Tuesday, 8 October 2013

What’s the point?

It’s hardly news that so called security measures in airports now have reached epic levels of stupidity. The truth is though that if you want to fly, we all rollover and let the powers-that-be do whatever the hell they like because itsallinagoodcauseandifyoudon’tsupportthesecuritymeasuresthenyoumustbeaterrorist etc .etc. The irony that every week I pass through airside to my local airport while carrying a large number of items on the “prohibited” list, is not lost on me.

To be honest, I’m pretty much like everyone else. I make loud noises about what a pain it all is, but get in line meekly while mulling over my choices of being sexually molested in public or exposed to a potential carcinogenic dose of ionising radiation. I’m well-travelled enough that I have a handle on most of the procedures required. I have the heel-off-your-shoes-while pulling-out-your-laptop with the one hand  and grab a tray with the other move pretty much down pat.
Flying to DC is always amusing, the security procedures even more extreme. RTH and I have a running completion as to how many times your boarding pass and photo ID get checked. I think he’s wining at the moment with a count of 11. I think it would have been 12 but he got so hacked off at having his pass checked at both the bottom and top of an escalator that he point blanked refused the second guy, who was, incidentally just an airport security drone and had no legal authority really. A view shared by the RCMP officers who viewed the entire exchange with barely concealed amusement. I guess the professionals don’t appreciate the amateur stupidity either.

The latest bit of pointless security that got me this time was the security drone* who was checking your passport and boarding card before allowing you into the security area at Dulles. She took my passport and boarding card and proceeded to check various details, indicating that they matched by putting a check mark through them.  She started with my name, checking it industriously against my passport, twice. Then the date. I swear she actually looked against a calendar in front of her. And then; and this is the incomprehensible bit, she placed the boarding card flat on the table in front of her and checked off, the flight number, my frequent flier points number and seat allocation.
I wanted to ask “what are you checking them against? And what does it matter?” All you have in front of you is my passport and boarding card. You have no idea if that is actually my allocated seat or not. And what’s the significance anyway? Do terrorists tend to avoid seat 10A then? I guess they don't collect reward points either!

Really what’s the point?

*I’ve noticed a trend of airport personnel wearing name badges but without actually telling you which agency employs them. This is important, the TSA for example; holds the authority, legitimately, to inspect your belongings and prevent you from passing through a checkpoint. It does not have the authority to detain you, interrogate you or arrest you, despite what they may claim.

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