At Frankfurt airport: The security check from hell, glad to heading home

We are in the Lufthansa business class lounge in Concourse C at the massive Frankfurt airport. We passed through the equally massive Barcelona airport early this morning and flew here to catch the non-stop to Denver.

We both had a restless night, probably because of the early wake-up time and the travel day that loomed ahead of us, so we are quite tired.

My new knees now garner me special attention from airport security. Interestingly, I only set off a couple of the metal detectors at the ports we visited, which is probably not a good news story. In Barcelona airport, it wasn’t too bad – the woman from security did a fairly quick scan of me with the magic wand while chatting with her friend and we were on our way. However, we had to go out of security here at Frankfurt and re-enter it again and it was not a pleasant experience, although I am glad that they are being thorough, given the propensities of certain groups to target aircraft.

Of course I set the metal detector off and was consigned to a dour woman who had her magic wand turned up the maximum gain (not to be too graphic, but the metal clasps on my bra made it squeal, as did a tiny metal piece on my wood necklace). I had a little piece of tissue in my pocket and this got her upset that I forgot to remove it (who thinks about tissues in their pockets?). She was extremely personal in her body checks, grabbing and probing private body parts as well. The worst was the treatment of my knees. She banged that damn wand really hard against the front of both knees and “Buzz”, my left knee, did not like that at all (It is still somewhat sensitive in the scar area). She also made me kneel on a pad with both knees (something else they’re not used to). She was impatient and unsmiling, sort of like a microcosm of many of the residents of this country (we have traveled in Germany quite often and sadly the stereotypes are often true and I’m sure we ugly Americans live up to our reputation, too).

Besides this fun, we had both carry-on bags torn apart and had to explain every item, plus they grabbed one of the cameras for a special check. I almost had a heart attack at this point because those cameras used to be carried in a backpack that Steve started using for bringing guns to the range. I made him buy a new backpack for this trip. Fortunately the camera passed the check. The supervisor who did this was a friendly sort, for a change, and I told him that I thought their inspector was pretty rough on my left knee that is still recovering from surgery. He promised to look into it. I like the thoroughness, but hate that we have to be subjected to this stuff. When we were coming in to the terminal on the bus from our Barcelona flight we passed an El Al plane that was being processed and were amazed to see an armored vehicle parked in the area and the entire plane perimeter was roped off. Of course, the Israelis practice something that we should do, which is detailed profiling of passengers rather than assuming that elderly white-haired grandmothers, small children and middle-aged Cruise travelers are equally guilty.

After that jollity, we are happy to be sitting in this lounge, looking at A380s and an ANA 787. We board our flight to Denver soon (about 11 hours total flight time).

I will write a final wrap-up of our adventure very soon.

2 Comments »

  1. PAIGE Said,

    October 1, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

    I have had a wonderful time on your cruise. I have learned so much and I think this is the best trip since Africa! Amazing sights and observations!

    I had a very busy and fun weekend. I joined an architectural group tour to Colorado Springs including lunch at the Broadmoor. Saturday afternoon through late Sunday we attended wedding functions for friends Sabrina and Dale. They are a special couple and we were very happy to be included. His family is from San Francisco and her family is from Philadelphia. Of the maybe 70 guests there only a handful were from Denver.

    I hope your trip home (now that you lived through the brutal security check) is restful.

    There are parts as I read your commentary that really make me want to tag along on a trip with you. There are also times as I read about your adventures that I don’t know where you get the energy to do all that you do. It is impressive!

    Hope to catch-up with you soon.

  2. PAIGE Said,

    October 8, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

    I followed you through the awesome, fabulous; the not so good and the onboard rudeness of fellow cruisers. I think your knees and stamina were amazing. By all news reports and your visualization Europe is falling apart and the countries have different forms of government. I have heard that London has a large Middle Eastern population — do you know why? What is the attraction to London?

    Glad to know that you are home and hope we can get together soon.
    Paige

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