Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How I got picked for special attention in Denver International Airport

So my wife Anette and I are on our way home from Tim's wedding.

We flew British Airways both ways. In Copenhagen I told a lady at the BA check-in counter that I might have discovered a way for terrorists to put bombs on planes without being on the plane themselves.

You see, the last couple of times where I have had to change terminals in Heathrow and there's been approximately two hours or less between the flights my bags haven't made it.

So if the bags are onboard a plane but the passenger doesn't show up, they'll pull the bags. But if the bags are delayed they'll let the passenger fly without his luggage.

Everyone knows there have been huge problems with luggage in Heathrow. At one point there was more than 42,000 pieces stacked up. IBM had stopped a DW/BI project without having created even indexes on the Oracle database tables, so every piece of luggage required a full table scan of a rather large table, so it took a while to get over that one.

So I told the lady at the checkin in Kastrup airport, Copenhagen, that there might be a security risk in Heathrow and she said she would relay the information.

Well, apparently she did, because the checkin guy in Denver yesterday suddenly started behaving very strange, went into the backoffice to "do a security check" and marked our boarding cars with the dreaded "ssss" code highlighted in yellow which means "pay very special attention", and which meant that both Anette and I had to go through the new machine that will blow air on you so that it can smell traces of explosives, etc etc.

We're currently in Heathrow, about to board for Copenhagen. I wonder if our bags will make it.

So much for trying to warn the folks about a security problem :-))).



Anonymous Debra said...

I too am in Heathrow and have erased any trace of knowing you, so that i dont get marked for special attention. As I am flying to Belfast I am automatically watched by special branch and if they knew I knew you, oh my God!

Anyone know another airport i can use for transit?

9:59 AM  
Blogger Noons said...

I love that "blow air on you" thing! I always make sure I leave plenty for them to sniff...

2:47 PM  
Blogger Moans Nogood said...

Debra: Move to Denmark. They won't suspect you there. We can find work in Miracle for you.

Noons: Spectral analysis or something to that effect... I think it will become the default in the future. It's reasonbly fast now, and it's fun with that Marilyn Monroe effect....


3:24 PM  
Blogger Joel Garry said...

As I posted years ago on rhf and

Never, ever try to help any security agency, you immediately become a "person of interest."

Great deals on vehicles confiscated by the US government.

Classic "software glitch."

word: wyvoge

1:58 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

The mistake you made Mogens was in letting them know who had discovered the security hole.

Better to tell someone anonymously.

TOR comes to mind.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Byawn Engsee said...

But Moans, how do you make sure your bag gets delayed?

Let me in stead explain how to get a bottle of any liquid on board an aircraft. It's a very simple three step process:

1) Go through an airport that sells goods before security check. Geneva is such an example. Buy a bottle of your favorite Malt Whisky, bring it with you home and empty the bottle. I suggest drinking the contents. Save the bottle and cardboard box that came with it.

2) Fill the bottle with your choice of liquid and enter the same airport again. Go through the shop again and pay for the bottle again. It will be nicely wrapped in a bag saying something like "security sealed".

3) Bring it through security and onto the aircraft. It will probably have a very good effect if the liquid is light blue and the original Whisky label is replaced by one saying "Nitro Glycerine". And you stand up and open it exactly when the "fasten seat belt" sign is turned off.

3:34 AM  
Blogger Moans Nogood said...

It's pretty easy to make sure your bags don't make it on the plane, especially since IBM stopped a project in Heathrow when they ran out of money, and hence hadn't created any indexes on the DW. My guess is that less than two hours between flights (and the flights have to be from different terminals) pretty much guarantee that you're arriving ahead of your luggage.

Your little malt whisky trick is rather interesting, I must say. A friend of mine used to work on the boat between Rødby (near Lalandia) and Puttgarden (Germany), and they would gently remove the wrapping around the neck of cheap wines and fill them with booze before passing through security :).

12:11 AM  
Blogger Takjam Nereksuf said...

There is a reason why I dont travel by plane anymore.

Just the slightest remark and you are hauled off to the nearest police station or "picked for special attention". I have no count of the Danes arrested in our own airport just the last year.

In a few year this form of transportation will be history.

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