I’ve been having a few interesting days at work (and more to come) and I felt like letting off some steam. I hope you don’t mind. I know you’ve heard me (or rather fortunately, read me) rant before, about book promotions, the value of art…
Today it’s something fairly common…The lack of consistency. I was on holiday recently, with my parents. We flew to Ireland from the UK. (The holiday was lovely, thank you for asking. I recommend Ireland to anybody and everybody.) My parents had come from Barcelona, Spain, landing at Liverpool. We flew from East Midlands airport. I’d never been there before. We were chatting on the way (there was an incident in the M1…yes, that’s a rant for another day, 3 highways agency cars blocking a lane with nothing to be seen. Maybe they were just having a cup of tea and biscuits and needed some space) and my father was wondering if he’d have to take his shoes off or not (with his arthritis that’s becoming a bit difficult) and noted that even wearing the same shoes, sometimes he had to take them off and sometimes not.
This time, no. My mother, on the other hand, had to take her sandals off, although she didn’t when she flew into the UK. And mystery of mysteries. Both my mother and I had our Kindles with us. I had also a notebook computer. They paid no attention to the notebook, but for some unknown reason took the Kindles away, passed a strange thing over them and put them through the X-ray machine again. What were they looking for? Anybody knows? I know books can be dangerous, but it seemed ridiculous. (And I had taken my Kindle to Paris recently flying from Liverpool and they didn’t check. That trip is all another story…)
I won’t talk about airlines as they are a law onto themselves (only 1 bag, two bags, 15 kg, 20kg, 24kg…) and that’s somewhat reasonable, but shouldn’t all airports have the same procedures? Well, that’s not the case even in the same country, as I’d never seen this Kindle thing before and I’d travelled only a couple of months ago with mine.
Of course in Ireland they didn’t check the Kindles, or the computer, and we didn’t have to take the shoes off. But they didn’t check our passport either when we came back…Hey!
I remember once in the US I was flying from Fort Lauderdale in Florida. I only had cabin luggage as I’d been to a conference for 4 days. They checked inside of my bag as I went in. Then I walked down the corridor by the shops to the gate. And there, they checked my bag again. Exactly what could I have bought that would have been that dangerous? Yes, I know American snacks can be killers, but really…Even the woman who was checking the bag looked at me and asked me: ‘Haven’t I checked this bag before?’ Yes, she had. Every time they had checked my bag. So when we stopped at Logan Airport in Boston for a connecting flight I was telling a fellow traveller: ‘They’ll check my bag. They’ve checked it every time.’ But no, Boston liked me better and they didn’t check. On the way in they’d checked it in New York but I guess…
Maybe it’s me, but it is confusing (oh, and the body scanners! And the metal detector that will randomly beep or not irrespective of what you have or wear!), not useful, stressful (sometimes eventually funny, but not at the time), and I don’t think it does much for the security of anybody. Can’t they get their act together?
Sorry, I just had to have a rant. Thanks for reading. If you have any great insights, please share, and if you’ve enjoyed it or felt like joining in, please comment and share!
- Just an airport rant (cuppy42.wordpress.com)