Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A little reflection on flying

with 100mL bottles not safely tucked into clear plastic bags

Refresher mister Previously I'd hated the way my skin would completely dry out from the air-conditioning in the plane and airports. So this time I bought a little 100mL mister containing rose-scented, vitamin-E-fortified water (something like the thing in the picture) to cope with the over 70 hours of flying I'd do for the return trip to Egypt. In Melbourne airport, when it came time for putting my liquid items in a clear plastic bag, I simply couldn't find the little bottle and assumed I'd either lost it or that the x-ray scanner guys would find it when I put my hand luggage through the scanner. The x-ray scanner guys found a bottle of drinking water I'd stupidly forgotten to remove but no 100mL mister. Security passed, I boarded the plane to Bangkok. Sometime during the flight I accidentally came across it right at the bottom of my carry-on bag. Oops, terrorist attack opportunity number 1...

Skip ahead to my return flights and on the flight from Cairo back to Bangkok I was using the little mister -- I remember it because I gave it to Marya to use as well -- and then put it away somewhere. Some 6 hours later getting ready to board my flight back to Sydney, I again searched in vain for the mister. Gone! I discovered it at the bottom of my carry-on bag about 24 hours later in Adelaide. Terrorist attack opportunity number 2 missed... Turns out that little bottle with up to 100mL of liquid had flown two long flights connected to Australia without being safely removed from my carry-on luggage and placed in a clear plastic bag!

And my question now is what is the point of going to all this hassle of making people remove their liquid-containing items (which by the way must not have a capacity above 100mL) and scan them separately in their little plastic bags when it is so easy for them to slip by undetected in hand luggage?

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6 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

I just realised today is also September 11 (but only just barely in NY) and I already mentioned the words 'terrorist attack' twice.

September 11, 2007 3:22 pm  
Blogger Sarah said...

Pointless wankery, or as Gam calls it, 'terror porn'. Inconveniencing everyone who flies for no forseeable gain (and potentially damaging the health of people, seeing as it may prevent them from getting enough water to drink while flying).

September 11, 2007 7:27 pm  
Blogger Dima said...

Lucky you! Last time i flew I had to check in my carry on luggage because of perfume that wasn't in a transparent bottle...

September 12, 2007 12:18 pm  
Anonymous jair said...

Where was my phone call?

I think until they have detectors that can identify every compound that exists in your hand luggage, the rules will become progressively more draconian. If you're a terrorist, you will find a way to do whatever you're planning, either through lax security or by getting around it completely.

That being said, I've been stopped at the x-ray point before for having a camping set of cutlery (knife/fork/spoon), and made to leave it at Melbourne airport. They did not, however, make me remove the (metal) can of lighter fluid that was in there.

Canberra airport won't even allow you to have more than one lighter on your person.

September 12, 2007 1:15 pm  
Blogger Gledwood said...

to be honest the people who MAKE those regs should be punished not those who innocently break them

September 15, 2007 12:08 am  
Blogger Dug said...

this always amazes me...

a properly-trained terrorist could board a flight naked and still take control of the aircraft.

October 27, 2007 5:20 am  

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