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Clarissa 29 Brighton UK. Atheist asexual cynic. Loves green. Hates kids.
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Thu, Aug 17 2006 @ 23:48   //   Category: Opinionated   //   6 comments

I have caught three planes since the uncovering of whatever terrorist plot was uncovered. I have encountered, in my travels, very  varying levels of vigilance & security, and incredible inconsistency regarding said security & its justifications etc. And I am enraged (and presumptious) enough to turn this into a (fucking long) entry.

I'd love to be able to say it's all down to a lack of communication, or a matter of governments and airlines being shocked, therefore unprepared, but this is not possible! They were prepared for whatever was coming their way, or they were supposed to be, and if they were not then they would be outrageously incompetent amateurs. Which they're not.

Ok I have to stop rambling and explain what I experienced & what has annoyed me to such an extent.

So as I said I've been on three flights since the terrorist scare. Let me list them for you, and what happened on them.

1. SAS flight from Oslo to Heathrow, 13Aug. I was told that there would be "no restrictions" on cabin luggage, even tho we were going to London, as this flight was operated by SAS. I was allowed both liquids and electronic devices (had it been a BA flight it would have been different. Incidentally the BA flight before ours was cancelled).
So theoretically I could've blown up this plane if I had been crazy & clued up & Al Qaedaish enough.

2. Air France flight from Gatwick to Strasbourg, 16Aug. Before the security scan everyone was told to hand in any liquids/gels and cosmetics etc they had in their hand luggage. In practice this meant there were guys monitoring the security queues & asking us to give them whatever was not allowed. I binned loads of stuff, most of which is expensive and only available in a specific country - Lux, US etc (I would've checked my bag in but I was late already and there were massive queues). They had biiiig bags full of cosmetics that people had handed in. Yeah cuz a fucking lipstick is gonna blow up a plane!

However, to make matters oh-so-much worse, once we had voluntarily handed over our dangerous substances, NO ONE FUCKING CHECKED!!! We could've just kept it all in our bags!! (in fact I missed one chapstick and some eyshadow and hey, I still have it!) This doesn't ONLY incense me because I lost loads of money for nothing, but also because, errr, had someone really wanted to blow up the fucking plane, (yet again!) they easily could have!!! And this was in the country where the oh-so-scary plots were going to originate!!!

I must also specify that we were told we could purchase everything we'd had to hand in once we'd been through security - i.e. we could go straight to Boots & buy toothpaste, deodorant etc. There were also no restrictions on duty free purchases out of the UK (perfumes, alcohol etc = liquids).

3. Air France Strasbourg - London, 17Aug - now all of a sudden all sorts of amazing new restrictions were in place. "You're not allowed medicines, did no one tell you???" - "well actually I only travelled the other way one day ago and no one gave a damn" - "well whatever, you can't". So I ended up checking in my tiny bag because I was not willing to sacrifice my precious US-only Tylenol on the altar of some fucking pseudo-security-God.

And then I went to duty free... and was told I was not allowed to purchase any liquids when going into the UK. "Hang on, I've just travelled out of the UK 24hrs ago and bought liquids in duty free - how does that make sense?!" - "Yeah well I'm sorry, I don't make the rules" *pointing at some printout of regulations*

But no matter. It's not important. What does matter is that the regulations do nothing other than inconveniencing passengers. Incidentally, the security checks when I travelled home after 9/11 were similarly ridiculous - and most people I've spoken to have confirmed this.

I am not one to believe in conspiracy theories & that governments are deliberately out to get us. What I do know is that this whole thing is a complete joke and I'm pretty damn sure those who were in charge are aware of it. I mean, how stupid do they think "terrorists" (and ordinary passengers) are!? 8-|

PS I had a great time in Strasbourg/Colmar & will write about it later, incl. pics.

People say...

I absolutely agree with you. I don't think the "plot" was far advanced and even if it was I am not willing to sacrifice everything that makes flying a little more comfortable for "security" that doesn't exist anyway. fuckers!!

Posted by: Anne on Fri August 18, 2006 at 10:04


I realise it makes me/us sound like spoilt whingers who only have to give up a little comfort but the fact that it's all such a shambles really angers me.

Posted by: Clarissa on Fri August 18, 2006 at 12:32

I bet you the next thing they suggest is that we all board the plane naked. wouldn't surprise me you know! but only on flights coming into the UK. not on those leaving. man, wouldn't that be fun??

Posted by: Anne on Fri August 18, 2006 at 13:06

or wearing transparent clothes?

in fact tho they will calm down and everything will go back to normal. Til the next hysteria. *yawn*

Posted by: Clarissa on Fri August 18, 2006 at 13:14

There'll be the day when they understand how they can solve this whole problem. Security measurements only pad the shoulder of the problem, and they know themselves how useless that is. The war between Lebanon and Israel wasn't all that bad, because now they know they're all forced to consider consequences at least.

Posted by: stagiaire on Fri August 18, 2006 at 15:00

Human stupidity can never be cured.

Posted by: Clarissa on Fri August 18, 2006 at 15:04