The humanitarian impact of liquid rules

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in Other Countries' started by exbayern, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. exbayern

    exbayern Original Member

    (Warning, ELLE post ahead - 'Extreme Left Leaning European', as I was dubbed by a TSO in past...)

    Passing through security at FRA I was pulled aside for a bag check. The screener greeted me, and I asked if he was looking for something in particular or if I could assist. He said, 'no, I found it already', and removed a 1 litre bottle of water, unopened from my bag. I had forgotten that it was there, as it was free with purchase on my first flight of the day, and I had never opened it or drank from it.

    I apologised, and he said 'No need for apology'.

    Then he said 'It's a shame, really, it is.' I thought at first that he meant me, for trying to take a forbidden item, but he continued.

    'Think about the millions of people all over the world who don't have access to clean drinking water. Think about all the people who die every day as a result. Think of the children and the women who walk kilometres a day to fetch water'

    'And now think about us here in the developed world, throwing away perfectly good water, in a sealed bottle, simply due to this absurd rules which do nothing to protect us.'

    He showed me his arm. 'This is the one part of my job which I cannot stand. It gives me goosebumps every time I have to dispose of water like this, and think about the impact we are having for no good reason at all. But the EU commissar says the rules must stay, so we continue to throw away thousands of litres of clean water every day all over the world. Think about that. It's a shame, it really is.'

    He is absolutely right.
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    How is that "left leaning"? It simply highlights a very wasteful and stupid process.
  3. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    That's a very powerful statement, exbayern. Thank you for posting it; it needs to grow legs.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  4. Ciarin

    Ciarin Member

  5. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Wow, not only an intelligent screener, but a thoughtful one. What a difference from the goons who grope us in this country. Not only would they not have had even the glimmer of an idea about worldwide water shortage, they would've screamed at you for trying to sneak a scary, prohibited item onto the plane.
  6. exbayern

    exbayern Original Member

    Lisa, I thought the same thing. Nor would I expect to have this conversation at a TSA checkpoint.

    There was zero passengers ahead of me in the queue midday Sunday, and one person came a few minutes later, so we didn't detain anyone. There was as usual German Federal police and at least one suit/manager type observing, and there were other screeners around, but obviously this gentleman had no concerns about freedom of speech, and felt free to express his opinion. To me it felt like someone engaging in coffeeklatsch type conversation, yet Germans are not known for making small talk with strangers.

    It was a very unusual encounter for someone who regularly transit(ed) US TSA checkpoints and deal(t) with the situation there. I don't know what provoked him to engage me, but he obviously found someone sympathetic to the situation when he did choose to express his opinion.

    To make todays airport security experience even slightly more bizarre, my LH flight was chosen for onboard surveys, and a large part of the LH survey is about the security screening/checkpoint/length of wait/experience.

    I've never had a US carrier survey me about my TSA experience...

    Mike, it isn't 'left leaning', but one of our TSO posters in past characterised all Europeans as extreme left leaning and said that thus anything coming out of Europe regarding screening should be ignored. Ever since he posted that, I am proud to consider myself an ELLE, even if I tend to tread mostly just a little left of centre.
  7. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    I've always had concerns about checkpoint confiscation of food and beverages. In light of the ridiculous plenty we currently enjoy in the U.S., no one objects.

    We assume the plenty is universal and unassailable. It is neither.
  8. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I think the TSA exercise of confiscating LGA's at the checkpoint is pointless in light of the fact that TSA shows no concern that the items could be dangerous. That is a clear demonstration that TSA knows those items are not dangerous and therefore should never have been confiscated int he first place.

    It is being deprived of ones property without due process.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.

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