NICE DRIVEWAY! AN OCCASIONAL COLUMN ON LIFE IN SLOVAKIA

Who would have thought flying could be made any more miserable

The coronavirus, like the 9/11 hijackers, has excelled its forerunners in sheer deviousness.

Bratislava airportBratislava airport (Source: Sme)

Twenty years after 9/11, the ordeal that every passenger is required to endure when going through an airport is now the terrorists’ most visible global legacy.

Jackets, belts, shoes, sometimes even socks must still be removed in the world’s least titillating striptease. You can't even leave your hat on.

Security officials (or more often, recorded announcements) bark at passengers, demanding that they remove their “liquids” from their hand luggage.

Search news stories from the last two decades, as I did, and you will struggle to find more than a couple of very old stories about seizures of any liquid that was ever suspected of being – let alone actually found to be – dangerous.

Consider the fate of all those confiscated bottles and containers: are they disposed of carefully, or tested for evidence of plots? Of course not: they are tossed in the rubbish, or placed in teetering rows above the x-ray machines. The more valuable ones, containing alcohol or perfume, are quietly salted away.

A new form of kabuki

This is not how anyone would behave if they really believed such bottles contained explosive precursors.

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