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To wonder just how random airport security checks are?

(190 Posts)
DifficultSituation19 Thu 22-Aug-19 00:04:40

Because I seem to get pulled out to be thoroughly searched EVERY BLOODY TIME! You know, get all my belongings out so they can go through things thoroughly and swab them etc. I’ve flown around 10 times in the last 18 months and it literally always happens, whether I’m in England or abroad, whether I’m alone, with my DP, or the DC. Makes no difference. Always get searched while everyone else breezes through.

This has given me a bit of a complex. I don’t THINK I look like a DF (dodgy fucker). I mean, I’m not obviously oozing money or class but I’m generally quite presentable - white (shouldn’t matter but I’ve heard there is ‘racial profiling’), polite, middle class, pushing 40 mother of 2. WHY ME? My boyfriend thinks it’s hilarious. Surely every time can’t be ‘random’?

GiveMeAllTheGin8 Thu 22-Aug-19 00:14:06

This is me. Every single time both ways I get swabbed or checked.
Dh says I look dodgy so maybe that’s it?!

DifficultSituation19 Thu 22-Aug-19 00:16:21

@givemeallthegin - solidarity. Maybe I do look dodgy after all 😂

Chanteuse Thu 22-Aug-19 00:17:36

I get stopped EVERY TIME I go to the airport. It is soooo annoying. I also sometimes get filmed on self-service machines. I obviously just look like an unsavoury character grin

which1 Thu 22-Aug-19 00:19:10

I sometimes set of scanner whilst walking through the 'door'.

Even though I don't wear jewlry or have piercings and normally dressed in jeans, top and trainers.

DramaAlpaca Thu 22-Aug-19 00:20:08

Me too <sigh>. I'm a respectable middle aged woman who tries her best to look presentable & I always get searched or have my bags swabbed. I must be doing travelling wrong confused

ErrolTheDragon Thu 22-Aug-19 00:23:15

When we lived in the US, DH sometimes travelled with a colleague who invariably got searched. Apparently a very nice guy who looked like the stereotype of a Mexican drug baron or suchlike.

MarySibleysFamiliar Thu 22-Aug-19 00:23:28

I've been on a plane 4 times and the last one I was scanned and bags swabbed and opened on the way there and again on the way back.
I ended up pretty nervous about my bag because I distinctly recall having a teenth of weed and maybe a joint or two in there on occasion during my college days.... 21 years ago 😂

I do love my old bag... she gave up no secrets thankfully.

HollowTalk Thu 22-Aug-19 00:23:47

Not long after 9/11 I was going from Manchester to Amsterdam with my little mosher young teens and all three of us were searched as though we were your typical terrorists. My daughter's frisking was brutal - she was in tears.

HollowTalk Thu 22-Aug-19 00:23:55

She was about 12.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 22-Aug-19 00:24:29

Sometimes it's underwired bras or metal lasts in shoes that trigger the search.

Not2bObvious Thu 22-Aug-19 00:25:48

4 bags out of 6 taken aside for “random” search? It was really embarrassing to have 3 different people ask who’s bag is this while I have to keep raising my hand. Yep 40+ with a teen and a tween, major sketchyhmm And how is that random?

Isthebigwomanhere Thu 22-Aug-19 00:29:12

I always get stopped. Always have .
It drives me crazy!!!
Someone said it's my surname that flags up.
It's not a stand out name just a random name from a certain country

Benefitofthedoubt Thu 22-Aug-19 00:31:00

A friend just posted on Facebook that he is stopped and searched three times out of four when flying. It can’t be random!

RubbingHimSweetly Thu 22-Aug-19 00:33:59

A friend who works in security once told me I got stopped frequently precisely because I am the antithesis of 'the profile'. I'm short, blonde, white and 30 something travelling with 2 dc most of the time. Can't be accused of profiling then!

BitchyArriver Thu 22-Aug-19 00:35:10

When I came back from Honeymoon I was wearing the sarong I had pretty much lived in for the past week or so. Was pulled in for questioning. When we explained we had been to the Maldives they let us go through. They wanted to know if we had been to any ‘interesting’ countries like Syria. I was quite frankly shocked at the blatant Islamophobia.

They saw a white woman wearing the wrong clothes and thought that warranted questioning me. Like I had potentially done something wrong because of my outfit. WTF??

LEELULUMPKIN Thu 22-Aug-19 00:40:38

Happens to me too. Visit the USA three times a year and you can guarantee the dreaded SSS will be printed on my boarding card.

I'm 49, white and travel with my DH and disabled 14 yr old Son.

Having said that, it worked a treat last time as all of us SSS outcasts were allowed to board first so I got nice and comfy, started perusing the in flight entertainment whilst DH struggled with the wheelchair! smile

CedarTreeLeaf Thu 22-Aug-19 00:47:51

It's the shoes. I have a pair that always go off so I'm always pulled in Europe (only when I wear them) but not in the US because you have to take your shoes off. I think if your shoes have a bit of metal on them, that's it.

ShippingNews Thu 22-Aug-19 00:49:02

I'm always checked too. I travel a lot, both domestically and long-haul, and it always happens. I'm sure I'm not someone who would trigger a search based on "profiling" - I'm 60 and look like a very average plump granny type, if anything. However I don't mind being checked - it's just part of the travel experience to me.

ShippingNews Thu 22-Aug-19 00:50:14

If it was the shoes at fault I'd never get selected - my shoes don't set off the alarm, ever.

Benefitofthedoubt Thu 22-Aug-19 00:59:04

Had to google SSSS

www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/advice/ssss-printed-on-boarding-pass-meaning/amp/

LEELULUMPKIN Thu 22-Aug-19 01:02:06

Yep, as I say the SSSS is real! At least it gives you a chance to get prepared before you actually go through, less faffing about.

TheFrendo Thu 22-Aug-19 01:02:53

A male friend of mine got stopped all the time. Turned out he shared the same name as an alias used by big time crook.

expat101 Thu 22-Aug-19 01:07:08

I'm sure they fill a quota of ''others'' so that no culture, gender etc can announce they are being 'targeted! A quick scroll back through the cameras will show that many middle-aged, respectable sorts are being screened too... security don't have to have a reason, they just have to go through the motions, esp. to find that extra bottle of spirits tucked away that is over and above the incoming allowance.

LEELULUMPKIN Thu 22-Aug-19 01:07:15

TheFrendo - What a shame for your friend Pablo Escobar.

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