In early July I posted about the new TSA policy which was implemented at overseas airports, whereby powerless electronic devices wouldn’t be permitted on planes.
Yesterday I experienced that — along with “targeted” secondary security — for the first time. It was no big deal at all, but I figured I’d share my experience, since it was a first.
I was flying from Frankfurt to New York on Singapore Airlines, and when I went to board the plane the machine that scans boarding passes beeped several times. The agent told me I needed to go to the ticket desk for a document check, though once there I was directed to the side of the gate, where two police offers told me to sit down.
Hmmm, wtf? I didn’t see anyone other than the two police officers, so at this point I wasn’t sure if they saw me taking pictures, or what. But as it turns out that was just the waiting area for secondary security, which was located behind a partition.
I was asked to power on all my electronic devices. Everything in my bags was searched, and I was given an intensive pat down. Amazingly enough the whole process took about 15 minutes.
Then I went to board the plane again, but the scanner beeped the same way that it did the first time I tried to go through. I was once again directed to go to the ticketing desk, and the agent said they needed to get the gate supervisor in order to “release” me onto the flight.
In all it took about 20 minutes, and I was among the last people aboard. There was one other passenger who got secondary (he was in Suites Class), but I don’t think anyone else did.
Anyway, this wasn’t a big deal at all, though was different than my past experience with secondary security on US-bound flights. Up until now, my experience has been that they’ll:
- Pull people over randomly on the jet bridge to do a cursory check of their bags.
- Pull everyone over on the jet bridge to do a cursory check of their bags
- “Randomly” pull people over as they enter the “sterile” gate area
But this was the first time where it actually seemed to be linked to my ticket. I’m not sure if it was because I booked last minute, if it was random, or what.
Oh well, I was long overdue, given that I otherwise never seem to get secondary at either security or customs.
Has anyone experienced a similar type of secondary, or know what triggers it?