Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Airport Security & Terrorism


******If you make to the end, I promise this will all tie together*****

Last summer was the first time I have ever flown. As you all know I flew to London, England for a vacation. I had never been on a plane or experienced what it was like to go through security at an airport. I am a smoker, so in my purse I had my cigarettes and a lighter and in my carry on bag I put my makeup. I did not take any toiletries because I figured I would buy those items when I got to England.

My first experience with airport security was at Raleigh Durham International in Raleigh, North Carolina. After navigating the complicated kiosk thingies I went through security. The staff were polite and I put my bag, purse and shoes on the conveyor belt. I had to step through a metal detector and then get in this huge machine and put my arms behind my head and spread my legs apart. I had on a shirt that had decorative metal type ornaments on the collar of the shirt and a woman actually told me to step aside and she felt of it to make sure I wasn't carrying any contraband. Before she ran her hand across the top part of my body she told me what she was going to do so I would be prepared. Here is a picture below of the shirt I was wearing that day.



Yes, it is what you are thinking...she had latex gloves on and she rubbed her hand over the entire Y shaped part of the shirt. Anyway, after a short wait I boarded the flight to Georgia.

After landing at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport in Georgia I went through security again. This time the experience was a little different. My carry on, purse and shoes were put on the conveyor belt and I went through the machine again for the full body scan and that was it. I was not pulled to the side or anything. Could not take my water bottle on the plane, I had to throw it away.

The next airport I was at was Charles De Gaulle airport in France. Once again I went through security and felt that they were scrutinizing every bag, my clothing, the whole nine yards. I was told to take off my shoes again and I went through the body scanning machine and was kind of leered at by some guy in security (he was leering at everybody and being rude) which made me feel slightly uncomfortable but once again my purse and carry on went on through and I was not stopped. 

The next airport was London Heathrow and I actually went through customs there so that was a unique experience. I had to go through security and then I went through customs and had to fill out a card and give it to the man at the desk when I was called up and my passport was checked. The man speaking with me looked at my picture and studied it and then looked at me and studied me to make sure it was me and was asked why I was in the country and I told the guy that I was there to celebrate my birthday. 

The journey was quite different on the way back out of England and coming back into the United States. Leaving London Heathrow, I had made purchases in the country and some of my liquids I was not allowed to keep. I had bought some type of body spray and it was over 100 ml. so I had to leave it. The lady that took my body spray liquid joked with me a little and she let me spray some on me before I had to leave it. 

The next airport was in Detroit Michigan. Same thing there, going through the big body scanner, declaring my shot glasses..lol and having my picture taken upon entering the country which was pretty cool. 

How does all this tie in with terrorism? I was watching the news this morning and the media was talking about tighter security in airports, border control and back ground checks on anyone entering the country. Do you notice I said in the beginning of my post I had my cigarettes and lighter in my purse? Not once was I questioned about that lighter. Not once did I have to unzip my carry on and show anybody what was inside. I have no idea why either. Did the security people not see it? Did I look sweet and innocent? I should have been asked about it, but I wasn't. How many people are getting through security with items that do not look like contraband? I reread the TSA rules and you can have a lighter on an airplane, it can be in a checked bag or pocket book and you can only have one, so that is probably why nothing was said. 

The Russian plane that was blown up a few weeks ago, is thought to have been blown up by a soda can packed with TNT. Here is a picture of it below and a link for the website it was taken from. You can view the full story by clicking the link below.


 



I don't understand how terrorists can get into any country with fake passports or get through all that security and not be caught. It boggles my mind. Look, I am just a small town country girl and I probably seem really simple but somehow something is getting overlooked and I'm not sure what it is. Just sayin'.