Friday, 18 November 2011

Beware: Security at Brisbane Airport

Don't know if it's just me but every time I fly through Brisvegas airport I run into some sort of trouble. On this particular visit, on the return leg from a trip to Denpasar, I was passing through the security screening and got bailed up for having a 'prohibited object' in my hand carry baggage: a 5mm allen key.

I expressed my surprise, then incredulity, that such a small, innocuous, and very blunt instrument could cause such a fuss. Security were being overly officious. "It's a tool, and no tools are allowed thru security. It's in the regulations...". Those are the regulations that no traveller is privy to. Anyway, I'm amazed that my large and pointy front door key passed through the check. Isn't a regular key also a tool? And the three very pointy, sharp pens. These are, arguably tools too. Not to mention the spikes on the bottom of the tripod I was hand carrying. Even though I protested, I had to go back through the scanners to buy a padded bag and stamps and post the darn thing before I was finally allowed into departure to catch the flight home.
A selection of the other 'offensive' objects carried in my bag that were deemed not to be illegal. The logic defies common sense.
I was also hand-carrying a large Velbon carbon fibre tripod that has extendable steel spiked feet. Feet that could do considerable damage to someone or something if you had a mind to...

Ironically I also had a very sharp jeweller's screwdriver in my pack which the security staff also pulled out but, while I was arguing about the Allen key,  I simply I took it back from the officer's hand and put it back into my pack.
Some security. I recently had to post a camera to the US for conversion to infra-red. I was asked if there was a battery in the parcel when it was presented at the post office. Apparently you can't post batteries. Batteries are 'dangerous' goods. The flash capacitor, the component that stores current prior to your firing the flash can store a current up to 200 volts that can be boosted to 4000 volts once the flash is triggered. That's not dangerous? But you can take batteries on a plane if they are in your hand baggage.
Or can you?
A student recently told me that the authorities in Dubai airport tried to confiscate the AA lithium batteries he had in his carry-on baggage. He argued the case and they finally backed off but still, it's a worrying trend. I had no idea that lithium batteries were so dangerous!

1 comment:

  1. While you aren't absolutely besmirched for best if it comes to alleviation and restaurants at Alghero Airport, there´s acceptable to see you through.

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