Skip Navigation

airport security

Travel Forums North America airport security

1. Posted by Dotty (Budding Member 6 posts) 12y

Dotty has indicated that this thread is about USA

Hi, I am new to this forum. Can anyone tell me about security in the las vegas airport. I have been told that travellers are being picked at random regardless of age or nationality, and subjected to strip searches. My partner and I havn't been since Sept 11th, and was thinking of going back to Las vegas early next year, but now we are apprehensive. Please can anyone who has been recently tell me of there experiences in the airport.

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 12y

I have flown in and out of Vegas 6 times in the past year (for work, y'all, it's not like I am a compulsive gambler or anything), and I have not heard or seen anyone strip searched getting on a plane. I am not certain if that would even be legal.

The boarding process was the same as all boarding processes in the U.S. now - you go through security to get in the gate area (showing boarding pass and ID) and then you are in the clear. They no longer do random security checks at the gates or ask for your ID when boarding.

Go to Vegas, have a good time. Don't worry about strip searches.

3. Posted by kingshunte (Budding Member 6 posts) 12y

well they do do random searches, regardless of your nationality or age, but they are not strip searches. the most is they run a wand over your entire body. I flew threw the vegas airport the christmas after 9/11. the advice would offer is not to wear a belt becaue you may have to take it off and wear easily removable shoes beceaue they will have you take those off as well. It really isnt too much of a chore. The only problem i ever had is when a terriost attemtepet to fly into the US, i was flying to romaina, but was stopped. I was asked questions for about 30min before they let me into the bording area, but this was also the airport in amsterdam. I have flown many times and its a cake walk. Have Funn!!

4. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 611 posts) 12y

Hi,
Strip searches most definitely are legal - especially if you are suspected of carrying drugs or explosives. But I think they would have to have strong suspicion first, rather than random checks.
However, my experience of US airports is not pleasurable.
I speak from the experience of 16 flights around the world over a 9 month period - the last 3 of which were from Honolulu, Vegas and Chicago, all in Feb '03.

I can say in all honesty that security in US airports is now as good as anywhere, but it wasn't before September 11th. Afterwards, measures were brought in so fast, that organisation was secondary, resulting in terrible queues and delays.
Honolulu - we arrived at 3am for a 7am flight, to find the airport closed. Yes, closed! We had to wait in the car park until 4am. It then took the remaining 3 hrs to get on the plane, during which time our bags were searched and we were 'frisked' and had our shoes removed. My partner saw the security guard look at our daughter when she heard her speak and say, "English", and we were promptly escorted to one side.
We just about made it onto the plane. We were in queues for the whole time and never sat down once. The children (seasoned travellers by now, remember) were in tears because of the way we were spoken to.
Las Vegas - very big, incredibly busy. Queued for over 2 hours. Basic search again.
Chicago - Nicer airport, but still searched and took time. Not as bad as the others. However, 3 weeks before this, my partner's sister had flown into Chicago from the UK and was forced to miss her connecting flight to LA because of the time taken to do security checks.

I imagine things have improved in the last year but:
Leave 3 hrs MIN to check in.
An English-born Indian journalist writing for the Times, has been 'randomly' searched 8 out of 8 times in the USA in the last year.
English people are more likely to be searched, thanks to a certain 'shoe-bomber', but I think a strip search is highly unlikely unless you deserve it!

You can understand the need, but American aviation authorities need to take a look at what the rest of the world has been doing succesfully for decades and have the humility to learn. What shocked me most was the way we were spoken to. Polite words can be spoken in an aggressive manner.

Don't be put off, but leave plenty of time and remeber your stiff-upper-lip!
:(

5. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 12y

Sorry, I should have been clearer. Strip searches are legal if there is probable cause. They do not do random strip searches, though.

Things definately have improved with US security in the last year. They are really starting to get their stuff together and most airports the security line up is not very long. Some airports are pretty bad - Atlanta, GA is one that has 1/2 hour lines for security.

6. Posted by Dotty (Budding Member 6 posts) 12y

My reason for the post is because a work colegue of my partner told of his 73 yr old parents being stopped twice in two in airports and being strip searched on there flights to Las Vegas. I don't know the people in
person, but have no reason to believe he was making it up. This all came about in a conversation after my partner mentioned we were thinking of going back to Las Vegas. He said to beware, it caused a lot of upset and now the couple say they are reluctant to fly any where again.
Thankyou to all who have replied to my post.