Thursday, January 18, 2007

Removing Shoes at Airport Security

At Birmingham airport they make everybody take their shoes off at the security checkpoint. It was interesting to watch how people were taking this. I was surprised how graceful people were about it. I did notice people were mostly quick to put their shoes on again. I thought it was rather comfortable. The carpet was delightfully soft.

Going through Birmingham airport security was rather like being arrested; you have to empty your pockets and remove your belt and shoes. The only difference is that they do not make you take your necktie off.

I was surpised to find I had to go through another security check at Zurich. They did not ask people to take their shoes off there, but quite a few people had to go back shoeless when the metal detector bleeped. As my boots have zips and buckles, I took them off anyway. The lady next to me did the same. I think the Birmingham policy was more sensible. The check was much quicker with people only going through once. Besides, can they detect explosives with a metal detector? I would have thought x-raying shoes for explosives would be more important than only checking them for razor blades.

My hope is that with people having to take off their shoes in situations like this, they will get more used to the idea that you cannot keep your shoes on all the time and that stocking feet are required in some circumstances.

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