Saturday, 1 August 2009

Chapter 2: at the airport

It's been a while since I posted last time: time spent with my family, work and other things kept me away from this blog. Do not even start to think that with 2 posts I am finished with London. Far from it.

Anyway, we booked a flight from London to Milan so that my parents would have a chance to see our sweet little daughter before the big holidays. Obviously, when you bring a 5 months-old baby with you on a trip, your hand baggage must contain something more than the latest Cussler book and a pack of paper tissues. We brought her pram, some expressed milk in a bottle, dummies and toys (some of them contain a small amount of water to soothe her teething pains).

At the security gates:

  • Procedure in Italy (known): Security Staff: "Anything baby-related is allowed, please pass through the metal detector with the baby securely buckled in the pram, we don't care if the metal detector blips or not. Have a safe flight". Elapsed time: 1 minute.
  • Procedure in Greece (forecasted): see above.
  • Procedure in England (known): Useless, slow, unhelpful security staff scratching his ass: "Remove the baby from the pram, put the pram in the conveyor to be X-rayed, hold the baby with you and pass through the metal detector". If it blips, strip yourself and the baby naked and repeat. Taste the baby milk, you might have put arsenic or explosive in it. Scan all the baby toys and the hand bag with a ridiculous small detector. Confiscate the gum cream we use to soothe our baby's aching gums. Confiscate the small toy our daughter gnaws because of her teeth, as it contains 10 ml of water. As I try to protest, I get reprimanded by another idiotic security guard, who looks and act so stupidly it must be the security boss. Elapsed time: 20 minutes.

Now, do you want to know how many incidents/accidents due to unscanned liquids happened on flights departing from Italy or Greece? Zero, none, zilch.

In England, the security people must have learnt a single procedure for security checks at the airport and they are so stupidly square-minded that no exceptions are allowed, no possibility to say: "OK, you're bringing a small child with you, we will be sympathetic". As if I really wanted to blow up a plane with my wife and my little daughter flying on it. You idiots.

Luckily enough, the London experience is about to finish: the only place worse than London I can think of is the US. I hope my bosses will not take that country into consideration when my contract expires. For the rest, I'll leave the description of US' horrible flaws to Michael Moore.

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