Gransnet forums


Travel stress, aggressive airport security staff.

(67 Posts)
Sago Sat 08-Oct-22 08:13:14

We flew from Stansted to Oslo on Thursday, we are frequent travellers and take most things in our stride, once you have booked the RyanAir flight the worst of the stress is normally over.
The security was a nightmare, firstly no area to organise your trays you are straight onto the conveyor, staff were screaming instructions, we had to put wallets, passports, watches liquids in a tray, shoes and coats in another tray and bags in a third.
A man screamed at me that if my bag of liquids wasn’t sealed he would confiscate them, this went on and on.

When we could collect our belongings there was only a tiny space to collate everything, another man came shouting at us not to use the floor whilst a woman was telling us to quickly empty our trays.

By the time we got through our stress levels were off the scale.

I felt so sorry for the many foreign visitors that were clearly upset and confused.

I really feel strongly that I never want to use Stansted again.

Was it a bad day there or is this the norm?

sodapop Sat 08-Oct-22 08:32:19

That sounds horrible Sago I haven't experienced problems like that with staff at other airports. I'm flying to UK with Ryanair this afternoon so hope its not as bad as that.

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 08-Oct-22 08:37:02

Not the screaming, but you do have to put items in separate trays nowadays, but there should be enough trays to go around.

Oldnproud Sat 08-Oct-22 08:37:29

I fear it might be the norm now.

Your experience sounds rather like my own at Birmingham Airport three years ago. We hadn't flown for over ten years, and the change at security was huge, very stressful.

Coming back was equally stressful, but this time at passport control. We'd never had to use a machine for that before, and a
prison warder security person was angrily yelling orders at me from a few meters away. The instructions included to remove my glasses then follow the instructions on the screen in front of me, but I could barely see the screen without my glasses on, let alone read the words on it! There was no offer of constructive help, just angry, repeated shouting.

I was shaking by the time I got out of there.

Fifteen years ago, I regularly flew in and out of the country alone, and generally enjoyed the whole airport experience (apart from watching the expected departure time gradually get longer). How times have changed.

Witzend Sat 08-Oct-22 08:42:23

It does sound worse than usual, but I hate all that security faff anyway. Actually I hate all airport/flying faff nowadays. A far cry from the days when I found it all so exciting!
Having to put your various bits and pieces in different trays is I think pretty standard now.

GrannyGravy13 Sat 08-Oct-22 08:47:14

sago I flew in and out of Stanstead Airport last week with only hand luggage. My experience was nothing like yours, all very smooth. Perhaps the staff member was having a bad day. sorry you had such a bad experience.

NotAGran55 Sat 08-Oct-22 08:52:43

Super chilled, quick and easy at London City airport last Sunday.

MawtheMerrier Sat 08-Oct-22 08:55:19

And this is why I use Eurostar…….

silverlining48 Sat 08-Oct-22 09:21:22

We returned from holiday via Stansted a couple of days ago and it took well over an hour endlessly queuing for passport control. It was absolutely manic.
Our coach transport to the car park should have been 15 minutes but took an hour because it suddenly deviated to drop people off at a different car park with us all onboard. We were eventually dropped off and got home much later than expected, tired and fed up.

silverlining48 Sat 08-Oct-22 09:23:31

It had been a long day!

Patsy70 Sat 08-Oct-22 09:24:35

I flew from Gatwick to Malaga recently with my sister, and found the staff to be very helpful, suggesting we join the ‘assistance’ queue to save time. However, as much as I enjoy walking, I did find the extremely long walks to and from the plane rather exhausting and we’re so tightly packed in!
My OH and I are going to Dieppe on Tuesday for a few days, via the ferry from Newhaven. Looking forward to it, haven’t been to France for a number of years.

Joseanne Sat 08-Oct-22 09:27:18

We used London City recently. Very efficient, but you do need to be on the ball with everything as it goes so fast.
I'm sorry you had that experience.

Kate1949 Sat 08-Oct-22 09:34:31

Which is why we've stopped going abroad.

Fleurpepper Sun 09-Oct-22 15:53:30

Just flown back from Croatia today.

No stress, but the number of people who are not properly prepared for checks is so annoying as it wastes everyone's time. Liquids not sealed in zip lock bags, and not bothering to take large jewellery off, belts, cameras and laptops, etc, ready for separate box, not taken jackets off, etc, etc. The security staff have to say the same things again and again, despite clear instructions, photos, signs, etc- no wonder they lose their cool.

One lady was shouted at, because she was carrying nail varnish and ............ acetone, in her handbag. No excuse for shouting, I know, but really? Everyone knows it is highly flammable and could cause serious trouble.

MissAdventure Sun 09-Oct-22 16:11:39

I always used to find Stansted quite a pressurised environment.

It once took so long to get through everywhere that they were calling my flight and I was still in the security queue!

MerylStreep Sun 09-Oct-22 16:18:33

If people are first time flyers they might not be au fey with liquids.
If you don’t speak English it doesn’t matter how many times security say something, it’s not going to be understood

Glorianny Sun 09-Oct-22 16:21:36

Went through Newcastle airport a couple of weeks ago. It has a large security area and there were lots of people in the entrance sorting out things. Long queue but it was always moving. All the staff were pleasant and helpful, although it must drive you mad when the regulations are posted everywhere and people still have to be told to take off jackets etc.
Passport people were fine as well

62Granny Sun 09-Oct-22 16:24:15

Why do we put up with it ! there is no need for anyone to be screamed / shouted at . I think I would have to say, "I am sorry but please allow me some time I am not as fast as you would like me to be", they are should not be Nazi guards.

Fleurpepper Sun 09-Oct-22 16:28:25


If people are first time flyers they might not be au fey with liquids.
If you don’t speak English it doesn’t matter how many times security say something, it’s not going to be understood

Most of us are not first time travellers. Language is an issue, which is why all airlines and travel companies send clear instructions in advance, and why there are large signs with large illustrations of what is NOT allowed.

TBH - who anyone can NOT know that highly flammable liquids like acetone should not be carried on board (or in the case for that matter)- then what can I say which is not rude!

62Granny Sun 09-Oct-22 16:31:45

Also when you get home I would either email the airport customer service or one of the travel writers in the news papers. and tell them stating the time and day, they must have security cameras there. Ask them to raise the matter during one of the training sessions. Say you feel bullied and upset by the behaviour.

Fleurpepper Sun 09-Oct-22 16:36:09

Forgot, also large picture of what is expected re placing laptops, cameras, binoculars, watches, belts in a box, and taking jacket off and handbag/rucksack and place in second box. My Croatian is limited to good-day, please, thank you, and take it easy - but the illustrations were cristal clear, and it was also clear you were expected to take boxes away to back of room to get organised afterwards, to clear space.

Each and single delay adds up and makes the queue much longer for all. But yes, courtesy should be shown to anyone with mobility issue of very advanced age.

biglouis Sun 09-Oct-22 16:43:23

I last flew not long before the pandemic. Everything had changed re security since my last flight. However I booked assistance and was in a wheelchair and I think the staff may have to be more careful how they treat you. It was very busy and the staff were generally helpful. I was especially grateful when I got to Frankfurt which is a huge and busy airport and could never have managed alone. The flight was met by a lovely and cheerful young man who whisked me off in a buggy and then picked up other passengers on the way. It was all very efficiently orgaized like a military operation via Swissair. All the mechanical bits re machines were done by the staff - I just had to hand them my passport.

If anyone had yelled at me in the manner you described I certainly would have threatened them with a formal complaint and photographed them on my phone. There are times when I love a "good scrap" and I dont hesitate to lash back hard.

I know its a difficult job. The security staff at Frankfurt were probably equally busy but they were calm and professional.

Fleurpepper Sun 09-Oct-22 17:33:36

Agree biglouis- and yet- we get really cross with big queues, so it takes everyone of us to do our best to minimise them by preparing, reading instructions given, look at the clear illustrations and signs given, and get ready. A few minutes multiplied by 100s add to time wasted, irritation and stress for all.

I bet you didn't have acetone in your handbag either! Just because we are a bit older than most, does not exempt us from making every effort to ease queues and lessen frustration... and danger.

Joseanne Sun 09-Oct-22 17:43:42

Talking of liquids in bags, my NZ cousin embarrassed me at City Airport 3 years ago, when we flew to France, because they detected a liquid in her bag. She does a lot of tramping back home for days on end and in NZ you sleep in little shacks. Anyway, deep in her bag was a tiny bottle of poo neutralising odour to be used in the bush! The guy at LCY was most interested. ?
The funny thing was she had flown from the other side of the world a fortnight earlier and it hadn't been detected at Auckland on departure. ?

Ashcombe Sun 09-Oct-22 19:02:05

Some years ago (2014?) we flew out from Gatwick and my resurfaced hip set off the alarms. The staff were abrupt in their speech and I felt uncomfortable with the way the more careful scrutiny was undertaken. Because I complained, I was referred to a supervisor who was not interested.

As we queued beforehand, I noticed a poster proclaiming that no passenger waited more than five minutes in security. Such a speedy record came at the cost of courtesy!