Gransnet forums


Someone else packed my bag.

(19 Posts)
Mollygo Fri 14-May-21 20:14:23

Watching programs about countries and their border controls e.g. Nothing to Declare, I wonder why they don’t have a sign saying, “Claiming someone else packed your bag or asked you to carry something for them will mean an instant fine of £200 in addition to any other penalties.”
Although it would make the programs shorter.

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 14-May-21 22:37:58

Honestly, those poor mothers always getting the blame for packing a years worth of rotting food in their hapless children’s luggage!

The ACs always look totally mystified and just shrug!

MissChateline Sat 15-May-21 05:30:57

This has just reminded me of when I was about 13 years old. My parents lived in Germany and I went to boarding school in Sussex. After a holiday they would put me on a train to cross Germany and meet up with the boat at Zeebrugge. I would then get the train to London and another back to Hastings where my grandmother would meet me and escort me to school.
My parents always packed at least one bottle of whiskey and several boxes of cigarettes in my case as they knew that I wouldn’t be stopped and they wanted these for when they returned to the UK. I do remember being terrified doing that journey alone.

ValerieF Sat 15-May-21 18:30:42

From my experience you are asked BEFORE you travel if you have packed your own suitcases/bags. I think the program just goes through the motions of asking if they have packed their own because it makes no difference what they say! If they are found with any banned items they are confiscated or fined. Imo the fine isn’t enough but... this is Australia am speaking about and I think the UK would just turn a blind eye ?.

Am ASTOUNDED at what some people try to smuggle into Australia generally a certain race but won’t state which, you just need to watch. But am intrigued? For the ones caught, just how many get away with bringing plants, insects, etc which are a danger to the flora in Australia? No way of knowing and don’t forget the wretched Japanese Knot weed plant which is causing havoc was brought in to UK. Time to adopt Australia’s no nonsense policy? I think so.

foxie48 Sat 15-May-21 19:57:33

I was given a Terry's chocolate orange to take on the plane and told I could have it when we got home provided I was a good girl on the flight. Little did I know that my mother was smuggling a piece of jewellery that she'd bought but didn't want to pay tax on. Pretty disgusting IMO!

Grannyboots1 Sat 15-May-21 20:10:10

I can recall flying back to the UK from a tour to Malta with handbags packed with cigarettes when I was 14 and my sister 12. We were both terrified.

Callistemon Sat 15-May-21 20:25:58

ValerieF we've often had our luggage X-rayed on entry to Australia and had to unpack everything to reveal the embarrassing amount of tea bags, Marmite etc we were bringing in. Plus an old wooden instrument (allowed).

Even bananas cannot be taken over State borders.

Spice101 Sun 16-May-21 01:17:10


ValerieF we've often had our luggage X-rayed on entry to Australia and had to unpack everything to reveal the embarrassing amount of tea bags, Marmite etc we were bringing in. Plus an old wooden instrument (allowed).

Even bananas cannot be taken over State borders.

LOL you could save yourself the embarrassment, Callistemon, we sell both tea bags and marmite here.

nanna8 Sun 16-May-21 04:26:01

Someone nicked my backscratcher last time I came into Australia from Europe. It was metal,telescopic. They probably thought it was some sort of weapon. Since that border patrol program on tv they have really ramped up the checking. Something that really made me sick is if you travel first class or business class they just wave you through, no checks. We were business class the last time so whilst it was very quick, it just ain’t fair!

Liljan Sun 16-May-21 07:08:39

On one trip back to Oz from the UK I arrived to find that my suitcase was still in London, they said it would be couriered to my address when it arrived. A couple of days later I received a call to return to the airport to pick up said suitcase, slightly bemused I made my way back and was shown into a deserted part of the airport where my suitcase was sitting on top of a table with two guys standing alongside. I was then asked to open the suitcase, which I did. They then rummaged through the case and began pulling out the 10 large packets of pan drops which I’d brought back for my friend who had taken a liking to them on her visit to the UK, they of course thought I was smuggling contraband and me omitting to declare them on the form as we flew into Oz had not helped (I completely forgot I had them). My friend has sadly gone now but whenever I see pan drops I still think of her and my “drug smuggling days”.

Witzend Sun 16-May-21 07:17:12

I’ve often taken Marmite and Branston Pickle, etc. to a sister in the US. I’ve always declared them, but did once have a job explaining to the customs bloke what Marmite was. ‘Something you put on toast’ didn’t seem to get through, but eventually he said, ‘Is it jam?’ So I said yes for a quiet life. I dare say his ideas of jam were hazy anyway, since Yanks usually call it jelly.

Another time, decades ago, DSis and BiL were running a small gift shop in Provincetown (Cape Cod) so I took about half a kilo of frankincense, since we were living at the time in Oman, where it grows, and was available by the sackful in the souk.

So I declared it, in case the customs bloke thought it was freeze dried crack or something (it looks a bit like those old fashioned coffee sugar crystals you used to get) - but after a while the poor chap’s eyes glazed over and he waved this mad Brit woman through.?

Witzend Sun 16-May-21 07:24:20

I’ve just remembered landing in Oz, where a sniffer dog was very busily checking everybody’s bags out.

Another new arrival, an elderly and evidently bemused German woman - who evidently thought I was German - asked me what was going on.

So I did my best to dredge up some terminally rusty A level German, and eventually light dawned,
‘Ah, ein Schnuffelhund!’ ?
Love it.

Calendargirl Sun 16-May-21 07:35:50

All these naughty parents using their children to smuggle cigarettes, booze etc through customs.

Traumatic for the child if stopped I would have thought.

M0nica Sun 16-May-21 08:04:21

Back in the very late 1950s, DP lived in Malaysia. It was the time when transistor radios had just appeared on the market.

In Asia, they were a fraction of the price in the UK and DP bought both my sister and I radios , and as they were both (usually) scrupulously honest, they gave us the invoices and cash to pay customs duties on our way back into the UK.

DS and I decided to play the innocents, we showed the customs officer the radios, but when they asked how much they cost, we looked wide eyed with shock and said that they were presents and we didn't know, so they went away, came back and valued them at £5.00 each, which was half of what they actually cost, so we paid the duty and pocketed the change.

Now whether that counts as smuggling or just clever footwork I am not sure

mokryna Sun 16-May-21 08:06:01

My DD moving to Australia did not deep clean the vacuum cleaner, dust was found inside therefore it was refused entry and went ..... we shall never know.
The first time I visited her there I was stopped for my box of Quaker Oats.

V3ra Sun 16-May-21 08:09:13

When I was a naive seventeen year old I went to stay with a German family on an exchange visit.
On the way home I got chatting to a couple of British soldiers.
One of them chivalrously offered to carry my huge suitcase as we came through customs and I carried one of theirs.
They were waved through with their Forces ID cards: "Forces, carry on through."
I tried to show my passport and was also told, "Forces, carry on through." I explained I wasn't Forces but was still waved through.
Once through we swapped cases back. The soldiers laughed and said, "Thought that would work!"
Turned out they were going AWOL and the case I'd carried was full of pornography ??

JackyB Sun 16-May-21 08:56:49

When I was about 14 and returning from an exchange trip to France, (before we joined the Common Market, of course, so Customs were in force) several of the group had been given gifts from the host parents to our parents - wine and other French specialities.

The adults in charge explained the situation to the Customs officials and actually managed to persuade them to let a busload of us underage kids through with our "contraband".

As soon as we were on British soil, one wit piped up:"OK you can all start smoking and drinking now!"

Boadicea Sun 16-May-21 17:05:55

Miss Chateline - which boarding school were you at? I was at Hollington Park on Gillsmans Hill.

MissChateline Tue 25-May-21 11:00:54

It was indeed Hollington Park. What a coincidence!