Security in a Single Bag?

Even if you have not travelled through the UK recently, you may have heard of the annoying new regulation that passengers going through airport security there may have only one bag. Security people and signs remind you of this multiple times en route to the scanners. For me, this means stuffing the small purse in which I carry wallet, boarding pass, passport, and iPod into an empty compartment of my large backpack – irritating, but not too traumatic.

For tourists who want to board with a large handbag plus a fully-stuffed carry on and a tube of posters, however, it can be a nightmare to learn this at the last minute. The solution some airlines are adopting is to give passengers a large plastic bag into which they can place multiple items.

The man in line behind me at Heathrow grumbled that this contributes nothing to security (which I can well believe), and is solely intended to speed up scans, reduce the need to staff some scanners, and thereby save costs. However, I’m not sure it even accomplishes that. The many of us who carry laptops are ordered to take them out and put them into separate bins, which is harder to do and takes longer when your bag is stuffed tight with things you didn’t originally intend to put in there.


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