-Didn’t have to take off my shoes
-Didn’t have to take out my laptop
-Was directed towards the “Ladies Verification” section of lines, though apparently one of our men went through this, and one of our women went through the other one. A veiled woman pointed out my hennaed hands.
When I got to my gate, I went through another, much more obstreperous and obnoxious security. It was nearly as obnoxious and obstreperous as US security. Crowded, loud, confusing, they made me take off my shoes, put my passport and boarding pass on the conveyor. Made me take out my laptop, ipod and cellphone and put them in a separate basket.
I had a large pink plastic bag as my carry-on “purse”, with my glass Karak cup set and Pashmina shawls. They tried to take the whole thing as checked bag without talking to me, and a threw a little American hissy-fit until they designated someone to explain what was going on. Apparently my glass Karak cup set was a potential weapon.
Because I wasn’t so sure of what would happen to my things if they left my sight, I insisted on repacking so that I kept everything but the Karak set in my immediate possession. The man who took my Karak set (which I had repacked carefully with tissues and socks so I would not break it in transit) then asked for my boarding pass and told me to wait at the end of a line. I did so, standing with a woman with a Canadian passport who I had been chatting with in line.
I reached the desk, showed the woman my passport, and when she asked for my boarding pass I told her an employee took it along with my Karak set. Then I looked at her in an American-who-can-and-will-throw-a-hissy-fit-if-necessary way, and she smiled and got my boarding pass off of my Karak set from behind the counter, where it had been sitting.
I made it through just fine.
I have to imagine that the security was like that for all US destinations, because the FAA requires something like it for all international flights. So Qatar Airways is still amazing, and I still object to some of the policies of the FAA/TSA.
When the news reporter said “Shopkeepers are opening their doors bringing out blankets and cups of tea” I just smiled. It’s like yes. That’s Britain for you. Tea solves everything. You’re a bit cold? Tea. Your boyfriend has just left you? Tea. You’ve just been told you’ve got cancer? Tea. Coordinated terrorist attack on the transport network bringing the city to a grinding halt? Tea dammit! And if it’s really serious, they may bring out the coffee. The Americans have their alert raised to red, we break out the coffee. That’s for situations more serious than this of course. Like another England penalty shoot-out. ~Jslayeruk, as posted on Metaquotes Livejournal, in response to the July 2005 London subway bombings