Abandon all hope
The Terrorists And Retailers Have Won

Leaving London Stansted early this morning I'm currently at Oslo Gardermoen airport waiting for my connecting flight to Hovdebygda. I am annoyed that the terrorists have won and that I have to suffer the stigma that flying has turned into. Not being able to take a plastic bottle of water through the security check is simply disgraceful.

Don't get me wrong—I'm sympathetic to concerns about the ability to smuggle liquid explosives using food containers. But why is it that as soon as I'm through the security check I can still buy all the ingredients for a Molotov Cocktail? Not to mention glass bottles that can be broken and used to make a primitive knife (just wrap one end of an elongated shard in a scarf or belt you bought at one of the many clothes pushers).

The retailers are laughing all the way to the bank of course. They are in a stronger position than ever before to sell their goods. After the strict enforcement of a single piece of (smaller) hand-luggage per person everyone that comes through the security check is guaranteed to have at least one hand free to carry their waiting lounge shopping.

It seems to me that the new security restrictions is a lot of hassle for very little actual gain. If I was a more conspiratorial person I might suggest that is was just scare-mongering—it has worked well in the past to cover up or downplay other issues. It's probably just as well that my lack of political wherewithal makes me completely unable to think of what could be worth covering up. (Oh, wait! Did you see how well that just worked?)

A couple hours later: Adding insult to injury, I was just told at the security check that I could not take the two half-litre bottles of Cognac that I bought at the Stansted tax-free through. Apparently the plastic bag was supposed to be sealed; the bottles still being unopened and me showing the receipt fazed them not at all.

On advice from the airline's customer service desk I ended up stuffing the bottles in my laptop bag and checking that in as a separate item of hold luggage (after first taking my laptop out—I'm not crazy). Now let's hope the bottles don't break.

Two hours hence: Well, crap. This really isn't my day. It has now transpired that my plane is more than two and a half hours delayed. Of course, my spare battery and charger is still in the laptop bag that I checked in earlier.

Posted 19 December 2006 Copyright © Stig Brautaset