London Airport Security, August 2006

Just got off the phone with a brother in law who flew home last week from London, about 2 days after the latest terrorist threat.

The scene as he describes it:

We weren’t allowed to take anything on the plane with us.  We were given clear plastic bags, and were told we could take our ID’s, our plane tickets, one car key only.  I had a small pack of gum, individually wrapped, and a travel-sized Kleenex.    They made me toss the gum, and had me remove every single sheet of the kleenex, throw out the wrapper, then I could take them. 

A lot of passengers were really stressed after getting through security, and the duty-free shops were hit hard for their liquor.  Which seemed like a good idea, until the second security checkpoint before boarding.  No booze.  The passenger ahead of us made an issue of it, and was told “You don’t have to get on this plane”, so his newly purchased alcohol went into the trash.

I’m not flying for a while, and I’m not afraid of flying.


  1. It used to be that half the fun of traveling was in getting there. Not anymore. How sad. (no wonder people are having panic attacks on planes, they are so frazzeled by the time they get to their seats, they self-destruct)

  2. I’am from Ohio and was in Trenton NJ last week when this happened. I was scheduled to fly home on Friday morning (the day after the news broke) from Newark NJ. They told us the lines were about 6.5 hours long and then you would not get your regular flight but would have to wait on a later one. My SIL drove me home in less hours than I would have waited at airport. I also had my little grandaughter with me. Somehow her seeing all those men every where with rifles had a feeling of wrongness. I’am happy they are taking all these precautions I just couldn’t stand in line for that long.

  3. A colleague had a flight from Sacramento to Denver via Vegas on Southwest the day of the terrorist threats. He had already packed his bag the night before and left for the airport from work – he just removed his liquid/gels etc from his bag – still carried it on and had no problems on either the outbound or returning trip. Another colleague flew with his wife that weekend (from Sacto to San Diego) and had no problems – they opted to pack one large suitcase and check it rather than do carry on. Both remarked that it was less hassle than they anticipated.
    Perhaps bigger airports/metro areas are different.

  4. Aerospace Genius says:

    We round tripped SAN-SMF with 2 young-uns last weekend and had no problems. There was no wait at security either way and the kids behaved exceptionally well. Both flights were nearly full and the airport was very busy, so the only impact was not being able to bring stuff for the kids to drink. It’s just one more thing to get used to.

  5. I’m flying to London in less than a month for my first trip overseas. And of course this had to happen now. At least I know I’ll have to check many of the things I was planning on carrying on since they always said to carry-on your makeup, toiletries, medications, etc…I’m glad as of right now I can still carry on the medications because when I went to Florida in June, my suitcase didn’t make it there, and even though I had brought enough meds for the week in my carry-on, the extra bottles were all in the checked bag. And I’m hoping that some of this chaos will have calmed down by the time I fly. I don’t want them to be less diligent, just hopefully more efficient and will allow carry-ons but just without the liquids and gels. I’m still waiting for my passport! It’s a shame that this trip, which is supposed to be a lot of fun as I’m staying with a friend for 9 days and going to a conference for a day, is now creating a decent amount of stress and anxiety as I prepare to go! Ah well…life in 2006, I guess… :-/

  6. AuntSusie says:

    8/15 Returnied from Boston to Dallas with layover for lunch with son in Atlanta. We normally travel with small carryons, so checked them to get “the liquids” home. No long security lines. One “gang plank” to the planes had just broken at Logan, so they were shuffling flights to the working gates = 30 minutes delay that a good tail wind made up, and it took 45 minutes to retrieve bags in Dallas. Oh – and both planes were sardine-packed. Next trip, I’ll just take a shopping list for shampoo, etc. and find a drug store. Otherwise, domestic travel seems not too changed.

  7. My wife hates flying under the best of circumstances. Think we’ll be landlubbers for a long time.

  8. I know a certain amount of preventative action must be enacted, but there’s also a line of absurdity.