Saturday, December 26, 2009

Airport Security

I’m visiting my family here in Spain and the trip here has been pretty enlightening regarding what you can expect from airport security personnel.
The guys in Ezeiza Buenos Aires airport did an overall better job. The guy checking out people asked me aside after going through the metal detector and frisked me. For some reason I often get picked out for that. Either I’m incredibly good looking or I stick out in some way that some security guys notice. I’m thinking the later is the most probable reason.

Anyway, he checked my waist, arms, legs, no groin but still he at least did it and would have found any weapon hidden in those places.
Then came the Madrid airport security for the other flight to Barcelona.
It was such a mess, the security personnel consisted of several short, overweight women that didn’t have a clue. For some reason they all looked the same, 4 or 5 women that seemed to be Bolivian, pretty strange. They were loud, rude, and even worse, stupid and bad at their job.

One started yelling at me to remove my shoes, another one seemed pretty preoccupied about my wife, and asked her to remove her belt. You know, small blondie, rosary around her neck, baby in arms, another brat at her knees. You know, the typical terrorist stereotype.
I didn’t like the yelling and felt particularly pissed when I saw half a dozen other men that could have been carrying a bomb in their huge boots and jackets just walk by. The woman didn’t even seem to notice. They didn’t have the mental capacity to concentrate on more than one person at a time, so you could carry a nuke on board while they questioned my wife and I.

It was like that funny movie where the little girl gets thrown to the ground while the arab guys with rifles and suitcases full of TNT walk on board.
I lost my patience by then, told her that this was it, threw our stuff through the scanner and hurried to catch our flight.
I thought about taking an extra second to explain to them how stupid and useless they were, but they really didn’t deserve to know.

Why I’m I saying this? Because I was in such a hurry, I didn’t even notice I went on board with my OC spray RedSabre can that I always carry and my Altoids kit with a couple small blades, heck even now that I think about it I have a couple small fireckrackers in there.
So yes guys, the only thing the Madrid airport security achieves is to piss dads and soccer moms off. The guys in Buenos Aires weren’t more effective, but at least they were polite.

I wasn’t trying to prove anything, it was all a honest mistake because we rushed to the airport in the last minute, I remember thinking that I didn’t have anything I wouldn`t throw away right away if it gave me any trouble with the security check. I forgot about all that stuff, even worse, so did the airport security.
Feeling safer already?



Bones said...

Unfortunately so much of what they do is simply "Security Theater" designed to maximize the appearance of security. The attempted airline bombing on Christmas day illustrates the fact that around much of the world, security is still a joke. Interestingly, positive action by passengers on the flight helped stop they guy, illustrating the need for vigilance.

By the way, and acquaintance of mine who is a US Air Marshal assured me that pepper spray/tear gas is a really bad idea in a closed environment like an aircraft. (They rely on 357 sig +p jhp's!)

Hope you enjoy your trip!

Anonymous said...

One has to wonder if their purpose is airpost security or is it to intimidate the public and make it appear as if they are serious.


Anonymous said...

That is so strange. I had the same airport screeners last time I went through the airport in Boston. Literally short fat, South American women with very poor attitudes. They didn't even speak English. What in the world were they doing screening people in the northeast USA?

cryingfreeman said...

FerFal, airports around the world are now fascist zones which is why I go by car, ferry and train even if I'm traveling from the UK to the Alps or the Riviera. The only time I would fly would be if I had no other choice, i.e., to Asia or somewhere very far off. I refuse to travel to the USA now because the officials there fingerprint and photograph new arrivals and generally treat visitors like trash.

Anonymous said...

All of these security checks, even if done well, are going to become pointless soon. A Yemeni terrorist recently tried to kill a Saudi prince with a bomb that he had swallowed. The only reason the prince survived is because the bomb exploded up instead of out; but on a plane I doubt that will make any difference.

Patting people down won't detect an internal bomb and those wizz-bang new x-ray scanners don't penetrate the body. Metal detectors are the only hope of detecting such a bomb, but I imagine that it wouldn't be too hard to get around that.