Looking at life... from an oblique angle / and I sometimes Twitter (normally only when riled up): @brindafella

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Airport Checkin Hell

It's now a week and a bit after the event and I can look back and laugh about it, now.


It was a Sunday afternoon at Canberra airport and I was flying to Melbourne for a few days of courses.

I had assiduously checked the bags, and even removed a small knife from what was my checked luggage bag.

My Amateur Radio VHF/UHF radio was in the carry-on bag along with the mobile phone.

At the screening station I put through my bag and a shirt hanger. The staff looked at the radio equipment and were obviously confused. I tried to tell them what it was, but was fobbed off by the security guard. "We'll deal with this, sir." My bag was scanned a second time. It obviously passed, because I was given it and went to join a colleague for the pre-flight drink in the airline lounge.

A few minutes after the flight was called we went to the gate and were told that the boarding had been halted because someone had been allowed in carring something that wasn't alloed. We went back for another drink, watched while the people in the waiting area and the planes were taken back through the barriers, and the lounge folk were finally asked to retire through the barrierers and be re-screened.

Have you guessed? My carry-on bag turned up the 'suspect' material. It was: a very small screw-driver typically used by computer people to open boxes, and a 'baby' shifting wrench useful for similar things. They had slipped under the flip-down bottom of the bag.

I was allowed on the flight after the duty manager and I had exchanged ID details and business cards.

At least they checked... well, after the fact, anyway.

Who was embarrassed? Yep, and I own shares in that airline!

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