Author Topic: Airport No  (Read 18263 times)

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demarco

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Airport No
« on: January 05, 2008, 10:40:33 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. 


rashea

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2008, 10:44:53 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.
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Re: Airport No
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2008, 11:17:42 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.
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SportsFan88

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2008, 01:40:40 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.

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bopper

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2008, 04:26:47 PM »
Wow!  Even before 9/11 the airports were telling you not to watch anybody's bag.

starlight

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2008, 07:55:52 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. 

MrsO

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2008, 08:05:20 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.

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2008, 08:06:52 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'."
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2008, 02:38:11 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


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Elle

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2008, 02:57:34 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

wonderdog

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2008, 03:57:23 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.

Shannon

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2008, 04:44:19 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.

Brentwood

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2008, 04:49:12 PM »
Even before more recent restrictions on airport security, it would not have been okay to do this! You were right to say no.

Brentwood

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2008, 04:50:58 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.

kareng57

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2008, 09:28:42 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.