I can’t help it, the only airport I feel really safe in is Ben Gurion in Israel.
I know I have to arrive earlier there than at any other airport in the world. I know by heart all the questions I’ll be asked. But I also know that everything connected to security is ‘tachlis’, to the point and relevant with no nonsense of political correctness.
They don’t care about a baby’s bottle of milk or the coke I’m drinking – it’s me and the other passengers they are looking at. Do we look and act like possible terrorists.
“How many children do you have” they once asked me.
“Seven” I replied.
“What are your their names?”
I could have said any names I liked as they aren’t listed in my passport – but that didn’t bother them. They just wanted to see that I didn’t hesitate when answering.
But in general I’m usually let through quite quickly. I don’t fit the profile of a terrorist . I’m not the one they’re looking for. Others don’t get off so lightly.
I wouldn’t like to be traveling in the US over the Xmas holidays. The airport staff are all already stressed out and scared. Even after their horrific experience of 9/11 they are forbidden to ‘profile’ passengers but can only subject everyone to the same stupid scrutiny and irrelevant checks – despite their better judgment.
They will confiscate your hair mousse if the container is a few grams over the permitted amount. They’ll make you remove your baby’s bottle and drink the milk to prove it’s not poisonous. They will make you take off your shoes, subject you to body scans and pat-downs that anger many travelers. But they will never question you because you look Middle Eastern, nervous and frightened and keep looking over your shoulder. That’s not allowed.
And unfortunately the sad fact is that even if G’d forbid there should be another airline disaster, I doubt if it will change the methods employed at US and European airports. Politics seems to me more important than safety and security.
I remember when my nephew was hounded by our security personnel at the airport . It was nerve wracking for him and very amusing for us when we heard about it later. But the fact remains that our security guys did a tremendous job and because of them I feel safe and secure in our airport – but not unfortunately in any other.
Whenever I’m abroad , it’s such a relief to get back home safely.