View Poll Results: What's the longest you've been held up by airport security excluding waiting in line?

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  • 5 minutes or less (excluding the waiting in line part).

    2 15.38%
  • 6-10 minutes (excluding the waiting in line part).

    0 0%
  • 11-15 minutes (excluding the waiting in line part).

    3 23.08%
  • 16-20 minutes (excluding the waiting in line part).

    0 0%
  • 21-30 minutes (excluding the waiting in line part).

    3 23.08%
  • 31-45 minutes (excluding the waiting in line part).

    2 15.38%
  • 46-60 minutes (excluding the waiting in line part).

    0 0%
  • 61-90 minutes (excluding the waiting in line part).

    0 0%
  • 91-120 minutes (excluding the waiting in line part).

    1 7.69%
  • 121-180 minutes (excluding the waiting in line part).

    0 0%
  • More than three hours.

    2 15.38%
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    MichaelCorfman's Avatar
    MichaelCorfman is offline GPWA Executive Director
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    Question What's the longest you've been held up by airport security excluding waiting in line?

    This week I traveled from Boston to San Diego to attend the Indian Gaming Show that began yesterday and is finishing up today. And although it was really entirely my own fault, I had the worst experience with airport security I've ever had. So, I thought it would be interesting to ask how long folks have been stuck in security above and beyond the wait in line (which can certainly be a bit of a horror story by itself)

    Be sure to tell the story behind the delay as well.

    Now, here I go with my story. I arrived at the airport without any identification an hour before my flight was scheduled to depart. I figured there was just no way, and that I was completely stuck, and would need to go home, get my ID, and pay for a later flight. Well, I found out it actually is possible to get on a plane today without any ID at all. But the process is painful. You are pulled aside, and a government agency is called up and you are asked a long series of questions that convince them you are who you say you are. That took about 20 minutes, so I figured I was home free. But when I said thank you to the person who asked the questions the reply was "We're not done yet." Then came the double full body pat downs. And then the emptying of every item, one by one, from my carry on bag. And then the individual testing of every item to make sure there was not any residue to indicate contraband. At least another 20 minutes. Then the run to the gate to discover the door to the gateway was closed. But I did get on a plane eventually, and arrived at my destination six hours later than planned. And still, I felt pretty lucky all things considered.

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  3. #2
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    Coming back from Amsterdam in 2009, I was delayed for about a half hour. An officer with a drug-sniffing dog asked me to go to a special line for a more thorough search. The officers searched my luggage for drugs, going through item by item. It was a surprise to have to go through the extra search process.

    The funniest part of the experience was that I'd bought some mini-sculptures made from condoms at one of the stores by Dam Square. I declared them on the appropriate form for disclosing what I was bringing back, "3 condom artworks." The officers got a big laugh out of the fact that I actually wrote the material the art was made from instead of just disclosing them as art, and they called other officers over to take a look at them. Altogether there were maybe 5 officers who came over.

    I went through customs at connection point rather than my final destination, and fortunately I did make it in time for my connection.
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  5. #3
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    I haven't really been held up at security that I can remember.. I have gotten a few pat downs though, the most recent one in frankfurt back 2 years ago.

    Michael I'm not surprised they gave you a pat down - you look sooooo dodgy
    J/k
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QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-fontinor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-fontinor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-fontinor-bidi; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} </style> <![endif]-->One of the worst experiences of my life was arriving at Newark airport several years ago. I was travelling with my partner for some gambling related activities, when after queuing for ages we go up to the desk together. Firstly we're not married, so a very rude lady refuses to deal with us both together and demands that my gf get back behind the line before she calls security. Then after checking all my details she calls security anyway and i get taken away down a special security lift to a walled off area on the floor below full of people of colour, with long hair or tattoos and piercing. Well i feel at little more at home there than i did in the queue, but it's fairly obvious how they're selecting people for their 'additional' security checks. That's no big deal, but while they were escorting me away, they refused to let me speak with my partner and then informed my partner that as we were not married she had no right to know about anything that was happening to me (it should be noted at this point that in the UK we're considered 'Common Law' married as we'd been living together for several year). After they interrogated her they sent her on her way with no idea of where i was, how to find out of how to contact me as neither of us had mobile phones that worked over there at the time. Eventually, after having to collect both of our bags and drag them round the airport looking for me she saw me through the perspex sitting still waiting on further interviews. When they eventually did call me up they went through every item in my hand luggage, went through my wallet asking how much credit i had on each of my cards, why i had so much cash - it was gambling related, all declared and well within the allowed amount - what sort of person could afford to take a 3 week holiday to the US and on and on making it very clear that any attempt to do anything but answer questions like a cadet answering his sergeant (i.e. smiling) was highly suspicious, before they eventually left me to pack everything they'd pulled out up and dismissed me. The worst part of all of this was the way they treated my partner who doesn't fly well and had no way of contacting anyone she knew. Prior to seeing me, she was thinking that she'd have to buy a ticket home and try and find out what had happened to me from there. Anyway, by the time we got to our hotel we were about ready to just turn round and go home. The waitress in the hotel restaurant was the first person who'd even been vaguely nice to us since landing in the US. Hardly the best of first impressions.
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    I was held up once as I flew to Florida to settle my Moms estate. I had stuffed my bags to overflowing while we shipped everything else. The woman pulled me aside and went through my bag and quickly saw no problem.

    I did not know that you could actually get on a plane with no ID Michael. Although painful I'm sure, it's good to know.

    Sorry for your nightmare thepogg! The security is over the top but there is all sorts of alerts they have to abide by and they take no chances. That said, it's rediculus sometimes.

    LOL at Cityguard "condom art".

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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo View Post
    Sorry for your nightmare thepogg! The security is over the top but there is all sorts of alerts they have to abide by and they take no chances. That said, it's rediculus sometimes.
    Truthfully it wasn't the process i have a problem with, it was the attitudes of the staff involved. There was no reason what-so-ever not to tell my partner where she could find me, it was just a petty little security officers flexing the pathetically small amount of authority they have because their lives suck. Over and above this, i'm complying with every request they make willingly and without hesitation. I understand they are there to do a job and cannot get to the point of laughing and joking with 'suspicious' travellers, but there's no justification for hostile attitudes i received - i'd been convicted for the crime of having long hair and as such clearly i was only in the US to claim off their bountiful welfare system, despite the fact that i'm well dressed and have identification to prove i'm gainfully employed in a respectible profession at home. Once they realise this, i still have the long hair so i'm doing something else i shouldn't be and will be treated as such. In any normal situation - even when i've been pulled up by the police in the UK - i've alway been met with a stern professional attitude, but never an overtly hostile one.

    It should be said that the next trip through that airport that we took, we were well prepared for what we'd face. Get up to the counter, no problems seeing the two of us at once and just ushered us through in less than 2 minutes. I can only assume that as the records showed we'd been before that influenced the decision.
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    but there's no justification for hostile attitudes i received
    Agreed and sorry that happened to you. As an American I feel Americans can be unexcusably rude.

    I can only apologize.

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    Just to add, I have found bad behaviour like this so thepogg is not far off in his assessment. I blame it on overworked, underpaid, understaffed workers with little positive reinforcement. No excuse. Kind of like our industry.

    Thought I'd lighten it up, hope it's ok!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo View Post
    Agreed and sorry that happened to you. As an American I feel Americans can be unexcusably rude.

    I can only apologize.
    LMAO, you certainly don't need to apologise - i'm not about to apologise for all the rude brits out there - and i'm sure you'll be glad to hear that after that the holiday picked up and we met many very pleasent Americans who didn't show the social disfunction so evident in boarder patrol.

    And more to the point, i've no concept of how UK immigration are for a foreigner coming in, so it would be espeically ignorant of me to think that this was specifically an issue with the US, it just so happens that my negative experience was there.
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    I've never been pulled aside by security - longest I ever had to wait was after declaring a sword I was bringing back from Ghana, but that was after I'd collected my bags and it was me that approached them (I wasn't sure if it was legal to import and figured it was better to find out and surrender it if it wasn't than get stopped later!).

    Other than that it's all been clean sailing! (I can hear my wife in my head screaming - 'touch wood, touch wood'!).
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepogg View Post
    - i'm not about to apologise for all the rude brits out there - .
    There is no such thing as a rude brit. I have read Jane Austen's Pride and Predjudice and the Bronte sisters way to much to think that Brits are anything but correct and proper.

    Please do not tell me I am wrong.

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