Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
BA
Topic Author
Posts: 10516
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:16 pm

I've gotten into the habit when I go through airport security to take the laptop out of the laptop case and putting it on a tray to go through the x-ray machines separately.

I have noticed that this practice has become pretty much mainstream in many places. Everywhere in the US I've experienced this and many places in Europe as well.

However, when I went through the Terminal 1/2 airport security in London Heathrow a few days ago, I was told by the airport security as I was just about to remove the laptop to not take out the laptop from the case and that this procedure is not done in Heathrow.

I have to say I was quite surprised. Why exactly does LHR do things differently?

Also, what exactly is the reason why the laptop has to go through the x-ray machine separately?

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
star_world
Posts: 943
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 7:52 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:37 pm

It's the same in all UK airports, they never ask you to take the laptop out. The UK airport security process is far better than pretty much any other western European country and definitely better than the US, they have a system that feels significantly less intrusive but far more professional. People forget that the UK has been dealing with terrorism threats for many more years than many of the countries that have rushed into "enhanced" security methods, and does a far better job.
 
Stealthz
Posts: 5558
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:43 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:06 pm

Quoting Star_world (Reply 1):
The UK airport security process is far better than pretty much any other western European country and definitely better than the US,

That may be a debatable point, it may be less intrusive but possibly less thorough.
One of the main reason most places request laptops be removed is that many (nearly all) have a metal chassis that is virtually a flat plate covering the entire area of the device. This chassis is opaque to the xrays and therefore some other material could be concealed in the bag. Screening the bag and laptop separately eliminates this possibility.

Cheers

Chris
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
star_world
Posts: 943
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 7:52 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:50 pm

Well there's a good reason why they don't do this in the UK - I'm not fully aware of all the details behind it but there has to be a reason why this policy wasn't changed when other countries jumped on the US-led approach. I don't believe for a second that thousands of laptop bags are going through UK airports every day with the x-ray operators staring at a screen without any knowledge of what's inside each one...
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:32 pm

well said. The UK has over 30 years experience dealing with terrorist threats of all kinds.
If removing laptops from their cases was needed to make sure the case could get scanned properly they'd have been the ones to invent that procedure.
If they don't require it it's not needed.

Laptops don't have a steel plate in them, except maybe a very few specialty models (there are models designed for use in places like offshore industry that are extra protected against shock and other dangers, but those are easily recognisable for their considerably larger bulk and weight).
I wish I were flying
 
SA7700
Posts: 2930
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 9:38 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:46 pm

In South Africa we don't have to remove laptops from their cases, and IIRC neither did I have to in Australia.


Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
BA
Topic Author
Posts: 10516
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:52 pm

Thanks a lot for the info. I wonder when will the US catch up to the UK's standards?

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
Stealthz
Posts: 5558
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:43 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:05 pm

Quoting BA (Reply 6):
I wonder when will the US catch up to the UK's standards?

I don't get this what is there to catch up? I am not saying the US methods, or anyone elses are perfect or even better but what apart from being a touch less intrusive makes the UK screening any better or more successful than any other??
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
B747-4U3
Posts: 617
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2002 8:08 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:09 pm

From experience you don't have to remove laptops from their bag in Indonesia, Thailand, South Africa, Kenya or Hong Kong either.
 
BA
Topic Author
Posts: 10516
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:11 pm

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 7):
I don't get this what is there to catch up? I am not saying the US methods, or anyone elses are perfect or even better but what apart from being a touch less intrusive makes the UK screening any better or more successful than any other??

Some members here are claiming the UK's airport security is more advanced than in the US and other parts of the world, however they haven't explained why, probably because the information isn't available to the public.

So to answer your question of what is there to catch up to, I don't know.

Perhaps their x-ray machines are more advanced?

If they're not anymore advanced, then I don't see how the UK's airport security is more advanced than in the US, but I wouldn't really know.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
andz
Posts: 7772
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 7:49 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:42 pm

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 5):
In South Africa we don't have to remove laptops from their cases

It was required for a while, in fact there was a big sign at the machine stating this, but not any more.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
User avatar
Ryan h
Posts: 1701
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2001 7:11 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:10 pm

SA 7700,

Every time I have flown either on international or domestic flights here in Australia I had to remove the laptop from it's case.
South Australian Spotter
 
jafa39
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:14 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:13 pm

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 5):
In South Africa we don't have to remove laptops from their cases, and IIRC neither did I have to in Australia.

They stay in the bag in NZ, this changed a couple of years ago.
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
SA7700
Posts: 2930
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 9:38 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:39 pm

Quoting Ryan h (Reply 11):
Every time I have flown either on international or domestic flights here in Australia I had to remove the laptop from it's case.

Quite strange - when I connected from International (JNB-SYD) to Domestic (SYD-MEL), I was opening my laptop case in order to remove it. The security officer stopped me and told me that it was not necessary.

Maybe I have been hit by a blimp again  Smile


Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
qutaiba
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:37 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:58 pm

As I understand it the greater threat is mainly from plastic components, do these security devices detect those?
When the tide comes in, all ships will rise
 
teva
Posts: 1783
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 12:31 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:06 pm

BA, you are asking why security is more advanced in the UK than inthe US: It is simple: 30 more years of experience.
And experience means analysis, and doing only what is necessary for security, not a big cinema that is completely inefficient and just gives an illusion of security.
For instance what is security related in MEM, when they ask me to remove the laptop and start it..... At the arrival of my 9 hours flt, and when I have no connecting flt?
And I can tell you that when you are tired because of the flt, it is a real pain to have a long line to X-ray your luggage and start your laptop.
Luggage have been checked at the departure, and if there was a bomb inside, I would not be at the destination....
So, tell me where is security, and where is cinema.
On the other hand, if you work at European airport and know some basics of security, and then you observe the organization of some US airports, you will see some lapses. The only problem is that, when you try to report it, they look at you as if you were a terrorist. So now, I just shut up and just hope the airports I visit are not sensitive enough to become targets.
Teva
Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
 
anstar
Posts: 3349
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:41 pm

Quoting BA (Reply 9):
Some members here are claiming the UK's airport security is more advanced than in the US and other parts of the world, however they haven't explained why, probably because the information isn't available to the public.

So to answer your question of what is there to catch up to, I don't know.

Perhaps their x-ray machines are more advanced?

If they're not anymore advanced, then I don't see how the UK's airport security is more advanced than in the US, but I wouldn't really know.

The UK security has had more experience than the US and therefore it "appears" seem to know what does and doersn't work.

Another example fo a dfference between the US and UK is that the US have banned ciagrette lighters, however they are allowed in most other countries.

**Quite strange I might add that you can;t have a ligher, but can have scissors now and matches in the US**
 
777jaah
Posts: 852
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:38 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:01 pm

In Colombia the Police practices a random procedure, which is making owners turn on their laptops. If your battery is dead, your not probably getting in the airplane, because they don't let you use your power cord (that's one of the advantages of laptops isn't it??). Sometimes even your cameras are turn on and make you take a shot of the roof, flash on. These procedures are mainly in outbound flights and looking for drugs.

If you don't "fall" into this random searches, the laptop stays in it's case.


Have a nice one.
Next flights: AV BOG-ADZ-BOG, AV-UA BOG-IAD-ORD-IAD-BOG, BOG-FLL-BOG, LA BOG-MIA-BOG J
 
HS748
Posts: 621
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:01 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:08 pm

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 4):
If removing laptops from their cases was needed to make sure the case could get scanned properly they'd have been the ones to invent that procedure.

Absolutley. It's not necessary, so it isn't done. Just like the nonsense at some airports of removing shoes and belts - if you invest in the best equipment it's completely unnecessary.
 
MYT332
Posts: 7302
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 7:31 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:18 pm

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 17):
If your battery is dead, your not probably getting in the airplane

This happened to me at LGW. I got my bag searched and was asked to turn my laptop on but as I was on my way home, I had drained the battery already. I nearly had heart failure when I saw this but the screener didn't really care, he was satisfied by a flashing battery low light!
One Life, Live it.
 
LX23
Posts: 337
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:54 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:02 pm

Quoting Myt332 (Reply 19):
This happened to me at LGW. I got my bag searched and was asked to turn my laptop on but as I was on my way home, I had drained the battery already. I nearly had heart failure when I saw this but the screener didn't really care, he was satisfied by a flashing battery low light

This happened to me at LGW too when I was selected for extra security...had to take most things out of my bag, and they wiped them down with a cloth which they then put into a machine (i guess looking for explosives partiles or something). Was then asked to turn on my electricals (laptop, camera,etc.)... low battery on my laptop as well as my discman...and he got to my airband scanner, I thought "Go directly to jail - do not pass go, do not collect £200!" Big grin
The guy just looked at it, had me turn it on, and then helped me pack everything up. "Have a nice flight"
 
PMN
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:44 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:16 pm

Quoting HS748 (Reply 18):
Absolutley. It's not necessary, so it isn't done. Just like the nonsense at some airports of removing shoes and belts - if you invest in the best equipment it's completely unnecessary.

DUB springs to mind! Not only do you have to take your shoes and belt off, and remove your laptop from its case, almost all the security staff seem to have a rather serious attitude problem. In the 8 times I've been through DUB I can use only one word to describe it. Joke!

Paul
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
IADLHR
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:25 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:03 am

Also, one has never had to remove their shoes before going through security at LHR. Just last week I flew from LHR-IAD with boots on that had a heavy zipper, still I did not have to remove them.

I agree with all the ones that have said that the UK and, for that matter, most all of Europe has been dealing with security issues for 30 plus years and their system is better.

Frankly, I think that some of the things that are done in the USA, in the name of security, are to show to the general population that the USA is indeed cracking down on security. Thus, in a way, it becomes a political issue and the government tries to prove they are doing everything they can.In a way that is very true. However, it is just they way they go about it. The bottom line is that many of the things should have done pre-9/11 .
 
star_world
Posts: 943
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 7:52 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:17 am

Quoting IADLHR (Reply 22):
Frankly, I think that some of the things that are done in the USA, in the name of security, are to show to the general population that the USA is indeed cracking down on security.

This is a very true point. I'm living in New York at the moment, and get to experience domestic security 3-4 times a week. At least half of those times I'm left standing with my mouth open at some comment made by a TSA agent, or have some sort of disagreement caused by their attitude. It seems like each week they've invented some new 'rule' or change to how they want things done. Absolutely no questions are allowed - once I ventured to ask why they only 'suggested' that you remove your shoes, instead of just telling you to, and the woman just looked completely shocked and replied "but... haven't you HEARD of the shoe bomber???".

But all you can do is just put up with it - that's the reality of travelling over here now! Can't say I feel any more secure than I did pre-911 though. Not in the slightest.
 
HS748
Posts: 621
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:01 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:24 am

Quoting PMN (Reply 21):
DUB springs to mind!

It was DUB I was thinking of!
 
levent
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:11 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:28 am

Ý visited Ýstanbul`s Sabiha Gokcen airport yesterday and had to take my photo camera out of the bag after it went through the xray. The guy looked at it semi-interested, then opened the other compartments of the bag and let me go. Ý went to the toilet and when walking back along the security the guy asked me whether Ý had a knife in my bag. Duh? Ý think he just wanted to talk a bit.

About airport security: am Ý correct by saying that most airports don`t screen the people walking into the landside of the arrivals and departure halls? They do screen everyone at the Ýstanbul airports and Ý think that is very good. Theoretically, at most airports someone could just walk in and blow him or herself up.
 
star_world
Posts: 943
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 7:52 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:30 am

Quoting Levent (Reply 25):


About airport security: am Ý correct by saying that most airports don`t screen the people walking into the landside of the arrivals and departure halls? They do screen everyone at the Ýstanbul airports and Ý think that is very good. Theoretically, at most airports someone could just walk in and blow him or herself up.

Yes this is common in many airports in middle east / Asia, but pretty much non-existent in Europe and US. It's probably a good idea, but would require a lot of re-design of the airports to accomodate it.
 
levent
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:11 pm

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:35 am

Quoting Star_world (Reply 26):
Yes this is common in many airports in middle east / Asia, but pretty much non-existent in Europe and US. It's probably a good idea, but would require a lot of re-design of the airports to accomodate it.

They don`t do it in Bangkok for example, while Thailand could very well be on the terrorist lists with all the tourists and the insurgency in the south.
Of course it would lead to queues at the entrances etc. but Ý think it would improve security considerably.
 
star_world
Posts: 943
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 7:52 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:37 am

Will the new airport in BKK have security at the entrance?
 
BA
Topic Author
Posts: 10516
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:04 am

Quoting ANstar (Reply 16):
The UK security has had more experience than the US and therefore it "appears" seem to know what does and doersn't work.

Interesting, you'd think they'd learn then.  Smile
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
[email protected]
Posts: 7510
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: Laptops And Airport Security (London Heathrow)

Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:41 am

I've never been asked to turn on my laptop, nor have i ever been asked to take off my shoes or belts at any UK airport. Presumably, any explosives or electronic detonating device should be picked up by the baggage scanners or metal detectors. You do sometimes get pulled over for extra random screening of your carry on's. Pan Am 103 changed airport security in the UK forever, it was a real wake up call, any baggage that's loaded onto a plane without it's passenger will not take off.
In Arsene we trust!!

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos