Author Topic: Airport No  (Read 18603 times)

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MadMadge43

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2008, 09:40:21 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.

Wry Exchange

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2008, 11:24:36 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.

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2008, 02:40:16 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. )

Lady Vavasour

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2008, 02:44:29 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 ...

demarco

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2008, 09:53:20 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. 

Twik

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2008, 02:05:44 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.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

caranfin

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2008, 02:15:40 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
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

Twik

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2008, 04:39:26 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.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2008, 08:19:08 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.
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Bharris

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2008, 04:01:20 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?
I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2008, 04:20:32 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
"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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GoldenGemini

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2008, 08:00:08 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


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MurPl1

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2008, 12:49:56 AM »
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.

MadMadge43

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2008, 10:37:07 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.


ZipTheWonder

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Re: Airport No
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2008, 08:03:25 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.