Passport and boarding pass, please

23 Dec

It was a week ago that we had our journey through three airports, but I’m finally sitting down to write about it now.

Airport security is in the news a lot lately. People are freaking out about the body scanners and enhanced pat downs. I was prepping myself for the privacy invasion, but it never came — no scanners or pat downs in Heathrow or O’Hare. But that’s not to say security wasn’t out in full force. What I can’t understand is why Heathrow insists on seeing your boarding pass and passport so many times. You have to show both to get into security. I can understand that. But then you also have to show them again after security. The guy actually looked at every single page on my passport. Why was that necessary? And then we got to the gate where I had to show my boarding pass and passport once again — as if they are afraid people who aren’t on that flight might actually sit in that gate’s chairs. They had not one, but two people at the gate look at both my boarding pass and passport. And then because we had a connecting flight we were pulled over for “additional questioning.” The guy asked how long we’d been in the UK and if we were the ones who packed our bags and if anyone had asked us to carry items on board for them. Has any security threat ever been thwarted by asking these questions? They seem a little too obvious. I also can’t help but wonder what they hope to accomplish with all the boarding pass and passport requests — have they had problems with people switching tickets after security? Presenting your boarding pass at security and then a final time right before boarding seems like it should be enough.

That’s just one thing that really grinds my gears about air travel. I feel like I had a lot more to gripe about a week ago, but it’s slipped my mind.

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