Daily Archives: November 13, 2008

Gideon Rachman

I know it’s for my own good, but I am finding airline security-measures increasingly irritating. The endless standing in line and the constant packing and unpacking would be marginally more tolerable, if the security demands were a bit more consistent. But they vary a lot, depending on which country you happen to be passing through.

The Americans are shoe-fetishists. It is impossible to go through an American airport without being asked to take off your shoes. The British go through shoe phases – but are permanently obsessed with liquids. So at Heathrow, sometimes they ask to x-ray your shoes, and sometimes not. But they always want to take a look at your toothpaste and deoderant – the British Airports Authority have developed a nice line in selling clear plastic bags for travellers to put their toiletries in. Meanwhile at Frankfurt airport yesterday, I wasn’t asked to take off my shoes or put my liquids in a clear bag. But they did want me to take my belt off. Perhaps they were worried I might try to hang myself? Read more