Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "I'm afraid that won't be possible." => Topic started by: demarco on January 05, 2008, 09:40:33 AM

Title: Airport No
Post by: demarco on January 05, 2008, 09:40:33 AM
I was sitting at an airport gate recently when a man walked up and asked me if I'd watch his suitcase for a minute.  Without any hesitation, I responded, "I'm sorry, no."  He said, "You won't watch my suitcase?!"  I said, "No, I won't."  He seemed stunned and walked away.  Maybe he asked someone else.  I don't know.  He was an older man and it was a rather big suitcase (how he was going to fit it on the plane, I don't know) and I'm sure it was a burden to him but nowadays who asks this anymore?  With the new airport rules re terrorism, no one is supposed to take charge of a stranger's luggage. 

This took me back to when I was in college.  I flew a couple of times a year.  I must have looked like an easy mark because I was often asked to watch  someone's bag "for a minute."  This "minute" would frequently turn into a half an hour while the bag's owner got lunch or wrote his memoirs or something.  I would be stuck sitting there until the person came back because it wasn't physically possible for me to carry my stuff and the stranger's stuff at the same time.    More than once, the owner would return just as the plane was loading so I wouldn't be able to get in a last minute rest room trip or diet coke.  I didn't know how to say no in those days so I ended up watching a lot of bags. 

Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: rashea on January 05, 2008, 09:44:53 AM
"No, and you should be aware that it really isn't allowed these days. Someone might report you to a security person."

Ack! You never take someone else's bag at an airport.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Shores on January 05, 2008, 10:17:42 AM
You did exactly the right thing! Man, they are hardcore nowadays. I just flew from Amsterdam to DC and made the mistake of answering "my fiance did" when they asked if anyone helped me pack. I SHOULD have just said no, becuase hoenstly his "help" was handing me clothes to fold into my suitcase, but I was tired and not thinking clearly. That little answered earned me an extra 10 min interview and I think that's why my bags were "randomly" searched and XMas presents unwrapped.  ::) Not a big deal to me (I'm SO laidback about airport security, I'll let them do anything they want to me and my stuff) but silly that I could have avoided it by just saying No.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: SportsFan88 on January 06, 2008, 12:40:40 AM
XMas presents unwrapped.

They do say that you shouldn't wrap things before traveling for security reasons anyway.

But you did the right thing. Nowadays, you can never be too careful.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: bopper on January 09, 2008, 03:26:47 PM
Wow!  Even before 9/11 the airports were telling you not to watch anybody's bag.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: starlight on January 11, 2008, 06:55:52 PM
I travel frequently by myself and often ask strangers to watch my bag.  Usually it's when I've been settled at the gate for a while and I have to go to the bathroom.  No one has ever turned me down, and I would be slightly surprised if someone said no.  I often watch other people's bags if requested to as well.  No one has ever not shown back up, but if for some reason they didn't come back and I had to board, I would just let the gate agent know. 
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: MrsO on January 11, 2008, 07:05:20 PM
Ever so slightly OT, but I hate hearing people moan in the airport and on the airplane about the 'too strict' security measures they are taking. What would you rather, they just let anybody on and the plane be blown up?! Do these people not realise that the checks are for their safety?   ::)
Portia, you did the right thing. I wouldn't have watched his bag either. Good on you for saying no.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Midnight Kitty on January 11, 2008, 07:06:52 PM
I travel frequently by myself and often ask strangers to watch my bag.  Usually it's when I've been settled at the gate for a while and I have to go to the bathroom.  No one has ever turned me down, and I would be slightly surprised if someone said no.  I often watch other people's bags if requested to as well.

I hope you realize this is a bad idea.  These are strangers.  They might walk off with your bag as soon as you are out of sight.  They might put contraband in your bag.  There is a reason the airport authorities say "never leave your bag unattended."  Attended by a stranger is the same as unattended.  You don't know what they are going to do with it in your absence.

It's an equally bad idea to watch a stranger's bag.  How do you know it isn't a bomb?  How do you know they won't come back and accuse you of stealing something valuable out of their bag?

I travel alone, too.  I take everything with me everywhere.  Sometimes that means I have to use the handicapped stall to fit everything in with me.

Sad to say, trusting strangers went out at least a decade ago.  You are endangering yourself and others when you do so.  In the infamous words of Nancy Reagan, "Just Say 'No'."
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: T'Mar of Vulcan on January 12, 2008, 01:38:11 AM
I was actually surprised at the laxity of airport security both at OR Tambo International and Durban International. Granted, these are domestic flights and S.A. isn't exactly the centre of the world's money market, but still.

We were going down to scatter our mother's ashes on the beach. We only took hand luggage because theft at OR Tambo is rampant. So we put Mom's ashes in a packet (they were in a wooden box, scr3wed shut) and just took them with us. When we got our boarding passes, the lady just said, "Is there anything sharp in your luggage?" I said, "Um, a disposable razor?" She said that was fine. We were told to keep our IDs handy with our boarding passes, but I had already packed mine away and only had my brother's ID and the boarding passes in my hand. The security guy didn't even look at either the boarding passes or Zefrem's ID.

Then when we got to the X-ray machine, we just dumped our backpacks, my shoulder travel bag (stuffed with toiletries and prescription medication) and the packet with the ashes onto the belt. No one said anything. I mean, I had the cremation certificate with me just in case, but no one even asked about it. We could have been smuggling c0caine or something, and they let us right through!

It was the same on the flight from Durban Int. back to Jo'Burg. They didn't check our IDs (they do when you get your boarding pass, but didn't when we went through security to get on the plane) or anything.

I was happy that it's not like in the States where they won't let you take gel or whatever with you, but really, it didn't make me feel safe at all. OTOH, this is S.A.  :P
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Elle on January 12, 2008, 01:57:34 AM
I travel frequently by myself and often ask strangers to watch my bag.  Usually it's when I've been settled at the gate for a while and I have to go to the bathroom.  No one has ever turned me down, and I would be slightly surprised if someone said no.  I often watch other people's bags if requested to as well.

I hope you realize this is a bad idea.  These are strangers.  They might walk off with your bag as soon as you are out of sight.  They might put contraband in your bag.  There is a reason the airport authorities say "never leave your bag unattended."  Attended by a stranger is the same as unattended.  You don't know what they are going to do with it in your absence.

It's an equally bad idea to watch a stranger's bag.  How do you know it isn't a bomb?  How do you know they won't come back and accuse you of stealing something valuable out of their bag?

I travel alone, too.  I take everything with me everywhere.  Sometimes that means I have to use the handicapped stall to fit everything in with me.

Sad to say, trusting strangers went out at least a decade ago.  You are endangering yourself and others when you do so.  In the infamous words of Nancy Reagan, "Just Say 'No'."

POD POD POD.

This is one of those safety/ liability trumps etiquette things.

It isn't very likely, granted, that someone could introduce something malicious to your bag (especially once your through security). But the consequences should that happen would be waaaay severe.

That's not even to mention someone who could take something out of your bag.

As for watching someone else's bag. At the risk of sounding like an alarmist, there's a very good reason that unattended bags get destroyed. And someone with malicious intent would not hesitate to ask you to watch their bag for just a minute while they walked off.

With all the rules it's a little hard to tell the ridiculous from the sensible. (The liquid ban is completely bonkers). But not taking responsibility for someone else's bag is a sensible one.

It's a scary crappy world out there and is sucks. But a little paranoia can be a healthy thing sometimes
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: wonderdog on January 12, 2008, 02:57:23 PM
If you are at the gate, then the bag is small enough to be carry on. Therefore it is small enough to travel to the bathroom with you. I travel several times a year with a small rollaboard. I would never ask anyone to watch my bag. It stays with me at all times. Rolls right into the restroom stall with me. Problem solved.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Shannon on January 13, 2008, 03:44:19 PM
I travel frequently by myself and often ask strangers to watch my bag.  Usually it's when I've been settled at the gate for a while and I have to go to the bathroom.  No one has ever turned me down, and I would be slightly surprised if someone said no.  I often watch other people's bags if requested to as well.  No one has ever not shown back up, but if for some reason they didn't come back and I had to board, I would just let the gate agent know. 

I would tell you no.  The safety rules exist for a reason, and I would assume that only someone with a nefarious purpose (or an entitlement complex) would try to flout them.

But that's just me.  I'm not a particularly alarmist individual, but I do believe that the rules apply to everyone, not just the people who "look" dangerous.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Brentwood on January 13, 2008, 03:49:12 PM
Even before more recent restrictions on airport security, it would not have been okay to do this! You were right to say no.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Brentwood on January 13, 2008, 03:50:58 PM
I travel frequently by myself and often ask strangers to watch my bag.  Usually it's when I've been settled at the gate for a while and I have to go to the bathroom.  No one has ever turned me down, and I would be slightly surprised if someone said no.  I often watch other people's bags if requested to as well.

I hope you realize this is a bad idea.  These are strangers.  They might walk off with your bag as soon as you are out of sight.  They might put contraband in your bag.  There is a reason the airport authorities say "never leave your bag unattended."  Attended by a stranger is the same as unattended.  You don't know what they are going to do with it in your absence.

It's an equally bad idea to watch a stranger's bag.  How do you know it isn't a bomb?  How do you know they won't come back and accuse you of stealing something valuable out of their bag?

I travel alone, too.  I take everything with me everywhere.  Sometimes that means I have to use the handicapped stall to fit everything in with me.

Sad to say, trusting strangers went out at least a decade ago.  You are endangering yourself and others when you do so.  In the infamous words of Nancy Reagan, "Just Say 'No'."

Agree on all counts.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: kareng57 on January 13, 2008, 08:28:42 PM
I travel frequently by myself and often ask strangers to watch my bag.  Usually it's when I've been settled at the gate for a while and I have to go to the bathroom.  No one has ever turned me down, and I would be slightly surprised if someone said no.  I often watch other people's bags if requested to as well.  No one has ever not shown back up, but if for some reason they didn't come back and I had to board, I would just let the gate agent know. 


Okay - so if security officials at the destination-airport find drugs in your baggage (I realize the chances are remote, but it does happen) - do you really think that they'd buy your argument that "the guy I asked to watch my bags while I was in the washroom must have put them in there!"?

The minor-inconvenience of having to take your carry-on stuff with you into the washroom is not worth the chance that you could be taking.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: MadMadge43 on January 13, 2008, 08:40:21 PM
I sat down at a table at a restaurant with a couple of guys (who didn't know each other either), but it was really crowded and I had a long wait. We had a few beers, some snacks and a really good time. One guy left, the other asked me to look after his bag as he ran to the loo. He returned and he did the same for me.

As I was heading to the loo I had such a panic attack that he might steal my stuff, I returned (after forcing myself to use the facilities, I really needed too) and he was still there and we had another beer together.

It's funny, because I'm not longer as scared as I used to be that someone in an airport is going to steal my things, they'd have to buy a ticket to get in and there's too much security for airports to be a fertile ground for pick pockets anymore. I'm more scared they're going to drop something in it.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Wry Exchange on January 13, 2008, 10:24:36 PM
When I travel alone, I ask people if they'll watch my bags while I run to the restroom or grab food.  I ask if they'd like me to bring something back for them.  I usually sit at the gate observing people for a while before I ask.  I'll ask a mother with a child, or an older couple.  No one has ever declined, and I'm never gone more than 5 minutes.  I've had several recent international flights with 3+ hour layovers.  By the time I have my coat, purse, laptop bag, and duffle bag without wheels, it's too much to drag into the restroom with me.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Elle on January 14, 2008, 01:40:16 AM
Okay, let me try a review of the Risk matrix.

low probability x mild consequence = low risk
High probabilty x mild consequence = low to moderate risk
low probability x bad conseqeuence = moderate risk
high probability x bad consequence = high risk

With varrying shades all through

(Note: I am using the general 'you')
Now the odds of something bad happening because you asked a stranger to look after your bag at an airport are low, very low. But the possible consequences of doing so can be very, very high. Anything that stranger does to your bag you are liable for and having something stolen out of your bag is really one of the most mild possibilities.
Probability something bad will happen: low
Possible outcome: Very, very, very bad. (Including theft, accusations of theft, ID theft, suddenly finding yourself responsible for holding drugs or weapons, and of course the negligible but still present threat of terrorist dangers.)
Watching someone else's bag or asking them to watch yours is a very high risk.

Add to that risk that there are airline employees who will only give you about a minute window to return before alerting security.

TSA is not nearly as effective as we all pretend it is. Do not let your bag out of your sight.

If your bag is too large to take to the restroom or to get food/ magazines, then please check it.

(Note: this is one of my 'issues.' So take with as much salt as you like. )
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Lady Vavasour on January 14, 2008, 01:44:29 AM
I was actually surprised at the laxity of airport security both at OR Tambo International and Durban International. Granted, these are domestic flights and S.A. isn't exactly the centre of the world's money market, but still.

We were going down to scatter our mother's ashes on the beach. We only took hand luggage because theft at OR Tambo is rampant. So we put Mom's ashes in a packet (they were in a wooden box, scr3wed shut) and just took them with us. When we got our boarding passes, the lady just said, "Is there anything sharp in your luggage?" I said, "Um, a disposable razor?" She said that was fine. We were told to keep our IDs handy with our boarding passes, but I had already packed mine away and only had my brother's ID and the boarding passes in my hand. The security guy didn't even look at either the boarding passes or Zefrem's ID.

Then when we got to the X-ray machine, we just dumped our backpacks, my shoulder travel bag (stuffed with toiletries and prescription medication) and the packet with the ashes onto the belt. No one said anything. I mean, I had the cremation certificate with me just in case, but no one even asked about it. We could have been smuggling c0caine or something, and they let us right through!

It was the same on the flight from Durban Int. back to Jo'Burg. They didn't check our IDs (they do when you get your boarding pass, but didn't when we went through security to get on the plane) or anything.

I was happy that it's not like in the States where they won't let you take gel or whatever with you, but really, it didn't make me feel safe at all. OTOH, this is S.A.  :P

I have seen first hand--in New York of all places--just how little attention baggage screeners actually pay to the screen, so this does not surprise me at all. I cannot tell you on how many levels this annoys me ...
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: demarco on January 14, 2008, 08:53:20 AM
When I travel alone, I ask people if they'll watch my bags while I run to the restroom or grab food.  I ask if they'd like me to bring something back for them.  I usually sit at the gate observing people for a while before I ask.  I'll ask a mother with a child, or an older couple.  No one has ever declined, and I'm never gone more than 5 minutes.  I've had several recent international flights with 3+ hour layovers.  By the time I have my coat, purse, laptop bag, and duffle bag without wheels, it's too much to drag into the restroom with me.

I'm sorry but I disagree with this.  You observe people and ask a mother with a child or an older couple? I imagine they have enough to do to take care of their own things let alone assume responsibility for yours.  You say that no one has ever declined.  There still are a lot of people in this world who are incapable of saying no.  They are afraid to seem rude by refusing what appears to be a reasonable request.  In this day and age it is not a reasonable request.  You managed to get from outside the airport, through check-in and security and to the gate with all of your belongings.  You can get to the restroom with them. 
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Twik on January 14, 2008, 01:05:44 PM
It's funny, because I'm not longer as scared as I used to be that someone in an airport is going to steal my things, they'd have to buy a ticket to get in and there's too much security for airports to be a fertile ground for pick pockets anymore.

That's news to the Toronto Metropolitan Police, who periodically put out alerts about pickpockets at Pearson.

Anti-terrorist security people are NOT going to be looking out for thieves and cons. They have enough on their plates as it is.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: caranfin on January 14, 2008, 01:15:40 PM
Ever so slightly OT, but I hate hearing people moan in the airport and on the airplane about the 'too strict' security measures they are taking. What would you rather, they just let anybody on and the plane be blown up?! Do these people not realise that the checks are for their safety? 

You might want to read this:
http://jetlagged.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/28/the-airport-security-follies/index.html
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Twik on January 14, 2008, 03:39:26 PM
Just as an indication of how alert (or not) security can be these days (at least in Canada):

Last year I got a new laptop for work, and had to fly about a week later. I check in, go through one security gate, go through US immigration, put my bags on the belt, head off to the main security gate ... and realize I'm travelling VERY light.

Yep, no computer bag.

So, I had to go back OUT through security and immigration. No sign of it there, and I realize I'd left the bag at the checkin desk. I'm convinced at this point it's already either stolen, or being taken for controlled demolition.

Nope, it was sitting there right at the corner of the desk. In about 20 minutes, no one had noticed it!  :o

My company knows nothing at all of this little adventure, of course.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Midnight Kitty on January 14, 2008, 07:19:08 PM
I was actually surprised at the laxity of airport security both at OR Tambo International and Durban International. Granted, these are domestic flights and S.A. isn't exactly the centre of the world's money market, but still.

We were going down to scatter our mother's ashes on the beach. We only took hand luggage because theft at OR Tambo is rampant. So we put Mom's ashes in a packet (they were in a wooden box, scr3wed shut) and just took them with us. When we got our boarding passes, the lady just said, "Is there anything sharp in your luggage?" I said, "Um, a disposable razor?" She said that was fine. We were told to keep our IDs handy with our boarding passes, but I had already packed mine away and only had my brother's ID and the boarding passes in my hand. The security guy didn't even look at either the boarding passes or Zefrem's ID.

I visited my mother in Arizona in January 2007.  I live in Hawaii.  This incident happened on my return flight.  I asked the ticket agent if there were any window seats available.  She said, "Yes.  The flight is far from full."  So she changed my seat assignment and gave me a new boarding pass.  My father was leaving for his home in California at the same time, so we both went through security together as our flights left from the same terminal.  We even compared the screener's symbol/initials our tickets as we killed time at the gate.  I was the last person who boarded.  No one noticed that the ticket was not in my name until I went to sit in my assigned seat and found a lady sitting in it.  She & I both pulled out our boarding passes to see who was in the wrong seat and discovered that the boarding pass given to me had her name on it.  Yep, I now had no boarding pass in my name.

There I am, standing in the aisle while the steward investigates.  I felt like every eye on the plane was looking at me, the suspected terrorist trying to get on their flight without a boarding pass.  I handed the steward all my computer printouts confirming my reservation.  After 5 minutes, he came back & told me to sit in the unoccupied row behind "my" assigned seat.  The plane left after a 10 minute delay.

I'm still stunned that I made it through all the security checks with a ticket in some other lady's name.  The name on the boarding pass did not match the name on my picture ID, yet it had the screener's mark on it saying I could board.  I hope they went back to that screener & gave some remedial training in checking that the ID matches the boarding pass.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Bharris on January 15, 2008, 03:01:20 PM
I'm afraid that my airplane story is far from being as extreme as the ones posted here, but I just had to mention these.

On our honeymoon to Hawaii in 2004, the security had to open up all of our brand-new rolls of film because the screeners detected cyanide in them.  I didn't even know film could contain cyanide!  And, also, couldn't they see that the film was brand-new and still in the sealed boxes?

Also, last month on our way to Utah, I managed to get through screening and onto the plane without anyone, including me, realizing I had a 5 oz bottle of hand lotion in my purse.  And this was after they put my purse through the screening conveyor (what are those things called?) twice for some strange reason.  I mean, aren't those things supposed to be taken away?  What am I going through all this hassle for?
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Midnight Kitty on January 15, 2008, 03:20:32 PM
Also, last month on our way to Utah, I managed to get through screening and onto the plane without anyone, including me, realizing I had a 5 oz bottle of hand lotion in my purse.  And this was after they put my purse through the screening conveyor (what are those things called?) twice for some strange reason.  I mean, aren't those things supposed to be taken away?  What am I going through all this hassle for?

I usually carry a Swiss Army utility knife in my purse.  It's just over 3 inches long and has one blade, a screwdriver, etc.  I try to remember to take it out of my purse & put it in my checked baggage, but I've had to mail it to myself because I forgot it until after my baggage was checked & I was in line for security screening.

Then there's the time I flew interisland and forgot it altogether.  I arrived on Kauai & discovered my knife was still in my purse.  It's the same size and shape as my penlight emergency flashlight.

I'm normally a law abiding individual.  After all, I work in Compliance and Enforcement!  I try to comply with all the security measures.  Except when I try to board a flight with someone else's boarding pass or smuggle a knife on board >:D
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: GoldenGemini on January 15, 2008, 07:00:08 PM
My boss flew from Australia to LA, around southern US through various cities and then on to Washington DC, with a small silver dagger that she used as a letter opener, in her handbag.

It was only picked up when she attempted to visit her aunt, who is a Supreme Court judge, and had to go through the security at the courthouse. :o
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: MurPl1 on January 15, 2008, 11:49:56 PM
I sat down at a table at a restaurant with a couple of guys (who didn't know each other either), but it was really crowded and I had a long wait. We had a few beers, some snacks and a really good time. One guy left, the other asked me to look after his bag as he ran to the loo. He returned and he did the same for me.

As I was heading to the loo I had such a panic attack that he might steal my stuff, I returned (after forcing myself to use the facilities, I really needed too) and he was still there and we had another beer together.

It's funny, because I'm not longer as scared as I used to be that someone in an airport is going to steal my things, they'd have to buy a ticket to get in and there's too much security for airports to be a fertile ground for pick pockets anymore. I'm more scared they're going to drop something in it.

I think you are taking a real risk.  Even though career pickpockets may not be able to troll the airport looking for victims, doesn't mean you aren't offering up your items for theft.  Once upon a time when I began in HR, we gave a test that screened a potential employees personality and behavior traits.  One of the saddest things was how many people who don't set out to steal, but will do so if the opportunity presents itself.  So your new buddies may not have taken off with your bags, but they may have swiped something smaller out of your bag. 

As for the other poster who screens people by having kids with them or being elderly, how many stories have we read on here about people with kids or the elderly who take advantage or have non-existent ethics?  They travel too and would probably love a chance to take a peak in your bag.  Who would question them?  According to the TSA, any bag in their possession would have to belong to them since you aren't supposed to be watching other people's bags.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: MadMadge43 on January 16, 2008, 09:37:07 PM
Quote
My boss flew from Australia to LA, around southern US through various cities and then on to Washington DC, with a small silver dagger that she used as a letter opener, in her handbag.

It was only picked up when she attempted to visit her aunt, who is a Supreme Court judge, and had to go through the security at the courthouse. Shocked

My BF remembered after we stood an hour in line that he had his work utility knife with him. Kind of like a large Swiss army knife with many dangerous attachments. He was PO'd because it cost a lot of money and didn't want to throw it away or get out of line. I told him to just pretend he didn't remember he still had it with him and see if they found it.

Sure enough they pulled his bag out of the line.  They pulled out his 16 oz can of shaving gel and his brand new large bottle of Kerry lotion (both pricey). Leaving the work knife in the bag.

He was furious and I was laughing so hard I almost had to change my pants.

Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: ZipTheWonder on January 17, 2008, 07:03:25 PM
Ever so slightly OT, but I hate hearing people moan in the airport and on the airplane about the 'too strict' security measures they are taking. What would you rather, they just let anybody on and the plane be blown up?! Do these people not realise that the checks are for their safety?   ::)


In fairness to those whiners, they may not be all that happy that the new security measures since 9-11 have not stopped any terrorists or prevented any bombs getting on a plane, in spite of sending hundreds of thousands of pounds of hazardous bottled water, toothpaste, lotion, pumpkin pies and hair gel into the nation's landfills.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Twik on January 17, 2008, 08:27:21 PM
Ever so slightly OT, but I hate hearing people moan in the airport and on the airplane about the 'too strict' security measures they are taking. What would you rather, they just let anybody on and the plane be blown up?! Do these people not realise that the checks are for their safety?   ::)


In fairness to those whiners, they may not be all that happy that the new security measures since 9-11 have not stopped any terrorists or prevented any bombs getting on a plane, in spite of sending hundreds of thousands of pounds of hazardous bottled water, toothpaste, lotion, pumpkin pies and hair gel into the nation's landfills.

Well, how many bombs have you heard of that DID make it on?
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: caranfin on January 17, 2008, 08:50:12 PM
Ever so slightly OT, but I hate hearing people moan in the airport and on the airplane about the 'too strict' security measures they are taking. What would you rather, they just let anybody on and the plane be blown up?! Do these people not realise that the checks are for their safety?   ::)


In fairness to those whiners, they may not be all that happy that the new security measures since 9-11 have not stopped any terrorists or prevented any bombs getting on a plane, in spite of sending hundreds of thousands of pounds of hazardous bottled water, toothpaste, lotion, pumpkin pies and hair gel into the nation's landfills.

In fact, it's now known that the liquids were never really a threat at all - this was something the terrorists-in-planning hoped to accomplish, but the technology just isn't there. Read the article I linked to earlier; it's very interesting.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: seren on January 17, 2008, 08:53:34 PM
My  last trip through security, I was a 'selectee', and boy were they thorough...they even opened up the packages of rice cakes that I was carrying (which ended up crushed throughout the suitcase).

Seren
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: ZipTheWonder on January 18, 2008, 01:45:30 AM
Well, how many bombs have you heard of that DID make it on?

I don't believe anyone has actually fessed up to doing that.   ;D
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Midnight Kitty on January 18, 2008, 02:56:37 PM
Well, how many bombs have you heard of that DID make it on?

To be honest, it isn't the bomb's presence on the plane that bothers me as much as it blowing up.  If all the bomb did was fly with me, it wouldn't hurt me.  Just like the knife that I smuggled accidentally carried on board didn't endanger national security or the safety of anyone on the flight with me.  It just traveled harmlessly along in my purse.

To put it less flippantly, I haven't heard of any more flights highjacked by terrorists or blown up by explosive devices since 9-11.  I don't know whether that is because of the heightened security or whether no one else has seriously tried. :-\

Some of the security measures are nonsensical and do nothing to increase our safety while seriously inconveniencing thousands (millions?) of people, wasting valuable products and creating hazardous materials disposal problems unnecessarily.  Some of the security people are snide, sarcastic, nasty, rent a cops on a power trip.  A little common sense would go a long way, but government agencies who operate in a "reactive mode" are unlikely to operate smoothly and rationally.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: caranfin on January 18, 2008, 03:04:24 PM
To put it less flippantly, I haven't heard of any more flights highjacked by terrorists or blown up by explosive devices since 9-11.  I don't know whether that is because of the heightened security or whether no one else has seriously tried. :-\

Here's the theory from the article I posted earlier:

To understand what makes these measures so absurd, we first need to revisit the morning of September 11th, and grasp exactly what it was the 19 hijackers so easily took advantage of. Conventional wisdom says the terrorists exploited a weakness in airport security by smuggling aboard box-cutters. What they actually exploited was a weakness in our mindset — a set of presumptions based on the decades-long track record of hijackings.

In years past, a takeover meant hostage negotiations and standoffs; crews were trained in the concept of “passive resistance.” All of that changed forever the instant American Airlines Flight 11 collided with the north tower. What weapons the 19 men possessed mattered little; the success of their plan relied fundamentally on the element of surprise. And in this respect, their scheme was all but guaranteed not to fail.

For several reasons — particularly the awareness of passengers and crew — just the opposite is true today. Any hijacker would face a planeload of angry and frightened people ready to fight back. Say what you want of terrorists, they cannot afford to waste time and resources on schemes with a high probability of failure. And thus the September 11th template is all but useless to potential hijackers.


Potential hijackers have lost the element of surprise and the belief that the best thing to do is to go along. In fact, they lost that shortly after the planes crashed into the towers - look at the passengers on the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. Those people took less than an hour to figure out that everything they'd ever learned about hijacking was now wrong. Look at Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber." How many people, before 9/11, would have assaulted a man on a plane because he was doing something weird with his shoes? Things have changed. The next attack will be completely different.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: MurPl1 on January 18, 2008, 03:57:21 PM
It's not possible to give enough credit to those on Flight 93.  They figured out what was going on and understood that the paradigm had completely shifted.  To be able to respond so quickly to that information and to do so in such a self-less manner is nothing less than heroic.  And never ceases to amaze me.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: ZipTheWonder on January 18, 2008, 09:49:26 PM
I think a terrorist who tried to take down a US airliner today would need dental records in order to be identified when the passengers got done with him/her/it. 

One of the greatest things those people on Flight 93 did was to empower those of us who otherwise wouldn't step on a flea. 

Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: MadMadge43 on January 20, 2008, 02:35:38 AM
Quote
It's not possible to give enough credit to those on Flight 93.

Agreed, my biggest question about the whole thing though, is how in the world did they get cell phone reception? I've never had reception on any plane once we're a certain altitude. There just aren't any towers up there.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Twik on January 20, 2008, 07:32:31 AM
You're assuming that someone would now try to "take down an airplane" by hijacking it. Using chemicals to create an explosion (or even a fire) would be possible without necessarily alerting the other passengers as to what was going on.

Consider that one of the worst losses of life on Air Canada was a fire that is believed to started when a passenger snuck a smoke in the aircraft washroom, then stuffed the not-completely-extinguished butt down the garbage chute. And that was someone not even trying to endanger the aircraft.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Shannon on January 20, 2008, 01:07:01 PM
Quote
It's not possible to give enough credit to those on Flight 93.

Agreed, my biggest question about the whole thing though, is how in the world did they get cell phone reception? I've never had reception on any plane once we're a certain altitude. There just aren't any towers up there.

How do you know you don't get reception?  Phones are supposed to be turned off while you're in the air.   ???
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: LJM on January 20, 2008, 11:40:26 PM
Quote
It's not possible to give enough credit to those on Flight 93.

Agreed, my biggest question about the whole thing though, is how in the world did they get cell phone reception? I've never had reception on any plane once we're a certain altitude. There just aren't any towers up there.

Some planes have "built in" cell-phones on the middle seat in front of you (Was it Southwest where I saw this, or American Airlines? Dunno. Wasn't Jet Blue, because they have the TV's instead). They are designed to be routed by the plane somehow, so that they don't interfere with the navigational equipment. For people that want to make phone-calls badly enough to cough up their credit card number for $3 a minuite.

A passenger on 93 dialed the operator to say that the plane had been hijacked, the operator told him about the first NY plane.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Twik on January 21, 2008, 05:33:39 AM
Quote
It's not possible to give enough credit to those on Flight 93.

Agreed, my biggest question about the whole thing though, is how in the world did they get cell phone reception? I've never had reception on any plane once we're a certain altitude. There just aren't any towers up there.

Well, considering (1) there were the installed cell phones in the seats, and (2) there are currently moves to permit regular cell phones to be used in flight, it shouldn't have been much of a problem.

When you say "you've never had reception once you're at a certain altitude", do I understand that you have been regularly trying to make cell calls in flight? Despite the fact that live cell phones are currently banned?

(I could say that I've "never had reception" in flight, but possibly the fact that my cell has been turned off and stowed per airline requirements has something to do with it.)
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: mechtilde on January 21, 2008, 07:54:51 AM
A lot of the "Do not leave your bag unattended" rules tend to date from a time before suicide bombing was widely used.

One of the most frequent methods in the days when the bomber wanted to walk away alive was to pack a bag or parcel with explosives. Cars were used too. There were plently of times when someone left their bag unattended and came back to find the area cordoned off and the bomb disposal squad on the way.

The fact that bombers are now willing to kill themselves does not negate the need to report unattended bags. They are still a security risk.

Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Sara Crewe on January 21, 2008, 08:14:02 AM
I lived in Northern Ireland before the cease fire.  Many of the shops had people on the doors checking handbags etc. to make sure no one was bringing in a bomb.  On the mainland (and in NI of course), there were numerous bombings.  You could go to the main shopping centre in Belfast and if there was a bomb threat, might not be able to get your car from the attached multistory carpark for 6/8 hours.

I would be very surprised if anyone in the UK would ever sit with someone else's luggage.  There are still signs up in stores telling people not to leave things unattended, although I haven't seen the signs asking to report suspicious parcels for a few years.

The UK basically had maybe 5/6 years between the end of the threat of bombs by one group and the start of the threat of bombs by another - not really time to get out of the habit of worrying about left luggage etc.

 
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: MissRose on January 21, 2008, 09:20:24 AM
I would never watch another person's bag in an airport nor would i trust anyone to do the same for me!
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: ClaireC79 on January 24, 2008, 09:25:51 AM
That's true, it's just always been a standard part of life - to the point that you don't notice the 'do not leave your baggage unattended' signs and announcements, but I think we would notice if they weren't there.  Same as the lack of rubbish bins in train stations.

I always remember being aware of bomb threats when growing up (to the point that my nursery school was evacuated) but I don't ever remember being scared just kind of accepted it as part of life
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: IndianInlaw on January 24, 2008, 01:03:48 PM
Does anyone remember the lady several years ago, who was convinced by a stranger to leave her baby with that stranger and go get a boarding pass or something?

This was at a bus station.

Fortunately the baby was recovered.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: MrsO on January 25, 2008, 04:04:17 AM
leave her baby with that stranger and go get a boarding pass

Who does that?!  :o
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Twik on January 26, 2008, 10:59:08 AM
leave her baby with that stranger and go get a boarding pass

Who does that?!  :o

Something even worse/stupider happened in my town.

Mother, baby and a "male friend" (not sure if was a boyfriend or someone she knew) were in a mall. The mother wanted to go see something in a store, so she gave the baby to male friend, and told him to wait outside. Nothing wrong there.

Apparently, male friend quickly got bored, and wanted to go into a store himself, so he asked a passing stranger if they'd hold the baby for a minute.

The whole thing was on security videocamera, fortunately. On the tape, you see the handoff to the stranger, who, as soon as male friend turns his back, walks straight out the exit with the baby.

The good news is that the baby was recovered in a few hours. Whether the male friend survived the wrath of Mom when she got back is unknown.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Brentwood on January 26, 2008, 11:09:05 AM
leave her baby with that stranger and go get a boarding pass

Who does that?!  :o

Something even worse/stupider happened in my town.

Mother, baby and a "male friend" (not sure if was a boyfriend or someone she knew) were in a mall. The mother wanted to go see something in a store, so she gave the baby to male friend, and told him to wait outside. Nothing wrong there.

Apparently, male friend quickly got bored, and wanted to go into a store himself, so he asked a passing stranger if they'd hold the baby for a minute.

The whole thing was on security videocamera, fortunately. On the tape, you see the handoff to the stranger, who, as soon as male friend turns his back, walks straight out the exit with the baby.

The good news is that the baby was recovered in a few hours. Whether the male friend survived the wrath of Mom when she got back is unknown.

I wonder why the mother didn't just carry the baby into the store with her.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Shortcake on January 28, 2008, 08:12:29 AM
leave her baby with that stranger and go get a boarding pass

Who does that?!  :o

Something even worse/stupider happened in my town.

Mother, baby and a "male friend" (not sure if was a boyfriend or someone she knew) were in a mall. The mother wanted to go see something in a store, so she gave the baby to male friend, and told him to wait outside. Nothing wrong there.

Apparently, male friend quickly got bored, and wanted to go into a store himself, so he asked a passing stranger if they'd hold the baby for a minute.

The whole thing was on security videocamera, fortunately. On the tape, you see the handoff to the stranger, who, as soon as male friend turns his back, walks straight out the exit with the baby.

The good news is that the baby was recovered in a few hours. Whether the male friend survived the wrath of Mom when she got back is unknown.

I wonder why the mother didn't just carry the baby into the store with her.

I thought the same thing! I also wondered; if the male friend was tired of holding the baby, why didn't he just take the baby with him into the store to look for the mother?
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Twik on January 28, 2008, 08:49:52 AM
Probably because the mother wanted to have both hands free - maybe to try on clothes or something? And it appears "friend" just got bored, and wanted to get the baby off his hands for a few minutes.

Both of them were probably thinking, "But I'll be right in and out, nothing could happen in that short a time."
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Shortcake on January 28, 2008, 09:59:54 AM
Probably because the mother wanted to have both hands free - maybe to try on clothes or something? And it appears "friend" just got bored, and wanted to get the baby off his hands for a few minutes.

Both of them were probably thinking, "But I'll be right in and out, nothing could happen in that short a time."

Very good points! It is sad how quickly things can happen. I am glad the baby was recovered.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: TychaBrahe on January 29, 2008, 02:05:47 AM
This happened about twenty years ago, but still....

My grandparents took my sister and I and my two cousins to Tahiti for a cruise to see Halley's comet.  Cousins and grandparents lived in Atlanta.  Sister lived in Chicago.  I lived in LA. 

We fly home.  Sister is changing planes in LA.  I collect my baggage and escort her over to her new terminal.  I decide to buy her breakfast.  (Sophisticated college sophmore treats high school student sibling.)  Since I already had my bag, and there are no restaurants on the unsecure side of LAX except the weird spaceship one, I run my full sized suitcase through security. 

It was only when I was unpacking later that I realized I had my diver's knife in that bag.  This is rather like a military knife, but with a solid metal blade and handle.  The blade is a good four inches long.  As it was solid metal, it must have showed up on the x-ray.  No one said a word.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Minmom3 on January 30, 2008, 12:32:31 PM
This happened about twenty years ago, but still....

My grandparents took my sister and I and my two cousins to Tahiti for a cruise to see Halley's comet.  Cousins and grandparents lived in Atlanta.  Sister lived in Chicago.  I lived in LA. 

We fly home.  Sister is changing planes in LA.  I collect my baggage and escort her over to her new terminal.  I decide to buy her breakfast.  (Sophisticated college sophmore treats high school student sibling.)  Since I already had my bag, and there are no restaurants on the unsecure side of LAX except the weird spaceship one, I run my full sized suitcase through security. 

It was only when I was unpacking later that I realized I had my diver's knife in that bag.  This is rather like a military knife, but with a solid metal blade and handle.  The blade is a good four inches long.  As it was solid metal, it must have showed up on the x-ray.  No one said a word.

But it was in a suitcase going in the belly of the plane, right, not up in the cabin with you?  I don't think knives are an issue, even NOW, IF they're going in the belly with the rest of the luggage.  An awful lot of divers fly around to dive in exotic locales, and they take their stuff with them (although not the tanks, I'm guessing...  ;))  20+ years ago, we took Swiss Army knives with us, in our pockets, across national borders and through customs.  Customs didn't blink.  They got their jollies by emptying our suitcases and backpacks that day.  Bleah.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Midnight Kitty on February 22, 2008, 07:14:44 PM
It's time for Midnight Kitty to confess to her fellow ehellions:  I watched a stranger's bags in the airport during my recent business trip to the Mainland.  I plead "guilty with an explanation."

My flight was scheduled to leave at 7:00 AM, but there were 8-1/2" x 11" papers posted saying something about the flight being delayed due to mechanical problems and the next update would be at noon.  There are about 150 people in line as the gate clerks tried to get people with connecting flights rebooked on a day when 40,000 Pro Bowl fans were trying to get off Oahu and every seat on every flight was booked.  I was in line for 2 hours.  There were several business people traveling alone in line around me.  After an hour or so, the man behind me asked me to watch his luggage while he used the restroom.  I agreed.  He came back right away.

By coincidence, when I arrived at my destination and boarded the airport/hotel shuttle, the same man was sitting next to the only available seat.  I'm glad I watched his luggage for him.  I know I said "no exceptions," but I guess there is an exception to almost every rule.

Oh, and I forgot to take my pocket knife out of my purse on the flight home - again :-[  Once again, TSA either did not notice it or they did not consider it (or me) a threat to the safety of the flight.  My pocket knife is less than 3-1/2 inches long and the only blade is 2" long.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Shea on February 28, 2008, 09:32:18 AM
I lived in Northern Ireland before the cease fire.  Many of the shops had people on the doors checking handbags etc. to make sure no one was bringing in a bomb.  On the mainland (and in NI of course), there were numerous bombings. 

The last couple times I've been in London they still do that in some museums and theatres. I was there a week ago and I had my bag rummaged through (very ineffectually I might add, I think I could have had dynamite in there and they wouldn't have noticed) at the British Library and a theatre.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: AmyJ on February 29, 2008, 10:09:39 AM
This happened about twenty years ago, but still....

My grandparents took my sister and I and my two cousins to Tahiti for a cruise to see Halley's comet.  Cousins and grandparents lived in Atlanta.  Sister lived in Chicago.  I lived in LA. 

We fly home.  Sister is changing planes in LA.  I collect my baggage and escort her over to her new terminal.  I decide to buy her breakfast.  (Sophisticated college sophmore treats high school student sibling.)  Since I already had my bag, and there are no restaurants on the unsecure side of LAX except the weird spaceship one, I run my full sized suitcase through security. 

It was only when I was unpacking later that I realized I had my diver's knife in that bag.  This is rather like a military knife, but with a solid metal blade and handle.  The blade is a good four inches long.  As it was solid metal, it must have showed up on the x-ray.  No one said a word.
Knives used to be perfectly ok in carry-ons and in pockets.  In 1995 I went with some friends to drop off someone at a major airport.  When I got to the security check, I realized I had accidentally left a large (over 6 inches), serrated hunting knife in my jacket pocket.  It was my boyfriend's jacket and his knife, and could not be confused with any kind of pocket knife.

I stopped at the checkpoint and told my friends I'd just wait for them there.  The security lady heard me and came over.  She looked at the knife and made a show of holding it across her palm.  It was much longer, but she adjusted it until it was roughly "no longer than her palm".  She said "Oh, it's just a little knife". Then she pleasantly sent me through and handed me the knife on the other side.  My friends and I were stunned.  We couldn't believe anyone could carry such a dangerous weapon onto a plane.

Until September 11, nobody thought someone could bring down a plane with a blade.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: LJM on March 01, 2008, 01:50:05 PM
Until September 11, nobody thought someone could bring down a plane with a blade.

...and now they can't.

 It's now standard procedure to lock the cockpit doors, and pilots aren't going to respond to threads of "let us in or we kill this hostage", since they know a hijacking doesn't necessarily mean just a re-routing of the plane and possibly two or three dead people if demands aren't met.

They could let short swords onto planes now, and no one would be able to hijack a plane with one, because even several men armed with swords wouldn't be able to get into the cockpit.

(Um, note that I'm NOT recommending that they start allowing swords in the passenger compartment. I'm just sayin'...)


The only weak point is if the pilot or co-pilot needs to leave briefly to use the rest-room. But even then-- the only time I've seen that happen, there was a rather burly, bouncer-looking flight attendent standing gaurd the whole time. Even if he had been rushed by six men with swords during the brief times when the cockpit door was opening or closing, they still would have been able to get the cockpit door closed and locked again before the men got there.

In order for a passenger or group of passengers to hijack a plane now, they'd need a way to force open the cock-pit door, while the flight attendants and passengers are trying to stop stop as though their lives depended on it (because they know they probably do.) Not to mention that when there is any sort of disturbance on a plane, it is now escorted to the nearest airport by U.S. Airforce fighter jets.

If there's another terrorist attack or attempt thereof, it's NOT going to be in the form of passengers hijacking a plane.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: talvikki on March 02, 2008, 01:06:21 PM

With all the rules it's a little hard to tell the ridiculous from the sensible. (The liquid ban is completely bonkers). But not taking responsibility for someone else's bag is a sensible one.


This actually reminds me of a pretty weird incident I had at the airport the last time I was flying from Helsinki to Amsterdam. My BF's friend had asked me to bring him a few Colt lighter, because apparently you can't find them in Amsterdam and they are superior to all other lighter (I wouldn't know, I don't smoke so I don't use the things). So I said sure. I didn't have time to get them before checking in my bags (the line was so long, I thought it best to get that over with first), so after dropping my bags, but before security check, I went to buy 3 lighters at a magazine stand. I go to security check and am informed that only one lighter is allowed on flights. Ok, fine, although if the problem with lighters is the lighter fluid, I would think the problem would be bringing lighters on flights at all, not whether I bring one or three of them. And you'd also think that if they had a problem with people bringing lighters on flights, they wouldn't sell them in shops after security check, since after being checked, I just walked to a magazine stand right next to security station and bought another lighter. Of course, it might just be that they had taken this into consideration and in reality you're allowed to take two lighters onto flights, not just one... .but still, the whole principle of the thing just seems weird to me. If you're allowed to bring lighter's onto flights, why only such ridiculously small amounts of drinking water are allowed?

Also, another funny story about security checks... This was years ago. I was traveling with my parents to go... somewhere, I can't remember just where right now. Anyway, it wasn't a domestic flight. My dad has digestive issues, so he had with him over-the-counter medication for it in a big jar with no markings. This medication was in powder form. Because my mom gets a lot of cash in her job (she owns stalls at a farmer's market), and she used to accept US dollars, we'd always use them on trips abroad to exchange into local currency. So in our bags there were also several wads of dollars. Do you see where I'm getting at? We go to security check and what do you know... for some strange reason the security people think it's highly suspicious of anyone to be carrying piles of cash and a big jar of something powdery in their bags! :P So they take my dad, and eventually my mom into that ominous checking room and interview them and check their stuff for about a quarter of an hour. It all ended fine and we were allowed to take the medication and money with us on the flight, but I bet the security people had a good laugh afterwards. I know my parents did!
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: hermanne on March 12, 2008, 03:45:54 PM
I have to confess to watching a stranger's bag, and asking my bag to be watched. But I can explain!

There was a huge snowstorm the day before, when people where trying to get home after New Year's. It was a madhouse, flights canceled, the airport was crowded and tempers short. After a mix-up with my original AND rescheduled flight that day (long story, but I got a voucher from the airline for their screw-up), I was scheduled on the first flight for the next day. Yay, I got to spend the night in the airport. :P

So those of us on that flight started lining up at the gate over two hours before. It was so early the coffee shop wasn't even open yet. The flight was delayed some more: a flight attendant was late. Naturally, after standing in line for a while, someone would have to answer the call of nature.

By mutual agreement, the person leaving wouldn't lose his place in line. He/she would ask his/her neighbor to watch his/her bag(s) while off to the restrooms. Said bags would mark that person's spot, and everyone near that bag kept an eye on it, not just the person asked.

Finally I couldn't wait any longer, I had to go! So I asked a person in line with me to watch my bag and I went to the ladies' room. Before I got there, I saw a flight attendant coming the other way. So I asked her if she was going to X City, and she said yes! Forgetting my needs (heck, I could use the lav on the plane!), I ran back to the gate and announced to the line that our flight attendant was here! Much happiness ensued. ;D (http://bestsmileys.com/happy/5.gif)

This was before 9/11. I doubt anything like that would happen again.

ETA that was the ONLY time I watched a stranger's bag and asked a stranger to watch my bag.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Alida on March 12, 2008, 03:53:43 PM
I travel frequently by myself and often ask strangers to watch my bag.  Usually it's when I've been settled at the gate for a while and I have to go to the bathroom.  No one has ever turned me down, and I would be slightly surprised if someone said no.  I often watch other people's bags if requested to as well.  No one has ever not shown back up, but if for some reason they didn't come back and I had to board, I would just let the gate agent know. 

I travel alone quite often and would never dream of asking someone to watch my bags, nor would I watch them for someone else.  I can't imagine entrusting my belongings to a stranger. 
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Midnight Kitty on March 12, 2008, 04:01:53 PM
This was before 9/11. I doubt anything like that would happen again.
Yes it would. See my post above (reply #56).  I think it was (relatively) safe to watch the luggage of the guy behind me in line since we all were getting on the same plane eventually.  Just as in your case, when nature calls, you can't always take a message and get back to her later.  Sometimes it's an urgent call.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: hermanne on March 12, 2008, 04:06:06 PM
This was before 9/11. I doubt anything like that would happen again.
Yes it would. See my post above (reply #56).  I think it was (relatively) safe to watch the luggage of the guy behind me in line since we all were getting on the same plane eventually.  Just as in your case, when nature calls, you can't always take a message and get back to her later.  Sometimes it's an urgent call.
Ah, sorry. My mistake.  :-[
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Midnight Kitty on March 12, 2008, 04:38:46 PM
Ah, sorry. My mistake.  :-[
Not a problem.  Please don't ask me to remember all the posts :-*
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: susang on April 11, 2008, 10:06:21 AM
I think if I had to go to the bathroom, I'd take my bags and ask the people around me to hold my spot.

Pre-9/11, someone asked SkiGuy and me to watch their cart of luggage, and we said, "No, we can't do that." They got quite snitty, and we said, "We're sorry, but we're not going to take responsibility for your stuff." Lots of glaring ensued.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: Crafty Hubby on April 13, 2008, 08:05:05 PM
As a former TSA agent myself, I can honestly say I am quite shocked that people will ask or accept someone else watching their bags or watching someone else's.    My personal first response would be, "Um, SECURITY!!"

And as for the liquids ban being misunderstood, I would like to point out (as a former military man) that four ounces each of two certain liquids is enough to blow the fuselage of a 747 completely in two.  These two liquids (which I will NOT disclose what they are) are readily available at your local Ace Hardware or B&Q.  Combine them together and you have a ready made explosive that is quite unstable.
Title: Re: Airport No
Post by: bionelly on April 16, 2008, 01:29:51 AM
When I travel alone, I ask people if they'll watch my bags while I run to the restroom or grab food.  I ask if they'd like me to bring something back for them.  I usually sit at the gate observing people for a while before I ask.  I'll ask a mother with a child, or an older couple.  No one has ever declined, and I'm never gone more than 5 minutes.  I've had several recent international flights with 3+ hour layovers.  By the time I have my coat, purse, laptop bag, and duffle bag without wheels, it's too much to drag into the restroom with me.

Just because somebody "looks" trustworthy, it doesn't mean they are.  When my HS Spanish teacher was coming home from Mexico, she had to deal with some slight hassle from customs.  She was a 40ish white woman with a young child and pretty much the most innocent-looking face you can imagine.  After she was cleared, they told her people who don't look threatening in any way are sometimes specifically sought after to smuggle drugs and such, because they are less likely to be perceived as suspicious by security.