Drop the tennis racquet and put your hands above your head

March 11th, 2009


I am pleased to see the European Court of Justice bringing a little sanity to the security rules being applied to the airline industry.

You can read a BBC article here about an Austrian tennis player who was thrown off a flight in 2005 for not surrendering his racquets, which airline staff had deemed to be potential terrorist weapons. It seems European Commission had a secret list of objects which could be banned from flights. The ECJ has now deemed the list unenforceable precisely because the public has no access to it.

What caught my eye in that article was that airline staff had not simply deemed the racquets to be potential weapons, which most objects are when you think about it, but potential terrorist weapons.

Tennisist Rafael Nadal surrenders to police after wielding a tennisist racquet in public for several hours.

Tennisist Rafael Nadal surrenders to police after wielding a tennisist racquet in public for several hours.

Now I hate jobsworths even when I am at my most genial, but I reserve a special place in the pit of perpetual arse-kicking for the jobsworth who throws in the adjective “terrorist” just to give a pathetic argument some semblence of meaning. No more so than in airports, where once they have divested you of all pointy, sharp-edged, flammable items (and t-shirts), proceed to make their profits in the departures area¬† and on board the aircraft themselves by selling you fountain pens, lighters and glass bottles full of alcohol.

Actually, I’m off to the airport today. I wonder what they would say if I tried to bring an empty glass bottle through security.

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