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December 14, 2015

The Airport Security sucks!

#asklily  The Airport Security sucks!
 
My Todays blog will SURELY if not DEFINITALY surprise you as it has surprised us. Just shortly after the Paris Attacks I was pretty sure that travelling in Europe would be a massive hassle, especially at the Airport. So my mum and I were prepared for an annoying Security process through the check-in with Swiss on our flight to Barcelona to celebrate my mums round birthday.


In 2015 I had basically no Holliday at all. I was so focused on my writing and book promotion that the year passed by very quickly. So we were looking forward to a few days off and relaxing. To make it as easy and comfortable as possible we decided to travel with only two small suitcases. No extra luggage = no extra waiting = less hassle = more convenient. Right?
To our surprise the check-in was more convenient than we could wish for.  No long waiting line, No hassle and No Passport control! YES, you got it right. Absolutely NO passports check at all !!! We were positively surprised how smoothly and fast we made it to the Gate. I was still wondering if anyone would control our passports. At least before boarding, right? But NO, no one did. So we sat on the plane with our boarding cards without ever showing our passports to anyone.
In other words any other person could have easily sat on this flight using our boarding cards! Well if I was a Secret Security Tester I would say: The Airport Security System stinks! It’s a joke!
Well I like to say that we took off on time. But that was not the case.  Because of a technical problem in the cockpit (Yes in the Cockpit, who wants to hear that on a flight!) we had a delay from more than an hour. I actually thought we wouldn’t fly on that day at all. The captain himself came out of the cabin and updated us during the delay about the developments in the cockpit. OMG! It really sucks when you realize your choice less and mighty less in a situation like this. Your life is literary in somebody else’s hands.
Finally after an hour our journey began and as you can imagine I was very concerned during the entire flight and prayed that everything would go well. Security wise and technical wise. Thank God we landed safely in sunny Barcelona. We were still in shock about the lack of responsibility and security at the Departure Airport, not knowing what a Security disaster would expect us on our return-flight! We easily entered Spain again without any Passport control.
Than on the day of our return we again decided to get sooner to the Airport. We thought we don’t know the Spanish Airport Security System. So we better plan enough time for the check-in. After a very instructive and eye-opening drive from the city to the Airport (will post about this unforgettable conversation between the Taxi driver and us later) we went to the Passport control and security line.
Again NO passport needed. We only had to show our boarding cards and pass through the Security. Like always my mum took of her golden bracelet because Gold usually does make noises when passing the Security Scan. It was a 18 carat gold – a gift from my beloved grandmother before she passed away. My mum even showed it to the Security guy when she took it off and put it in her handbag in which she also kept her passport and the boarding card that went through the Security Scan as well. Then she walked through and waited for her small suitcase and her handbag on the other side. Everything worked out smoothly like it usually does and afterwards we went to a restaurant before our Gate Number was announced on the Screen.
Again surprised about the lack of Security while we were talking my mum suddenly realized that her golden bracelet was gone. It was not in her handbag anymore where she had putted in before she walked through the Security scan. So we immediately went to the Airport Police and explained the situation. Even though their English was poor they managed to take a protocol and took a look at the Security footage to see who was right next and before us. Well, they couldn’t find anyone on the Footage that was suspicious, because there was no one. I remembered very well that the lady before us took her jacket and left quickly. So the only reasonable explanation was: The Security Lady sitting in front of the Computer and looking on the Security Screen was the only suspect.
We said to the Police that they should take a look at the Scan of the items and they will see that my mums handbag including her golden bracelet went through the scanner and if it did and no one else is to see on the Security footage, than it can only be their own Airport Employee! The two policemen stayed calm and repeatedly said: “Don’t worry!” The Police asked us about the value of the bracelet and if it was insured. And we explained that it was a priceless memory of my grandmother and we don’t care about the value of it and no, it was not insured. Thank God I had  taken Pictures from my mum in Barcelona where you could see the bracelet perfectly. So the policeman saved the pictures from my mobile.
After finishing the protocol the Policeman assured us they would contact us and update us. So we went back to our gate. I don’t have to mention how extremely sad and disappointed we both were. I felt so bad for my mum and didn’t want this horrible experience to be our last memory of Barcelona and my mums round birthday. We didn’t say much and were in shock! If you can’t even trust the Airport Security and Police, who can you trust and where are you really safe? Nowhere! Also how could we prove that the Security lady herself was the thief? It was just a guess, because nothing else made sense. But you are not guilty until proven otherwise.
Just before boarding a lady from the Crew came to us and said we have to weigh our suitcases because the maximum is 8 KG. Even though we hadn’t bought much and went back with the same suitcase we were not allowed to take it in as handbags. We had to pay extra and give our suitcases to the staff to board it into the plane. Which we did, because we had no interest in having a silly argument about one KG more or less weight.
Exhausted and extremely sad we arrived home late night. And before we went to bed my mum unpacked her suitcase, like she always does when we arrive back home. And guess what was in her suitcase?

Looking at it emotionaly, we could say it was a birthday or Christmas miracle. Looking at it rationaly, we would say it was a “Wishy-washi-cover-up” by the Spanish Airport Police. All of the sudden my grandmothers golden bracelet was in my mums suitcase! Not in her handbag that she had put it in, but in her suitcase that she had to give to the staff to board in. I believe that the Airport Staff and Police wanted to cover up their Security mess and thought they just put my mum’s stolen bracelet back in her suitcase and everything would be fine.
Sure, we both were extremely happy and relieved. But that doesn’t explain the lack of Security. If we hadn’t checked in early and had left Barcelona right away we wouldn’t have known what had happened to my mum’s bracelet. So it is kind of a miracle that everything worked out well for us. I wonder if this Security lady will be fired or if she will continue her hobby after this experience? I hope and pray that this was a good lesson for her.
 
I honestly don’t understand the lack of responsibility from the Airport Police. Because the way they put the bracelet back in to my mum’s suitcase, it could have easily been stolen or lost again. They just had thrown it in front and outside the suitcases pocket without a locker, only a zipper. This also means anyone can put anything in your suitcase which is a very scary thought. Imagine someone from the Airport Staff (yes even the Police) puts drugs in your suitcase and you become a completly innocent clueless smuggler and criminal.
As you can imagine we have lost our trust in the Security System completely. And my advice to you is: Never ever leave your passport, boarding card and valuable items out of sight and DON’T trust the Airport Security Staff - Not for a minute, because the Airport Security sucks! 
Pictures Source: Google

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