• C'est moi

    VP of Marketing & Communications for Rackup, but nothing here reflects what my employer or colleagues think. In fact, they probably think it's all cray-cray.

    Jackie Danicki
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Surviving security theater

Adriana has a post that wonderfully sums up the farce that is ’security’ at most airports. Like her, what infuriates me is that so much of this is done for show, to make people feel something is being done, when actually it’s all just an elaborate, expensive (financed by us!) play. Oh, and it makes people feel that it’s someone else’s well-paid job to be vigilant about security, so there’s no reason for them to pay any mind.

As she says, El Al really does a bang-up job; as far as I know, they still routinely put all passenger bags on the runway, make each person point to their luggage, and then destroy any that goes unclaimed. I’d happily endure the hassle of that sort of thing if we could stop it with the idiotic liquids rules. Adriana:

The difference is that El Al invests in security people and they are looking not for a terrorist, but for a weapon. Only if you turn this upside down, you can treat water as a deadly liquid that turns into explosives when it reaches an arbitrary size…

A handy tip if you’re going to Gatwick Airport via Gatwick Express (for all I know, this also works for trips to Heathrow via Heathrow Express, but I live close enough to the latter to get driven there quickly): If you pay a few quid extra for a first class train ticket, you get a card which lets you into the fast track security line. This comes in especially handy in the summer months, when security queues are extremely long. Better yet, the people checking your fast track card as you enter the line don’t even bother to take it off of you (in my experience), so you can hold onto it for subsequent journeys.

3 Responses to “Surviving security theater”

  1. That is indeed an excellent piece of advice. Thanks!

  2. Indeed it is. It is certainly worth paying for once.

  3. All credit to Antoine, who told me about this after his last trip to the US via Gatwick. (In that instance, he ended up with two fast track cards after both an employee on the platform and the ticket bloke each handed him one. He gave one to me, so I didn’t even have to buy a first class ticket in the first place.)

    Also, I am loath to share this, as I don’t want too many people to know (and I’m sure EVERYONE reads my blog!), but…If you’re suffering the indignity of not flying business or first, you can always ask for a fast track slip for passport control and sometimes you’ll get lucky. They are actually allowed to give them to whoever they like, and if you make nice with one or more of the flight attendants, you’re in with a chance. (If the passport queue ends up being tiny, you can pocket the slip and save it for next time.)

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