Mar 10, 2010

The Facade of Airline Security: How Many Shots Are In Your Bottle of Rum?

The following article ran in Thought you would find it interesting. Yes, it is that easy.

Journalist Uses Rum To Expose Airport Security Loophole
By Jason Paur
March 9, 2010
3:14 pm
Categories: Air Travel

A Dutch journalist has exposed a loophole in airport security after carrying several liters of liquid on a transcontinental flight to Washington, D.C.
Alberto Stegeman and two colleagues carried six Bacardi rum bottles filled with water aboard flights from Amsterdam to London and then on to Dulles International Airport. The ruse was pretty straightforward, too. They bought the one-liter bottles at the a duty free shop in Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport a week before their flight. Then they returned home, emptied the bottles and filled them with water.
With the bottles filled with water, the three returned to the duty free shop on the day of their flight and paid for the bottles again as if they had just picked them off the shelf. The cashier sealed the bottles and marked them with their ticket and flight information. The three passengers then had no trouble carrying the bottles aboard the aircraft.
Stegeman explained the ruse in a news program that aired on Dutch television. It comes on the heels of a BBC report that showed the so-called “underwear bomber” wouldn’t have brought down Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day if he had succeeded in detonating the bomb in his pants.
This isn’t the first time Stegeman has exposed a security loophole at the Schipol airport. In 2008 he worked with a colleague who secured a job as a baggage handler. Together they managed to get a fake bomb and drugs aboard several aircraft. Because of that report, airport security recognized Stegeman as he attempted to carry the rum bottles aboard the plane and summoned additional guards and a supervisor to check him out, according to The New York Times. Stegeman says the bottles were not checked.
Stegeman’s report has prompted Dutch officials to add extra security checks at duty free shops and stop the sale of liquids at some stores.
Photo of Schipol airport: Flickr / JenWallerRead More

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