I’ve been travelling again and thinking about security. Is too much security good or just too much? Is over amitious security just creating chaos and uncertainty? I think so. And the rules are different in different places and that’s strange. Is it safer to fly with one bag then two? Is it better to take out everything slightly electronic? What documents do I need?
In the past two weeks I’ve been flying five times, so far and I needed to show an is once. Only once. Isn’t that strange? I could actually take someone elses boarding card and go somewhere in that person’s name. Nobody will notice at first.
Ok,all my flight the past few weeks were within Europe and Schengen area and maybe that’s the reason, but it is still strange. I think that it should be important to show that you are you and nobody else. It doesn’t seem to matter who is flying, but what he brings and in how many bags. Or?
My first flight on April 11:th was from Nyköping outside Stockholm to Warsaw in Poland. I had handluggage and since it was a cheap airline, Wizzair and only one bag was allowed I had one bag. Passport and boarding vard in my hand. I had to show my boarding card, but nobody cared about the passport. Otherwise it was easy and quite OK. Wizzair has free seating, so I just grabbed a seat. But what if they would like to know who was seating in the different places? No, wait a second, they just know names on the checked in tickets, nothing more. Safe and secure? Not really.
Then it was time to fly back. One bag is allowed, so I packed everything in one bag, my purse, my phones, my compact camera, everything. It was hard to close the bag, but I don’t give up that easily and I won. And it was time for the security check.
“Do you have a computer or any electronics?”
“Just my phone and a compact camera.”
“Take them out!”
So I had to unpack my bags, took out the camera and the phone and couldnt close the bag.
“Should I take off my shoes?”
My shoes beeped. All my stuffed went away and I had to take off my shoeas, go back and try again. Finally I could collect everything, closed my bag with everything, except for my wallet, passport and the boarding card that I had in a little plastic bag. And what happened there?
“One bag only!”
They must be kidding. I put my phone in my pocket, wallet as well, passport my my hand. It worked and I had to show my passport. The only time so far.
Next trip went to Amsterdam. It was no problems on the way there. My shoeas (same shoes) didn’t beep, I didn’t show my passport and they let me in, no questions asked.
Was it as easy going home? No way. Didn’t have to show any passport. But waiting in the security line was told to take out everything electronic and they said: phones, cameras, computers, chargers, batteries, everything. So I unpacked my bags and took out my big camera, my small camera, my private phone, my work phone, chargers to all the devices and spare batteries for all the cameras. And it all went away in a plastic basket on the band with my jacket, my belt and… the security guy took my passport from my hand and put together with my other things. I asked about the shoes but they saud it was Ok. The shoes beeped, so I had to go back.
Meanwhile my passport, cameras phones and other stuff where out of my sight. The temperature in the area was pretty high, I was swetting, my stuff gone, I’m standing without shoes, trying to hold up my pants (belt was gone with the other stuff) and waiting for my bag. They stopped it. Why? Because of suspect content. After searching they found cheese (you can buy it everywhere and it is leagal!) and a can with hot chocolate. Ok, the powder maybe looked strange on the x-ray.
And the final comment from the security:
“You look stressed, what’s wrong?”
“Wel, my passport is gone”, (my expensive camera as well, I’m dropping my pants, it’s hot and I’m hungry and you treat me like criminal.)
I actually found all my stuff, but I almost lost my boarding card and my silver necklace. With the feeling of something else then security.
My final journey was today. I went on a business trip to Östersund. The only document I used was my credit card to check in. I had to take out my computer and put it on the x-ray band. My shoes beeped, but it was enought to put my feet, one at a time in a x-ray machine next to my other stuff, it went fast and without any problems.
Why are some security checks safe and feel secure and others are just chaotic and create stress?
Finally something slightly different. Security in the computer world. I work with IT, so it’s my world. And I still believe that over-ambitios security create very low security. In my last wor, for instance, we had to change passwords every three weeks. My first password was strong, but after three weeks it was easier and simplier, and after three weeks, even simpler and three weeks later I just added a number to the password before. Security? I fon’t think so.
I think that it’s now time to decide what level is ultimate, what is security and what is chaos, and why we take the measures that we take.