Sunday, December 5, 2010

Airport Security, take 2

Addendum: I sent the e-mail below a while ago. I sent a reminder but it seems the airport doesn't give a dam'd about its paying customers. Today I was at the same airport again and I refused to take my pants/Belt off and asked politely for a hand search. They refused that option. Well they had no other option than to call the police. After 15 minutes they finally did the handsearch. Something every airport in the world I have encountered is able to do but the Keflavik airport is too stubburn to do it.


Dear Keflavik Airport,

You have a very nice country.
You have a very nice looking airport
You have a very clean airport.

Everyone coming to Iceland would go home and report how good his vacations where in Iceland, except, on the way, those visitors will be pissed of so heavily that they will not come again.

I travel like 8 times per year to Iceland due to business. And I never had any issues but since 2010, your security check is just nuts. My way home usually is like this:

- open my bag
- put out my laptop in a box
- put out my ipad in a box
- put my jacket, vallet, keys and phone in a box
- walk through the guard
- hear it beep
- get asked to put my shoes on to the a box which I do for the peace of mind even my shoes are not the issue.
- get asked to put my belt off. Unfortunately my belt is stiched to the pants. I don't want to drop my pants. Explain it to the security guard. twice. Handsearch is ordered
- get my bag back, they can't scan it. Too much electronics.
- Put the bag upside down and put all its content in another box.
- Mood is already ruined
- walk through -BEEP-
- get hand searched extensively
- put all the stuff back in my bag
- feel insulted in my privacy
- go home and never come back
(unfortunately I can't never come back as I have business here)

Usually takes at least 5 minutes. 5 totally wasted minutes.

I travel a lot. I alway fly from Frankfurt to Iceland. In Frankfurt don't beep if I have my shoes and my belt on. And if it beeps they quickly handsearch me without any issues. The personel is nice and not arrogant. They complete their job with the security in mind in a professional way. So if I compare Iceland to Frankfurt, I must say your machines are probably detecting a one euro coin and think its an atomic reactor or such. This was all not the case in 2007-2009. Only in 2010 this nonsense started.

I don't know if you really fear terrorism to blow up an airplane but it's a waste of time. If a terrorist would want to blow up a plane, he would 100% sure not choose Iceland. You have not been to Iraq, nor to Agfanistan. Nor are you an "important size" country. Blowing up a plane from Iceland would have like no impact on the world. Almost nobody would care. So why this insulting security checks? Just because your employees wants to show off? Show off in a sense that they have the power and the traveler coming there has none? You're wrong. That's the wrong signal sent to tourists who just had a wonderful time. Passengers have the same rights as every human. Privacy. And at the end of the day, they are the ones which pay the salaries of all the airport employees.

See also my experiences from last April....

By the way I also find it quite annoying to have to pay 490 ISK to send off this e-mail from the business class lounge. Why you have no free wi-fi in a business class lounge?

And its quite amusing that the helpdesk of the business class lounge doesn't even have instructions or forms for feedback or complaints.