Check-in security and common sense

Lawson Over the last few years, we've all watched with exasperation as airline check-in procedures have become increasingly time-consuming and invasive.

The Evening Standard carries a concerning story about the 78 year old peer Lord Nigel Lawson's treatment at the hands of airport security busybodies at London Gatwick Airport.

Faced with demands to take off his shoes, the former Chancellor explained that as a result of surgery he has had to his legs, he is unable to bend down and therefore needs to sit on a chair to remove his footwear.  After much grumbling, a chair was provided with what Lord Lawson's son Dominic describes as "spectacular gracelessness".

Following, this a more senior security officer demanded Lawson hand over his passport.  He refused.  Following this, the officer 'phoned ahead to the airline's passenger gate and ordered EasyJet to deny the peer access to the fight for "not having passed through security".

No elderly – or indeed any – traveller should expect to be insulted by security staff for their medical condition or have to contend with Stasi-style demands to view their documentation.

Should there not be an element of common sense when it comes to check-in security procedures?  Did Lord Lawson really pose a "threat" that had to be dealt with in such a heavy-handed manner?

By Daniel Hamilton