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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 20, 2012

Unusual airport security in Cologne

Filed under UCG-Germany

This morning's security at the Cologne-Bonn airport for my flight to Prague was a bit contradictory, at least to me.

I am spending the next days in the Czech Republic visiting some church members. Since I was on a no-frills Germanwings flight, I only had hand luggage, a small day case. When I opened the case to get out my notebook computer and place it separately on the security belt, the security personnel noticed my deodorant stick. He said, "That's liquid, you have to place it in a plastic bag." I told him it was not liquid, but he said that according to their definition it was. This has never happened to me in the USA, so maybe it is a EU definition. (The EU has lots of definitions for things.) OK, so we accomplished that. My deodorant stick was placed in the required see-through plastic bag and I made it through security and went to my gate. Since I had checked in online and printed out my boarding pass at home, and I also had no checked luggage, I did not appear at a Germanwings check-in counter prior to proceeding to security. When the flight was called, I thought for sure that they would check identification for online check-ins. I saw a couple of other people holding their passports or national i.d. cards, but there was no i.d. check. So I put my passport back into my pocket. I could have been Hans Mustermann boarding the plane, it would not have mattered. So a deodorant stick is liquid and that is important for security, but whether you are actually the person listed on your boarding pass is not so important. Seems a bit contradictory to me.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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