When a FA doesn’t know the rules!Back to Forum
I disagree with you Marcus, the immigration in Australia is obviously put the white first, they are really smily and nice to the white, but no really to the asian. While in LHR, they are professional and they do makes some jokes sometimes, once I arrived there and always wish me “Have fun in England mate” compared to Oz’s (“my smile is too expensive for you” attitude) Thats is why I’m not really a fans of AUstralia, nor Qantas, which in my comparison is less professional compared to BA (aside of the strike of course).
I flew them from SIN-LHR-SIN once to try out the A380, I found that the male cabin crew are much friendlier compared to the female one, when i asked for a simple hot chocolate, the lady is actually “sigh-ing” and made a pissed off face while making it in front of me, what worst is that she didn’t even say “welcome” even after i say “thank you” to her bad attitude, what was that? After that I just can’t be bothered to ask for anything anymore and go to the Economy service bar to help myself with a small can of coke! I was in Business Class and i have to walk pass the Premium Economy before i can get to the self service bar, and was actually stopped by a crew on the way back to my seat. That is why I will never fly with Qantas again if i have another choice!2 Aug 2010
I am disappointed that you don’t feel Australian Customs and Immigration treated you with the respect you deserve. I am an Australian of southern European heritage. Therefore am dark and, sure, sometimes I feel like I’m being ‘profiled’ when I travel, but I have also seen white anglo saxons being checked.
As for the Qantas service. The Hot Chocolate issue is annoying, I know. But if you are in Business Class, why go to the Y class service bar?? The crew have to ensure that passengers stay in their cabin. On the A380 this would have meant you using the rear stairs to move from J to Y+ down to Y and back again. It’s not a crime to do this, but expect to be stopped irrespective of ethnicity! Think about the consequences if you hadn’t been stopped? The A380 is a huge aircraft and for safety and security reasons, passenger flow has to be managed.2 Aug 2010
What a laugh !!
Luckily not all Australians irrespective of their heritage and colour act such poorly ! On my trips to Oz I often see pax flying alone tend to be controlled by Immigration and Customs. But those officials act politely and never been harrassing or arrogant. I often encounter worse cases in LHR rather than SYD or MEL.4 Aug 2010
I’ve never had a problem with Australian or Kiwi immigration, both of which I’ve found to be amazingly friendly. Nor have I had problems with Canadian, any European or even US immigration. Ironically, the ones that can (occasionally only, admittedly) stick in my craw are UK immigration (sorry, Border Agency) and their sidekicks from SB.
I am 100% white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant, as it happens (and British). I don’t, however, look it (and the fun I have travelling solo with my blond son sometimes could merit a post in its own right). Ironically, again, I find the most unpleasant and (shall we say for reasons of politeness) “thorough and enthusiastic” UK immigration staff are usually those who are obviously first- or second-generation Brits.
This is NOT (I repeat NOT) intended to have any racist intent or implication on my behalf. They have a job to do. I just think it ironic in the extreme (or perhaps it’s just coincidence – who knows?). It just really pisses me off at times and I do understand why (whether justified or not) non-WASPS sometimes feel “picked on” by UK immigration.
Let me give you an example.
2 years or so ago, I had a meeting in Vilnius. I flew in Business Class with SK, at a cost of almost a grand (and that is relevant to the posting) on the route BHX-CPH-VNO. I had one night in Vilnius and then straight back the following morning.
I arrived at BHX on the return leg and passed through passport with no problem at all. Then, as I moved towards the baggage hall, a guy in a suit stopped me. Let’s just describe him as “thorough and enthusiastic.” He asked me where I had been. I asked him what business it was of his and who he was to ask for such in formation. He produced his ID (which was in his pocket!) and said he was West Midlands police (again, this is highly relevant). He then insisted on seeing my ticket receipt (it was a paper receipt received when I’d checked in – it clearly showed the fare and my flight times and dates). I also explained the purpose of my trip.
I got my single small bag back (an Adidas sports bag) from reclaim and proceeded through the Blue Channel. He had by that time moved to the customs area and stopped me (as I expected). I asked him what “due cause” he had to stop me in the Blue Channel and he said he did not need any due cause (at that time this was incorrect – he did need due cause to stop a passenger in the Blue Channel).
He asked to see in my bag, which had a few dirty clothes and a few personal effects, plus 200 duty-paid (in Lithuania) Silk Cut. Then again I asked him why he’d stopped me. He said as a suspected cigarette smuggler. I asked to see his supervisor and he duly appeared. I made two points to his supervisor:
1. The guy had seen the cost of my ticket – how many packets of fags was I supposed to bring back to make a profit on that? Also, where on earth were they – in my tiny Adidas bag?
2. Since when were police officers able to stop passengers in a customs channel?
I can’t remember the response, except that it was fairly scant and I felt that, as I use BHX almost weekly, it might not be a good idea for me to labour the point……
The issues here are about my own experiences in using UK and other immigration and the fact that, again in my own personal experience (and perhaps I am alone in this) it is a certain type of jobsworth who feels they have to act in a particular way.
Again, this is NOT a racist post in any way; it is a statement of fact in terms of what has happened to me in general, and in one specific case, on returning to my own country. In other “blue eyed and blond haired” lands (that is irony, by the way!), such as Germany, Scandinavian countries, Holland etc, I have only ever experienced courtesy and pleasantness when entering or leaving the country.
Regards, Simon4 Aug 2010
Just as a contrast.
On Monday I flew PVG-ZRH. I went through Chinese immigration on departure in about 90 seconds flat. The woman behind the counter was courteous and efficient and asked me if I’d enjoyed my visit.
Then, as she stamped my passport with the exit stamp, a line of plastic faces lit up on the counter and I was invited to rate her performance from smiley-face to frowny-face.
I can’t really see that catching on with the UK Border Agency somehow.
I would also add, in fairness, that I had no unpleasant experience either on arriving back at BHX this time.
Simon4 Aug 2010
it is great to read your comment and nice to share it with us. I encounter a similar situation in Germany. It was( as this was with a German Custom official in civil–conducting random checks over money laundering and financing of terrorism etc..) in FRA. Sitting near my boarding gate for the flight to Beijing. There was this gentleman in civil clothings asking me over money and valuable assets exceeding 10.000 Euros or equivalent to this amount in foreign currencies.
I found his attitude arrogant and conducting such sensitive questions in a public waiting area at the gate. This gentleman understood this and kindly moved with me a few meters away from the crowd and he began his questioning and control of my hand luggage.
He spoke good english and was in a way polite with his procedures. In the end he even thanked for my cooperation and wished me a nice journey. I was angry and pissed off during the whole procedure but never gave this man any hint of angery and doubt..I just kept it for myself. But in general it was just some minutes of talking and therefore tried to forget all the fuss!
It is just an example that such nerve racking controls can be a quick and polite procedure. To his defense he picked around 5 different people at the gate which he controlled as well. It was a mix of white Germans, Chinese, Italians.. Actually did not feel offended as he did it with diplomacy and courtesy while conducting his questions and most of all showing the others at the gate that everyone can be questioned and controlled so no feeling of racial discrimination or whatever.
I actually had worse case of literally senseless controlls and questionings when entering UK. So Simon’s experience is unfortunately not a rare experience but often tend to be often. So when you have the luck — just try to cool down and play with the music and hope you have a polite one infront of you !!
Dylan4 Aug 2010
I cant quite fathom why this Jet Blue (former) employee is creating a degree of support.11 Aug 2010
A Lufthansa flight attendant added a touch of excitement to the passengers’ journey with a mass pillow fight.
It happened at 40,000ft when a German airhostess dished out complimentary pillows to a group of French tourists, reports the Sun.
When they started throwing them at her, she didn’t take it lying down instead hurling fistfuls back at them.
Potakas11 Aug 2010
I’ve often felt that customs are more interested in looking at the baggage of people coming home, rather than tourists arriving for a holiday or business.
The last time I was searched by airport customs in the UK I was 16 and returning from S. Africa. They found the extra 200 ciggies I was smuggling buried under my shirts. I murmured they were hidden so my parents would not find them and they let me go after paying some duty!!!
In over forty years of travel I think I’ve been stopped three times in the UK (I no longer smuggle even a peanut so traumatic was the experience) on leaving, where they always look under the bonnet of my car (but I think they just want to see the engine) twice in Switzerland and once in France. In each case I’ve been in my car, never at an airport
I’ve also been stopped inside the country in Italy and France, but in every case they were asking about how much money I was carrying.
In every case they were very polite (unlike some of the speed cops in France) and always apologised for holding me up.
I do understand the police have a tough job in stopping money laundering and so often the criminals are the men in smart suits with expensive cases. I look poor when I travel with frayed trousers, old Timberlands and never a tie, so that’s perhaps why they leave me alone. Who knows?11 Aug 2010