Rude T5 Security StaffBack to Forum
If you want to see really rude airport staff land in Miami. Took two hours to reach the rudest immigration official who also thought it was acceptable to chew gum with his mouth open. Never again. We were coming in from South America returning to London. He found it incomprehensible that we had gone from London directly to Sao Paolo without going through the US. He could not understand when I told him that these countries now had their own airports to which you could fly direct. Speaks volumes.26 Jul 2018
capetonianm – sadly even if esselle does report it, LHR won’t do anything about it. I saw T5 security verbally bully a guy in a wheelchair last year, browbeating him into getting out of his chair to walk through the gate (even though both he and the LHR assistance guy with him explained multiple times that he had very bad ulcers and walking was extremely painful) and being horrifically rude when the gate beeped as the poor man couldn’t go to the body scanner (could stand in position long enough), meaning they had to manually wand him. I was absolutely disgusted by what I’d seen and looked around for someone to complain to but when I asked a (more polite) security person I was told no one was available. So I immediately completed a complaints form on LHR’s website when I got into the lounge and found a wi fi connection. Never got a response or even an acknowledgement.
To be fair, I have equally given good feedback on security staff who have gone above and beyond with an equal lack of acknowledgement from LHR. Their whole operation is a total joke.
1F26 Jul 2018
While waiting my turn for a secondary search on a very busy Sunday evening at Gatwick T2 recently, I was totally impressed by the patience and good humour of the security staff. Not once did I hear them reprimand passengers for having unacceptable items in their bags. Are they a different agency than LHR T5?27 Jul 2018
I use LGW more than any other UK airport, mostly TN (I suspect that is what Kevin46 means by T2) and I too have found the security people almost unfailingly polite and good humoured. Makes a nice change to be able to walk out of the security area with a smile on your face.27 Jul 2018
The question, I guess, is at what point do security screener´s behaviour cross the line and expose them to disciplinary action? Rude maybe not abusive maybe yes? No one wants to miss a flight but as goes the quote from Edmund Burke “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.27 Jul 2018
Also fail to see the point of premium security at Gatwick. Still queuing but with one queue instead of 10!!
Funnily enough, the whole family and I went through LGW’s premium security three weeks ago and, despite the Memsahib’s trepidation and warning that the entire process would nonetheless take ages, I would struggle to point to a single security experience I have had that was better. No queues, three lanes (IIRC), smiling staff, no re – searching of bags, and we were through in minutes. Even after Senior Offspring had to run back, having realised she had mislaid her sunglasses during the process, the staff smilingly said it was no problem and handed them over from behind the security screens. Brilliant!
Part of the problem with the whole security experience nowadays is that with increasing passenger volumes, and more intrusive security measures, the job of the security staff must be pretty miserable. I have NEVER heard anyone compliment a security staffer, only complain. Add to this the ongoing stupidity of many passengers who (1) ignore signs about LAGs, (2) wait until they are right at the belt before doing things they could have done in the queue (personally I don’t wear a belt, rarely wear a jacket or coat and if I do I ensure I have removed it before getting to the front, take out my laptop/tablet/phone/LAGs/lithium battery pack ready to put into the tray or ensure they are at the top of an open bag, etc), (3) have to be reminded about every little thing (how frustrating would you think your job was if every one or two minutes you had to ask someone if they had done all of the above) and so on – well, you can imagine that it is pretty soul-destroying.
The other 0part of the problem is the extraordinary sense of self-importance and entitlement – no doubt partly deriving from the boredom and frustration generated by the above – of those staffers against any sort of criticism. I once asked a security staffer (politely) why she was being so rude and the torrent of abuse I received in return was extraordinary. I wish I had recorded it, frankly, because despite FrDougal’s advice there is no way I could have remembered it all. She ended up storming away from the security checkpoint and I must confess I was concerned that I was going to be targeted and denied boarding. And for Martyn’s edification – that was in Hong Kong….!!28 Jul 2018
wait until they are right at the belt before doing things they could have done in the queue
I am not sure it is possible for passengers to prepare before they get to the security machines/trays. To remove and carry, shoes, belt, jacket, lap top, mobile, liquids, whilst trying to carry a case or 2, I think would bring more problems with items being dropped.
As for the removal of belts and shoes – this becomes even more confusing when at the same airport – even the same screening area, different instructions are given to different people. In the winter, I travel with boots with metal pieces – I am not sure who is more surprised, the security staff or me, when I walk through the metal detector and it doesn’t bleep (my jeans generally cover up the full design of the boot).
I have NEVER heard anyone compliment a security staffer, only complain.
I actually find most people neither complain or say thank you except in extreme circumstances. For me, the smiling staff at the First Wing in T5 always get a thank you and I return their smiles…. and the other extreme in HKG, when you can disembark and get through flight connections in less than 2 minutes will always get a thank you and a smile
However, when you are held in flight connections for 40 minutes because either staff haven’t turned up or the airport hasn’t fully opened, is only going to have one outcome…28 Jul 2018
I make a point of being pleasant to them and thanking them, unless they are obnoxious or obstructive, which is the exception rather than the norm. Unfortunately most people treat them as fixtures, so no wonder it has all become so stressful and robotic.28 Jul 2018
After years of post 9/11 travel through US airports my worst experiences at T5 are an absolute delight by comparison.
American rudeness is unmatched anywhere I have travelled and it is only getting worse.29 Jul 2018
For LHR in general and T5, and lets face it the world over for border security, the pre-requisit, is surely zero customer care and interest in people. Its an extremely RARE I repeat rare security person that is actually polite. I no longer buy this, you’re not a customer, you’re not a passenger, you and everyone else is a potential security risk. Therefore, the inhuman inconvenience passengers, business and leisure are just that, you a potential a risk. Risks to life are treated with contempt.
The PR lines & licence “we do not compromise on your security”, means “we do not compromise by being remotely nice or pleasant, let alone courteous”.
I’ve had the rudest of rude both male and female. I’m not going to pull the race card (I’m not white, but do speak perfect English having grown up in England and had all my schooling here). I’ve been treated as badly as the next, by male and female, black and asian in Heathrow, all terminals. Ive seen rude Asian staff treat other Asians passengers badly too, so there’s no favouritism or singling out even there. Even in European countries (capitals rather than regional airports) I’ve been rudely ordered like a prison inmate by white Europeans (border staff) too.
Being surly is I think a criteria demanded of border security job descriptions (cue sarcastic tone), being inhuman because “risk” and staring at screens and rifling through packed cabin luggage is no joy, but a necessary part of international travel that makes us all supposedly safer. You are a risk, a potential criminal until they deem you no risk. As to those body pat-downs even after you’ve been through the all-over body scanner (hands in the air).
I walked through BARE FOOT only yesterday (having been ordered to put slip-ons in the tray with my iPhone), in only a t-shirt and shorts in a western European capital city airport (plus my underwear) and robustly – I repeat firmly patted down and bust-line felt. I showed my disgust in my face. She clocked it, and was even ruder back, “pick up your things, move the tray to the pile”. In pitch perfect English. Pick up the tray yourself, my only rebel and not arrestable moment.
Don’t get me started on American border staff, “you are an illegal alien until you prove you have a valid visa. Alien” alien alien, please stop using that word, I’m paying passenger and visitor to your country about to spend money in your country. I actually said that out loud once (I really was on vacation, and had travelled J class, using FF miles). Staff don’t care what class you travel, everyone is a potential risk.
The nicest security staff I’ve encountered can be counted on two hands (and I do a LOT of short haul travel for leisure, and long-haul for both business and leisure) excl. Australia & Japan (comment below); and that always elicits, a jovial (not jokey) polite response from me, “hello-back human”. I let them know just how appreciated they are and they haven’t compromised security or risk one bit, by being that little bit polite to me a passenger.
On the English language issue in Heathrow, that is just rude, and nothing to do with race – just common courtesy, not everyone understands English passing through a British airport. As I say, it goes back to the job-description – you are not their customers, you are not a passenger – you are a potential security risk and border staff don’t suffer any consequences of their behaviour, you’ve still got to go through, and you have still use the airport.
A.I and automation with as many body scanners as need be, couldn’t come quick enough to western Europe or any western country – in my humble opinion. Those “are you happy?” buttons to press in Heathrow terminals are a complete waste of time (!) why they were installed is beyond me.
On generalisations – praise be to Japanese and Australian border security staff, who on both sides (entry and exit) could not be nicer, and more polite. And as for Australians, special shout-out, they definitely want conversation, “where you going ?” I’m going to x – oh that’s nice, you should head to abc, and do efg. Or “where have you been?” oh did you see abc or xyz ? on every visit I make, east and west coast. Japanese border staff are just simply polite – on entry and exit. They make the entire airport experience, pleasurable.29 Jul 2018
Since we’ve wandered a bit from T5, I’ve found South African security personnel in the main to be very friendly and polite. Do my fellow posters who travel ex SA find the same?30 Jul 2018
wait until they are right at the belt before doing things they could have done in the queue
I am not sure it is possible for passengers to prepare before they get to the security machines/trays. To remove and carry, shoes, belt, jacket, lap top, mobile, liquids, whilst trying to carry a case or 2, I think would bring more problems with items being dropped. /quote]
I respectfully disagree, Martyn! They perhaps cannot do all of these things, but it doesn’t take much effort to do most of them. Bearing in mind that most airlines only permit two bags on board, it isn’t terribly hard to put one or both of them down, ensure that everything that needs to be removed from the bag is at the top, and to put jacket and belt over one arm. It really isn’t rocket science… And the irony is that it would save them time too because it means that at the front of the queue they will be able quickly to move things into the trays and move through.
On only one occasion recently have I been unable to carry separately all the things I needed to have scanned separately (admittedly as previously noted I don’t wear a belt) because I was carrying some electronics for other family members, but I ensured they were at the top of an open bag so could just be pulled out. My mobile was in my trouser pocket, also the work of a moment to remove. My overcoat was thrown over one shoulder. I reckon it took me ten seconds to get everything into the trays. Three of the numpties ahead of me took about a minute each as they laboriously opened and went through their bags, then had to repack their bags to make them close, then remove jackets, then remove belts, then pat down all their pockets to ensure they hadn’t forgotten things, pull out keys and coins…. It was infuriating to watch! Not one of them had made the slightest effort to do any of this while standing in the queue.30 Jul 2018
I was walking to the screening point at MAN, with my computer bag over my shoulder, holding my laptop, kindle, power supply, two bags of wires and my belt, taking both of my hands, when a goon (if the hat fits…) barked at me ‘take your jacket off’ 🙂
You just can’t win with some of these pillocks.30 Jul 2018