Well, well, well. Airport security geniuses strike again, and uncomfortably close to home this time, too.
CBC.ca had a story this morning that was forwarded to me by my trusty source, Alice. I was going to link to the story, but it's so ridiculously short, (and uninformative), it's easier to just cut 'n paste:
"Medical Device Raised Alarm at NL Airport
Police investigated a suspicious package at St. John's International Airport Thursday.
They were called in after an item was detected inside a piece of luggage during the security screening for an afternoon flight.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary's Explosive Disposal Unit determined it was a benign electrical device used for medical treatment."
OK then. Let's look at the possibilities.
What could it have been? It could have been a glucometer, which is a blood sugar testing device for diabetics. It could have been a CPAP device that people use for sleep apnea. It could have been an AED (a portable defibrillator), if the person was a First Aid Trainer travelling to a course. It could have been an aerosolizer for inhaled medications. It could have been a Thigh Master, for tightening and toning.
There are many types of devices that could be packed in a suitcase. Good, so we've established that.
For 10 years now, airports have put passengers and their luggage under increasing levels of scrutiny. That included even the passengers travelling through St. John's Int'l. Airport.
So tell me:
Is it not incumbent upon the security systems within Canada that they should, at the very least, know the rudimentaries of likely portable medical devices?
Is it not incumbent upon CBC to at least be explicit about what device was found, so that the next guy in line might prevent this moronic over-reaction, by telling missus at the check-in counter that it's there?
Who knows? Maybe that's what this particular traveller did. Maybe that person, trying to be a proactive, responsible traveller, set off this chain of events. The security dudes might never have known it was there unless they were told, and of course, if a bomber is going to try to sneak on a bomb in luggage, he'd certainly tell them to look for it!
(I use the term 'he' for the bomber, because I am guilty of sexually profiling as well as a supporter of racial profiling. Until a Canadian-born white woman flies a jet into the CN Tower, in my world they will be men.)
So, here we have some poor bugger and his or her travelling companions, held up in St. John's, missing connections left, right and center, because no one in CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) thought to train their security people to identify medical devices that might be found in luggage. We're not talking about a CT scanner, for God's sake. There are not that many bomb-like portable medical devices, after all.
And, here's another thought. Did they even bother to ask the passenger what it was? Takes me back to my rant on scanners from just the other day. Maybe they need to TALK TO PEOPLE!!!!!
Maybe the airport is too embarrassed to say what it was that was found. I mean, how humiliatingly ridiculous would it be if it turned out to be an electric toothbrush, or better still, a battery-operated sex toy? Ohhhhhh, I have such a good feeling that that's exactly why no one is saying what it was!! This thought is making me SO happy right now!!! If they never do say what it was, this is why. Guaranteed. I'll bet a million dollars on it!!