Who’s Richard Reid and why do I hate him?  Reid was the shoe bomber and to be fair, I’ve never met him. But still I hate him, why? Reid committed his crime in 2001 hence we are now at the 10th anniversary of those annoying ‘fake’ inspections at most airports.

Being a long term FM practitioner I get very annoyed at things that are illogical or not quite right. And having just gone abroad again yesterday there were two things at the airport that troubled me:

The first was down to the said Richard Reid. At Leeds Bradford airport at our version of Homeland Security it was off with the shoes, belt, jacket, all metal things, wallet, etc. This laptop also got a wipe down and scanned for bomb making material. Thankfully t was clear so I’m not at risk of exploding.

However, here’s the thing. We had my Father in law with us in an OCS wheelchair (great service throughout). We were pushing him as we hadn’t yet met the OCS chap but had made use of the wheelchair. My Father in law gets pushed through security in his heavy top coat, shoes and belt still on without a murmur. Not a thing scanned.

I muttered about how if I wanted to smuggle a bomb on the plane then the thing to do is to take an old fella with you. I was told in no uncertain terms by “she who must be obeyed” and his lordship to shut up or get arrested.

But how else is one to point out inadequacies in the security of the realm? I did comment that the same acceptance behaviours in the face of a clear wrong were probably evident in Berlin some years ago but that too was “the wrong thing to say at that point.”

Homeland Security is an FM service (provided at considerable cost to me) but it is patently operated on the basis of convenience – not to me but to them. It is a service that has holes in it so is in fact useless, and we could probably do away with it and replace it with spot checks with no real reduction in the security of the realm. However, I remain to be convinced. The operators may argue that my Father in law was selected out on the basis of profiling but then why subject me to the full rigours of the service as if I am suspicious I could have planted the bomb on my Father in law? I think the whole thing is a farce.

Leeds Bradford security is run by Omni-Serv whose banner is “when it has to be done right”. Yeah, right. Says I! Incidentally, Omni-Serv is owned by Group One LLC whose banner is “Be amazed by what we do”. No surprise but I wasn’t…………….

The second annoyance was the tannoy system which was set far too loud as to ensure the announcement rattled around the poor acoustics and therefore was rendered unintelligible. Easy to fix I’d have thought but I wonder how long it will take before someone who cares listens to it?

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