September 15th, 2013
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?”
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.