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July 11, 2008

Annals of transport safety cluelessness

Flying back from Tokyo this week, I picked up, inside the customs area having checked in, some makeup and so forth as a present. My final destination was Sydney, though for whatever reason, my flight stopped in at Cairns for an hour or so.
So, of course the said present was in my carry on luggage (as my bags were already checked).

When we got off at Cairns (to get back on the same plane) we had to go through a security checkpoint before going into the transit lounge.

Of course, at this point, one can't take liquids etc etc, other than 100mls, in a clear bag, yadda yadda. So, what happens with my several hundreds of dollars of cosmetics etc? Security wants to confiscate them. In the original sealed bag that were put in by the shop assistant in Tokyo airport (nicely torn open by the security staff), in a plastic sealed box. Sanity prevailed (not before I'd have been willing to make a lot of fuss, both on principle, and because of the cost of these items). But what kind of insane system do we have going here?

I guess one day we'll all be flying naked.

As I said to security while they tried to explain that I'd have to give up the cosmetics - "that's just ridiculous".

July 11, 2008 | Permalink


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Good on your for standing your ground! I'm surprised they caved in TBH.

Posted by: Maxine Sherrin | Jul 11, 2008 5:45:58 PM

I'm surprised too. I thought if you argued they binned it immediately. Having read about how the guys in London were going to make the bombs, I have to say I agree with the liquids rule, but to not allow duty free sealed and purchased after a security point is, as you say, ridiculous.

Posted by: Deb | Jul 11, 2008 11:38:58 PM

Similar things happen in transit on long flights from London to Sydney. Buy your duty-free at Heathrow, stop at Bangkok and forced to not only leave the plane but leave the secure area of the gate, get re-scanned at security all over again - goodbye duty-free.

Posted by: Anura | Jul 12, 2008 11:21:48 AM

Aren,t most duty free stores at airports owned by the same company?

Sounds like a duty free scam to me either that or have a way to check duty free into your non carry on luggage it seems that since the tragic events at the 711 there have been a lot of knee jerk reactions and very little thought to be put into he travails of the average traveller

Posted by: Peter Allsopp | Jul 14, 2008 10:22:56 PM


I can't quite see the way the DF companies and the customs officials would collaborate - mind you, it certainly doesn't hurt the DF companies, unless of course people start simply not buying even after going through immigration - afterall, if you finish an international flight with a domestic leg you have to put your DF in your checked luggage.

All in all, a farce. "Security Theatre" or movie plot security" as Bruce Schneier puts it



Posted by: John Allsopp | Jul 15, 2008 7:42:26 AM

He said annals...

I was allowed through both Sydney and out of the USA with contact lens solution i believe on medicinal grounds, though it was a complete oversight on my behalf. On the second occasion in San Francisco i was able to pack the contact lens solution in my checked luggage (even tough i was told it was ok) and did so on a table with at least half a dozen sealed bottles of water. The T-men are going to bring the plane down by flooding it and drowning us all!

Posted by: James | Jul 28, 2008 1:34:56 PM

Flying out of Brunei recently, my wife, Meg, showed her 500ml bottle of water to the guys at security and she was allowed through into the departure lounge with the casual request that she finished it before getting on the plane!

Posted by: Nick | Jul 29, 2008 11:56:54 AM


as long as it wasn't wine!


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