Police Message

27 February 2011

The airport is no place for joking about what you might have in your bag. Yet it happens all too often and causes unnecessary problems.

Despite the 9/11 attacks on the United States and subsequent attacks around the world and the sensitivity about terrorism at airports, some people still seem to think it’s amusing to say they have a ‘bomb’ in their bag when checking in for flights.

What they don’t appear to understand is that once the statement is made a number of things have to occur.

Firstly, it is a criminal offence to make such a statement at an airport. It doesn’t matter if it was intended to be 'funny'. The person will be arrested.

Secondly, their luggage, and perhaps that of their companions, will be offloaded.

Their flight tickets will be cancelled, often resulting in major financial penalties. A court appearance and substantial fine are also likely.

Last, but perhaps no means least, the airline (and their partners) may prevent that person from ever flying with them again.

There’s a certain naivety around making jokes like this, with people failing to realise the distress it causes for airport staff, flight crew and their fellow passengers and the logistical consequences.

Our advice is simple: Before you decide to make such a statement, stop, think of the global images of what terrorism actually means to a civilised society and keep your mouth closed.

Adherence to these simple rules allows us to conduct our core business - making the airport community feel safe.