The Idiot’s Guide to Airport Security

6 November 2014

And so, the return trip from Canada to London Heathrow Terminal 5 has begun. Due to the additions to my Canadian lecturing plans, I first have to travel back the same way I – rather entertainingly – had to travel on Sunday morning, from Ottawa to Toronto. Having had an ‘interesting’ experience with Toronto Pearson, I was psyched up for an improved experience this time around. It couldn’t be any worse …. surely….?

Oh, how wrong I was! All my liquids packed beautifully into a small plastic sealable bag as usual – yes, the hair gel, toothpaste, contact lens solution, etc. etc. – laptop, tablet, watch and all bags placed in the trays and get the all clear to walk through the sensor…. Beep beep. Yikes! Again! So, the belt comes off and I still beep. So, I begin my initial ‘banter’ with the security lady but after being patted down on every bra strap and around the top of my – now no longer belted – jeans, sense of humour failure begins to kick in. Then to add insult to the ridiculousness, I notice that my bag is also being held by the hmmm…. lovely…. security fellow. Oh heck – I give in!

My boots are removed and put through the x-ray machine – despite, I hasten to add, my asking if they wanted me to take them off in the first place – and this time, it is not the hood of my jumper/sweater, but these…..

I kid you not – my socks. So, note to self: next time I go through security (really soon, like in Toronto to get back home!), do not wear socks, boots, a belt or a hood. Then I’ll be fine.

So, we move onto the hand luggage and a confession: my fault this time. Packed the remains of a bottle of Smirnoff in cabin bag…. Oops! Naughty me! Probably about 150ml if that, but I didn’t fancy downing it, so gave it up as punishment for not considering vodka to be a liquid! Doh.

Sat briefly before boarding, considering my stupidity and recent experience of security, I then realise that the bottle was packed in the same bag from Toronto to Ottawa. Really consistent these security checks you know.

Easy and comfortable flight from Ottawa to Toronto, I manage to collect my lovely purple suitcase without any issues and make my way across on the rail-shuttle-thing which connects Terminal 1 (domestic) to Terminal 3 (international). ARGH….. already, I had planned a 5 hour gap between arrival and departure and my flight is showing a delay. Thankfully, right now, just 25 minutes which we can make up. Not so bad.

Onward to security…. with confidence that this time I will pass. Jumper/sweater removed, belt removed, boots removed, socks removed, watch bracelet removed, all other jewellery removed…. what could possibly go wrong? Beep beep…. You are ****ing kidding me! Apparently, I have been randomly selected by this machine to be checked by the security staff.

….Time to go and have a lie down after I buy a bottle of Smirnoff from duty free.

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