugs, or unsupported carrying of Prescription drugs, Hence the Business travellers sentenced to 6 months in prison for carrying a codeine LInctus from Boots at LHR, without documentation into the UAE.
    Falsely completing a landing card is in itself an offence, being a legal document, on top will come the schedule and classification of drugs you carry.
    So, yes it is yoiur risk, as there is plenty information out there, and i have tried to assist in today’s reality.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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