In the name of “Security”, we the people are apparently prepared to put up with a great deal of inconvenience, and particularly so before being awarded the dubious privilege of being packed together into an aluminium tube, kept aloft by wings filled with paraffin, simply to get from A to B that much quicker.
You know the drill. In the tray: jacket, belt, keys, mobile, coins (although this varies with the airport concerned) and anything else potentially metallic. Hand luggage must not contain liquids or pastes except in clear plastic bags. You tolerate it just the once; then on the return journey you tolerate it once more.
Unless, of course, your journey involves more than one flight. Then you have to tolerate the whole procedure again. Transit passenger or no.
My first experience of this double exasperation was en route to Rome last June. There are few direct flights from the North West to the Eternal City – no doubt the Southern snobberati would say we’re provincial and uncultured – so I flew via Zürich. Swiss do a good job directing you around Zürich Airport, but there it was between me and the gate – belt off, coins, mobile, keys.
Perhaps this was a Swiss idiosyncracy? Oh no it wasn’t. Transiting Paris CDG over the New Year was worse. Checks yet more aggressive. I counted myself lucky to have been allowed to keep my shoes on.
So be warned. And consider this: the longer we all put up with it, the longer it will carry on. Regardless.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
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