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Security not doing its job

London
Level Contributor
1,019 posts
118 reviews
Security not doing its job

On my travels recently, I took out my laptop from my backpack everytime I went through security at airports, but didn't bother taking out my phone, iPod, or my 2 cameras. Nobody said a word.

In fact on one occasion, at SIN, I accidentally left a big bottle of sun cream lotion in my bag, and this also got through the security scanners no question asked.

When I noticed this in my bag after the check point (at SIN, the body scanners, bag scanners etc are just before the boarding gates) I got a little nervous so I just took it out of my bag and left it on a seat!

This bottle of suncream lotion could have been carrying anything! I thought no liquids were allowed on a plane (unless very small quantity)?

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
8,822 posts
49 reviews
1. Re: Security not doing its job

Happens all the time. Am not surprised.

Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
32,012 posts
75 reviews
2. Re: Security not doing its job

Security is not perfect, and it is not really there to detect every bottle of suncream, but to make it look as if there is a deterrence in place.

Sometimes I'm told to take my shoes, sometimes not. Why would they do that?

London
Level Contributor
15,918 posts
43 reviews
3. Re: Security not doing its job

Security levels are usually based on intelligence around the likelihood of a terrorist attack.

If levels are high, everyone is checked thoroughly. However this leads to long delays, so if levels are lower, not everyone will be checked thoroughly, only a random sample. Simple as that.

Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
5,464 posts
10 reviews
4. Re: Security not doing its job

"I took out my laptop from my backpack everytime I went through security at airports, but didn't bother taking out my phone, iPod, or my 2 cameras."

I've never seen a requirement to take cellphones, Ipods and cameras out of your hand baggage when clearing security, only laptops. Nowadays if you have a TSA approved lie flat laptop case, you don't even have to do that.

kentucky
Level Contributor
5,420 posts
42 reviews
5. Re: Security not doing its job

we never take small electronics out--just laptops

overseas varies with shoe policy

we always have to remove them in States

Haarlem, The...
Level Contributor
1,527 posts
229 reviews
6. Re: Security not doing its job

Why did you leave the sunscreen behind? You should have been happy you didn't lose it at the checkpoint.

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
Level Contributor
6,249 posts
7. Re: Security not doing its job

Laptops have to come out of the bags because they are very dense and it is difficult for the x-ray to see through them, especially if cluttered with cell phones, cables, power bricks and so on. Cell phone and such have much less density and can be seen through more easily.

X-ray is only as good as the person looking at the screen, and even the most attentive screener will get fatigued and miss stuff.

Most airport security is just theater intended to make people who don't think about it critically FEEL safe. There are plenty of ways to get a large quantity of liquid (or guns, plastic explosives, knives, ...) airside.

Why would you abandon a perfectly good bottle of sunscreen that you knew was perfectly safe? You could have caused a terminal evacuation when the next paranoid person saw an unattended bottle and called the bomb squad.

8. Re: Security not doing its job

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New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
8,822 posts
49 reviews
9. Re: Security not doing its job

I've never seen a requirement to take cellphones, Ipods and cameras out of your hand baggage when clearing security

__________________

Depends on the airport. One airport I flew through quite a bit (in Europe) requires passengers to not only remove all small electronics but show security they are indeed functioning. A royal PITA if you carry a small branch of Radio Shack with you.

Chicago
Level Contributor
6,039 posts
1 review
10. Re: Security not doing its job

Nice catch, Sussex. I clicked history and remembered the post from a few days ago about not wanting to have turbulence during a flight.