Airline Security Theatre, Part #5,659,100

The topic of airline security theatre is one that has been harped on before, but there’s always more to come, apparently.

Checking in for my Air Canada flight home from vacation, I noticed a third question had been added to the stuff about whether some nefarious villain could have slipped something into one’s luggage, which runs along these lines:

“Does your carry-on luggage contain anything sharp or pointed, or anything which could be adapted to cause an injury to another person?”

headdesk

The only possible truthful answer is, of course, “yes”. For everyone in the world. Just about anything can be adapted to cause an injury to another person. I can knock you over the head with a bag of mixed nuts. I could choke you to death with a piece of tissue paper if you’d hold still for long enough.

And yes, of bleeding course my carry-on contains something pointed. It’s called a ‘pen’. I carry it for the purpose of filling out forms asking me ludicrous questions about whether there’s anything sharp in my carry-on.

Look, one very vaguely understands the point – it’s the “box cutter question” – but it’s still utterly ridiculous. I’m still not entirely sure of the answer to the oft-made point “do they actually expect anyone to say ‘yes’ to these questions?” – my best guess is that they can use the “no” for some kind of legal maneuver if you subsequently do go postal with your pencil or whatever – but even assuming there is some kind of reason for asking them, this question is a fundamentally idiotic one. Enough already, airlines / regulatory agencies of the world.

3 Responses

  1. Steve
    Steve September 16, 2013 at 11:27 am | | Reply

    Frustrating ain’t it? Sort of makes you want to gnaw off your own foot.

  2. collodial
    collodial September 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm | | Reply

    The stupidity of the question simply reflects the stupidity of the herd not immediately answering massively ‘YES’ to this kind of questions.

  3. Einer
    Einer September 16, 2013 at 7:57 pm | | Reply

    My “Favorite” question has always been “…. are you carrying any weapons?” …. I always answer “Yes”. They always follow up with “What weapons are you carrying?” …

    Depending on my mood, my answers have been:
    1) I can beat them to death with the carry-on, all 30lbs (..about 15 or so kilos for you metric people out there :-)
    2) My false teeth, one good bite in the right place
    3) the socks in my laundry bag … (according to my wife :-)
    4) my 1oz of 13 year old toothpaste … (yup, it went bad after about 3 years..)

    The last time I used #3 in Germany ….. the interviewer said “…oh, a well prepared American…” with a great big smile!

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