B A Security Officers Heathrow T5 — suffering the wrath of 2 security officers
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN;
Description of incident; Wednesday 24th March 2011 roughly 17.30 hrs passing through Airport Security to board the Heathrow to Edinburgh flight (18.20 hrs)
On arriving at the Airport Security belt, I placed my liquids into a re-sealable bag and placed the bag in a tray with my newly removed jacket, shoes, belt, handbag, gold bracelet & work security badge. I also placed my laptop in a seperate tray with the laptop bag alongside. This was all to make sure absolutely nothing could be mis interperated by the security system.
I passed through the electronic arch without a problem and waited for my property to come through the x-ray curtain.
All but my handbag appeared.
No-one made me aware of it but my handbag had been passed down another chute to a waiting Security Officer (SO) who looked at my bag but took no action and just left it sitting there while she stared around at her colleagues. Bearing in mind my travelling companion's handbag was also in this particular security Officer's watch list, she was also left standing too. I began to get concerned that we might miss the boarding call for our flight.
When I questioned why our handbags were just sitting there, I was told there was a can of hairspray in my handbag and a plastic bottle with a little liquid in it in my companion's bag which was too large to pass through and so it was deemed necesssary to search both bags.
The can of hairspray in my bag was almost empty and I didn't see it as a can holding more than 100 ml of liquid...more fool me. While a short, blonde, bobbed hair styled Security Officer in her fifties stood doing nothing, her older male colleague was busy going through another unfortunate female passenger's hold all producing very intimate pieces of clothing onto the table in front of me and fellow passengers. This passenger looked totally humiliated and I felt embarassed for her. ( I would like to add that the male SO performing this search couldn't have been any slower if he'd tried in my opinion and it is only a personal opinion).
When I was eventually beckoned forward by the female SO, I commented that I had read the article from BA's Chairman regarding unneccessary security checks and with that I was subjected to a barrage of her Company's Security Policies. When I asked her not to go any further and handed the almost empty can of hairspray back to her, she would not take it. I kept saying "take it - I don't need it", but she just started shouting that she had worked at Heathrow Airport for 10 years and did not appreciate me patronising her and asked me if I believed Company Security Policies should be changed to which I replied "Yes". She then asked me how I would feel if she walked into my work place and started questioning my job. When I told her, I didn't have a choice at being subjected to security checks which include SOs laying there hands on and around my private parts and that recently I had been subjected to a full body scan due to a non detachable brooch on my dress, she walked back to the x-ray machine and started shouting across the floor at me.
When I put my hand to my ear and 'mimed' that I could not hear her, she still continued to shout across the area.
When she started to walk back towards me she told me I was the rudest passenger she had ever had to deal with to which I replied "I am allowed to express an opinion", put my hand up with my palm facing her and told her I didn't want to talk to her anymore as the situation was becoming heated.
Thinking this was the end of the incident, I started to walk away but the male SO shouted "Madam" at me and when I turned around and realised he was looking at me quite aggressively, I thought it best to keep walking with my travelling companion but he kept running toward me shouting "Madam".
When I turned round he told me I had a really bad attitude. He had been listening to the conversation I had with his Colleague and that he could easily prevent me from getting on the flight.
When I tried to explain that I didn't have attitude with his colleague but that, infact, she raised her voice to me and that's when I stood up for myself, he just kept telling me my attitude was disgusting and that he could arrange that my aircraft boarding pass be refused.
By this time, I felt totally bewildered by the rudeness, agressivness and disrespect I had been shown.
All I had done was stand up for myself against these two SOs.
I was left feeling embarassed & shaken, on the verge of tears and had to sit down as I was in total shock!...
In light of how serious I feel this incident was, I would like a full investigation into both these SOs passenger handling techniques, a full explanation of their behaviour alongside a request that if BA as a company finds their behaviour unacceptable, they should both be put through formal disciplinary procedures.
I am disgusted, angry, confused, shocked and disappointed that these Sos are so badly behaved when it comes to respect for their passengers.
I look forward to your response as a matter of urgency as I am a frequent flyer with your airline and don't wish to be subjected to this ever again.
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