I tried to reply to the previous thread with the same title, but it's archived and locked now - so on to a new thread. The circumstances I encountered at JFK
's Terminal 4 last Monday are pretty much the same as the previous poster, only not quite as severe. Read on...
I flew out to London on Aer Lingus on Monday (via SNN
) and was pleasantly surprised with the conditions at Terminal 4. It was really quite nice and sparkling new. Best, there are huge (and clean!!) windows at the end of the concourse that are excellent photo vantage points. I spent about a half-hour there with my camera while a KLM 777 boarded at an adjacent gate. I left to converse with my colleague for a few minutes, and came back to find the 777 had nearly completed it boarding process, leaving the area relatively empty. I was continuing to take pictures as a Delta 767 taxied past when the woman who had been manning the KLM desk came over to me and asked me if I was taking pictures. I said yes, at which point she told me that I would have to delete the picture from my memory card. I asked her if photography was prohibited at the airport, and she said yes and in fact it’s an FAA regulation that you can’t take pictures at an airport. What a load of crap. I told her I didn’t want to delete the picture and asked to speak to her supervisor. The supervisor turned out to be the guy collecting the tickets for the KLM flight, and he backed up the woman’s story and also demanded I delete the picture. A passenger with (I assume) a Dutch accent waiting at the KLM counter didn’t help much, either, as he announced to me that photography is forbidden at most airports around the world.
I had two possible courses of action: refuse to delete my shot, and probably have a lengthy talk with airport police (or worse) while my Aer Lingus flight left me behind, or comply and fight later. There was a third option, fortunately. I reluctantly agreed to delete the photo, and went through elaborate motions to show the woman that I was indeed deleting the picture I had taken. She was satisfied and thanked me for complying, then I walked back down toward my gate after I found out that she worked for Swissport, the T4
contractor. The only thing she apparently didn’t grasp is that through the wonders of modern technology, digital cameras today are able to take and store more than one photograph. I only deleted one of the 8 or so shots of that Delta 767, and had the rest of my shots from that day intact as well.
When I get back from the UK, I’m going to call the Port Authority public relations department and get the real low-down on the photo policy. If indeed it’s against Port Authority regulations to take pictures, I’ll let this matter quietly fade away and will know better in the future to keep a lower profile. If not and if the PA indicates that Swissport can't set its own photo regulations in T4
, I’m going to invoice Swissport for $250 for the picture I deleted and accompany the invoice with a scathing letter with a demand for apology that will also be copied to the Port Authority. Nothing is likely to come of this, but I’ll feel better about it.