Monday, 14 February 2011

Trouser Removal & Underwear Inspection: Security for the Modern Traveller

Those of you fascinated at the attempted removal of David Allen Green's trousers at the airport last week may want to know about uninvited strangers rifling through my underwear.

Just before Christmas, I returned from the US. I had a skull in my hand-luggage and the airport security guard swabbed it for narcotics and/or explosives. The lovely security lady's smile barely flickered when I explained that it was Mr J's Christmas present. The whole thing was done in my prescence and I was glad they were taking their responsibilities seriously.

Then I got home, opened my hold luggage and found this:

Basically, it said that my luggage had been rifled in my absence. And what's more, if they had broken the locks to do this, that was my problem.

Anyone else find that really creepy?

I really don't mind them looking at luggage. They should! But since I was waiting in departures for two hours, you'd think they'd have had a few minutes to get me to the Rifling Room to help.

I'd be highly aggrieved to be prosecuted for carrying anything when I'd no proof it hadn't been placed there by a third party. And I'd be really pissed off to buy a new case every time I made a trip because someone had trashed the locks to inspect my toothpaste.

We all know that governments use paranoid times to enact the powers they'd like to have anyway. But this one is really, I'll use the word again, creepy.

I don't mind who rifles through my underwear. But I'd prefer if they had the manners to wait 'til I'm there.

1 comment:

  1. i remember taking a number of flights within the US, and between the UK and US, a year or so ago, and each time i opened my luggage next, i found one of those notes in my luggage.

    they do advise americans to use special locks which they can open without breaking, but i tend not to use a lock at all, on the basis that if someone wants to get to my underpants, they will do.

    however, on one occasion, i realised they'd checked my luggage because they'd repacked it a lot better than i had - everything fitted in without being squished :)

    i didn't find it in the least bit creepy; i did wonder why my bag attracted attention though. it wasn't even the same bag each time which was checked.

    i also find it interesting that when i used to write for aviation magazines, there was a huge story about 100% hold baggage screening - whereby all bags that go in the hold go through scanners. the US was very resistant, on the grounds of cost. this was in about 1999 or 2000.