The Security Sweepstake

By | 18 April, 2012
An Airbus A319-111 in easyJet livery and needless pictorial filler

An Airbus A319-111 in easyJet livery and needless pictorial filler

Tomorrow I’m flying to France. (To clarify for the benefit of our many pedantic readers, technically I’m not going to be the one doing the flying, I’ll be sitting on an aircraft (probably an Airbus A320) which will be the one doing the flying. I have a few talents but the ability to soar through the air (unless thrown from a cliff) is not one of them).

Anyway, pedantry aside, I’ll be flying to France from Edinburgh via Bristol and then back again on Monday. This means going through four sets of airport security in as many days. Therefore I’m organising a minor security sweepstake. A massive prize* will be awarded to anyone who guesses how many times I will be stopped by security as a result of carrying a tonne of the usual diabetes paraphernalia.

It really does vary. Most of the time I wander through security with nary a glance from the people behind the scanners, despite being loaded down with sharps and mysterious bottles of clear liquid. Either they see diabetic kit everyday and just ignore my stuff as they know exactly what it is, or security at British airports is really lax. I’m never quite sure which it is – hopefully the former.

However, there have been other times I’ve been stopped and searched, had my pump swabbed ad suspicious questions asked. Needless to say I don’t really mind. Compared to flying to Belfast in the 1980’s (which I did as an ‘unaccompanied minor’) security nowadays is lovely. I have happy memories of being interviewed each and every time I flew the Heathrow / Aldergrove route by Special Branch (they did this to every passenger to Belfast – it wasn’t just me) and being asked the reason for my visit, who I was staying with, etc. Given I was a ten year old school boy I’m still not sure what threat I posed. But there we are.

I’ve only been stopped once at Edinburgh, most times at Bristol airport and never at Toulouse so the sweepstake is wide open. Let betting commence!

* there isn’t actually a prize.

Category: travel Tags: , ,

About Tim

Diagnosed with Type One when he was 28, Tim founded Shoot Up in 2009. For the diabetes geeks, he wears a Medtronic 640G insulin pump filled with Humalog and uses Abbott's Libre flash glucose monitor.

9 thoughts on “The Security Sweepstake

  1. brian

    @Tim Just got my flight cancellation compensation from KLM – 11 months and almost at the doors of the Court – customer service is obviously not part of the KLM training programme.
    If you get cancelled or delayed let me know, I can give you lawyer types some pointers LOL.

    Reply
  2. Alison

    I’ll go for a two part bet:

    One proper check ie bag poked around in and/or pump swabbed
    One “what’s that then” “its an insulin pump” “oh, ok then, thanks” conversation

    Reply
  3. Donald Thomson

    If you think you’re being singled out for special treatment, try going through security with two steel shoulder joints! Lights up the scanner like a Christmas tree. At La Rochelle they took me off into a side room and called the gendarmes to give me a physical examination. Whereas in Morocco I set off all the alarms and they just waved me through without even so much as a frisk. I’ve never had even a raised eyebrow about any of my injecting equipment, though.

    Reply
  4. Paul

    Weirdly since being on the pump I’ve found Euro countries a lot more pump savy & touchy feely not to offend me than the UK.

    … Often to the point of annoyance, ie. Ask me if I want to go to a separate room to be swabbed & proded rather than dragging me off… I’m happy to wave my pump round with pride

    Reply
  5. Tim Post author

    If anyone’s interested I was stopped at security at – wait for it, wait for it – zero out of four security checkpoints. Nobody cared I was weighted down with needles, strange vials and what not. Ho hum.

    Reply
  6. Paul

    @tim sounds unusual! are you sure you went into the countries legally, were the tickets cheap & involved seats next to the undercarriage?

    Reply
  7. Tim Post author

    @furrypaul – hmm, now that you mention it the tickets were very cheap and we had to go in the hold in a box with a few ventilation holes in the top…

    Reply
  8. Mike

    I’m sure there’s a noisy Hollywood Blockbuster in this. Hugo Weaving’s dastardly villain feigning pancreatic challengedness and rendering a slumbering flight of transatlantic passengers in jeopardy until Wesley Snipes freefall parachutes in with a *massive* bag of Haribo Starmix

    Reply

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