British Airways Profiling

Mar 6th, 2003, 02:18 PM
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British Airways Profiling

Let me relate a story of what happened to me on a return flight from LHR to JFK several weeks ago.

As always the queue at BA's terminal 4 to check in was absurdly long as they could care less about having enough customer service agents to check people in.

When I got to the head of the line, there was some degenerate insisting he had to see my passport and ticket. I asked why as he had just let people go by. He answered me with a curt because I chose you. I refused to show him anything...he had no id or anything like that. He followed me to the check in agent and told me I would have to go with him to have my luggage hand searched. I again asked him why he had chosen me as several other people had just gone by him. Again he simply said because he chose me.

I am sure he chose me because I was an American. Then this clown took me to a back room where they opened up and inspected my luggage. BA x-rays luggage and has for years. This degenerate had no right to ask me to go with him, no right not to show me id, no right to ask for my passport.

I responded by writing BA an e-mail complaining about my treatment. As of now, I still have not had the courtesy of a reply as to why I was singled out.

I will never fly BA again....
xyz123 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2003, 02:26 PM
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I've been asked for identification at multiple checkpoints throughout the airport on the same trip (up to and including the point at which I got on the plane, and immediately as I got off) on all kinds of airlines. US Customs in Canada has searched all of my checked luggage, unpacked my dainties onto the table in front of me (and the public passing by) and gone through my cosmetics bag. I saw US security pat down a baby in snuggle-thing on its mother in San Francisco. It's a hassle, but I get more worried when they don't seach people. The only thing I thought was a bit odd in your posting was the fact you said he had no ID, but I doubt that's true. Otherwise, why would the check-in agent have paid any attention to him or allowed him to take you to another room to have your luggage searched.

A lot of the searches are random, but now that you've been flagged as a troublemaker, you'll probably get searched more. Congratulations.

If you can't be a grown-up about enhanced security measures, stay home.
Kate_W is offline  
Mar 6th, 2003, 02:32 PM
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Enhanced security I don't mind...but that should apply to everybody. Random checks are bs....if they check everybody else's passport that's fine even if it is 20 times. I resent being singled out and not be told why I was singled out as this guy was standing at the head of the queue and let several people pass before he pulled this crap on me. And these random searches are crap...they have never found anything anyway.

Check me 20 times, I don't care. But check everybody else too.
xyz123 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2003, 03:43 PM
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I almost hate to get into this (my training says best thing to do with a tantrum throwing child is ignore) but, c'mon, now, are you really that convinced of your divine exemption from the usual rules? Take a deep breath or three and re-read your postings. You just might see how short sighted and downright bratty they sound.
Seamus is offline  
Mar 6th, 2003, 04:03 PM
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No I am not convinced of any exemption from the rules. As a matter of fact, that is the whole thing I am saying. If the rules are good for one, they are good for all. If I am singled out, I have a right to know why. A random check should be truly random, like they give out coloured slips of paper as you get on the queue and those with a certain colour are randomly checked. The point I was trying to make is that some person, who I did not know from a whole in the wall, singled me out. I think any reasonable person would agree that I have a right to know why...that was all I was asking before handing over my passport to somebody who just stationed himself at the head of the queue. Is that unreasonable??? To me, I was singled out because I was an American as he let several Brits before me go. Now, if he had just returned to the queue and I was the first person passing by, perhaps I would have understood it was truly a random check or if they used an organized system. I was singled out for no reason that I could discern, I simply wanted to know why. BTW I did submit without arguement to their checking of my bag and no I have nothing to hide. But it is not a tantrum, I submit to the enhanced security and don't mind taking my belt off, putting my coat through the machines etc. because they are doing it for everybody....please do not send me admonitions not to be childish....I have flown many times nd have never been singled out before. As you yourself said in your post, nobody should be exempted from the rules but we all have a right to know what the rules are. In the US, profiling is illegal (even though it is being done); I would assume the same is true in the UK. That's it; nothing more nothing less. So I don't need lectures from people who don't understand what the complaint is. They can pat me down, they can go through my pockets, they can check my passport 40 times. But if they do, I would expect it be done to everybody not just on the whim of somebody. Is that too much to ask??????
xyz123 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2003, 07:56 PM
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Your "rights", when not on U.S. soil (even if on a Native American Reservation), are not what you might think they are. You were given the reason ("a curt because I chose you") and the pig-headedness you displayed only confirmed other's opinions of "ugly Americans".
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Mar 7th, 2003, 06:53 AM
Posts: n/a lose your credibility by referring to the employees as degenerate and clown. They are doing their job.

Get used to being singled out,we all will be from here on thru and if it saves lifes,don't complain.
Mar 7th, 2003, 11:51 AM
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I had thought everyone realized that there are random searches, and that they never reveal the basis for those selections, so no one can game them.

If you are serious about never again flying BA, that is a point in their favor.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Mar 7th, 2003, 12:25 PM
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This may be a case of Q.E.D. -- the BA people might have been right on target.
Mar 7th, 2003, 12:56 PM
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I think that airline employees are on a power trip.

Where else can a $10.00 / hour emplyee tell a multi-millionaire to take off their clothes?
dilbert is offline  
Mar 7th, 2003, 02:14 PM
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XYZ, the airline company doesn't have to reply to an e-mail. If you want an answer you should write a letter and send it certified or registered. I'm not sure about faxes. E-mail is not a document, unfortunately.
Faina is offline  
Mar 7th, 2003, 10:51 PM
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I abhor the "enhanced" security measures and don't think they really add anything to our true security. It's an illusion that the infrequent traveler (or unhassled traveler) buys into.
flyaway is offline  
Mar 8th, 2003, 06:56 PM
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If you are irritated by the long wait at BA's terminal, just think how long they would be if the "clowns" searched every single person in those lines. Most likely, your behavior caused the agent to check you more thoroughly.
One thing I have learned from my travels, keep your arrogance in check, it is sometimes tolerated at home, but seldom in other countries.
Kate2 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2003, 03:03 AM
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xyz, how old are you? You just don't get the concept of random search, are you? Thank you for a laugh of Sunday morning, anyway.
hike is offline  
Mar 9th, 2003, 05:02 AM
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Tell me Hike....what is the concept of random search? You check every tenth person, you check every 20th person, you check every 50th person. Tell me what kind of terrorist bent on doing what would be scared of that.

I go for the enhanced security. This random search bs is just that.

Just one other point..perhaps it didn't come out clearly. You weren't there. If a uniformed person or an agent behind the desk asks me for my passport, that's one thing. I was not comfortable with this person's demeanor in showing him my passport without his showing me his ID. And when I had the gall to ask him fo ID, he become very upset. No matter howmany of you folks write about what I said, I object to giving untrained people to right to choose me on a whim to invade my privacy; something we all should value. Read in today's paper how some airport screener had stole money from a passenger. If you feel safer because there are random searches, that's fine. I don't feel one bit safer with random searches. I do feel much safer when everybody is properly screened as is done at the airport checkpoints. There is a huge difference.
xyz123 is offline  

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