Wednesday, February 21, 2007
KLM's airline 'food', and Dutch anti-terrorism airport security
Yeah, I know, you will say 'big deal', 'not particularly interesting posting', but check out this photo of KLM's vegetarian breakfast in its economy class (commonly known also as torture class). The airline brags to its customers about great improvements it made to its inflight meals. Well, check out this dry role wrapped around two soggy slices of veggies. Even the poor stewardess on my flight from San Francisco to Glasgow thought of this offering as 'gross'... I couldn't agree more.
While I am at it, I'm sure you will know that most airports are busily fighting terrorists. Their primary focus in this regard is, as you'd expect, the duty free perfumes that we might wish to take on planes. Schiphol airport in Amsterdam has brought this by and large idiotic activity to even greater lows. So, here goes my true story: I bought in San Francisco's international airport perfume (you know, the stuff you better bring home if you want to live). It was carefully sealed in an airtight bag by airport security to ensure I couldn't secretly replace it with a nuclear bomb. Being safely (sic!) inside airport security I thought changing planes in Amsterdam would not be a major big deal. After all, so I thought, I had passed security already. Well, far from that, having arrived from the US of A in Amsterdam people busily scanned my back-pack again and found (no, not the nuclear device, but) the perfume bottle. 100 ml of deeply suspicious looking perfume-like material sealed in an undoubtedly fake sealed airport security bag from San Francisco. They quickly opened the dangerous package and discovered ... guess what..., there's perfume in there. Well, rules being rules, they happily confiscated the perfume and asked me to move on with my life. When I pointed out to them that the same bottle bought from a duty free agent in Amsterdam's airport and sealed by them could be taken on-board, they agreed. Of course, it would then probably be confiscated again by some other poor sucker in another airport on the look-out for terrorist perfume. While I appreciate the need to generate local sales... c'mon folks, surely duty free shops at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport can't be that desperate.
So then, here is my take-home message: if you live in the UK and you happen to think that Schiphol compared to London Heathrow is the lesser of two evils... think again!
On a more cheerful note, the Royal Bank of Scotland (see various postings below) wasn't heard of ever since and I have complained to my local branch manageress. The issue is now being investigated. I will keep you posted.