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Airport Security - Over reaction?

Travel Forums General Talk Airport Security - Over reaction?

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1. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru, 8868 posts) 10 Aug '06 02:15

Heathrow Airport Closed - 10/08/2006
Another big security alert, with the main London airport Heathrow closed to incomming aircraft after another security alert. 18 people have been arrested in a plot involving up to 20 aircraft.

This morning all passanger flying from/within the UK were banned from taking any hand luggage on board flights. This includes ALL electrical goods, Books, etc.. the only things you are allowed to take are glasses (but not the cases), passport, tickets, wallet (no purses) female sanitry pads and childs nappies (but not in the boxes only in clear plastic bage. Even babies milk has to be 'tasted' before being permitted.

Do you think that the security checks now in place are too much or a fair reflection for the times we live in?

2. Posted by claireh (Respected Member, 316 posts) 10 Aug '06 02:43

Unfortunately, I think it's a sign of the times we live in. Personally, I'm glad they are going to such lengths to protect travellers. It's sad that it has to come to this.

3. Posted by Nibsy (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 10 Aug '06 03:33

I agree it is the times we live in! what got me was how would anything suspicious have got through security pass with the x-rays and metal detectors etc??? It's a real shame but i would prefer to feel safe than run the risk or travel with the though of an attack constantly on your mind!

Bit depressing this post so i apologise now

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4364 posts) 10 Aug '06 03:35

Here's something Bruce Schneier (one of the world's leading security experts) has to say about Airport security:

Security systems fail in one of two ways. They can fail to stop the bad guy, and they can mistakenly stop the good guy. The TSA likes to measure its success by looking at the forbidden items they have prevented from being carried onto aircraft, but that's wrong. Every time the TSA takes a pocketknife from an innocent person, that's a security failure. It's a false alarm. The system has prevented access where no prevention was required.

This action on Heathrow didn't stop any "bad guys", and inconvenienced (beyond reasonable limits, in my opinion) lots and lots of good guys. The only conceivable purpose I can see in such actions is to make people more readily accept a total police state as being just the next logical step. (Of course, chances are there was no thought out purpose at all, and it's incompetence, not malice, which caused such a complete over reaction.)

5. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru, 3535 posts) 10 Aug '06 05:54

Ive got a question - why are they putting UK airports on RED ALERT now when they have foiled the terrorist plot? Surely this is bolting the door after the horse has left???

The ripple waves from shutting Heathrow will be tremendous and hit air travellers for at least a week l think (my other half is due to come home via LHR tomorrow night! Might see him before the weekends over!!)

You know we all want to feel save when we fly and dont mind the inconvenice but if they have arrested the terrorists where's the threat?? What else do Scotland Yard know that we dont?

As regards the no hand luggage whilst l agree that it is ridiculous the amounts some passengers try to bring on board surely bring a book is not going to cause a major threat?? I would hate the thought of being on a 12 hour flight and not having anything to read? I can understand toothbrushes, electronics and liquids as thats where explosives were to be stashed, but a book??

Do you think the NO HAND luggage embargo will be a long term decision or only until the security alert has lessened?

6. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru, 1108 posts) 10 Aug '06 06:14

its rediculous!! its after the plot!!! I dont understand their thinking, its a typical knee-jerk reaction.

Surely this is bolting the door after the horse has left???

My work mate said the same exact thing. :)

7. Posted by knighty7 (Budding Member, 7 posts) 10 Aug '06 06:50

Just because they have arrested a load of people, doesn't mean they've arrested all of them! How do they know if there's another plot they haven't discovered yet?! Of course they're going to be on a high security alert, and they will be until they are sure they've got everyone involved in it.

8. Posted by Isadora (Moderator, 13924 posts) 10 Aug '06 06:58

This is going to be interesting to watch unfold - especially with our visit to Ireland. (Though, we fly direct from New Jersey to Dublin and by-pass London.) First thing Kris said: "Guess that means we can't bring the beer." If you can't bring a book, will they allow a deck of cards?? (I play solitaire on planes...) I'm sure our pirate travel game will be out too as it has little stones as playing pieces - they'll probably be considered explosive materials.

Hopefully, things will calm down quickly. With Heathrow on red alart, our airports went to orange.

The baby's milk thing will probably become a big issue too. The US airport security fell under severe scrutiny for requiring the same thing here not too long ago. Considering how many mothers breast-feed and fill the bottle with their own milk, having to drink it themselves to prove it was safe was unacceptable. In the process, it usually causes contamination of the milk and not usable for feeding the child when needed. Several lawsuits were filed and the requirement was lifted. What about women who can't breast-feed... They still will have contaminated the bottles and have no replacement.

All we can do is wait to see what happens and pack accordingly. I understand the action, but it does seem to be overkill...

9. Posted by knighty7 (Budding Member, 7 posts) 10 Aug '06 07:13

I saw something on the news at lunch time saying Heathrow is expected to be back to normal tomorrow. I think that might be a bit optimistic but, probably means they'll be lowering the security checks soon.

10. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru, 3535 posts) 10 Aug '06 09:47

Just something l have heard on the news, prescription medication is allowed but for those using liquid insulin there is some queries therefore if you are planning to travel in the next up coming days and possibly weeks and are diabetic it would be wise to get a doctors certified note stating you are diabetic and that the insulin is genuine.

Heathrow plans to get back to normal tomorrow but the delays today will DEFINATELY have a knock on effect and there will inevitably be flights cancelled - according to SKY NEWS interview with Heathrow spokesperson.

Their advice check with your airline/airport and check the websites people!!

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