Airport Security

or why I'm obviously a hijacker

Okay, I'm white, I'm male, I have a degree from Cambridge University, I have a job as a computer programmer, I have a girlfriend and occasionally I travel abroad. I have no criminal convictions and my most serious ever encounter with the authorities was being advised by a policeman not to wheel a fridge down the road.

However, I seem to routinely get searched at airports - why? Because I have long hair.* The most recent searching of my luggage took place at Funchal airport in Maderia where I and all of mine and my girlfriends luggage was searched before we even got to the check-in desk.** Almost every non UK or non dutch airports I've been to I've been searched at. Clearly I'm too normal for the dutch and the UK airports simply x-ray everything and then frisk me anyway, even if the alarms don't go off.

Anyone who says 'If you're innocent then you've nothing to hide' can sod off. Frankly, I don't enjoy being searched and seeing as I get searched every time I walk into an airport I'm starting to get pissed off about it. I no longer wish to show my underwear and my personal possessions to every single employee of the airport security team. On occasion I've had my luggage searched, I've been frisked and had my hand luggage searched again. My girlfriend has never been searched and nor have several of my friends, however me with the long hair and beard gets got every time.

Even more annoying is this has become worse since someone crashed planes into the americans, despite the fact that you get supplied with glass bottles for your drinks on the planes which would make perfect good knives anyway for a hijacking. As a result for the privilege of being searched more frequently I am now being charged around £10 extra per trip.

God knows what would happen if I was a naturalised Candian Woman of Indian origin instead of a white male travelling to the US instead of the UK -- oh yes -- I could expect to have my passport questioned five times, destroyed by an official, refused the ability to talk to the consulate or any other legal advice and then get deported to India via Kuwait. [source1] [source2]

* - Yes yes, I know I've complained before about correlation not implying causality, but bugger it, I'm having a rant.

** I've done slightly better recently. I went to Finland and they weren't interested in searching me, probably because I was wearing a suit. I went to Germany and they had shut down their underground to get to Berlin, removed all the English instructions, had a massive queue and then over charged me by 765% for my ticket to Berlin -- presumably even your most hardened terrorist would have given up and bombed somewhere else by then. ** Oh I went to Malta too but they'd shut passport control so they didn't really have the opportunity.

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