So, what’s the deal with the airport-security? From what I hear, it’s supposed to be the same in all of Europe, yet every single time I travel, the security-guys tell me different things!

There’s the issue about laptops. Some people tell me to take it out of my backpack, some people want me to leave it in. When I take it out, some people want me to put it in a separate tray, others say I should put it in the same tray as my jacket. And then there’s the new wonderful liquid-rules. There’s the problem that most all of the regular shower gel/shampoo-products are bigger than the allowed volume for a single item, so you’re pretty much screwed there already. They want you to put it in see-through plastic bags, and take them out of your backpack.  Fair enough. But just a few days ago, when I flew from Dusseldorf to Oslo, I was told I couldn’t have more than one bag! What I’ve heard is a maximum amount of 1 liter, nothing about the number of bags. And why wasn’t I told when I flew from Oslo to Dusseldorf? The security in Dusseldorf preferred that I stuffed everything in one bag, making it difficult to see what all the contents was, and being unable to actually close it. I mean, come on, where’s the logic in that?

Now, you may wonder – why can’t I just check in my luggage, because then I can take whatever I want with me? Well, my trips have usually been just a few days, so I don’t really bring that much. I don’t like to have to wait any more than I really have to, so waiting for my luggage (and risking it disappearing) is a no-no usually. Now, this idea of waiting brings me onto another problem I have with airports and flights, but I’ll save that for a later paragraph.

So, after I’ve unpacked my laptop, rearranged my pocket-contents into my jacket, taken off my jacket, put it in a tray, with or without my laptop, and my one or more (god forbid) bags of liquids that I may or may not be allowed to put in the same tray as my jacket or laptop, or neither, it is time to walk through the human scanner..

I’ve stopped travelling while wearing a belt, because that’s always a problem. But, like I said I put all my keys, coins, phone and stuff in my jacket, so all I really have on my person is.. well, nothing. In Oslo I go through without any beeps. Same thing in London. But then, in Dusseldorf, it’s different, of course. Even though it’s supposed to be the same. Yeah, right. I walk through the scanner, and BEEEEP. I do as the nice security-guard says and raise my arms, and he scans me with this hand-scanner. So what does he find.. well, it turns out the buttons on my shirt beep. This might happen other places too, I haven’t used that particular shirt through security before I think. What hasn’t beeped anywhere else though, are my shoes. They beeped. Of course. At least I didn’t have to take them off. After spending a few minutes with my arms up, it was time to gather all my stuff from the trays, and reverse the entire process.  At least I have the pleasure of knowing that my preparations caused the actual through-security-part to go fairly fast..

But wait, I’m not done! As promised, more about waiting. I mean, in general, why is it so damn hard to fly somewhere? You’re told that you have to be at the airport two hours before departure of an international flight. My experience is that from the time I arrive at the airport until I’m at the gate, it takes around 20-30 minutes. That’s including self-checkin services, and a fairly effective security-check. So what’s left to do? Well, wait. I HATE IT! I hate waiting. Around 2-3 of 10 flights I’ve taken recently, have been delayed as well. Even more waiting. Then they start boarding. Everyone rushes to the counter, and waiting in line. I get up last when everyone has gone in, just to not make the check-in people wait for me. But my reward is of course to stand in line, waiting to get onboard the actual plane. And then waiting to get to wherever I’m sitting.

And then comes the good part. Waiting until we land again. Yay. Flying is boring. Good thing I have my iAudio D2 mp3-player and some nice Bose QC3 noise-cancelling headphones. We land. Everyone gets up, fetches their stuff from the overhead compartments, and standing in line, waiting to get off the plane. I usually sit until every seat-row in front of me has left.

Well, all in all I think the whole airport-security is pretty stupid. Yeah, of course, there is a risk that someone will blow up a plane, or hijack it or whatever, and people can die. I like to feel safe. But I think the way we’re being “saved” is too much hassle. I wish someone would figure out a better way of doing things. I mean, if you wanted, you could probably kill a whole lot more people by bombing a busy train-station during rush-hours, and I don’t see any insane security-measures for people going onto trains. I don’t think a plane should be any different, only because it happens to travel up in the air instead of on the ground. I hope we’ll get there some day, where you can just buy a ticket to Sydney, Australia or wherever, and just hop on a plane on a 5 minute notice. You’ll probably still have a boring flight though.

Usually all is forgotten when you arrive at your destination and you’re done with all the airport-crap though. You can start exploring different places, cultures and enjoy the new experiences that travel brings. Being in new places is fine, don’t get me wrong, it’s just the getting there that I dislike. Seeing new things, building networks, meeting interesting people.. it’s all good. Until you need to go home again.. on a plane. Start reading from the top. :P